A week in the Life column with Keith Tordoff

Dont forget to tune into BBC Radio 4s Ramblings programme with Clare Balding today (Thursday) at 3pm.
Dont forget to tune into BBC Radio 4s Ramblings programme with Clare Balding today (Thursday) at 3pm.

Things can only get better, so a certain song goes. Well for Pateley Bridge in recent years things really have got better. The area is steeped in history and tradition with families who live here being able to trace their family history back generations.

The natural beauty of the Dale has been forged over centuries and partly sculptured with the industrial heritage of quarrying, lead mining and the building of the reservoirs.

The countryside has helped employ people during its history on the land.

The reason I am writing this week about this heritage is because for the last 42 years, Pateley Bridge and Nidderdale have had a bit of a hidden gem collecting and recording all the history I have talked about – this being the Nidderdale Museum.

The museum run by volunteers has been a fantastic asset to the area and for its visitors. Some would describe it as a bit of a hidden gem and for those who have discovered it over the years, most have left describing it as one of the best museums they have ever visited.

No longer to be a hidden gem but now to be recognised as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of Pateley Bridge and Nidderdale.

The museum it has been announced have received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service from the Queen in an announcement on her official birthday on 2nd June. The certificate and QAV crystal for this award will be awarded later in the year by the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire. Well done to all those volunteers who have contributed so much over the years to this amazing museum.

Your Majesty (I am sure she will read this) another hidden gem of the area is the Pateley Playhouse also run by volunteers which has brought so much enjoyment to people with its fantastic plays often written by local people.

Last week, a coach tour who came to Pateley Bridge among other places visited our shop. The visitors were people from Australia, Japan, America and the Netherlands. Talking to them they told me they had visited most parts of this country but all said that Pateley Bridge was the most attractive and best decorated place they had been to on their travels.

Further recognition has also been given to the area with Welcome to Yorkshire who organised the recent Tour De Yorkshire which came through the area shortlisting the land art created by Studfold at ‘Cote De Lofthouse’ in a competition to find the favourite piece from the race route over that weekend. You can vote online here http://letour.yorkshire.com/landart to help the area receive recognition.

On the day this article comes out of course it is voting day for the General Election, but more importantly it is the day when BBC Radio 4 Ramblings with Clare Balding is broadcast at 3pm.

I say more importantly as I am featuring as one of the characters who accompanies her on the Nidderdale Way stage between Bewerley and Birstwith.

We are accompanied by my son Alexander and his partner Kirsty Shepherd.

I was going to say ‘myself and’ …. but this weekend a regular customer at our shop Ginger Bright told me that his wife Marion hates it when I write it as ‘myself and’ so corrected grammar this week – thank you Marion!

I would add that the radio programme and what I say may come as a surprise to many. As they say to those who don’t know my background ‘the cat may well be out of the bag’.