Nidderdale Voices – John Fort BEM

John Fort BEM.
John Fort BEM.

This week its the turn of Honorary Alderman John Fort BEM to face some gentle grilling about his life and some of his favourite things about the Nidderdale area.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

Nidderdale Plus is a hive of local activity.

Nidderdale Plus is a hive of local activity.

I was born in Colne, Lancashire, and attended Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School Blackburn.

I joined West Riding of Yorkshire police aged 18 and was posted to Pateley Bridge in 1971.

I retired from the police in 1993.

Elected County Councillor in 1997 and served for 20 years.

Describe a typical day for you.

At the moment I am busy adjusting to retirement.

I am catching up on work at home and still answering calls from people requiring my help or assistance.

I am working with family on various projects.

What would be your perfect day out?

A fine Monday at Nidderdale Show and a steam rally or two.

What’s your favourite part of the dale?

I have always enjoyed the whole Dale from the grandeur of Greenhow to the calm of Burnt Yates.

When returning after time away we always look from Menwith Hill Top and say ‘we are home’.

Which is your favourite Nidderdale business?

I have no particular favourites and always try to deal with all local business of which there are so many all with their own particular charm.

I admire the endeavour made to keep the area vibrant. Nidderdale Plus is a hive of local activity.

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in Nidderdale?

For many years Nidderdale was a rural and industrial area with several villages having Mills employing local people.

The area is now a tourist destination or a dormitory area for Harrogate, Leeds and Bradford.

The services provided by local volunteers are second to none.

What makes Nidderdale so special?

The people of all ages are appreciative and welcoming.

The children at local schools are well taught and very polite. Family values still rule in Nidderdale.

What would you say to recommend Nidderdale?

It has excellent walking, cycling, great cafes, restaurants, bed and breakfasts all serviced by a High Street with convenient easy parking facilities.

If there’s one thing you could change what would it be?

I would like to see local car parking facilities toilet provision and coach parking brought under local control in Nidderdale.