The Week in the Life column with Keith Tordoff

The wonderful flowers around Pateley Bridge. Photo taken by Kirsty Shepherd
The wonderful flowers around Pateley Bridge. Photo taken by Kirsty Shepherd

It is good to get away if only to appreciate what you have when you get home. I was in London for a few days last week after being invited to the launch of a Government initiative on technology.

Every time I go to London, I say never again but then some compelling reason crops up why I have to go.

Arriving back in Nidderdale there is sense of relief as the views across the dale open up and you know home is not far away.

Driving into Pateley Bridge the High Street looks so clean and beautiful with its floral displays.

It is not long now until the judges from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) arrive to judge it for the Britain in Bloom (BIB)competition. To be finalists representing the whole of Yorkshire in this prestigious competition is already a great achievement but to ultimately be crowned best in the whole country is what the community of Pateley Bridge are striving for.

Volunteers turn out week in week out on a Wednesday evening to improve areas around the village, last week weeding between the flags on the raised seating area where the Nidderdale Chamber of Trade fingerpost is sited – thanks Sarah Jones, Tracey Tinsley, Tim Ledbetter and Kirsty Shepherd. On Sunday evening I spotted Ann Brett placing additional flowers in the planters which are situated outside businesses on the High Street.

Ann is retired and lives just outside Pateley but appreciates where she lives and had bought the plants to put in the planters outside businesses to help fill them out and was returning on Monday morning to water them – an amazing lady.

Ann has also been involved with other local ladies (including Sarah) under the guidance of Patrice Lyth working on the amazing mosaic which is now complete and will be shown to the judges from the RHS as part of Pateley Bridge’s entry for the BIB competition.

Nidderdale High School broke up for the summer holidays but before they did Kirsty Shepherd and Tim Ledbetter went along on Wednesday afternoon to see how the after-school gardening club was progressing.

The produce the students had planted from seed in the poly tunnel had done really well and the students were able to take home broccoli, beetroot, broad beans, potatoes and spring onions.

Dr Binding who runs the after-school gardening club will be taking care of the remaining produce in the poly tunnel over the school holidays making it ready for when he RHS judges come to judge Pateley Bridge in the BIB competition.

Someone who knows his onions is ex Nidderdale High School student James Owen Thomas who when at the school was a founding member of the after-school gardening club. James is a talented artist who has very kindly and generously created a logo for the Pateley Bridge in Bloom groups entry for BIB.

James kindly agreed and the logo is being used on all promotional material for this year’s entry by Pateley Bridge.

James has recently exhibited his unique artwork at an exhibition in County Durham where he was interviewed for the regional BBC news. He was on the TV talking about his use of recycled materials in his artwork and the TV clip showed the Pateley Bridge in Bloom logo.

James, like all the other volunteers, do so to give back to a very special place appreciating where they live.

The streets of Pateley Bridge, unlike London may not be ‘paved with gold’, but I know where I would rather be!