Chairman Neil Ramshaw opened the meeting promptly at 1030 a.m and advised of four apologies once he had corrected the wrong “Fred” in his list!! A very appreciative “Thank You Letter” had been received from John Shackleton following last weeks talk and the collection taken on behalf of his charitable works.
Today’s subject was titled “The Yorkshire Dales–An Insider’s View” and saw the return of a popular Speaker Geoffrey Queen who has appeared at the Forum on a number of occasions. As a long-standing resident of Kettlewell he offered to give a resident’s or insider’s view of the village and surrounding Dales advising that his talk had been prepared originally for an inner city audience. He started by asking and outlining some of the advantages and disadvantages of living in the Dales including the weather (featuring on both sides of the coin!) , walking routes, scenery and being in the National Park against remoteness (perception), lack of public transport, language dialects and midges!!(summer evenings in particular).
Kettlewell had early involvement with monks from the local Abbey’s and some aspects of the village are still governed by the mysterious Trust Lords. The geological make up of the area being limestone and minerals lends itself to farming, tourism and particularly at one time lead mining. Again the Abbey’s demand for lead for its roofing encouraged the blossoming mining industry. Whilst tourism is important to the village and area this has led to an impact on local housing stock with nearly half the one hundred and fifty dwellings being holiday lets or weekend cottages/ second homes nowadays.There is also limited employment opportunities particularly on the youth side. Geoffrey backed up his discourse with an excellent slide show that displayed Kettlewell and the surrounding area in all its glory and also showed how it looks in the different seasons of the year. We saw Bolton Abbey, Burnsall Village, Linton and of course Kettlewell with slides of fields delineated by dry-stone walls and lambing times.He told us about the Racehorse Hotel, showed us Rose Cottage and touched on the village being well in the vanguard of electricity usage thanks to its hydro-electric power dating from 1915 and then more contemporary the impact of the Tour De France in 2014.
Interest and warm appreciation had been aroused in the audience as evidenced by the questions and comments at the end.
The Vote of Thanks was given by Tom Snelling on behalf of the forty one attendees.
Peter Belton spoke to the Chairman at the close of the meeting offering to assist Mike South in answer to requests at earlier meetings and this offer was gratefully accepted.
NEIL RAMSHAW SECRETARY