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Settle sparkled as the newly acquired lights were switched on to mark the start of Christmas celebrations in Settle.  There were plenty of people around to enjoy the attractions and skating rink in Ashfield car-park attracted plenty of attention on both Friday and Saturday.  Santa’s horse drawn carriage arrived at 3pm, having already spent the morning chatting to shoppers and there was a constant queue of young visitors waiting to see him throughout the afternoon. The switch on event has been revamped this year and as well as the new lights the format was slightly different, compressing entertainment and charity market into just under two hours and followed by a family disco at the Victoria Hall.  The crowds were entertained during the afternoon by individual singers from Settle Middle School as well as choirs from both Settle and Giggleswick Primary Schools.  The switch on itself took place at dusk with the lights being turned on by Lucy Hollis from Giggleswick Primary School and Libby Banks from Settle Middle School whose prize winning designs had been used in the publicity material for the event.  Prize winner Anna Booth was unable to take part as she was attending a promotional event for a book she and fellow Middle School pupils have written.  A highlight of the afternoon was the announcement of the winners of the Chamber of Trade  window decoration competition. The theme this year was Winter Wonderland and third place went to Rushworth’s Jewellers with second place being awarded to Miss Moneypenny’s. Winner in a close fought competition was Cottontail Crafts.  Many thanks to all businesses for taking part in this event and also thanks from the Switch on team to the various businesses in town for sponsoring the event and their kind donations of prizes.  Particular thanks to Joe Lord for acting as compere on the day; John Diggles for his hard work providing sound and especially to Kevin McNeice who spent over fifty hours arranging the actual lights. Thanks also to Tony Hardwick and all the switch on team for organising the day and for all the hard work which went into the event both on the day and in the months beforehand and to Craven District Council for provision of free parking in the town to encourage visitors and locals alike to come and join in the event.   During the afternoon a number of raffles were also drawn with Vicky Jenkins winning the Duke St sweet hamper and B Skipsey winning a Christmas Hamper raffled by Settle Parish Church.





Combining the talents of Langcliffe Singers with the Skipton Music Centre Youth and adult choirs was surely  inspired; adding to this members of Settle Orchestra, Skipton Music Centre Senior Percussion Group and Northern Chamber Orchestra meant that there was an incredible richness and depth to the music which lifted the evening’s performance to an amazing level. Britten’s St Nicolas is a complex and challenging cantata which clearly required considerable rehearsal and therefore to bring all the many group elements together with the tenor soloist (John Cox), organist (Graham Toft) and pianists (Ellie Everhart and Tricia Rees Jones) was an outstanding feat – on which conductor, Nigel Waugh, should be congratulated. It patently was worth every minute of the effort involved as this incredibly theatrical piece of writing sprang to life and held everyone enthralled. It was a real delight to see so many young singers and musicians clearly relishing taking part and rising to the challenge of performing at such a professional level.  A special mention should be made of the percussionists who played such an important role in a number of movements, particularly in recreating the storm at sea with such gusto and then exercising tremendous skill and control in the quieter movements and solos.  This was an outstanding piece and performed with great confidence by all concerned. The audience too was encouraged to take part and the thrill of joining in the two hymns with such a powerful choir and musical accompaniment was both uplifting and sublime.  The second half of the programme allowed the opportunity to showcase the talents of the choir itself with a beautiful rendition of “In Dulci Jubilo”. A traditional carol sung in German and Latin: for those only familiar with the electronic rendition by Mike Oldfield this stately version was a real revelation.  This was followed by “Adam lay ybounden” and then a number of traditional carols in which the audience were encouraged to participate fully. They most certainly also rose to this invitation wholeheartedly – enjoying the stunning accompaniments and the powerful harmonies while giving full voice to a number of Christmas favourites.  There is something very special about the music of Christmas which seems to bring out the very best in everyone and this was certainly the case with this concert which was a marvellous way to begin the festive season.



The Friends of the Settle – Carlisle Line will be holding their Christmas Open Day at Settle Station on Saturday, 10 December. 2011.  There will be the usual warm mince pies, Christmas cake and sherry or soft drinks, together with live music.  The station shop will be open selling Christmas cards, calendars and many gift ideas.  Tea, coffee etc. will be available from the Settle-Carlisle Development Company’s trolley on the platform or in the foyer, depending on the weather. This is an annual event which is enjoyed by passengers and visitor alike.  For many local people, it is an enjoyable event to which they much look forward. The Open Day runs from 10.30 am until 4.00 pm.  Refreshments are available on both platforms in the morning and on the Leeds-bound side (in the Information Room) all day.  There is heating in all areas of the station.  An additional attraction will be the launch of an updated reprint of an Historic 1976 Map of the Line, comprising not only the map but a Line Gradient, Distance Tables and much additional information.  Be one of the first to  buy one of these pieces of History.



Quiz buffs will be pleased to know that the annual brain-teaser “Andy’s Quiz” is now on sale at a number of outlets around the town – guaranteed value for money at £2, this provides hours of intellectual challenge and fun and you have until March to complete it for a chance to win part of the £75 total prize money!  Thanks to everyone who supported our Christmas Hamper raffle, which was drawn at the Lights Switch On event. The winner was



Following on from previous years successful Christmas day dinner it is proposed to arrange a similar event this year, based either at St John’s or at Townhead. Volunteers are needed to help plan this event and to work on the day. It is hoped that this event will be open to all ages and it is anticipated that the cost will be in the region of £15 for adults and £10 for children. Transport will be arranged for those who are unable to reach the venue. If you are able to help arrange the event, help on the day or would like to attend the event please contact Judith on 01729 822138 as soon as possible.



The current Landscape Art of Yorkshire,Lancashire and Cumbria exhibition runs until 17 December and provides  an opportunity to see and purchase original work by a number of artists from the three counties and follows on from the show held last winter. Artists represented include: Norman Adams, Michael Bennett, David Cook, Frank Gordon, Michael Hipkins, Katharine Holmes, Debbie Loane, Karen Lloyd, Phil Morseman, David Morris, Janet Swailes, Margaret Uttley, Shawn Williamson, Marjan Wouda. This year’s exhibition has two special displays of paintings:Chris Rigby – The winner of the first prize in the “Open up North” exhibition organised by the Brewery Arts Centre Kendal and Watercolour paintings of Horton in Ribblesdale by Vivien John (1915 – 1994) -the youngest daughter of the painter Augustus and Dorelia John. The gallery is open every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday between 11am – 3pm.



Santa Claus has got a busy month ahead and he will again be making sure that the children in the area can get in touch with him. During his trips around Settle and to local villages he will have a post-box on his sleigh so that children can post their letters to him. Please make sure you put your name and address on the letter so that he can reply to you!  On December 8th he will be touring around upper Settle and Longdale avenue and will be in Settle Co-op on 10th. On Monday 12 he will be in Austwick and Clapham and visit  Rathmell and Wigglesworth on 13th. On 14th he will be in Townhead and Church Street area of Settle before heading to Langcliffe on 15th and Giggleswick on 16 and spending 17th in store at Watershed Mill. On Monday 19 he will tour the Mains and Stackhouse before visiting Horton and Stainforth on December 20th.



Settle Voices Community Choir will sing in Hellifield Station Tea Rooms on Friday, 9th December at 7.30pm as part of a Christmas Music and Readings Evening. Money raised at this concert will be donated to Yorkshire Air Ambulance. The Settle Voices choir will also be singing at Settle Station on Saturday, 10th December at 10.45a.m as part of the station’s open day. Settle Voices Community Choir meets in the Friends Meeting House, Kirkgate on Monday afternoon from 1pm to 3pm.  There is an annual fee of £5 plus £4 per session. For more information please see website or ring (01729) 822771



On December 8th the DH Lawrence classic supernatural story, “The Rocking Horse Winner” gets the North Country Theatre Company treatment in this adaptation by Nobby Dimon.   The World Cinema Film nights continue on Wednesday 14 December with “Of Gods and Men” a film in French with English subtitles loosely based on the 1993 events in Tibhirine, Algeria and the subsequent kidnapping of a group of Cistercian monks.  The eclectic and eccentric mix that is Belshazzar’s Feast return on 17 December as part of their Christmas Tour and as true festive delight is served up on 22 December with a family pantomime “Jack and the Beanstalk” by Pocket Panto.  For details of tickets and times contact the box office on 01729 825718.



An intimate concert featuring The Moonbeams who sing Songs from the Dales with the heart and soul of folk, will take place on 10 December in Poppies Café, Bishopdale Court. Arranged by Settle Music tickets cost £7, including buffet (bar extra) and are available from Poppies and Settle Music on 01729 825838.  The concert will commence at 7.30pm


Settle Amateur Operatic Society invite you to join them in a seasonal coffee morning at The Old Courthouse on 10 December, between 10-12.30. Mince pies and Christmas cake will be served and there will also be a small number of charity stalls on the day.


On Saturday December 10th there will be a Yuletide Event at The Folly between 10.00-12.00noon. Mulled wine and mince pies will be served with seasonal words and music being performed. This will include music on period instruments performed by members of Leeds Waits.  Entry is free with refreshments costing £3.00



A “teddy bola” will provide a new twist on an old favourite  at the Friends of Victoria Hall Christmas Coffee Morning on 10 December. Coffee will be served from 9-12 and all are welcome.



The Christmas Special evening with all the club regulars will take place at Settle Social Club on 17 December.  Admission is free and the evening starts at 9 and runs till late. All welcome, come along and enjoy a good seasonal singalong.



In days of old people gathered round the fire and shared stories to while away the long winter nights and keep the dark at bay; share the tradition by coming along to Settle Story telling group on 21 December for their regular club night at the Falcon Manor at 7.30pm. Admission is £3 and all are welcome. Bring along a story to share or simply come and listen to tales of bygone days and celebrate the magic of the winter solstice.









A number of pupils attended an open house party at Mr & Mrs Graham’s home in aid of The Royal British Legion. The Y5 pupils sang a song written for Armistice day to the visitors. A number of pupils represented the school at the recent funeral of Private Matthew Haseldinl, paying their respects to Matthew, as his coffin passed through Giggleswick and Matthew’s parents much appreciated the support from our school community. Matthew was a pupil here from January 1995 until July 2000 and many of us remember him well. Thank you to all who donated money to the charity Help for Heroes, in Matthew’s memory. Our donations totalled an amazing £71 and these were taken to Matthew’s funeral and added to the collection. Thanks to Class 3 who did an excellent job, organising and running this fund-raising Pudsey Party which raised a magnificent £140 for the BBC Children in Need Appeal. Thanks also to  everyone who has already purchased a copy of Giggleswick Primary School’s Cookbook. This has been typed and produced by a group of parents, supported by Mrs. Jarrom and we are grateful to everyone involved, as well as to all our contributors. It is very reasonably priced at £3 and copies are available from the school office, so please purchase as many booklets as you can – perhaps to give as seasonal gifts. Pupils have recently taken part in a cluster group Floodlit Football event, forming two teams to play against other cluster schools. Both teams played well and lost, drew and won matches.  Many thanks to all parents who supported the recent Family Bingo, by sending in chocolate donations, by helping to organise and run the event and/or by attending. This was a new venture for the Friends of Giggleswick Primary School and a most successful event, attended by approximately half of our families on roll including many older siblings and it was much enjoyed by all participants, raising £117 for school funds.



Under the leadership of conductor, Howard Lorriman, the band performed with great panache and his enthusiasm for the music is clearly infectious as they seem to have reached new heights in this annual concert. The programme began with a short silence in memory of Reg Trusler, a staunch supporter of the band and of the church to whom the night’s concert was dedicated.  During the second half of the programme a moving tribute was paid to him when they performed John Rutter’s beautiful piece “The Lord Bless You and Keep You.”  The programme was , as usual,  mixture of popular favourites, Christmas carols and seasonal specials creating a really festive air –enhanced this year by the incorporation of the Learner’s group. This was a striking performance of four numbers by five children from local primary schools who have only been together for three weeks. It was wonderful to see them taking part and hopefully numbers will increase and allow this to become a regular part of the programme.  A key component of the evening is the incorporation of traditional carols and certainly the audience were inspired to sing out to such a striking accompaniment. This was particularly the case in the Twelve Days of Christmas which grew increasingly riotous and frenetic as it went along.  The first half of the programme was wider in scope with pieces ranging from the Syncopated Clock , a lively example of painting pictures with music by Ray Anderson;  a dramatic Chorale in baroque style through to a rousing arrangement of Loch Lomond by Andy Duncan, possibly best known to some of the audience as the version made famous by Gaelic Rock-band Runrig,  These truly demonstrated the versatility and scope of the band and also highlighted the importance of the percussion element as well as providing an opportunity to demonstrate the considerable skills of the bandsmen. The first half culminated in a sensational rendition of the theme music to “Pirates of the Caribbean.”  The second half of the programme again demonstrated the variety of mood and tone which can be produced by a brass band of this calibre with lively numbers such as “Christmas Swingalong” being balanced by a haunting rendition of the Normandy version of “Away in A Manger”.

The concert concluded with a relatively modern piece, the striking “Christmas Eve: Sarajevo 12.24”.  Inspired by the story of a Bosnian Cellist who played carols in the ruins of Sarajevo during the conflict, the piece interweaves the beauty of the Christmas carols with the fierce bombardment of the percussion which echoes the guns of war. This was an amazing performance by the band bringing the concert to a magnificent conclusion. The only possible encore therefore was to play the ever-popular German “Scheewaltzer” (Snow Waltz) to get the audience swaying in their seats – and in some cases even dancing in the aisles – in order to send everyone out in high spirits,  ready for Christmas and the snowy outdoors!




I am certain that I was not the only audience member who left the performance thinking that the West End must have been missing a few stars, as the phenomenal production was certainly of a standard to rival anything which I have seen there recently. This was not just the best school production I have seen in the last few years; it was probably the best musical production I have seen anywhere in the last few years!  Into the Woods is Stephen Sondheim’s dark re-telling of what happens when various fairy-tale characters go into the woods in search of “happy ever after” only to find that you need to be very careful what you wish for as all actions can have unexpected consequences.  It is an extremely complex story with a fantastic score but exceptionally difficult lyrics in places which calls for outstanding timing and delivery. In short, not an easy choice for any company – including professionals! And yet in the hands of this accomplished cast and crew it literally did seem like child’s play. The dynamic choreography throughout mean that the show positively bubbled with energy and the deceptively simple set avoided in breaks in the flow of acting with scenes occurring at all levels of the staging.  There are also some marvellous bits of comic direction such as the rescue of Granny and Red from the Wolf’s stomach via the bed and the exploits of Milky White (Henry Fell). The ensemble work was immaculate, with superbly synchronised movement and the singing was a real joy, accompanied by an outstanding orchestra. As for the lead roles – there was not one which was a weak link and a number who are certainly bound for great things in the theatre!  The duet between the baker and the mysterious man (Martin Fillingham and Jack Humphrey) on the nature of father and son relationships was both powerful and poignant while Isobel Jones as the Witch was totally compelling with staggering stage presence for someone so young. The comic timing and fantastic facial expressions of Red Riding Hood (Helen Burkinshaw)  especially in the scenes with the Wolf ( a class act by Jonathan Beaumont) are moments to treasure as are the incredible performances of The Baker, The Baker’s Wife (Sally Slater), Cinderella (Freya Robertson), Jack (Angus Broadbent) and Rapunzel (Eleanor Thursby) and the wonderfully exaggerated “Blackadderesque” princes (Jon Sharp and Mike Portnell) who look as if they are enjoying every single moment of their time on stage.  In short the whole piece was an absolute triumph and a huge tribute to the hard work of all of the cast, crew and staff involved in this phenomenal piece of theatre.

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