Week in the Life column with Keith Tordoff

Members of the Visit Harrogate team during their tour of Pateley Bridge.
Members of the Visit Harrogate team during their tour of Pateley Bridge.

Last week we had a visit from the new head of Visit Harrogate Richard Spencer. He was accompanied by Steve Patton, Tracey Morgan and local Bewerley resident John Light. The team showed their new leader Richard around Pateley Bridge the capital of the Harrogate district – only joking.

Moving swiftly on. Last week I went along to Bewerley outdoor pursuits centre where Martin Dunleavy and Paul Lambert were having a barbecue following their announcement that they were standing down from the Nidderdale scout group.

Both have given fantastic long service to the community and to the many local children who have been members over the years. It was a great evening with Martin cooking away, the only problem being the midges which were determined to attack me.

The Nidderdale Scouts now have a new leader Charlie a local girl who I only met briefly but I am sure she is going to be a fantastic scout leader for the group.

On Monday last week and the day of judging for Pateley in Bloom arrived.

Leading up to the judging there had been lots of hard work by the community and businesses. The judges from Yorkshire in Bloom came to Pateley Bridge on what was a gloriously sunny afternoon.

There was a magical mystery tour on the Pateley Bridge 1940s coach – our own very special secret weapon for such occasions.

The sight of this bus going up or down the High Street really helps create a nostalgic feel and atmosphere which works so well for Pateley Bridge. The bus took the party including our own local Deputy Lieutenant Air Commodore Simon Bostock who had kindly agreed to welcome everyone to Pateley Bridge on a journey to the adjoining parish of Bewerley. We were met at Bewerley by their Chairman Dan Fletcher. A great day with so many highlights and it will be written about in this paper with accompanying photographs. We have a long wait to find out how Pateley Bridge have fared. The results being announced in York on Tuesday 12 September this year.

Over the last week I have met many people in different situations and what was significant was that many of them were young people. I met Charlie the new lady who has taken over running the Scout group, Dan Fletcher the chairman of Bewerley Parish Council (autotype types Billy!) who contributed and helped organise Billy Parish Council’s part in the Pateley Bridge in Bloom bid. Nearer to home we of course have the wonderful Kirsty Shepherd who many of you will know and who gives such a massive amount of her time working for Pateley Bridge and Nidderdale in a voluntary capacity. Without Kirsty, her computer and social media skills I’m sure this area would not have been as well served in recent years.

Kirsty has literally put Nidderdale on the worldwide maps as if you remember she was the one who put the Nidderdale AONB on Google worldwide maps. We would have not won the title for Pateley Bridge in the Great British High Street Awards without her hard work and skills and I am sure she will have helped us towards an award in Yorkshire In Bloom this year.

The way forward is clearly to work and encourage young people from an early age to become involved in community projects and help develop their skills to be leaders at an early age.

After all there are enough of us oldies doing things for the community and I include myself in this that many of us lack the computer and social media skills that are now so necessary in today’s world.