ACCOUNTS of bad flooding in Skipton in the 1960s and 1970s continue to spark memories for people, including from former Skiptonian, Richard Lee, who now lives in Devon.

Richard sent me three photographs he took in the summer of 1979 when the town centre flooded following an afternoon downpour.

Richard took his photographs from the bottom of Shortbank Road, and tells me: “The pictures of the wrecked cars were vehicles that were washed down from Peter Clarke’s forecourt and the silver Fiesta actually came under the bridge next to the Old Grammar school. The car park is that belonging to Castle Acoustics, which resembled a boating lake at one point.”

What is especially interesting is that Richard’s photographs are in colour; if anyone else has any photographs they would like to share of flooding, not necessarily in Skipton, please scan them and send them to

NOW, local government reorganisation is not the most thrilling of subjects; I know this because apart from those who actually work in local government, those who write about it, and a few others who take a keen interest in local politics, just about everyone else looks blankly at me every time I mention how in just more than a year’s time, Craven District Council and North Yorkshire County Council will be replaced by the huge North Yorkshire Council.

This will be the biggest change in local government for 50 years; back in the Craven Herald of March, 1972, the paper was attempting to whip up enthusiasm for the then new ‘Craven District Council’ .

In just a few weeks, reported the Herald, proposals for the areas of the new districts in non-metropolitan counties were to be published.

It had already been agreed that the new Craven district would include Skipton, the Settle rural district and all of the Skipton rural district that remained after the transfer to Lancashire and the West Yorkshire metropolitan area.

In an almost identical version of what is happening now, until central government pushed the button, no progress could be made on where administrative centres were to be.

LOOKING back 100 years ago, to 1922, the Herald reported on the successful completion of the Skipton war memorial. Two boys and two girls, whose fathers had died in the war, and under 12 years old, were to be selected by ballot and asked to carry out the unveiling. Craven was also looking forward to the arrival in Skipton over the Easter holiday of the original Bronco Bill’s ‘Wild West’ exhibition and circus. It had an ‘enviable’ reputation because of its originality and realism rarely exceeded by other entertainment, said the Herald.

MEANWHILE, 75 years ago, in 1947, the Herald reported on a temporary shortage of potatoes in Craven because of heavy snow- not because there were no potatoes about, but because they were fastened up in ‘pies’ or ‘clamps’ under the snow and it would have been asking for trouble to open up the clamps in frosty weather. Even though there had been some grumbling, Craven folk appeared to have understood how lucky they were compared to people in other areas.

I SEE a lot of buzzards and other birds of prey while out walking, not so many in the more popular parts of the Dales where tree cover is not so good - if you want to see more birds, head for the Forest of Bowland is my advice; you may well see a hen harrier if you’re very lucky.

I was out walking through Newton-in -Bowland just recently, and the marshy fields next to the River Hodder reminded me of the arrivals lounge of a busy international airport - the area was heaving with gulls, oyster catchers, lapwings, and geese, and also a few curlews - wonderful to see; I tried to take a detour around them, it seemed mean to make them take to the air again after such long journeys.

My picture of the week is this photo of a male kestrel taken by Roger Nelson, who lives near Bolton Abbey. Roger has managed to snap the kestrel while it is feeding on a freshly caught field mole.

AN update on my challenge to walk 2,000 miles in 2022; as of March 16, I had completed the grand total of 409.5 miles; which means to keep myself on target, I need to reach the 500 mile mark by the end of the month - all I can say is, it’s a good job the clocks go forward this month; it’ll mean I won’t have to make sure I carry my head torch with me every time I go out. I am raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society, Cave Rescue Organisation (CRO) and the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association (UWRA).