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News and Reviews around Settle


This week there will be three guided railway walks this weekend, all taking place on Saturday, 21st October. The first of these is part of the “get walking series” and is suitable for families – though not for pushchairs. This is a 7 mile moderate circular walk taking in Stainforth Foss and hoping to view leaping salmon. This leaves Settle station at 11.46. The second walk is a 6 mile moderate circular walk around Garsdale, leaving Garsdale at 10.33. The third walk is a 12 mile moderately strenuous walk to the summit of Ingleborough and taking in Great Douk Pot. This again is a circular walk and leaves Ribblehead at 10.06. All participants in railway walks 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. 


Tickets are now on sale for this year’s production, ‘Anything Goes’ to be staged October 25th to 28th at Victoria Hall. Tickets can be purchased ‘on line’ as well as being available from the hall either by phone or in person during normal office hours: telephone 01729 825718


 Peer Talk is a support group designed for people living with depression. A new branch has opened in Settle and meets every  Tuesday in The Folly between 7.30-9pm. For details go to


Banish the winter blues with the wide variety of music and entertainment on offer at Victoria Hall in November. On November 2nd The Last Train to Skaville show is guaranteed to put a smile on your face and a spring in your step. November 3rd ” The Welsh Springsteen”, Martyn Joseph takes to the stage and November 4th sees the return of Gigspanner, dubbed one of the most innovative acts on the folk/roots scene.For details and tickets contact 01729 825718







A reminder that St John’s Methodist Church welcome you to the Coffee Pot every Tuesday morning between 10 -noon and is open to everyone, including visitors to the town. There is home baking, fresh coffee and a warm welcome guaranteed.   






The next meeting will be on November 6th at 7.30pm at Townhead court when the theme will be “People, Pets and Children”. Members will take an opportunity to discuss these favourite subjects and the difficulties you can encounter when asked to photograph them.  The members gallery for the evening will be “A photograph in the style of…”





 North Ribblesdale Rugby Club is the venue for a grand quiz night with local quiz master, Stuart Marshall, on 20 October. This fund raising event is in aid of Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Tickets cost £7.50 per person, including supper and there will be a bar and raffle.  Tickets are available via HSBC and via Kathryn on 015242 51488. 


Settle Library, located in Limestone view, is holding an open day on 21 October between 10.30-1.00. This is to provide an opportunity to find out more about the wide range of services available at the library. There will also be an opportunity to meet local authors and for children to take part in activities. Refreshments will also be available. All welcome.


 St John’s Methodist Church invite you to join them for a board games night with pie and pea supper on October 21st. This will commence at 6.30pm and is suitable for all ages and is open to local community, families and visitors alike.  There is no charge for admission but there will be an opportunity to make a donation to cover the cost of food. All welcome.




A reminder that coffee or tea, with biscuits, scones and cake, is served every Tuesday at Settle Parish Church between 10.15 am and 12.00 noon and that soup, snacks and sweets are served every Tuesday between 12.00 noon and 2.00 pm. Do pop in and join us for a convivial meal and chat.  This month we have a number of special events also taking place to which you are cordially invited. On Friday 20 October at 2pm, Settle Primary School will hold their Harvest Service. Then on the evening of 20 October there will be a Harvest Supper in the church. Tickets cost £6, children under 13 at £3, families of 2 Adults and 2 children £15 and are now on sale from members of the catering team. This will be followed by a Harvest Thanksgiving service on Sunday 22 October 2017 at 9.30 am.  Gifts of non perishable foodstuffs will be gratefully received and will be forwarded to local charities.  The month concludes with a Dedication Festival & Gift Day  on Sunday 29 October at  10.00am. This, your local parish church was consecrated on 26 October, 1838. We therefore invite you to  join us as we celebrate 179 years of Christian witness in Settle.  A place for everyone with Christ at the centre.


 The group will next meet on 25 October at Townhead Court, at 2pm, when the speaker will be David Aired. The subject for his talk will be “Garden Flowers and Butterflies”.




 Settle’s Three Peaks Folk Club will be holding its usual Trafalgar Weekend celebrations over 20 -22nd October, in Settle Social Club.  There will be a range of workshops, singarounds, shanties and walks over the weekend along with good beer, good company and good music. The weekend sets sail on Friday 20th with a free singaround session from 6 till midnight. On Saturday there will be workshops and music from 12 -5pm, and again these are free. On Saturday evening there will be a concert with Geoff Higginbottom as guest. This commences at 7.45 and runs till midnight with admission of £6 on the door. On Sunday there will be free sessions from 10.30-12.30, 2-5 and then a final survivors session from 7.30-10.30. All welcome!



The next Charity Dance will take place at St Mary & St Michael Parish Hall (Tillman Close off Kirkgate Settle) on Saturday 4 November between 8.00pm to 11.00pm. The event will be held in aid of the Stroke Unit at Airedale Hospital. If possible please contact 01729 824038 by the Friday beforehand to let us know that you intend to come.  


 Sessions take place at The Joinery, Dawsons Court, on Mondays between 2-4pm. These are led by Tony Bennett and the cost is £10 per session.


Settle college  is delighted to begin its’ musical year by hosting a concert from local big band ‘Swing City.’ “1940s Swing” – a concert for remembrance with Swing City Big Band will take place in Settle College Main hall on Saturday 11th November. The concert starts at 8pm and tickets are available from Mrs Rushton in the school finance office at a first come first served basis! (£10/£8). Over the last year there has been a lot of music making in the college with the school hosting a fantastic Christmas Concert, a ‘Settle’s Got Talent’ competition, a visiting concert from Skipton Music Centre and a number of musical showcases. A number of our singing pupils also performed as a part of the Voices of Craven festival in the local community. With the profile of music in the school ever growing, more and more pupils are taking up musical instruments and there are more musical ensembles forming every term!  The aim of this concert is to help raise funds towards the extra curricular music department at the school and to help strengthen the links between music making in school and out in the local community. Following on from this in December,  the talented students of Settle College will take to the stage with a series of concerts and services. Due to high demand last year, the school Christmas concerts will take place on two evenings instead of one, Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th December in the main school hall from 7pm. Tickets will be available from the school finance office very soon. The concert shall be a family friendly atmosphere with musical and dramatic performances and a hint of audience participation to really get us feeling the Christmas cheer.  As Amy Shaw, Head of Music at Settle College explained, “Since taking up the role of leader of music in Settle College it has been my aim to raise the profile of music within the school, to get pupils performing together and to get our students involved in local music events. Every term the pupils are gaining more musical experiences that I hope will benefit their confidence, creativity and enjoyment of music within school life.” Tickets for the Christmas Concert will be available from the school finance office very soon.


 A huge thank you to everyone who supported the various fund raising efforts during the recent Guide Dogs for the Blind week. Special thanks to those who helped to organise the events and assisted manning stalls, running competitions and with the catering for the teas at Langcliffe. In total the events raised the magnificent sum of £760.41. The organisers are extremely grateful for the generosity of their supporters and the hard work of all helpers.




 Settle Christmas Lights Switch On will take place on December 2nd, and as usual the event will be co-ordinated by Settle Rotary. However, many hands make light (or lights!) work so if you can volunteer to help in the run up to the event, or on the day or assist with the clear up then please get in touch with the co-ordinators by contacting either Derek Coultherd on 015242 51215 or Amy Robinson on





The term “Folk Opera” may have caused some confusion and might in part have been responsible for the rather sparse audience. To some “Opera” may create visions of  overly elaborate sets, far fetched plots and intellectual pretensions, whereas those who relish the opera label may have been put off by the juxtaposition with the term “Folk” having images of  “hey nonny nonnying” or dire singing with fingers in ears!  To be fair, it isn’t a term which does the show any favours and that is a great pity, because the show itself is completely delightful in its simple presentation and incredibly clever in its rhymed storytelling. It is also a musical triumph.  According to reliable sources the first real “folk opera” was John Gay’s “Beggars Opera” where familiar folk tunes were furnished with new words to tell a story and interspersed with dramatic action.  In Wind in the Willows there is no dialogue or independent action but the whole of Kenneth Grahame’s classic story is retold in music and song set to folk tunes and performed with great gusto and wonderful characterisation by an extremely versatile group of musicians. It is charming, whimsical and completely captivating and totally outstanding in so many ways and like all good storytelling it wove a magical spell that held the audience rapt and yet made you look anew on something which you thought you actually knew well. Primarily the piece  is impressive because of the sheer brilliance of the concept: Chris Green has taken the original text and carefully divided the story into episodes which are then retold in song format and set to British Folk tunes. This in itself is no mean task. Secondly there is the musicality of the show to consider. I’m sure that those with a more detailed knowledge than I of the folk scene would have thoroughly enjoyed working out which melodies had been adapted and pressed into service to create the wonderful mixture of  jigs, reels and airs which led us through the Wild Woods, Toad Hall, along railway tracks and into melancholic prison cells  – I simply enjoyed the variety of pace and mood which they created. Particular favourites were the marvellous “Poop poop” song which accompanied the motor car and the haunting a cappella carol by the four mice, “Joy in the Morning”.  As well as the range of music the level of the playing needs to be complimented and this is the third strand for praise, as I can not overstate the mastery of such an unusual display of instruments which was on offer or the skill demonstrated in the playing of them. If I have any criticism it would be that I really wanted to have access to programme notes to tell me more about these and their origins. Finally there is the performance element itself. In a world which is heavily reliant on digital images, it was such a joy to listen to storytelling which was instead dependent on the skill of the singers’ voices to delineate characters and emotion.  I can honestly say I have never seen anything quite like this and that I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this magical adventure.  Congratulations to Chris Green, Vicky Swan, Jonny Dyer and Sophie Matthews on creating such a sparkling and unique show.





By any standards this was an extraordinary theatrical event.  Over an hour long, without a single spoken word, it told the story of elderly Joy and the relationship between her and her daughter and grandson, who act as her carers as she lives with dementia.  As exponents of physical theatre, the actors were quite stunning. Performing behind large, almost caricature type masks, they “spoke” through their gestures and created characters with whom the audience immediately identified. Obviously some were more stereotypical than others and were more swift sketches than full blown portraits: the slovenly and unsympathetic care assistant, the cantankerous old lady, the self-important consultant and perhaps to a certain extent Joy herself – an overly sweet and vulnerable old lady. For carers watching the performance it must have rankled that in a play meant to explore the issues around caring for loved ones with dementia the central character was so painfully one dimensional and that there was no recognition of the anguish and anger which comes with the descent into confusion when there are still moments of lucidity. This is not to say the play is unrealistic, at times it is almost painfully too real and I’m sure that at many moments members of the audience were smothering silent tears as they recognised situations they had encountered. The use of masks meant that the characters could actually be anyone’s mum, teenage son, granny and so it was very easy to relate to them and their silence was eloquent with precise gestures helping the viewer to fill in the dialogue which wasn’t being said aloud but was apparent in every carefully choreographed move. Underscoring this was the cleverly constructed sound track which used a mixture of everyday sounds and vintage music to not only set the scene but also the mood of every sequence, from the reminiscences of early courtship, the horror of the blitz,  through to Joy’s bewilderment when alone on a busy road. The growing relationship between the two central characters was a delight to watch and created some wonderful moments as he cajoled her into getting ready for bed or they sat watching football together. The way in which the two manage to create shared fantasy which is equally as real to Joy as her muddled memories and fear-filled present is a beautiful idea and is portrayed with great delicacy and is responsible for some of the most moving parts of the show. However at the centre there is a gaping flaw caused by the relentlessly rosy picture it constructs of dementia being a “cosy” illness which can be tackled by simply celebrating the joy to be had in life.  This, I am sure, is a very worthy aim and does assist in many ways but it does make for a very one dimensional and overly sentimental play.  It was an extraordinary theatrical event but I don’t feel it was necessarily a one which lived up to its hype.

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