Harry J Scott, a Leeds journalist, became so fond of the Yorkshire Dales that he moved to Clapham, founded The Dalesman magazine in 1939 and during the war was sub-editor on the staff of the Craven Herald & Pioneer. Dr Bill Mitchell, who entered journalism at the Herald in the 1940s, has a special recollection of that period. His journalistic career began at the Herald and he was paid 12.6d a week for his efforts. Subsequently, for many years, he would edit The Dalesman magazine

Every Thursday, a copy of the Herald – lively and colourful – plops through my letterbox.

Now and again I am reminded of my first day as a reporter. It was in 1943, a time of wartime austerity when type was small and newsprint pages were few.

There was an Army presence. Bren-gun carriers rumbled along the main streets and clipped bits from the pavement edge. Air raid sirens were heard. The wavering sound of aircraft at night were taken to be German, with loads of bombs for places like Liverpool and Barrow.

The reporters’ room of the Herald, on the top floor of an elongated building, extending from Skipton High Street towards the Springs Canal, seemed half full of battered furniture and drifts of yellowing newsprint. Into the room strode Harry Scott, who lived at Clapham. He might have said: “Good Morning”. Or perhaps: “Hello”.

The words he uttered were “Hail to thee, blithe spirit…” It marked him out as someone special.

In April, 1939, with great courage and hardly any brass, Harry had started a magazine called The Yorkshire Dalesman. His work for the Herald supplemented his income.

I remember that a history lesson at school in Skipton was enlivened when Harry Gill, the teacher, held up Volume 1, Number 1 of this periodical and commended it to us all.

Harry’s first task at the Herald was to visit the editor in a large office overlooking the High Street. He returned with a stack of copy to be processed.

I can picture him now, pressing Tom Long tobacco into his pipe and puffing vigorously. He created a smoke screen that took minutes to clear. News copy was handed out and reports of events presented to him. Elsewhere in the room there was a loud klonking sound as the keys of a bulky office typewriter were being fingered.

John Mitchell, the Herald editor, was thin and bespectacled. He liked comfort when reading proofs, leaning back on his chair, his feet reclining on the desk.

He had a wartime job in Civil Defence, so part of my work was copying manuals and drawing anti-personal devices that might, if the enemy was truly riled, be dropped on the historic town of Skipton.

One of my first journalistic jobs was to buy some pork pies from Mr Bean’s shop in the Middle Row.

Then, back in the office, with proof-reading in progress, I would place the pies before an open fire so they would not become chilled. I held a mass of “copy” as someone read items in a monotonous voice that had affinities with a medieval chant.

The head printer at the Herald was Reg Billows, a family friend for many years.

He liked to get things done – instantly – and would announce that a proof was ready for reading by thwacking a wooden rod against the back of a door.

On the top storey were several Monotype composing machines. The keyboard operators punched out holes on rolls of stiffened paper.

Those rolls were slipped on to a long cord and sent by gravity to the ground-floor casting department where the man in charge had to spend his days with a loud rattling sound.

He was fond of talking about the “Russian situation.” In the pre-litho age, the printing department was a grimy, smelly, noisy realm of “hot metal”, hernia-inducing equipment and oil rags. The rotary press had been a throw-out from a daily newspaper in 1936.

I spent two years at Royal Navy air stations in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, then – demobilised – was invited to visit the Scotts at Clapham.

The magazine was now called The Dalesman. It was in need of further expansion. Harry asked me if I would like to join him at Clapham. I would. And I did.