Life’s blooming good. I have met and spent time with some lovely people in the last few days. Jo Rider from Harrogate Borough Councils Park and Garden department came to Pateley to talk with me about the Nidderdale Chamber of Trade (of which I am Chairman) entering the town in the Yorkshire in Bloom competition.
Pateley Bridge was entered in the competition last year and the town were awarded Silver Gilt, missing out on Gold by only three points.
Jo had come to chat about how Harrogate Borough Council can support Pateley Bridge in its bid. Jo provided pointers which will help us to cover the requirements of the criteria which the judges look for when awarding points in the various categories of the competition. Jo will help coordinate the departments (HBC) gardeners who always do a fantastic job of planting out the various borders around Pateley Bridge.
My meeting with Jo took place at Just Delicious in Kings Court just off the High Street. The courtyard looked amazing last year when the judges from Yorkshire in Bloom came and I know they were impressed not only with its floral displays but also with the refreshments they were provided with courtesy of Donna and her team. I must mention that Just Delicious are currently finalists in the Cafe of the Year competition being run by this newspaper.
You still have time to vote for them so please fill out the coupon from inside the paper and send it off.
I was interviewed live on BBC Radio York at the beginning of this week.
The interview was part of a discussion about High Street’s around the country and the amount of shops and restaurants closing resulting in empty premises. I was proud to be able to say that fortunately Pateley Bridge are not in that position.
I was able to say that without wishing to sound over confident Pateley Bridge are bucking the trend in not having empty High Street shops. The interviewer asked how Pateley Bridge was achieving this.
I said that we have lots of fantastic independent businesses unlike many High Streets where there are lots of chains or brand known coffee shops.
I continued to explain that the businesses in our area work hard to offer products and a level of service that has been lost elsewhere. I of course said that businesses are fortunate to be supported by the local community and that through innovative initiatives the area attracts lots of visitors.
I said that the visitors who spend their money whilst in the area are essential to the long-term sustainability of businesses in and around Pateley Bridge.
It is wonderful to be able to be positive and not all doom and gloom.
Another warming story in the midst of the cold of the snow this week was one on the BBC news. The story revisited John Hesp an amateur poker player from Bridlington who won two million pounds at a poker tournament whilst on holiday in Las Vegas last year.
Mr Hesp’s story attracted the attention of the world’s media and when interviewed he somewhat surprised everyone when he would be going on holiday to his static caravan at Pateley Bridge.
A year on and as good as his word he told the BBC news that he has been to his caravan at Pateley. That man has good taste.
Talking of the BBC, Kirsty Shepherd sent in a fantastic photograph of a pheasant on a wall in the snow.
The photo went onto the BBC website – Pateley Bridge in the news yet again!