Nidderdale Voices with Rev Mike Poole

Its remarkable how much the Nidderdale museum has to show of local history
Its remarkable how much the Nidderdale museum has to show of local history

Tell us a bit about yourself

I come from a family of seven who grew up in Castleford. Family was always important, and music and singing was a big thing in the home. Most of the time we had a house full, our mates always wanted to come round.

After art school I worked in Advertising and Display, for many years looking after a major client -a significant high street bank. Finally I responded to a call to become a Methodist Minister in 2002 after lots of encouragement from friends, family and my wife, Julia. Music continues to play an important part of my role as a Minister.

Describe a typical day for you

A good cup of tea, reading the set daily bible passage, catching up on e-mails and a bowl of porridge starts the day. No two days are really alike. I can be in a local school assembly first thing with my pal Revd Darryl, heading off for a church related business meeting, preparing for a worship service or doing some home visiting. Evening meetings feature regularly. Looking after five churches there is always something to do and never enough hours. If I can get to have a good cup of coffee and lunch with my wife, Julia then that’s good.

What would be your perfect day out?

Blue sky, brunch at any one of our fine cafe or tea rooms, and a walk with Julia. Time to do a bit of sketching perhaps along the way. Then relaxing later playing the guitar with the sun sinking down beyond Greenhow.

What’s your favourite part of the Dale?

During our many walks in Nidderdale we have experienced a great number of beautiful views. However, having walked up the old tramway, the view of Gouthwaite Reservoir, just beyond the old quarry near Wath Lane, never fails to impress. And also of course, the opposite view from Middlesmoor down the Dale.

Which is your favourite Nidderdale business?

That’s difficult. We have so many great independent businesses run by warm, engaging folks. They’ve each got a story to tell and they’ll always give you the time of day. I love that. It makes for a great community.

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

Having lived here for a relatively short period of time, my experience is limited. However, walking around Nidderdale you see lots of former mines and quarries and I imagine the area must have been very, very busy. I think it’s remarkable how much the Nidderdale museum has to show of local history. It’s fabulous for learning about the past. I’ve also enjoyed talking with characters whose families have lived here for generations, like the late Sam Hesselden who told me all about his time running up and down the Dale on his tractor, serving the farming families just after the war.

What makes Nidderdale so special?

The combination of people and the surrounding countryside. We can travel around the world but still look forward to coming home here.

What would you say to recommend Nidderdale?

Refer to my previous answer.

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

Improved transport services into Nidderdale. Not to be too reliant on the car would be a good thing - but I don’t relish the hills on a bicycle!