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Settle reviews and News updates


A severe landslip near Armathwaite has caused the S&C line to be closed completely. No trains are running between Carlisle and Appleby and an emergency timetable is in place for trains between Leeds and Appleby. Full details of the latest news can be found Settle Carlisle web site here There will however be a walk on the Morecambe line on 27 February. This will leave Carnforth at 10am and return from Arnside. This will be a 10 mile moderate walk. Also on 27 February there will be a circular walk from Dent, leaving Dent station at 10.16 and returning to the station from Dent via the service bus. Again this will be a 10 mile moderate walk. No reservation is necessary  for these walks 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


Victoria Hall can always guarantee a diverse range of entertainment and the first week in March typifies this approach. On March 3 Keith James presents an honest and loving reflection on the insightful and timeless music of Yusuf – Cat Stevens. On March 4  Red Dragonfly productions present DiaoChan: The Rise of the Courtesan. This is a tale of courtesans, warlords, steamy conspiracy and enticing twists set in the ancient Chinese era of the Three Kingdoms. The play is performed in English with a British East-Asian and East-Asian cast in full Chinese traditional costume. This is a great opportunity to experience the story and history of China. March 5 presents an opportunity to hear The Ferocious Dog, a truly original sound. Creating their own take on Traditional Celtic folk, Ferocious Dog takes the traditional instruments – fiddles, whistles, mandolins – and mixes them up with a bit of raw, buzzsaw rock’n’roll attitude. First Sunday Folk on March 6 presents Master guitarist Archie Fisher, one of Scotland’s foremost folk singer/songwriters. He is best known  as the host of BBC Radio Scotland’s award-winning ‘Travelling Folk’ programme, which he presented for over 25 years. For details and tickets of all events contact 01729 825718.


Organised by Churches Together in Settle and District, this year’s Lent groups will be held at St John’s church will take place on Wednesday evenings throughout Lent at 7.30pm. This year the material for study is inspired by the novel “Les Miserables” and entitled “Another Story Must Begin”. All welcome.


Paige Maher Arts and Crafts are holding an Art Therapy taster session at Limestone View at 2pm on 26 February. For details and to reserve a place on this fun event please contact


Having recently established itself in newly refurbished premises, St John’s Methodist Church is holding a weekend of celebration and thanksgiving on February 27th and 28th. On Saturday there will be “open house” from 10-4 with free refreshments and an opportunity to come along and view the premises, to find out more about the numerous community groups who already use the premises and to enjoy performances and demonstrations by some of those groups. Everyone is  welcome to come along and drop in throughout the day. Amongst those performing will be the Line Dancers from Settle Stompers and U3A Line dance group, Helen Howard School of Dance, members of Settle Orchestra, members of St John’s Church and the Scottish Country Dancers. There will also be Yoga and Tai Chi demonstrations, spinning demonstration, messy church activity sessions, a bridge game marathon and a display of information by John Reid about bygone Settle and St John’s Church. Homemade refreshments will be available throughout the day.  On Sunday at 2.30pm there will be a special service of thanksgiving which will be attended by many of those involved in the designing and re-fashioning of the premises.


‘BilinguaSing’ is an award winning music, singing and movement class for parents, babies, toddler and pre-school children to learn Spanish or French together in a fun and engaging way that is appropriate for the development stage of each child. No previous knowledge of a foreign language is required. The first class is free and familiar nursery rhymes are learnt in both Spanish/French and English and are accompanied by a variety of fun movements and props to help stimulate the senses.  There will be a Spanish session, entitled “Ivamos”, taking place at Settle Library on 1 March between 4-4.45 and this will be suitable for 5-11years olds. For more information contact 07534 464567.


The next charity dance will take place at St Mary and St Michael Parish Hall in Tilman Close on Saturday March 5 from 8-11pm. If you are able to please contact 01729 823259 /824038 to confirm your attendance. All proceeds to Cancer Support (Skipton and District). New dancers always welcome.


Womens’ World day of prayer this year takes place on March 4 and a service will be held at St Mary and St Michael church at 7.30pm. All are welcome. This year’s theme and service has been prepared by the women of Cuba.


The PTA invite you to join them for a family quiz night on 11 March in the main hall. The event starts at 7 for 7.30pm and there will drinks available to purchase and a jacob’s join supper.  Entry is £5 payable on the door. Teams should have no more than four adults. Please contact 01729 824873 04 07823 331512 to book a table.


The next group meeting will take place on Monday, 7 March at 7.30pm at Townhead Court. Please note that there will not be a gallery at this meeting. The speaker will be Dorothy Burrows on the subject of “Lakeland A-Z”.  Dorothy has visited before (covering Yorkshire) – this time, she will cover the Lake District with many fabulous photographs.


The NCHT is celebrating North Craven’s outstanding musical heritage with a selection of local musicians and ensembles from Saturday 12—Sunday 20 March 2016. Events begin on  Saturday 12 March in the Victoria Hall with Dales Jam And Ramjam’s Springbeat. Under their director Richard Ormrod, and with a guest world class soloist, the bands will romp their way through music rocking to the rhythms of the world. The following evening (Sunday 13th) Octameron singers will perform at The Folly when the programme will include songs by Elgar and his contemporaries, acknowledging the close links between Edward Elgar, Settle and the Dales. Mid-week (Wednesday 16th), composer and organist Paul Fisher will give a recital on the Giggleswick School chapel organ. The programme will include some of Paul’s plainsong-based and other compositions, Bach, and arrangements for organ of folk song and popular melodies. Settle Orchestra will provide the finale with their Settle spring concert on Sunday 20th in The Richard Whiteley Theatre, Giggleswick School. Under the baton of guest conductor Ellie Slorach, the programme will include popular works by Mendelssohn, Haydn and Mozart.  All events will start at 7.30pm. Further details, including ticket availability and prices, from Cave and Crag, Settle TIC or


Friends of Settle Victoria Hall will hold an” Allsorts Market” on Saturday 26th March in Victoria Hall from 10am to 4pm. Refreshments will be served all day. To book a stall please contact the hall on 01729 825718.


Settle Town Council are seeking a self-motivated person who cares about Settle and its public spaces. Duties include general maintenance and repair of benches and play equipment, inspection duties and litter collection of the Council’s play areas, allotments, Castlebergh Crag and other assets. The person should be fit and capable to carry out the duties within the job specification and have extensive experience in DIY and Gardening. The post will be for 8hrs per week (£8 per Hour) and details can be obtained from the Clerk at Settle Town Council via Closing Date: 4th March 2016 by 5pm with the start date 1st April 2016


Advance notice that Settle WI is holding 2 craft workshops on Wednesday 27th April in the Catholic Church Hall, Craven Terrace, Settle, BD24 9RA.Annie Austen-Meek will be demonstrating how to make a ‘Softpot’ garden container.  Softpots are amazing, unique garden containers that are not only beautiful to look at but better for your plants than traditional pots.  To learn more about Softpots visit Sue Amphlett of Cottontail Crafts is giving an introduction to Needlefelting – sculpting wool into figures and forms using a barbed felting needle.Each course costs £20 and includes all materials and tuition.  There will be 2 sessions for each craft:  10am – 12 noon and 1pm – 3pm so it is possible to do just one or both courses in the day.Everyone is welcome, regardless of whether they are WI members or not.  Tea & coffee will be provided but please bring a packed lunch if you are staying all day.To book please contact Sue Sellars on 01729 825145 or email



Our next Eco meeting will be held at 7.00 p.m. on Wednesday, 2nd March at the Royal Oak and we hope to see some of you there. This event is open to all



On Sunday 28 February Community Cinemas will be showing “”The Good Dinosaur” at 3.30 (doors open 2.45). This is a PG certificate. For further information contact: 01729 893180


Giggleswick Junior School is holding an open morning on 5 March between 10- 12. The school itself caters for children from 3 to 11years providing outstanding care and education in both the Early Years department and Junior School.  Children from the age of 3 months upwards are catered for at ChipMonks nursery. Families are invited to come along to this special event and to meet the staff and find out more about what is on offer. To register to attend or simply find out further information contact 01729 893100

GODFREY’S LAST LOVE (Bring Me Sunshine)


This is the third of Alan Stockdill’s cleverly observed plays about Godfrey Shackleton, staunch labour supporter, proud Yorkshireman and unexpected millionaire. However, it doesn’t matter if you haven’t see the other two plays as Godfrey helpfully fills you in on the details as you go along via the clever theatrical conceit of continually addressing the audience so that you know exactly what he is thinking at any time. The play therefore is presented as a series of episodes which tell the story, interspersed with Godfrey’s conversations with the audience in which he reflects on his life and the happenings. What is impressive is that they are genuine conversations, not just one-sided monologues, as there is space for the audience to react by way of laughter and groans and he in turn reacts to them. This device of central character as narrator gives the story its real heart and also makes for some interesting observations as to how much we are all acting out a role in our own lives, so that when Godfrey claims he’s acted out being a “Yorkshireman” so long that he’s forgotten how to be anything else there’s not only a sense of irony but also a very astute observation of human behaviour. However, all Godfrey’s assumptions are seriously challenged when on a lads’ trip to Morecambe he meets Betty, a Lancastrian widow of a former Conservative mayor. While the initial fear is that Godfrey is falling for a gold-digger the play is far more subtle and becomes a gentle comedy which looks at the subject of love in the third age and deals very movingly with the subject of loss and the conflict between new love and loyalty towards a dead partner.  Alan Stockdill’s writing is always at its strongest when examining human relationships and this is particularly the case in the scenes between Godfrey and his daughter, Donna and the powerful and acutely observed conversation between Donna and Betty where they talk about death. There are plenty of comic throwaway lines and some striking performances by all five actors, especially octagenarian Marion Reynolds as Betty, but the real joy of this play is the way in which it deals with emotion and sentiment without ever becoming sentimental and mawkish. It is a play about love, loss  and happiness but most importantly it is a play about reality and the fact that humans are not perfect, but we are people who need to cherish one another’s imperfections – even if they are from places other than Yorkshire.



It’s not often that I am left at a loss for words, but this time I definitely am struggling. How do you describe an experience like “A Fistful of Spookies?” Are they a diverting group of comics? Are they a powerful group of accapella singers? Are they astute observers of humankind? Are they a bunch of weirdos dressed in black? Are they completely surreal and absolutely orginal? Can they have you helpless with laughter one minute and then moved to tears the next? The answer is yes to all of the above and much, much more!  The group is an off-shoot of the Australian Spooky Men’s Chorale, however when the majority of the choir returned to Australia a few were left behind to spread the eccentric charm which is “spookiness”. Essentially they are a group of blokes, dressed in black with dead pan faces, incredible voices and a tendency for being extremely silly but for anyone who has encountered the Spooky Men’s Chorale it is important to realise that the reduction in numbers does not mean a reduction in quality. In the intimate setting created by an apron stage the smaller number was perfectly suited to the venue and their unaccompanied and un-miked singing made fantastic use of the acoustics at Victoria Hall – and they certainly could sing! From the wild exuberance of the 5.23 am song to scare off potential threats, to the plaintive qualities of “Picture in a Frame” by Tom Waits and the Scottish Traditional folk song “Black is The Colour”, via the gospel song “John Hardy” and the immense power and hypnotic beauty of Icelandic chants and Georgian dance tunes there was never any doubt of the range and quality of their voices. What added the additional sparkle to the evening however was the incredible sense of fun which they exhibited in songs such as “We are not a Men’s Group”, “Don’t stand between a man and his Tool” and “The Universal Club Song”.  This and the interactions between group members and the audience made for a fantastic and unforgettable night’s entertainment. Their diversity was perhaps neatly illustrated by the last three numbers: a deeply moving arrangement of Tennyson’s “Crossing the Bar” (you know you’re on a winner when there is that brief moment when the music ends and the audience holds their breath not wanting it to finish before they burst into rapturous applause), followed by a hilarious version of “Kiss” and then an encore which left the whole audience waltzing together. A very spooky experience indeed.

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