The Week in the Life column with Keith Tordoff

Pateley Bridge High Street was packed with Santas on Saturday.
Pateley Bridge High Street was packed with Santas on Saturday.
Share this article

Pateley Bridge is the place to be at any time of the year. At Christmas it is a truly special place to be with its traditional High Street. This year a record number of businesses have Christmas trees illuminated on the outside of their premises.

Late night opening last Friday attracted a record number of people who were part of a wonderful evening.

The atmosphere was buzzing giving businesses an opportunity to thank their loyal customers for their support throughout the year by offering them free drinks and nibbles.

Businesses reported fantastic trading and the Late Night had also brought them new customers.

The evening event was supported by the Dacre and Summerbridge Silver Band, Methodist Mike, Julia and their strolling minstrels including singers from Dementia Forward, Nidd Chorale and the Playhouse Choir. Santa walked around talking to children asking them what presents they were hoping to get for Christmas.

Saturday brought a Santa extravaganza to Pateley Bridge High Street and a carnival atmosphere. The Nidderdale Chamber of Trade organised event had aimed to sell 150 Santa suits to help raise money for Dementia Forward a registered charity based in Ripon.

The community got behind the venture and I am delighted to report that all 150 Santa suits were sold at £5 each. Along with collections by volunteers from Dementia Forward and the Knaresborough Lions, a total of £1,000 has been raised.

The sight on Pateley Bridge High Street on Saturday was amazing with Rudolf, a full-sized sleigh and 150 Santas all being showered with snow! The event was even covered on the BBC News website! The event was also for the unveiling of the winners plaque that Pateley Bridge had won for being the best High Street in the village category of the Great British High Street awards.

The good news is that the Government, due to an election and Brexit, have not held the competition this year so Pateley Bridge remains the best High Street not just in 2017 but also for next year.

David Kerfoot MBE, Deputy Lieutenant of North Yorkshire, had kindly honoured us with his presence representing Her Majesty the Queen to unveil the plaque.

The plaque is situated on the wall in the area where the blue police phone box is aka the tardis! David Kerfoot MBE DL, the good sport that he is, agreed to ride with Santa and an elf on his sleigh to get to the site on the unveiling. There is a bit of a theme going on with the deputy lieutenant and Pateley Bridge riding in vehicles.

When Mr Kerfoot came to Pateley Bridge earlier this year to the 1940s event he took to the wheel of a military Jeep with his wife Elizabeth as passenger.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang next Sir?

Pateley Bridge to some may be punching above its weight for such a small place.

With such fantastic community support (and the great support we receive from the Nidderdale Herald) we can be a Knockout every time. When Pateley Bridge were awarded the title of best High Street, the Nidderdale Chamber of Trade stated that when the plaque was officially unveiled, a carnival atmosphere would be created.

Pateley Bridge put on a show and welcomed in Christmas. It could only be in Pateley. Merry Christmas everyone!

I will wish you a Happy New Year in next week’s ‘A Week in the Life’ which comes out on Thursday 28 December.