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Arthur Miller’s play exploring examining love, immigration and betrayal may have been written sixty years ago but in this stripped back version the emotions and themes were as relevant today as they were when first written. This is in every sense of the word a very stark production, relying totally on the ability of the actors to convince, and they certainly do. On a bare stage with only a basic minimum of props there was really no place for the young actors to hide, nor was there any technical wizardry to assist them and yet they managed to hold the audience captivated throughout as the tension ratcheted turn by excruciating turn to the point where an explosion of violence became inevitable.  In his opening speech the lawyer, Alfieri – played with considerable skill by Tom Driver – explains that his work is in dealing with the petty troubles of the poor but points out that the story of Eddie Carbone is one of great tragedy, particularly in the impact it has on the community. It is this growing sense of tragedy and inevitability which the group conveyed so effectively in this claustrophobic setting. The choice to stage the play so that the cast have an audience on three sides meant that all the focus is on the acting, and at every moment when a character is on stage the actor has to be totally focussed and in role. The stunning performance by Sabrina Gilby as Eddie’s wife, Beatrice, was a shining example of how much can be conveyed without any words being spoken. It was totally fascinating to watch the play of emotions across her face as she reacted to the events unfolding around her. Similarly Miles Warburton conveyed the complexity of Eddie’s emotional situation not only through his words but with every part of his body so that a slump of his shoulders spoke volumes about his character.  These two pivotal performances would have been breathtaking in any production, but to be the work of two young people they were staggeringly so. The play pulsed with a raw emotional intensity from start to finish,  which suggested considerable attention to detail and great dedication. The accents never faltered and the connection with the audience was outstanding. Ellisia Humberstone was magnificent as Catherine, and her evolution from child to bride was both convincing and achingly difficult at times. The object of her affections, Alexander Walters as Rodolfo, was played with a subtle ambivalence so that Eddie’s suspicions seemed to be grounded in reality even while Rodolfo’s responses to Catherine appeared sincere. The production was without a doubt an amazing piece of drama, of which the young cast – and the staff who have worked with them – should be inordinately proud.


A reminder that volunteers are still needed to help with this year’s Christmas Day event in Settle. Assistance is required with food preparation, cooking and serving and arranging transport to and from the event and to generally assist with the planning. To volunteer contact Judith on 01729 822138.  The community Christmas Lunch and Tea will be held in  St John’s Hall. The event will run from 11.45 to 4.45 and is open to all ages at the cost of £10 per head. To reserve a place please contact 01729 822138. Reservations are taken up to the last moment but obviously earlier booking helps the volunteers work out catering requirements.


The new Winter Exhibition ‘A Moveable Feast’ featuring Gallery Artists’ paintings, drawings, original prints, sculptures, ceramics is now open and will run until December 20th. Opening times for this exhibition are Thursday, Friday, Saturday 11 – 3


Seasonal celebrations  start in December with local group Take 2 staging  their  production of “The Witch that Nicked Christmas” on December  4 & 5. This is a family show featuring local young people.  On December 6 there will be music by “Animals and Friends” featuring members of the original Animals line up.  First Sunday Folk on Sunday 7 will be introduced by Mike Harding and the guest for the evening will be  Bernard Wrigley, “The Bolton Bullfrog” and also know as Barry Clegg from Emmerdale.  December 14 offers an opportunity to join in and sing when Chorus Natus Est hold a Come and Sing workshop of Handel’s Messiah.  The workshop runs from 12 noon -6pm with an evening performance at 7pm.  The talented jazz singer Clare Teal  spreads seasonal appeal with a “Festive Fiesta Jing- Jing-a-ling” on December 19th. On December 20 Chris Newman and Maire Ni bring a celtic feel to Christmas with their Christmas music show, Celtic Christmas Strings” featuring harp and guitar.  Pendle productions will perform a matinee performance of their pantomime Dick Whittington at 2.30 on 21 December. Tickets for all events bookable via 01729 825718.


Friends of the Settle-Carlisle line will be walking into winter with a 10 mile strenuous walk on December 6 departing from Ribblehead at 10.06 and returning from Horton in Ribblesdale.  On Sunday 7 there will be a 9mile strenuous walk From Settle to Horton  leaving Settle at 10.10.Booking in advance is not required but it is essential to bring a packed lunch and plenty to drink and to be correctly equipped for both. For further details contact


On December 6 a Yuletide event is being held from 10am to noon with mulled wine and mince pies being served. Admission to this event is £3.50 and this will provide a final opportunity to see this year’s exhibitions.


Penned by comedian and raconteur Mike Harding and performed by Settle’s newest amateur dramatics group, Take Two, “The Witch That Nicked Christmas” will be performed at Victoria Hall on 4 & 5 December at 7.30pm. In true family fun tradition there will be custard pie fights, singing and dancing and a very wicked witch… Tickets via Victoria Hall box office on 01729 825718.


On December 5th there will be a seasonal Settle sessions at The Folly with guest Ann Pilling. The prize winning children’s author and poet will explain how she came to create an anthology of happy poems to aid the Hawes Church Restoration Fund.  To add to the festive feel of the evening, there will also be a selection of favourite Christmas poems.  The evening will also encompass the AGM and reception of Settle Sessions to which members and the public are welcome to attend – please notify the Secretary in advance on 01729 823305. The reception with wine and nibbles, begins at 6.30pm followed by the entertainment at 7.30pm.  Tickets (£6, £5.50 members) for the entertainment are available from Cave and Crag as well as 01729 823305


This year’s Christmas Charity Dance will take place on December 6th at St Mary and St Michael Parish Hall. The dance will run from 8-11.30pm. There will be a Jacobs Join Supper and all proceeds will go to Macmillan Cancer Care. The annual New Year’s Eve Charity Dance will this year take place at the Victoria Hall on December 31st from 8pm through to after midnight.  Again, there will be a Jacobs Join supper and all proceeds from this event will go to support Victoria Hall. For further information please contact 01729 823259 /824038.


The Parish Church of the Holy Ascension, Settle is hosting a Christmas Tree Festival in December. Local businesses, charities and clubs have been invited to place a decorated tree in the church.  It is hoped that the decorations will be themed to reflect the donors’ interests. The Christmas Tree Festival will run from Sat 6th Dec, 10am – 3pm & Sun 7th Dec, noon – 3pm to the following weekend – Sat 13th Dec & Sun 14th Dec (same times).  The church will be open for visitors and home made, seasonal refreshments will be available. On Sunday 14 Dec at  6.30pm the church will host a service of 9 Lessons & Carols with Cantores Salicium.


This year’s community carol concert will take place on December 7 at Settle Parish Church and will commence at 6.30pm. The programme will contain items by Settle Amateur Operatic Society, Settle Voices, Settle College, Settle Primary School, Langcliffe Singers, Octameron, Giggleswick and Settle Junior Band and organists Graham Toft and Paul Fisher. All are welcome at this seasonal event.


Settle Amateur Operatic Society invite you to join them for a Christmas Coffee Morning at The Old Court House on Station Road on Saturday December 13th between 10am and 12.30pm. All welcome.


A selection of folk carols will be performed at Ribblehead Station on December 13th at 13.45 and 14.30 by Settle Voices and Settle-Carlisle Singers.  The station shop and museum will also be open. This will be preceded by a singing workshop at Langwathby Village Hall for anyone wishing to join  in with this free event and learn the carols. The workshop will run from 9-12 noon and will be led by David Burbidge before joining the train. For details and to book a workshop place contact 0153962166.


The choir invite you to join them for a festival of 9 lessons and carols at Settle Parish Church on 14 December at 6.30pm. They will be joined in this service by a children’s choir from Settle Primary School. All welcome


Santa is coming to Settle! He will  be in Settle Co-op between 10am-4pm on December 6th and in Booth’s store on December 13th and 20th between 10am-4pm. On weekday evenings from 5.30pm onwards Santa’s sleigh will be visiting the surrounding villages and will have a letter box for posting letters to Santa. He will be visiting Upper Settle and Langdale Avenue on 4th December, Hellifield on 5th December, Austwick and Clapham on 8th,  Rathmell and Wigglesworth on 9th, Giggleswick on 10th and Langcliffe on 11th. As in previous years, Santa is looking forward to meeting children of all ages on his visit!


In the midst of the flurry of seasonal preparations there will be a mindfulness taster session on 15 December at St Mary and St Michael Church hall in Tilman Close at 6.30pm. This two hour session will look at ways of exploring simple mindfulness practices. For further details contact 07803721135. A new series of courses will commence in January 2015 for which this is an introductory session.


The National Trust are holding a Christmas Craft session at Friend’s Meeting House on 16 December between 1.30-4pm.  There will be an opportunity to make a Christmas wreath or a table centre decoration. All materials will be provided but you are invited to bring along your own decorations and baubles to re-cycle by incorporating into your design. The cost for a wreath will be £10, a table decoration will be £7 or both together will be £15. The price will include a drink and sweet treat. For further details or to reserve a place contact 01729 830416


Settle Stories team invite you to join them in their offices in the Town Hall on 17 December for mince pies and punch. Drop in between 2-5pm to share your festival highlights and find out more about future plans. All welcome.


On December 20th  Poppies will welcome The Sessionistas to entertain. Play acoustic songs and tunes this group of very talented musicians from different backgrounds,  met at sessions and now make music together. The audience can expect a varied repertoire in sometimes unusual styles, from folk and pop classics  to bluegrass and psychedelia, alongside original material. Performing acoustic music on guitar, banjo, accordion, ukulele, mandolin and fiddle this should be a good night! December 27th sees the very welcome return of Mr Ben Avison, playing alongside the equally talented Mr Sam Laurence. Two incredible musicians who we are very lucky to have performing at Poppies.  This Christmas music night is, as always, in aid of our favorite local charity, Bentham Pet Rescue. A truly worthy cause. Tickets as always are priced at £7 and are available from Poppies Tea Room. Concerts start at 7:30, doors open at 7:00. We look forward to seeing you there



Octameron and Phoenix strings will come together at Richard Whiteley Theatre to perform a “Festive Fantasia” on 6 December Tickets cost £10, available via Cave and Crag and Settle Music


The group invite you to join them for a seasonal concert, “Christmas with Langcliffe Singers” at St Alkelda’s church on 13 December at 7.30pm. There will be readings and carols along with mince pies and mulled wine. Tickets cost £10, available from Settle Music, Bentham Post Office and Cave and Crag.


On December 4th the theatre will be showing a live broadcast of the Old Vic’s production of The Crucible. This event commences at 7.30pm. On December 5th the Gigg Lecture series continues with the story of a young polar traveller’s winter spend among the people of the extreme north when Alex Hibbert tells of his time Living With Eskimos. This event commences at 7pm.  On Sunday 7th, Community Cinema will be showing the U rated film “Boxtrolls” starting at 3.30pm.  Tickets for all events are available from 01729 893180.


Many thanks to everyone who voted for the ‘Friends of Giggleswick Primary School’ application in the Skipton Building Society Grassroots giving scheme. 161 schools across the UK have been given £500 and one of the the winning bids was ours! A number of pupils recently took part in the St. Alkelda’s Church Picture Competition on the them of ‘Away in a manger’. This was judged by Mr Ray Jones and the winners were Phoebe Oliver, Cerys Jones and Tom Birkett-Bentley. Thank you to all who donated items to St Alkelda’s Christmas Fair and congratulations to: Edie and Connie Eccleston, Melissa Tither, Dylan and Oliver Sampson for helping at this community church event. As part of our on-going provision for older pupils preparing for Secondary school, our Y6 pupils joined Y6 pupils from Rathmell, Hellifield and Long Preston for lunch and enjoyed an afternoon walk around Long Preston. Meanwhile all Reception and Y1 pupils recently enjoyed a visit from Sita Brand and Settle Stories staff and some puppets. Thanks also to all pupils and parents who came along to support the school at the Settle Lights switch on at the weekend.



There is nothing to match the sound of brass band at any time of the year, but at Christmas a brass band playing carols is probably one of the most seasonal of sounds. It was therefore a particularly apt way to open this programme with a lively rendition of the Salvation Army favourite carol medley, “Christmas Joy”.  There were a number of other winter themed pieces in the programme but one traditional highlight which was missing was the opportunity for the audience to join in with some community carol singing, a fact lamented by many present who regard this concert as the start to their Christmas season. Very definitely making their presence felt this year were the junior band, who made their debut as the beginners group in 2011 and have now graduated to join in the concert on their own terms, three of them playing the lead in an accomplished performance of “The Skye Boat Song”.  The Scottish Isle was only one of the many places visited on this musical tour with numbers including the stirring performance of “An American Trilogy” as well as the atmospheric “Spanish Eyes” and the spritely opener to the second half of the programme, “The Cossack”. Numbers such as the striking arrangement of “The Coventry Carol” and “Best of Bond” medley, provided an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the band’s quality as a whole with plenty of variations of mood in both pieces. The percussion was used to great effect in both, though at times the cymbals tended to dominate in the latter and perhaps needed more finesse.  There were also some outstanding solo pieces, demonstrating not only the skill and dexterity of the solo artist but also the versatility of the instruments by juxtaposing contrasting pieces –  as was seen when the quirky “Varied Mood”  was followed by the haunting “Benedictus” from Karl Jenkins’ “The Armed Man”.  A similar pairing occurred when the lively “Spanish Eyes” was followed by the reflective “Angel’s Prayer”.  Congratulations to all the soloists, including the sensitive performance of “Solitaire” and the powerful tenor horn solo, “Demelza”.  A real joy amongst the less familiar pieces was the jaunty “Doyen”, a piece commissioned by British Leyland to celebrate a diesel engine which perfectly encapsulated the sense of power and speed.  Bringing this sparkling programme to a close were two favourites. The first of these “Christmas Eve in Sarajevo” is rapidly becoming a modern classic, skilfully interweaving together the sounds of war and destruction with the haunting beauty of carols. The second, the traditional “Scneewalzer” is guaranteed to have Settle audiences not only swaying in their seats but in some instances even dancing at the rear of the church to mark the start of the festive season.

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