Queen's invitation for Dales town's Great British heroes

Pateley Bridge's amazing new and improved national profile has been recognised with a royal invitation from The Queen.

Thursday, 28th December 2017, 2:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th December 2017, 3:05 pm
Representing Pateley Bridge at Buckingham Palace next year - Kirsty Shepherd.

The town’s rejuvenation over recent years has been a real community effort across the board, especially in the Great British High Street competition.As a result, Pateley is now regarded at the highest level as a role model for not only how to revive the traditional high street and local business but also how to use social media to do it.Now two of the many community volunteers who have worked so hard to help transform Pateley Bridge’s fortunes have received an invitation to The Queen’s garden party at Buckingham Palace next year.Kirsty Shepherd, one of Nidderdale Chamber of Trade’s hardest-working volunteers, coordinates the Nidderdale and Pateley Facebook page on a voluntary basis, as well as the website for the area Nidderdale.co.ukShe also worked to have the Nidderdale AONB put on Google worldwide maps just before the Tour de France came to the Dales in 2014.The visit to Buckingham Palace won’t be the first time Kirsty’s voluntary efforts on behalf of Pateley Bridge have been recognised at the highest level.At the end of last month she was invited down to London to Twitter headquarters where she was given a presentation on the latest Twitter policy by Nick Pickles, head of public policy and government for Twitter.Tim Ledbetter, who runs Sypeland Outdoor shop on the High Street, has also been nominated for, and received, an invitation to Her Majesty’s the Queen’s garden party at Buckingham Palace in the May to June period next year.Over the last few years Tim has worked tirelessly to support events being organised by the chamber of trade. He has also spent many an hour walking around the businesses of Pateley Bridge and Nidderdale to provide information or garner support from them.While he is carrying out this voluntary role understanding and seeing the bigger picture, Tim has to close the door of his business.Keith Tordoff, chairman of Nidderdale Chamber of Trade, said: “I am delighted that the contribution Kirsty has made for Pateley Bridge and Nidderdale over the last few years has been a recognised. “Kirsty has been nominated and received an invitation to attend Her Majesty the Queen’s garden party at Buckingham Palace next year.“I am also delighted that the Nidderdale Chamber of Trade has received further recognition for another of its volunteers.”When Pateley Bridge was sensationally announced as the winner of the Great British High Street awards last year at Lancaster House in London, Kirsty also received an award for her use of social media on behalf of the town.She was also asked to contribute for an eBook being produced by the Department of Communities and Local Government with pointers to help other high streets around the country with simple steps to help regenerate them.Pateley Bridge’s elevation into a role model for other small towns across the UK follows a victory based not only on the evaluations of a panel of expert judges but public votes.Pateley scored very highly online out of the total of 500,000 votes cast.In the grand final, the town defeated Kirkby Lonsdale in Cumbria and Langport in Somerset in the prestigious competition’s village category.As a result, the town received £5,000, as well as digital training sessions and a plaque which was unveiled recently on the High Street.Nidderdale Chamber of Trade intends to capitalise on the good progress made by the whole community with a series of public events on the High Street next year.Keith Tordoff said: “I am absolutely delighted that two members of the Chamber of Trade have been recognised for the voluntary work they do for Pateley and Nidderdale.“The Nidderdale Chamber of Trade in 2018 is going to be working hard on building on the achievements of 2017.”

A royal invitation for Tim Ledbetter.
A royal invitation for Tim Ledbetter.