Pip’s Patch – an Update


The world famous Fitzwilliam String Quartet will play music by Tchaikovsky and Beethoven at Aysgarth church on June 23 thanks to the Wensleydale Concert Series (WCS). (Photo – Glen T Photography.  Alan George on the left)

This is one of the longest established string quartets in the world having celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019. The quartet coming to Aysgarth includes one of its founding members Alan George (viola).

The present quarter includes  violinists Lucy Russell and Andrew Roberts and cellist Heather Tuach. Due to continuing problems following Covid Heather, however, will not come to Aysgarth, her place being taken by Andrew’s brother, Nick.

The programme on June 23 includes Tchaikovsky’s String Quartet No. 3 Op. 30, and Beethoven’s String Quartet  Op. 131.

Two weeks later, on July 8, the WCS brings another concert to Aysgarth church this time with pianist Ivana Gavric. She is known for being attracted to composers who create a distinctive musical voice for their homelands, and her programme at Aysgarth church will include Janacek’s ‘On an Overgrown  Path’.

The WCS’s concert season continues with the piano trio Pixels Ensemble on July 22; a piano recital by Mark Bebbington on Aughust 19; Moray Welsh (cello) and Martin Roscoe (piano) on September 6; and finally Ben Goldsheider (horn) and Huw Watkins (piano) on September 16. For further information see www.wensleydaleconcertseries.co.uk.

A Crime against the Yorkshire Dales  

This is a statement by the Association of Rural Communities about the impact of the government’s  under-funding of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority since it was extended, and of how the creation of the North Yorkshire Council has already undermined local democracy in the Yorkshire Dales.

YDNPA planning meetings 

I think the photographs that planning officers show at YDNPA planning meetings are worth someone writing a university thesis about how they are used to uphold just one view of an application. At the March meeting it was the lack of meaningful photos which caught the attention of some members.

The presentation about the glamping extension to Aysgarth Lodges Holidays at Westholme between Aysgarth and West Burton was especially short of photos  which actually showed the site. Instead the officer just had a photo of a green field and some trees in the background. The message was clear- you can’t see the site. But you can see the lodges and their lights from the other side of Bishopdale.

Many years ago the late Tom Knowles told a story about the view from the other side of that dale. He and his wife, Margaret, started the camping and caravanning site at Westholme.  An application he made regarding that site was turned down by the planning department and he appealed. A planning officer took the appeal inspector to the south side of the dale, climbed on top of a dry stone wall and said triumphantly: ‘ You can see the caravans from here….’  To which the appeal inspector replied that he had just proved they could not be easily seen and so did not have a negative impact on the landscape.

That cannot be said about the luxury lodges now at Westholme especially during the autumn and winter. The lights from the lodges do have a negative  impact upon the dark skies partly because the YDNPA did not ensure that planning conditions were not adhered to.

Another bank to close:

Life in rural areas  such as the Yorkshire Dales becomes even more difficult due to more and more banks closing. This time it is Barclays Bank at Leyburn – and a local councillor wants help to check the number of regular users that has been provided by Barclays.

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.

Last year 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. Right: Doug in a balloon basket. Photo copyright The Norah Worth Collection at the Dales Countryside Museum. 

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.

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

I own the copyright to all my articles and photographs on this website. Other material is clearly attributed.