The Week in the Life column with Keith Tordoff

We were invited to a performance of Giselle at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden while in London.
We were invited to a performance of Giselle at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden while in London.

The last week in Pateley Bridge was fairly quiet due to the weather, which of course is to be expected at this time of year. The relative calm of Pateley Bridge I had been experiencing was soon to change when I visited London at the weekend.

Every time I have been to London I say that I won’t be rushing back any time soon. More of that in a moment as I want to digress slightly but still on the London theme to share a piece of trivia which would make a great quiz question. I am sure we all know who resides at number 10 Downing Street and who occupies number 11 but did anyone know who occupies number 9.

The answer is the Right Honourable Julian Smith MP our constituency member of Parliament who now occupies it following his recent promotion and appointment as the Government Chief Whip. As the properties in Downing Street are terrace houses I am sure if he runs out of sugar or milk for a brew he can always bob next door and ask for some.

Swiftly back to my visit to London where Gloria and myself had very kindly been invited to attend a performance of Giselle the ballet watching it from a rather grand box at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. Gloria has been to watch ballet performances before but this was my first experience and it will go down as a most memorable occasion in fine company.

Once we had been to see the ballet it was time to contend with the crowds and traffic of London which seem a million miles away from a High Street in Pateley Bridge.

The area around Trafalgar Square was filled with people watching some of the fifty artworks that make up the UK’s largest light displays, the Luminaire light festival. Unfortunately the large amount of people who had come to view the displays had brought all traffic to a total standstill resulting in frustrated car drivers sounding their horns and emergency vehicles sirens sounding with their flashing blue lights trying to weave their way through the stationery traffic.

It seemed like mayhem to Gloria and I but to Londoners I suspect quite a normal occurrence. It is always a wonderful feeling and one of palpable relief on returning from being away on seeing the brown and white sign at the side of the road displaying ‘Welcome to Nidderdale’.

Home at last thank goodness!

Gloria and I did venture out of the dale again on Tuesday afternoon to give a talk to the Harrogate Wives Fellowship – a Christian national organisation which was attended by 15 ladies.

We were met by the chair of the group Barbara and received a most warm welcome from all present and at the end enjoyed a cup of tea with them. The group kindly presented us with a cheque for giving the talk which goes to Dementia Forward a registered charity based in Ripon.

Dementia Forward are the nominated charity for this year’s 1940s event in Pateley Bridge held on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July and is organised by the Nidderdale Chamber of Trade.

Talking of the 1940s Weekend, last year’s event is to be featured on BBC1 this spring on a programme called ‘A1 Britain’s Longest Road’. Besides featuring a full size Spitfire plane being transported along the A1 to the event, there will be a lot of coverage of local man Norman Goostry. Norman is a WW2 veteran who was a tank driver during the war and had not previously talked of his fascinating background before. The airing of the programme before this year’s event is sure to be a PR boost for Pateley Bridge.