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  • Local News Updates – Settle 12th December

Local News Updates – Settle 12th December


At a time when the role of religious education in schools is again being questioned it was interesting to see that in a break from their customary “Words and Music for Christmas” the school had chosen to revert to a very traditional festival of lessons and carols.  This did mean that there was far less variety in the programme with none of the instrumental pieces or the opportunity hear the more unusual and thought provoking readings which have been such highlights of previous years. However, by choosing to offer a time-honoured service rather than a concert the school certainly showcased not only the talents of its staff and students but also provided a beautiful Christmas showpiece.  The setting was perfect for an evening service of this sort, with candles providing a warm glow amidst the garlands of greenery. The congregational hymns were sung with great gusto and were very much aided by the wonderful organ accompaniment provided by Jason Lowe. The biblical readings were read with great sincerity and clarity, demonstrating understanding and a sense of narrative which is not always found even amongst older readers.  The choir pieces throughout were of an extremely high standard, with the beauty and clarity of the young people’s voices adding a marvellous dimension to well known pieces such as Rutter’s “Candlelight Carol”  and  “Ding Dong Merrily”, where the diction was superb,  Highlights amongst the choir pieces must surely be the moving rendition of “O Holy Night” , with very accomplished solos, and the haunting unaccompanied arrangement of “Lully, Lulla, Thou Little Tiny Child”.  Congratulations  to all the choir members but especially  to  the choir soloists for their confident performances; the three male soloists in “We Three Kings” were particularly noteworthy and it is very much to her credit that Daisie Moore rose so magnificently to the challenge of performing the opening solo of  the first carol of  the evening with great skill and confidence, creating a very atmospheric start to the evening.  The evening flowed with a real sense of purpose with very efficient changeovers throughout, something which is not easy to accomplish when dealing with large numbers and it is important to recognise that  such excellence in all aspects doesn’t come without a lot of practice and so it is only right to congratulate all those involved in coaching students and encouraging and inspiring them throughout the year so that this evening should provide such a sublime start to the Christmas Season.


A reminder that last minute bookings are still possible for the annual Community Christmas Day Dinner and Tea in Settle. This event is open to all ages and costs £10 per head. It will take place in St John’s Hall between 11.45 – 4.45 and places can now be booked by contacting Judith on 01729 822138.  Transport can be offered to those who require it.


There will be a guided walk to Stainforth Force and Catrigg Force arranged by Friends of Settle-Carlisle line on Saturday 19 December. This is a moderately strenuous walk and will leave Settle at 9.50. No reservation is necessary  for this walk but all participants should ensure that they are appropriately clothed, carry a packed lunch where required and have suitable footwear. Details can also be found at


Music aplenty throughout the month at  Victoria Hall. On December 18th Belshazzars Feast return to Settle. Their Christmas show promises traditional folk music with a touch of classical and jazz, then  a bit of music hall thrown in for good measure and topped off with wry humour. On 19 December Róisín Bán take to the stage playing predominantly traditional Irish music on fiddle, flute, melodeon and guitar Then on 20 December a treat for all the family when Pendle Productions stage their version of Jack and the Beanstalk at 2.30pm. For details and tickets of all events contact 01729 825718. The Victoria Emporium is open every Saturday with goods of all kinds on sale.Tables can be booked for £10 per head by all comers and is open to makers, crafters, cupboard clearers and all entrepreneurs, which means that there will be a different mix of items on sale each week. The emporium will be open all morning through till 2.30pm. For details or to reserve a table email .


There’s still time to catch Santa on his visits to  The Knight’s Table at Knight Stainforth Caravan Park every Saturday and Sunday in between 10-2. Children’s visits to see Santa will cost £7.50 and this includes a drink and biscuits and the choice of gift from the toy stall. A 10% discount voucher for the restaurant is also included for every family.


Santa’s Sleigh will be visiting Townhead, Church St, Duke St and Kings Mill: on Friday 18th December. This visit will start at 5.00pm  and Santa loves meeting children and adults of all ages! On Saturday 19th he will be spending the day in Booths supermarket from 10-4 and hopes he will see you there.


After reminding members of the Christmas lunch at the Falcon and the poetry group meeting on the theme of Christmas, WI chair Mary Hindle introduced talented Martin Lunn to talk about the scientific basis for the star of Bethlehem.An amazing quest followed; to dismiss or accept possible events which had to have happened near to Christ’s actual birthday (March  5BC). Comparisons of Chinese astrological observations, recorded over five thousand years and correlated with our changing calendar finally pointed to the big event being a Nova which brightened the sky at that time for over thirty days. Following hearty applause the raffle for a Christmas hamper was won by Pauline Langford.


Churches Together in Settle and District invite you to join them for special Christmas events. The first of these is a community carol singing session outside The Olde Naked Man at 11am on Saturday, 19th December. On 20th December there will be a get together for Messy Church at St John’s Hall between 3.30-5.30pm. All welcome.


The Christmas Special for the folk club will be a one-off Sunday night event, taking place in Settle Social Club on 20th December . There will be  a guest appearance by first lady of folk,  Miriam Backhouse as well as the traditional appearance of the Holbeck Moor Mummers. All welcome.

Three Peaks Folk Club – additional info as follows: The club will run from 8.00pm ’til Midnight and admission is £5. There will be refreshments of the mince pie/sausage roll variety with mulled wine. The evening will be hosted by The Rustic Charmer and will feature a special appearance by the Holbeck Moor Mummers who are now in their 55th year. They will perform  their famous hero combat death and resurrection drama – a production not for the fainthearted! – and will take up a collection  for St Gemma’s Hospice.


A trip from Settle is being arranged to see Billy Elliot .The Musical  at Alhambra Theatre, Bradford. The trip will be to the matinee performance on Thursday 19th May 2016.. Price per person is £66.00. This cost includes stalls seat, coach from Settle and  gratuities. Closing date for reservations 22nd January as both seats and coach need to be confirmed.   A trip is also being arranged to see Matthew Bourne’s ballet  Sleeping Beauty at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford, on Wednesday 24th February. This will be a Matinee performance.and the price per person  is £40.00.Again, this includes stalls seat, coach & gratuities..

For more information  and  payment details about either trip telephone 01729823978.


North Craven Age UK is organising a special trip to view the poppy wave sculpture at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park on  6 January. The trip will also visit Whitleys Garden Centre at Mirfield. The cost for this trip is £9. To reserve a place contact 01729 823066.


Advance notice that on  Wednesday January 13 at Victoria Hall The Ribblesdale Area Moving Picture Show  will be presenting a film set in North Yorkshire. “Addicted to Sheep” is the story of a family’s quest to breed the perfect sheep and follows a year in the life of a tenant farmer and his family capturing the stunning stark beauty of the landscape, the hard graft required to survive and unsentimentally examining the life of the family in this setting. Tickets cost £5 on the door and the film starts at 7.45pm



The run up to Christmas is always a busy time in school and recent weeks have been no exception with a wide range of activities taking place. A big thank you from the church team to all who donated items for the toiletries stall and to those who came along to support St Alkelda’s Church Christmas Fair. . Particular thanks go to the Sampson and Tither families who ran the stall all day, raising over £50 for church funds. Oliver and Dylan Sampson also raised a further £20 by their own efforts – making cards, running a lucky dip and a ‘bat the rat’ game. Melissa Tither also helped Santa in his grotto. Thank you also to everyone who braved the awful weather to support the pupils at the Settle Lights switch on and well done to all who participated so enthusiastically Congratulations to the pupils who took part in the recent Badminton and won many games, following their recent P.E. lessons, in which they developed their badminton skills: This was the first-ever badminton festival run through our sports partnership. It was very well organised by Mrs. Mercer, ably supported by Settle College sports leaders and there was an excellent, supportive ethos amongst all those who were spectating. The pupils also showed very good sporting behaviour throughout the event. Congratulations, too, to Amy Lawson, who was awarded the North Craven Badminton Y3/4 girl Player of the Tournament for her positive attitude and excellent sporting behaviour. Well done to Amy and to all participants! Recently, one of our Y6 pupils, Mollie Howarth, took part in the North-Central Area Accordion Championships in Bingley and performed really well. She was placed 1st in all three of her classes – an excellent achievement. Well done, Mollie! Well done to the pupils and staff: Phoebe and Oscar Holliday-Gill, Gwen Finch and Hannah Chapman for completing the 5 kilometres ‘Santa Fun Run’ in Skipton. Along with over 1500 other Santas, they helped to raise money for charity – a great achievement! Thank you to everyone who came along to our recent Open Morning; your support is much appreciated. A reminder that the Christmas Presentation will take place on Wednesday, 16th December at 6.00pm in St. Alkelda’s church and should last about one hour. It involves all pupils in a re-telling of the nativity story, with some additional parts written by Class 3 pupils. The Christmas Presentation is open to all parents, relatives and friends of the school, so please come along to support the pupils. No tickets are required and no charge is made to attend, although there will be a collection at the end of the performance for the children’s chosen charity. We are most grateful to Mrs. Hewitt of High Paley Green Farm for her generous sponsorship of a series of citizenship books which are produced each year by the Police Community Clubs of Great Britain in partnership with Community Initiatives Associates. We have just received another set of these books ‘Echo’s new watch’ and look forward to using them with KS2 pupils next term.


St Alkelda’s welcomes you to its traditional festival of lessons and carols on 20 December at 6.30pm.


(Settle Stories)

For any child fortunate enough to have seen The Snowbear as their first introduction to live theatre this would certainly be a truly magical experience. Combining puppetry, music and spellbinding storytelling along with a travelling miniature theatre which was packed full of surprises it was a complete delight from start to finish and held the attention of its audience throughout.  There was no doubt whatsoever that the children were transported to another realm while watching it was fascinating to see how quickly they were able to accept that storytellers could change into story characters and that they too could become part of a story.  In this wonderful production the clever use of apparently simple props liberate the imagination and flying polar bears become not only possible but highly probable. It was quite simply a masterpiece of creativity on a child-friendly wavelength delivered in an intimate setting as friendly as your own living room. The story is adapted from a mix of Norwegian folktales and introduced a diverse range of characters including goblins, elves and trolls as well the Tomtem, a benevolent spirit in the form of an elderly man who cares for all the animals in the countryside. This provided the chance for a diversion from the main story while the children helped the Tomtem to put all the animals to bed. Other diversions were counting games, repetition, pantomime episodes and plenty of action songs to a range of musical instruments, all guaranteed to keep the audience’s attention from wandering. The array of skills on display  was mesmerising for the adults present and for the children it was simply enthralling. The set itself was similarly awe-inspiring,  with palaces and cottages concealed in boxes and woven rugs transformed to create maps and countryside and glittering clothes becoming arctic wastelands. Like all folk tales it had a moral element, though this did seem to be its weakest aspect as it clearly was not part of the original story and so jarred slightly. The snowbear is described as being sad in his new home simply being the King’s pet  as he misses the ice and snow of his own land. This then allows the children to suggest how they can persuade the King to end the bear’s captivity and with great enthusiasm they joined in presenting arguments as to why he should allow the bear to go free. Undoubtedly this ticks numerous boxes in terms of curriculum requirements such as encouraging empathy, providing opportunities for discussion, use of language in formal situations etc and undoubtedly encourages children to feel confident about putting their views across to adults when they have a point to make but it was the only stage in the story when some of the younger members of the audience began to become restless. With that small caveat, this was however the most marvelous Christmas show that you could wish for, and had something to offer children of all ages.



Staged by Settle Amateur Operatic Society and their Youth Group and produced by Matthew Nutting, this could just as easily have been called “Settle’s Got Talent” or “The Xmas Factor” as it was from curtain up to the last note of the final curtain call a joyful celebration of the town and it’s people.  The setting for this kind of variety show was perfect as Victoria Hall is one of the oldest music halls of this kind, having been established in 1853 and with the exception of 2000, when the building was closed for refurbishment, SAOS have performed there annually since their inception in 1879.  This evening however was not simply about history as the coming together of talents from both the society and their youth group demonstrated admirably that this was a night for looking to ensuring the future of variety in Settle by encouraging young performers. The evening opened with a medley by the Youth Group from Bugsy Malone, and while they may have been singing that they were “The best at being bad” the truth is more a case of
“We could’ve been anything we wanted to be, with all the talent we had” as was demonstrated in the numerous solo acts later in the programme. Molly Summersgill-Smith demonstrated real stage presence with her outstanding interpretation of “There’s a fine, fine line” and Jake Tatham’s monologue “I wish I was our Sammy” demonstrated that here is a talent to be reckoned with in the future.  Not that the youngsters had it all their own way as many of the more senior members of the group admirably proved with a wonderful array of performances. One of the most striking was that by Chris Sturrock who treated us to two  very different monologues. The first, “Elvis” , managed to mix comedy and superb timing with an occasional hint of poignancy while the second, Ethel, was performed in the style of Joyce Grenfell. Graham Jarvis also managed to tug at the heartstrings with his solo “More I cannot wish you” from “Guys and Dolls”, while Alan Suttie’s heartfelt plea “I want to sing in Opera” was a joy! Variety was definitely to the fore when
speciality act, “Mam’zelle Bubbles” (Helen Jarvis in fine form!) took to the stage with an act unlike anything seen before! The first act concluded with a medley from Les Miserables, which was performed with great verve and which again revealed a comic side to Stephen Lawson with his excellent portrayal of Thenardier. The real stars of this section though were undoubtedly young Gabriel Williams with his solo “Little People” and 7 year old Mina Cartwright who performed a flawless version of “Castle on a Cloud”.  In the second half of the programme the high standards continued with very confident performances from all. Interestingly it was possible to see a sense of continuity developing as the “The Gendarmes’ Duet” performed by  established  comic duo Eric Parker and Graham Jarvis were complemented by the hilarious performance of WI members Jake Tatham and John Newhouse in “WI calendar” .  Which in a way is how it should be, age and experience helping to nuture youth and talent in order to create a show which demonstrated the very best of talent the town has to offer. Such a show does not come without much hard work, so congratulations especially to accompanist John Lewis and producer Matthew Nutting, Claire PALMER as co-producerand to all the technical support and crew who worked so hard to inspire such a great evening’s entertainment.  Finally advice to Eric Parker – watch out, Oliver Sampson is after your job as MC!

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