PUBLISHED FEATURES

FAMILY STORY OF WOMAN WHO GAVE AWAY MILLIONS(D&S Times,Weekend, January 16, 2015)

ARTIST AT EASE IN HER VERY OWN SURROUNDINGS (D&S Times, Weekend, December 19, 2014)

RECTOR CAN TELL HIS WIFE WHO’S BOSS  (D&S Times, Weekend, September 19, 2014)

IAN Robinson – one-time businessman, engineer, youth rugby international – never dreamt of being a priest. When he was finally persuaded to give it a go, he never dreamt he would get through the rigorous Church of England selection process.

CAPTURING ALL THE VARIETY OF THE DALES (D&S Times, Review, September 5, 2014)
WHETHER it’s the play of light on a telegraph pole at Thornton Rust, or the glow of the sun on a curlew’s wing on the moors above Askrigg, artist Piers Browne captures the splendour and variety of his much-loved Dales landscape in this one-man show.

STRUGGLE TO KEEP GENERAL PRACTICE ON TRACK (D&S Times, Weekend,  August 22, 2014)
FIRST the bad news. Over the next seven years, the Central Dales GP Practice, on which more than 4,500 of us depend for our health care, will lose £74,000 thanks to complex changes to government funding for family doctors . . .  Now the good news: Lynn Irwin, new practice manager at Hawes and Aysgarth surgeries.

STILL LOTS ON THE LUNCHEON MENU (D&S Times, Weekend, August 1, 2014)
LADY Isobel Barnett did it in the late 1970s for an undisclosed fee. Marje Proops considered doing it but never materialised. Lady Olga Maitland might have done it had she not demanded £250

RACING CYCLISTS AN INSPIRATION FOR BRIAN (D&S Times, Review, July 4, 2014)
MORE used to painting geese and cows, Brian Alderman has turned his attention to a rare and more exotic breed of Dales life – the racing cyclist.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A BIG CHEESE (Dalesman, May 2014)
Cheesemaker, businesswoman and entrepreneur Iona Hill might just be her own worst enemy. She wants to teach others to do what she does: make cheese simply, safely and profitably.

DRAMA IN THE CLASSROOM (Dalesman, December 2013)
INSPIRATIONAL teacher, Matthew Armstrong, brings Shakespeare, Homer, Gilbert and Sullivan and Dickens, among others, to his young charges at a tiny village school in Wensleydale. Through music and drama they learn about life – and nothing any government can do will ever force it off the curriculum, he says.

PLANTS AT RISK AS MOORBANK BOTANIC GARDEN CHANGES HANDS (The Guardian Northerner, November 2013)
A CHILLY future lies ahead for the rare plants of Newcastle upon Tyne’s botanic garden as the heat to its greenhouses is about to be switched off.

BEDDING IN TO THEIR NEW LIFE UP NORTH
JANE and Neil McNair never planned to live in Yorkshire. In fact, until a weekend break in the Dales three years ago, Neil had never even visited the place. . .

VICAR GETS THE PINT OF VILLAGE LIFE
WHEN the vicar of Askrigg gave a butter-making demonstration in the village hall in the summer, someone in the audience asked what sort of cream she was using: single or double? “It’s Allen Kirkbride’s cream. That’s all you need to know,” said the Rev Ann Chapman, firmly. . .

CUPCAKES THAT REALLY DO TAKE THE BISCUIT
CUPCAKES? No thanks. They look tempting enough, with their pastel colours and sparkly bits and creamy swirls, but bite into one and what have we got?

ANNE HAS THE WI FACTOR
AS TONY  Blair discovered to his cost all those years ago, you don’t mess with the WI. The incessant slow hand-clap from delegates as he addressed their national conference in June 2000, echoes down the years, a reminder of the power of the organisation to reduce even prime ministers to gibbering wrecks. So I arrive at the farmhouse home of Anne Harrison, national vice-chair of this formidable institution, with more than a little trepidation.

BIG CHEESE OF WENSLEYDALE
IT MIGHT be tempting to call the man who runs the Wensleydale Creamery a big cheese if an internet trawl didn’t reveal that, surprise, surprise, it is hardly an original thought. But there’s another reason not to: David Hartley, managing director of the cheese-making company in Hawes, doesn’t fit the stereotype the term implies.

ICE-COLD IN THORNTON RUST
NO LOANS, no grants, no government handouts, just so much red tape that Gill and Adrian Harrison’s simple business idea was almost strangled at birth.

LAUGHING OUT LOUD WITH THE WI
A FUNNY thing happened on the way to the WI: I joined. I never intended to and for some weeks afterwards felt in need of a support group. “My name is Betsy and I’m a WI member.”

MOTHER & SON BOTH DOING WELL
TWO years ago, the White Hart Inn looked like yet another victim of recession-hit rural Britain. The door had closed for seemingly the last time, the paint was peeling, the lamp hung forlornly off the wall. The string of lousy summers that had tipped everybody over the edge and into the Mediterranean sunspots, had clearly been the final straw for this cosy pub in the centre of Hawes.

PRESERVING THE RURAL IDYLL
IT IS a marketing man’s dream: a family-run business in a pretty hamlet in a stunningly beautiful landscape. In this fantasy world, the factory is a tastefully converted barn where jams and chutneys bubble away on a conventional hob, a dozen preserving pans stirred in turn by a man in a white hat with a wooden spoon.

DAVID AND GOLIATH IN THE WORLD OF CHEESE
THERE are two cheese-making factories in Hawes and one of them is so small I can’t even find it, tucked away as it is at the back of an industrial estate in the Wensleydale market town. Suddenly, a door opens in what looks like a not-very-large green shed and I’m hailed by a third of the workforce, Stuart Gatty.

ASA AND THE DUCHESS
THROUGH his manual of good citizenship, Scouting for Boys, Robert Baden-Powell encouraged young men to Be Prepared for any eventuality: runaway horses and trains, poisonous snakes, mad dogs and murderers, were all to be tackled with fervour, a selfless disregard for safety and a cheery smile.

FIGHTING THE INTERNET DRAGONS
LIKE a lot of people in the hospitality trade, Collette Wormwell and daughter, Elaine, of the George and Dragon in Aysgarth, are wary of Trip Advisor. One guest complained online about the ‘inappropriate’ cartoon on the pub sign, another about the ‘Jaguar parking only’ notice in the car park. Some people, says Collette, have no sense of humour.

TURNING LEFT WAS THE RIGHT CHOICE
ARTIST and former teacher Brian Alderman turned left when travelling south from his home in Scotland five years ago, and a whole new landscape opened up before him.  A right turn would have taken him into the familiar territory of the Lake District.