A week in the life - Beer festival? I’ll drink to that!

L-R Martin Brock, Gloria Tordoff, Keith Tordoff, Keith Wrigglesworth, Madie Wrigglesworth, Mayor David Goode, Andrew Willoughby, Christine Willoughby, Emma Brock, Mayoress Catherine Goode
L-R Martin Brock, Gloria Tordoff, Keith Tordoff, Keith Wrigglesworth, Madie Wrigglesworth, Mayor David Goode, Andrew Willoughby, Christine Willoughby, Emma Brock, Mayoress Catherine Goode

Last Friday it was fever pitch in Knaresborough. If it had been Saturday it could have been Saturday Night Fever. Had I caught the fever because I had stepped from Nidderdale into nearby Knaresborough. I can hear people groaning and thinking what is he on about.

Well the fever was The Knaresborough ‘FEVA’ an event organised by the Knaresborough Lions. The President Martin Brock invited me to this annual event which originated around folk singing and drinking beer. The event is a festival of entertainment and visual arts including a beer festival! There is also street entertainment sponsored by Knaresborough Town Council.

The Knaresborough Lions are also the organisation behind holding the famous annual Knaresborough Bed Race. It was suggested the Nidderdale Chamber of Trade which I Chair could enter a team for next year’s event. I’m sure the invitation was more through politeness rather than being a serious one. If we did enter, we could always start on the River Nidd at Pateley and make our way down to Knaresborough! I did not write this after tasting some of the potent beers on offer or the unusual ones such as Rhubarb beer - honest! The Knaresborough Lions like the Nidderdale Chamber of trade are volunteers and are not for profit using money raised from events to help community groups and organisations including ones in Nidderdale. I hope our two organisations will liaise and work closely together and we are already in discussions about a possible initiative for Christmas. A great evening spent in some great company having a pleasant drink. I should add I am not a drinker just ask Gloria and she will tell you how daft I am on just half a pint!

Talking of Knaresborough I received a lovely letter from one of their residents Brian Bradley-Smith who used to work for the fire service. The letter was bringing to my attention a number of interesting stories about the area including reference to the Great Flood of Pateley Bridge in the 1800s. Apparently a marker stone was erected to mark the level the flood had reached. The stone is sited about a mile downstream from Pateley Bridge somewhere before Castlestead bridge where the public footpath cuts across the field to Glasshouses. I am going to look for this large stone which I understand may be covered by overgrown brambles. I am sure it will be there and it would be nice for it to be made prominent once again for people to see. Mr Bradley-Smith also mentions that he used to go around restoring the many milestones and mileposts including the one coming into Pateley Bridge with 0 miles on it which are similar to the flood stone. A very interesting item in Mr Bradley-Smith letter was that he used to as part of his job whilst in the fire service to maintain hose boxes in villages around Nidderdale. The one at Wath close to the Chapel is still there with all its equipment intact but the box is in a state of disrepair. Restored this historical item would be interesting to view whilst visiting Wath Chapel. I must have a word with the Parish Council and Methodist Mike on that one!

Next week will be more Pateley Bridge and Nidderdale than Knaresborough as on Saturday I have been invited to be the guest of the Reverend Darryl Hall at St Cuthbert’s Church Pateley Bridge where there is a special evening of music by renowned organist Trevor Dawson. Refreshments will be available but I don’t suppose there will be any rhubarb beer which is maybe a good thing! Read all about it next week.