The Nidderdale Voices column with Trevor Stoney

Trevor Stoney.
Trevor Stoney.

This year the sun has almost scorched the Dale but according to the local saying “Winter comes after Pateley” and by “Pateley” we of course mean The Show. One family that find show time particularly busy is, of course, the Stoney family who have been associated with the Show for very, many years. Now, Trevor is show director and due to take over as president in a year’s time.

He has not of course always held such a high position. He started as a sheep dog steward, moving on to a gate steward at Bewerley Gate.

Trevor Stoney, director of Pateley Show.

Trevor Stoney, director of Pateley Show.

Born and bred in the Dale Trevor went to Bridgehousegate School and then on to St Cuthbert’s, leaving school as soon as he could to start his real life in farming.

Throughout Trevor’s youth the local Young Farmers Club was his main interest and at 16 he was one of their youngest chairmen. Not surprisingly he met his wife Christine at a Young Farmers’ Dance in Knaresborough and together they now have four children.

Sheep have always been a special interest and shepherding up on the high Dale brought in money to supplement the farm income. Other jobs have also done this but they have always had some link to the land and our Dale. Now life is White Woods Farm, his family and the responsibility and management of Pateley Show Field and of course Pateley Show.

Describe a typical day

Day starts at 6am and after breakfast I go round my stock supplementing feed and checking for health problems.

The time of year dictates the work. It could be shearing, lambing or haymaking depending on the season. I always go home for lunch and like to be back if possible for my evening meal by 6pm. This is work on the farm but administration of the Show Field has to be slotted in.

What would be your perfect day out?

I really enjoy a day at the market. I like to go to Pateley and Skipton and sometimes Otley. Even if I have nothing to sell I like to see what other people have produced and what is on offer.

Prices vary from week to week and there is a knack in taking in stock at the right time... There is a great camaraderie among farmers. It is like a very special society.

What is your favourite part of the Dale?

If I am up by Two Stoops and look across the Dale towards Bewerley I know that I am not far from home.

What is your favourite Nidderdale business?

The administration of the Show Field is a business. People tend to think that the area is sacred to Pateley Show but so much goes on there besides that. Caravan rallies have to be booked. Special events have to be organised. These can range from a MG Rally, cycling events or a car boot sale.

Football and cricket also take part on the field and during slack periods the land is used for grazing sheep.

What is the biggest change you have seen in Nidderdale?

The trees have grown taller since my youth and they are now blanking off some of the beautiful views.

What makes Nidderdale special and why would you recommend it?

The friendliness of the people makes living here special and the unsophisticated rural life.

If there is one thing that you could change what would it be?

I am sure I will come in for a lot of criticism with this idea but I would chop down a great many trees. They block the views and take up land. I hate them.