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Local Settle and Area News and Updates



Teaming up with the Yorkshire Film Archive, Settle Stories brought to the town a magnificent mixture of archive footage capturing images of life in the local area of the past century.  This provided a fascinating insight into rural life generally as well as a particularly interesting view into the story of film. The first footage dated from 1888 and was actually little more than a series of linked stills, no more than 16 frames per second to create the illusion of movement. Developed in Leeds, this process required large handcranked cameras and the only way to capture the sensation of movement was for the camera to be mounted on a moving vehicle. Yet by 1902 this “gimmickry” had so captured the public imagination that lighter weight cameras had been developed and in Yorkshire there were 4 key film making companies. Always with an eye to commercialism these companies frequently filmed local events so that the films could then be viewed in nearby towns so that the public would be enticed to pay to see themselves on film on big screens. One such film in 1902 was shot on Buckhaw Brow, Giggleswick showing the public reception for troops home from the Boer War and heading off to training exercises in the local countryside. It is likely that this film would then have been shown in venues such as Victoria Hall itself.  The evening moved swiftly through the decades, showing the development of film techniques and included a number of interesting asides into the role which film played in recording community life, including the rise of the amateur film maker creating records of rural industry such as hand-feeding lambs, sheep washing and shearing through to the early 1940s footage of the Local Defence Volunteers (the forerunners of “Dad’s Army and known locally as “look, duck and vanish”) which would be used to bolster public morale.  For many in the audience the real highlight of the evening was the inclusion in the programme of the films from the personal archive of Eddie Percy. An avid film maker, local man Eddie Percy regularly recorded events in and around Settle itself and the programme included films from the 1953 coronation celebrations, the 1964 Donkey Derby and a pram race from the 1970s as well as the centenary celebrations for the Settle-Carlisle line.  These were followed by an appeal for help to obtain funding to allow the digitisation of these films so that they are preserved for future generations as well as an appeal for practical help in identifying the people featured in the films. The programme concluded with extracts from two key documentaries made by Yorkshire Television during the 1980s. The first featured the battle to keep the Settle- Carlisle line open and was presented in dramatic style with glorious footage of the line along with balanced arguments from both sides. The second was an affectionate look at the life and work of Bill Mitchell on the occassion of his retirement from The Dalesman and featured not only the stunning scenery of the area but also showed his love of the many characters in the dales. Something which was very apparent in all the footage in the programme.


DR FAUSTUS: 7/10/16

Elizabethan audiences were left nonplussed and horrified by Christoper Marlowe’s tale of Dr Faustus, a man who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for knowledge and power for twenty four years; I can’t help but wonder what they would have made of Venetia Twigg’s adaptation in which a failing circus master trades her soul for public acclamation and a few second-rate stage tricks. To be honest, I don’t think that it was Faustus who got the raw end of this deal so much as the audience.  There was undoubtedly the germ of an interesting concept struggling to reach the stage in this production, the problem was that the lack of narrative coherence coupled with the self-indulgent direction meant that it was strangled at birth. There were some inventive pieces of physical theatre and two potentially strong performances by Charlotte Watson and Matthew Springett but they were lost in a morass of cliche and pretentious nonsense and tacky gimmickry (let’s not bother mentioning the pantomime gecko further!)  that neither enhanced the story nor gave an informed or original commentary on it.  Its pre-performance publicity material promised to “throw petrol over the flames of this hellish tale”  but what was delivered proved to be an extremely soggy squib which successfully extinguished any notion of dramatic tension and reduced Faustus to little more than a petulant wannabe star who wouldn’t even survive the auditions stage of The X-factor. The central relationship began to be explored in the first part of the show, but despite the physicality and exertions of the two lead performers it petered out and lacked conviction and progression. The other two players suffered from such poor direction as to become cringe-making with Alice Sillett presenting an Empress of the Germans which was little more than a poor caricature of “Queenie” in Blackadder 3. The rich vein of comedy in the original play was ignored and instead there was a feeble attempt to play certain scenes for laughs, most of which failed to materialise. Normally at this stage in a review I would try to find something positive to say, perhaps stating that it was a brave reimagining of a well known text – which, I feel initially it might have been. Sadly, there was a serious lack of critical evaluation in the rehearsal stage and therefore what  evolved was something which was not even of a standard which would have been acceptable for a GCSE exam piece – a point actually commented on  by some of the young students in the audience. When they are capable of showing  such insight and recognition, it would be doing them a serious disservice if I were to try to massage the wounded egos of more mature and professional experienced actors by being less honest in my comments than they were.  Consequently when Faustus began to speak of perpetual damnation I’m sure I wasn’t the only member of the audience who probably felt that we’d actually endured our own version of hell  while watching this production.


There are three walks planned for this weekend, all taking place on Saturday 15 October. The first is a 10 mile moderate circular walk from Horton in Ribblesdale via Austwick. This leaves Horton in Ribblesdale at 9.21. The second is an 11 mile moderately strenuous walk in the vicinity of Kirkby Stephen, leaving the station at 10.34. The third is a 12 mile strenuous circular walk around Dent via Helms Knott, leaving Dent station at 10.16 and connecting with service buses between Dent Station and Dent Village at both ends of the walk. All participants are reminded that it is their responsibility to make sure  that they are appropriately clothed, carry a packed lunch where required and have suitable footwear.  Details of all walks can  be found at


The current exhibition at the gallery is entitled “Who Will Survive This?”  This is a new departure for the gallery and takes the form of an  installation by photographer Mike Kilyon and poet Sue Vickerman



Pupils in both Settle Primary and Kwezana school in South Africa’s  Eastern Cape have been excitedly discussing the arrival of new toilet facilities at Kwezana school. These are external metal structures and are a great improvement on previous facilities, although pupils in Settle did comment that it looks as if they could be very noisy if there were to be heavy rain storms.


Wordsmith extraordinaire, Rory MacLeod, takes the reins  on October 16th  when along with The Familiar Strangers he will be presenting stories and songs which straddles the borders of Folk, World, Soul, Jazz and Latin.  Entirely different the four-piece traditional folk group from Dublin, Lynched, will be in concert on  October 22nd. Their music  combines distinctive four-part vocal harmonies with arrangements of uilleann pipes, concertina, Russian accordion, fiddle and guitar. Their repertoire spans humorous Dublin music-hall ditties and street-songs, classic ballads from the Traveller tradition, traditional Irish and American dance tunes, and their own original material.  On October 26-29 Settle Amateur Operatic Society will be performing their annual show, this year presentint “The Likes of Us” by Andrew Llloyd Webber and Tim Rice. For details and tickets of all events contact 01729 825718.


St John’s Methodist Church welcome you to the Coffee Pot every Tuesday morning between 10-noon. There is home baking, fresh coffee and a warm welcome guaranteed.


Tickets are now on sale for this  year’s production by Settle Amateur Operatic Society. “The Likes of Us” , the first ever collaboration by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice is an appropriate choice for 2016 as this story tells the true tale of philanthropist, Thomas John Barnardo who founded homes for destitute children, and 2016 is the 150th anniversary of the founding of the homes. A display of items relating to the early work of Barnado’s and their current work in Leeds is on show in the windows of Speight and Watson’s. Although the tunes in the show may not be familiar they are very memorable and undoubtedly the audience will leave singing and many are suggestive of the great hits which followed in the duo’s later work. Tickets are on sale for the show via Victoria Hall during office hours or by phone on 01729 825718.. The show will be staged every evening between 26-29 October at 7.30pm at Victoria Hall with a matinee at 2.30pm on the Saturday. There are group and family tickets available.


The race night which had been advertised for tomorrow, October 14th has unfortunately had to be postponed. The recent hamper raffle held in Settle Co-op was won by D Dakin of Hellifield and Andrew Allsop. Many thanks to the Co-op for their support and also to all who took part.


The first in the new season of “Big Breakfast” talks takes place on Saturday, 15 October at 8.30am in the Church hall of St Mary and Michael’s church on Kirkgate.  Tea / coffee are available from 8.15am with breakfast & talk over by 9.30am. The speaker this month is Sheila Mason. Sheila is a ‘lady farmer’ at Keasden Head, Clapham – a traditional, upland, Dales farm – offering a mix of habitats and landscapes set against the backdrop of Ingleborough. Everyone welcome, please book your places by Thurs 13 Oct to enjoy a  ‘Full English’ . Cost is  £3. Contact  01729 825285 / email: to book your place


Local singing group Octameron celebrate twenty years of performing with a special concert at Langcliffe Village Institute on 15 October. Tickets cost £8 and are available from members, Cave and Crag or on the doort. The concert starts at 7.30pm and you are welcome to bring along your own drink.


The next messy church session will take place at St John’s Hall on 16 October  between 3.30-5.30. This is an opportunity for families to get together to worship, enjoy craft activities and share a hot meal. The event is free  but there will be an opportunity to donate towards the catering costs and craft resources if desired


The group will next meet on Monday 17 October at 7.30pm at Townhead Court for a members night. A group of members will show pictures taken within the UK, sharing ideas for possible subjects and places. The gallery will be entitled “Best Holiday Pictures” and will be pictures taken on holiday which are not “holiday” pictures. New members always welcome.


The group AGM will take place at St Mary and St Michael’s Catholic Church Hall on Wednesday 19 October at 7pm. This event is open to everyone in the community.


The church invites you to share in a harvest supper on 21 October. There will be home cooked pies (vegetarian option available)  and dessert as well as entertainment in the form of a quiz and a beetle drive.  Please feel free to bring along your own drink. The event commences at 6.30pm and tickets cost £5 for adults, £2 for children or £12 for a family ticket. The proceeds from this event will be donated to Settle Swimming Pool.


Local line dancers, Settle Stompers, invite you to join them for a tea dance on Sunday, 23 October at St John’s Hall. Admission is £5, including afternoon tea, and the event will run from 2 till 6pm. All proceeds will be shared between Macmillan research and Marie Curie Cancer Care. All welcome.


The Industrial Past of Ribblesdale will be examined on a guided 6mile walk on Sunday 23 and Sunday 30 October. It is also hoped that there will be an opportunity to view leaping salmon along the route. The walk is described as being moderate and a relatively flat walk along riverside paths. There are some stiles on the way with conditions underfoot mostly good.  Along the route the group will discuss the industries which depended on the river in the past, and discover an Archimedes screw. They will visit Stainforth Force where, with luck, there may be  salmon leaping up the waterfall. before returnng to Settle via the archaeological gem of the Hoffmann Kiln and a visit Langcliffe, a quiet village with a violent past. The walk will meet outside Settle Tourist Information Centre at 11am and return at approximately 4pm.  There is a charge of £5 for adults with children under 16 free. Booking is advisable and unfortunately dogs are not accepted on this walk. For further information or to book, contact: Tel: 01729 833200 or Email:


On Tuesday 25 October there will be an event to mark One World Week at St Mary and St Michael Catholic Church Hall at 6.30pm. A simple meal will be served followed by a talk by Christian Aid speaker, Shelagh Fawcett, on the subject “Including You – acting together for One World in Peace”.  To assist with catering please book your place via 01729 822690. All welcome.


The club will next meet on 26 October at Townhead Court at 2pm when the speaker will be Peter Longbottom. The topic for the afternoon will be “Bees in the Garden”. Non-members welcome, cost £3.


Booking is underway for a number of trips this year and next. Please be aware that advance booking is essential as theatres do sell out quickly. There are still seats available for the production at Theatre by the Lake, Keswick of “Dial M for Murder”. This will take place on Wednesday 2nd November, leaving Settle Cricket Club at 9.30am. This trip will cost £30 per person, including transport and Further ahead, but already booking, on Wednesday 29 March 2017, Matthew Bourne’s  ballet, “The Red Shoes” at The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford. Price £42.00 per person. The closing date for booking is 31st October.  Also coming up, in March 2018 “War Horse”  will be returning to the Alhambra and expressions of interest are required to arrange booking tickets. This will take place on 7th March 2018 with 7th March 2017 as the closing date for bookings. The price for this trip will be £60.  For more details contact Michael Cullingworth 01729823978


Judging by the gasps of amazement from Settle W I , the varied wood carvings crafted by Colin Etherington, were totally amazing.One, two and three dimensional pieces were unveiled and considered by artist and audience alike; each piece enhancing the nature of the wood itself, be it elm, lime or oak. As a finale Colin indicated a recent carving requested for the new Methodist church; an impressive view of the old church, Penyghent and the interior of the new church linked by a footpath.A gift and hearty applause was insufficient to express our appreciation to him though Colin would have appreciated the holiday souvenir which won Jane Longton a small prize, which was an elephant carving within a larger elephant carved in jade. Settle WI are planning two events which are open to both members and non-members. On Wednesday, November 9 at Catholic Church Hall there will be a Craft Workshop Day. There will be 2 sessions: 9.30 – 12 noon & 1pm – 3.30.  Each session costs £20 and includes all materials. Wire sculptor Linda Hoyle will be doing ‘An Introduction to Wirework’ demonstrating the necessary skills to create animals, trees & larger wire sculptures by making a display of copper flowers.  Linda’s work is currently on sale in Settle Tourist Information Centre if you want to see what can be achieved. In addition, Sue Amphlett will be teaching Needlefelting in the morning with a choice of making an enchanting baby hare or a festive Christmas reindeer, and in the afternoon she will run a session demonstrating the skills for Folded Ribbon Eggs and how to use these to make a Christmas tree bauble.Tea, coffee & biscuits will be provided but please bring a packed lunch if you are staying for both sessions. On Wednesday 16 November the group  are  running their annual shopping trip  This year we are returning to York.  Leaving Settle at 9am on a Bibbys coach, we can pick up in Long Preston, Hellifield & Gargrave.  The cost is £15. To book please contact Sue Sellars (01729 825145)  email:


Advance notice that North Craven Flower Club will be holding their Christmas lecture/demonstration  on 10 November at Victoria Hall. The demonstration this year will be given by Diane Fair and admission is by ticket only. Tickets, £9,  are available via 01282 842467. The doors will open at 6.30pm and the talk will commence at 7.30pm. There will be a sales table and a raffle.


U3A have arranged two consecutive open talks which are accessible to all on the subject of Autism. These will take place on Thursday 17  & 24 November and booking is essential for both talks. It is advisable to attend both sessions. Given by Phoebe Caldwell, a noted practitioner and author on this topic, the talks will examine how to engage with children and adults on the autism spectrum. Each session costs £5 and will run from 10-12.30 at Friends Meeting House.



This year the school will be staging the school edition of Les Miserables from 30 November – 3 December.  Tickets for this production are already selling swiftly, however there will be an opportunity to hear a preview of this as part of the Giggleswick School Musical Theatre Society evening ” A Night at the Musicals” on 14 October when pupils and staff pay tribute to Musical Theatre through the decades. From contemporary hits such as Wicked, Chicago and Little Shop of Horrors to classic heartbreakers West Side Story, Phantom of the Opera, and Beauty and the Beast there is guaranteed to be something for everyone.  On 16 October, Community Cinemas will show the sequel to Finding Nemo, “Finding Dory”. Details of tickets available from 01729 893180 or via


Settle Stories invite you to join them for “The Shahnameh: The Epic Book of Kings” at Richard Whiteley Theatre on 11 November at 7.30pm.  Originally commissioned by The British Museum the story was created over 1000 years ago by an Iranian poet and draws upon the mythology of Persia from the beginning of time to the 7th century. In a world of adventure, lust and romance there are supersized heroes, femme fatale queens and magical creatures brought to life by a dazzling performance by storyteller, Xanthe Gresham Knight and the sublime, rhythmic sounds of virtuoso Kurdish Iranian musician, Arash Moradi, on daf, setar and shurangiz. The Shahnameh touches on concerns that continue to plague and intrigue us today such as the meaning of truth, integrity and loyalty; with stories that move from the otherworldly, to the most basic human dramas and desires. The performance will be followed by an opportunity to take part in a post show discussion with the performers. Tickets are available via


A Community Group Tidy Up for autumn at St. Alkelda’s Church will take place on Saturday, 15 October. Members of Giggleswick community (and from further afield) are invited to come along and join  the Giggleswick Gardening Group to help carry out a range of tasks suitable to all abilities. These will include,rubbing down seats in the churchyards, trimming grass round church walls, raking up dead grass and sweeping, planting foxgloves etc. There will also be a group involved with strimming long grass, so if you are able to help with this please bring your own tools and appropriate PPE.  With other tasks it will be helpful if you bring your own tools but not essential. Even an hour’s volunteering will make a difference! Please come and join us!  We’ll meet in the Church porch on Saturday 15th October at any time between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm. For details contact Tony on 822911. Meanwhile time is running out to show your support for Giggleswick Gardening Group who have been shortlisted as part of the Skipton Building Society national “Grassroots Giving” competition. They are one of the 108  shortlisted applicants in the North West. However, in order to progress and win the £500 prize towards purchasing essential equipment to carry out their volunteering work in the village they need as many people as possible to vote for them before October 14th. You can vote in person by visiting  Skipton Building Society, in Settle to register your vote or go on line at

>successful short listed groups North West> No 36 ‘Giggleswick Gardening Group’ and register a vote for the group.



Just as with a much anticipated meal you sometimes have to deal with a starter before you get to the main course, so with concerts you have a warm up act. Like meals these can be something you regard as an aperitif to tickle the taste buds or something best avoided in case it blunts the appetite – but occasionally you are fortunate enough to come across one which you wish formed a larger proportion of the bill of fare. This was certainly the case with Gareth Lee and Annie Baylis, who with a little more confidence and polish will certainly be more than able to hold their own against better known acts. Their lyrics are poetic, their musicianship worth hearing and their take on life reflects a slightly quirky but honest view which indicates acute observations. This is definitely a band that with a little more time I am sure the folk circuit will be hearing more from, their sincerity shines through and marks out their music as being far above the ordinary.  Which sadly meant that it threw into stark relief the main act, for by comparison there seemed to be something rather synthetic about the highly polished  and self-consciously “folksy” approach of Hannah Sanders and Ben Savage.  They were good, they had interesting vocal tricks and are undoubtedly talented musicians but it is also very clear that they have found a style which they like and which they intend to run with.  Singing together their voices blend well and they produce amazing harmonies but there seemed a lack of depth and sincerity to what they produced. This may in part be down to the rather laconic style of presentation when introducing songs and a pre-occupation with death and misery but it does tend to pall after a while. Individually the tracks are outstanding and atmospheric but taken as a whole the manufactured melancholia begins to grate and it becomes hard to rid yourself of the image of a teetering Morticia Addams dueting with a rather nervous looking teddy bear when watching them. This lack of variety in subject means that while each is individually outstanding the cumulative effect of such deliberate artifice is irritating.   In short, they are wonderful to listen to and their music at times is spine tingling, but perhaps they are best when heard on CD – for then it can be turned off when the urge to weep becomes overwhelming.


There is grave disquiet in Settle, for a throne is missing!  Until recently a large, throne like Victorian style chair graced the foyer at Settle’s Victoria Hall. Its elegant  plush padding was much appreciated by the volunteer stewards on front of house duty and it was greatly admired. More importantly, it was due to have a starring role in Settle Amateur Operatic Society’s  forthcoming production of “The Likes of Us”. The musical calls for a narrator to be seated on stage throughout the production and the missing chair was deemed to be perfect for this part. However, when the group entered the hall to rehearse on Sunday it had been removed – leaving them with an very uncomfortable dilemma and the possibility of the narrator having to stand throughout the show unless it can be found in time for opening night on October 26th.  Ann Harding, of the team at Victoria Hall, has already taken to facebook to plead for its return explaining her theory that it may have been inadvertently appropriated during the “Give and Take” day which took place  at the hall on Saturday.  Asking for information she wrote, “It must be somewhere in Settle , and we know it’ll have been a mistake and you probably thought it was one of the things to take so no blame attached!” before going on to explain that it is urgently required for the show.  Trudy, who narrates the show added, ” I was really looking forward to sitting in it as it is definitely the most comfortable seat in the house and really looks the part.”  If anyone does have information about the chair could they please contact either Settle Operatic Society on 01729 823474 or Victoria Hall on 01729 825718 – there will be no questions asked as undoubtedly the disappearance is due to a genuine misunderstanding.

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