A Week in the Life column with Keith Tordoff

Historian Liz Dent with her grandson Matthew.
Historian Liz Dent with her grandson Matthew.

No geese stories this week although I could have written about sheep on the road – maybe not! Isn’t Pateley Bridge looking fantastic with its banner, bunting and magnificent floral displays.

Harrogate Borough Council its officers and gardeners on the ground (pun) have been doing a great job and they clearly have pride in what they create. You just have to look at the borders, hay baskets, troughs and tubs they have planted out.

Looking across from the Spar they have created a wonderful floral feature; a fountain of flowers. Talking of the Spar as usual they have got into the spirit of things putting up trestles in their window and hanging flowerpots of herbs from it.

Very original and I am sure it will impress the judges from Yorkshire in Bloom who are coming to judge Pateley Bridge’s entry in the competition on Monday 10 July.

Karen Mills from HBC joined me last week to walk the route I have planned for the judges and was most helpful as she has been throughout with ideas to try and help Pateley Bridge be winners.

I left last week’s column with a bit of a tease about a special VIP who would be welcoming the judges to Pateley Bridge and I can reveal it is Air Commodore Simon Bostock who is a Deputy Lieutenant for North Yorkshire who represents the Queen at such occasions, quite an honour.

Talking of digging (another pun) local historian Liz Dent accompanied by her grandson Matthew called in to see me to discuss the progress she is making with her book ‘Clipped Wings’ which is being printed as I write.

The book is about her Father’s service in the RAF during the war and will be launched at the Pateley Bridge 1940s weekend where Liz will also give talks at the Memorial Hall about the book.Her grandson Matthew had certainly got into the spirit of things wearing an RAF hat which I believe had belonged to his late great grandfather.

The Pateley Bridge 1940s weekend at the end of July really creates a wonderful atmosphere and camaraderie.

Others are still discovering us including a lady and her children who called in at our shop while visiting from the US. Our shop had featured on American TV and while planning their first visit to the UK and putting an itinerary together discussions took place within the family where they should visit while in this country.

The London Eye, castles in Scotland, but the children were adamant Pateley Bridge had to be first. I wonder why the children chose Pateley Bridge!

Another group I chatted with in Pateley Bridge were from Dubai. They said they had heard about Pateley Bridge winning The Great British High Street Award and had decided it should be on their itinerary whilst visiting this country.

People closer to home are also coming to Pateley Bridge, a businessman sent me an email to say he had been listening to BBC Radio 4 Ramblings with Clare Balding walking the Nidderdale Way. He said he had not been to Pateley Bridge for the last 18 years but following listening to the programme he thought he should visit.

He said he was surprised how nice everything looked compared to the last time he had been. He will be back again.

Oh the power of the media – talking of which I will tell you more next week about my ongoing discussions about filming this year’s Pateley Bridge 1940s weekend for a BBC1 programme – teasing again until next week.