Last week I met up with Colin Speakman and Paul Chattwood from the Dales Bus Company. The company is a group of enthusiastic volunteers who work hard in providing bus services for areas where there is none.
I should add that the bus company is part of a charity and therefore not run as a commercial enterprise. None of the volunteers are paid and they are passionate about campaigning and lobbying for public transport services. You may have read about this organisation as they recently were instrumental in coordinating to help save the Number 24 Sunday bus service from Harrogate to Pateley Bridge which was to have been axed during the winter months.
The group, as usual, travelled by bus to come and meet me in Pateley to discuss the aim of providing a bus service to Pateley Bridge and Nidderdale on Sunday’s during the summer months.
The bus service would be used to bring people from the conurbations of West Yorkshire to Pateley Bridge and the top end of Nidderdale, a route and areas within Nidderdale that are not presently served by the regular bus service from Harrogate.
The problem boils down to finding the money to fund the proposed service. The West Yorkshire fundraising side is falling into place but we would need to match fund it. If the bus service on a Sunday during the summer could be put in place it would open up access to the countryside for people from West Yorkshire who might not otherwise be able to enjoy it – and there are benefits for businesses in this area.
The amount of money required to create the summer Sunday service from West Yorkshire is a few thousand pounds, which is a lot of money, but looking at the bigger picture it brings far greater financial benefits to Nidderdale. I am appealing for an individual, business or organisation to ‘get on board’ and help sponsor the service for a couple of years and be part of an exciting innovative project for Pateley Bridge and Nidderdale. We had our meeting at Just Delicious tea rooms and after paying for our meals the good people of the Dales Bus Company went to catch the bus.
I so admire the ethos and ethics of the people of the Dales Bus Company who work so hard to get public transport to areas where there is none. Talking of people I admire I was delighted to catch up with Jill Quinn the head of Dementia Forward the Ripon based charity following the fundraising efforts in Pateley Bridge in the lead up to Christmas.
Jill informed me that the Santa Parade down Pateley Bridge High Street had raised a whopping £1,400.
The money was raised from the sale of the Santa suits, collections on the day, the raffle held by Park View Stores, the bucket collection at Spar (Chandlers Retail) and a very generous donation from the Knaresborough Lions.
Martin Brock the President of the Lions and his team (including Santa in his sleigh) donated to Dementia Forward double the amount of money they raised on the day.
On Monday it was my wife’s birthday. I arranged to take her out for a birthday meal. We went along to the Ascot Hotel in Harrogate where we had a most enjoyable evening. Okay at this point I put my hands up, I was actually at the Hotel to give one of my famous talks to the Rotarians of Harrogate who had kindly invited Gloria and I for a meal beforehand.
I must say it was an enjoyable evening in good company (Gloria of course included!) with lovely food, well they do say it tastes even better when......well I am a Yorkshireman.