Chairman Michael Cochrane opened the second meeting of the new season by advising of an improved turnout and that four apologies had been offered. He introduced new member Robert Edenbrow to Forum Members and who was welcomed in the usual manner.
General Secretary Neil Ramshaw advised of a number of matters arising from the April A.G.M. in particular the need for supplementary kitchen support; an outstanding position of 2nd Vice Chairman to fill and the need for a Programme Secretary for next season. Enquiries from interested parties would be appreciated. A reminder to keep the Secretary up to date with any change of personal details was also requested.
Today’s Speaker was Mr David Alred, a regular “returning visitor “, taking us previously from the Washburn Valley to the Grand Canyon! His topic this morning would be part two of his “Nidderdale Heritage”.
Starting at Pateley Bridge, a black and white slide show of heritage photographs was shown and David provided appropriate detail in support. We saw a familiar looking “Pateley” high street from over a hundred years ago, mention of Metcalfe Brewers (Nidderdale Ales) and the Old Market Hall. Scenes from the 1935 Silver Jubilee Procession were shown along with the local Quarry which produced supplies of Yorkshire Stone. The railway came to Pateley Bridge in the 1860’s and operated until 1951 with seven trains a day to and from Harrogate including stops at Birstwith, Ripley Valley and Dacre amongst others. Photos included farming scenes of yesteryear with horses working the fields, before mechanisation, involving ploughing and haystacking. Other rural illustrations showed sheep shearing and “Young Farmers Clubs” displaying cattle at local shows such as Nidderdale and Ripley. The slide show moved on to businesses using horse power for transport including the Post Office; early garages with hire vehicles and charabancs; blacksmiths at work; old mills such as the one at Darley and the extensive and labour intensive construction of a number of reservoirs in the area, some specifically to service Bradford. The final part of the talk showed family, sporting and a few quirky pictures. This walk down memory lane of a not too distant past, but much removed from our present, proved a nostalgic treat.
Questions and comments were made at the talk’s conclusion and Mike South gave the Vote of Thanks on behalf of the forty-one attendees.
NEIL RAMSHAW SECRETARY