Pip’s Patch – an Update

I have been amazed at  how soon Stop Ure Pollution has come into being since I wrote an editorial for the March edition of the Upper Wensleydale Newsletter (Oh For a clean River Ure!). And I have met some truly amazing people.

Over 100 have now signed up the campaign to fight for a cleaned-up river.  The chairman of its committee is Prof Richard Loukota.

We look forward to the day when there is, once again, an abundance of insects along the River Ure, plenty of fish – and a safe place for children and adults to bathe.

The first two meetings (April 30 when about 120 people came, and on June 25) were sponsored by the Association of Rural Communities. Its chairman, Alastair Dinsdale, has enjoyed the river since he was a young child and works hard to ensure that his dairy farm does not have a negative impact upon it.

So it was not surprising that he attended the October 2023 meeting of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority’s planning committee to ask its members to protect the river. But that committee  gave approval for 14 lodges at Aysgarth Falls Hotel even though Alastair told it that untreated sewage was already being discharged into the River Ure from the treatment plant between the middle and lower Falls.

One committee member, North Yorkshire councillor Simon Myers, pointed out that a polluted river was unlikely to attract visitors to Aysgarth – even if those lodges were available at the hotel. The majority, however, voted for what they were told would be a business gain for the area. And we thought a National Park Authority should protect the environment!

For a fuller report, the objections made by Aysgarth and District Parish Council, and Alastair Dinsdale’s statement  click here.

If you want to join us contact pipspatch@gmail.com and put ‘Stop Ure Pollution’ in the subject.

Concerts at Aysgarth church

This year there have been some amazingly wonderful concerts at St Andrew’s during the Swaledale Festival and now with the Wensleydale Concert Series. Do have a look at the WCS programme ( Wensleydale Concert Series ) and come and join us.

Stories from the past:

One of my most interesting  jobs each year is to edit Now Then,  the annual magazine of the Friends of  the Dales Countryside Museum at Hawes.

In 2022 I was particularly fascinated by the memoir of Doug Grainger, the Hawes bootmaker who, when 20 years old, was an RAF balloon operator over the front lines during World War I. Last year  there were articles about some of the doctors who served the communities in and around Hawes in Wensleydale.

I’ve been collecting stories from the past from the Hawes Parish Magazines of 1896 (Street Criers of London) and also from The Church Monthly dating back to 1892 owned by St Andrew’s Church, Aysgarth, as well as those from the Heritage Event held at that church in 2009. The stories include these from 1894:  how to care for horses and a ride on a railway engine; how lighthouses were powered with paraffin lanterns and  using steamer horse-drawn fire engines. When rushing to a fire these days those on board the fire engine no longer have to yell ‘Fire! Fire!’ as they did in the 1890s. Nor do they have to harness horses before they could head out to a fire.

From the Heritage Event there is  A Mothering Sunday story about a man who I believe remembered his mother in a most unusual way at Aysgarth church; and the Doctor’s Window.

From The Church Monthly is  Children’s Playtime in early 1890s and the first two of the Rev Wood’s articles covering his natural history rambles in January and March 1892  plus  some local information about Aysgarth parish at that time. The Rev Wood’s nature rambles are included in Nightingale Duet.

And there is the story about the Telegraph Messenger boys of the 1890s. In that article it was stated: ‘If on any given day the electric telegraph suddenly came to an end, business would speedily become disorganised.’ The delivery of those messages depended upon boys aged 13 to 16 working nine hour days!

Visit  Penhill Benefice website for details of services at in mid Wensleydale.

Personal memories:

There have been some special moments recently – such as meeting with my friend, Carolyn Murray, and hearing all about her work with Immanuel Kindergarten in Yei. In October 2021 she went to Windsor Castle to be presented with the MBE by the Princess Royal. She has returned to South Sudan again this year.

Fundraising is ongoing for the Kennel Field south of Thornton Rust which was such a special place for my late husband, David Pointon.

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