The Nidderdale Voices column with Jerry Anderson

Jerry Anderson.
Jerry Anderson.

It is an honour this week to talk to the Harrogate and District Community Volunteer of the year Jerry Anderson. We are delighted to hear that as a result of this award Jerry and Carole were invited to a Royal Garden Party.

Born in Oxford, Jerry joined the Royal Navy at 16 as an Artificer Apprentice and completed a five-year apprenticeship.

Jerry Anderson and his wife Carole were invited to a Royal Garden Party.

Jerry Anderson and his wife Carole were invited to a Royal Garden Party.

By 22 he had risen to the rank of Petty Officer and was drafted into submarines, serving on HMS Courageous, a nuclear-powered submarine, for four years. After returning to General Service he served on HMS Dido before being commissioned. After officer training, he served in Type 21 frigates and first came into contact with Nidderdale in 1988 when he joined HMS Forest Moor as the Engineer Officer.

A posting to the NATO HQ in Lisbon followed where Jerry and his family lived for three years. On return to the UK, they decided to settle in Darley as they had been so happy at Forest Moor.

He retired from the Navy in 2000 as a Lieutenant Commander. Carole worked as a Community Nurse in the dale for nine years.

Describe a typical day

There are all the usual things to do such as gardening, dog walking and looking after our grandson. Time on the computer is spent planning activities. Tuesday evenings and one Saturday morning a month are spent in Ripon where Carole and I run clubs for adults with learning disabilities. I became interested in doing this work because my sister had Downs Syndrome.

We are always looking for volunteers. It was whilst taking part with these clubs that I first met and became friendly with Chris Stark. It was my Naval uniform that Chris wore at his special wedding ceremony.

In Darley, I am a volunteer driver for the Lunch Club and serve as a Reader and Sidesman at Christ Church. I was a volunteer with the Darley Heritage Group and also for the AONB First World War project documenting names on memorials.

Being a Freemason and Charity Secretary of the Vale of Nidd Lodge in Pateley Bridge, I am very proud of all the charities and local good causes that we have supported.

I always seem to have an ongoing project.

I have just finished renovating the engine of a Morris 1000 and have now turned my attention to restoring a wind-up gramophone.

What would be your perfect day out?

Perhaps it is my Naval connections, but for an actual day it would have to be Whitby. As well as it being a port, all the associations with Captain Cook fascinate me. For a longer holiday we try to visit our daughter in New Zealand for a month every year. Our two sons and grandchildren live locally.

What is your favourite part of the dale?

You see the dale in all its beauty from Two Stoops. When we have visitors this is the place where we always take them.

What is your favourite Nidderdale business?

Definitely Todd’s. I go there for all the bits I need for my projects and DIY.

What is the biggest change you have seen in the Dale?

Far too much house building. It is changing the concept of the AONB.

What makes Nidderdale special?

Beautiful countryside which we must make sure is not spoiled.

What is the one thing that you would change?

The new houses being built are large and very expensive and beyond the range of young couples. It is unbalancing the Dale. I would like to see carefully planned and placing of some starter homes and a break on indiscriminate building.