Interviewees

Bill Alderson

People often used nicknames in the dale where Bill Alderson lived, so he was also known as Big Bill of Angram or ‘Bill Up t’Steps’. It was said that if you addressed a letter to ‘Bill Up t’Steps, Yorkshire, England’, the postman would be able to find him!

Kit Calvert

Kit Calvert, saviour of Wensleydale Cheese in the 1930s, was recorded in 1979 telling the tale of his life, in his own words, as a young man before the First World War. The eldest son of a quarryman in Burtersett, Kit recalls his parents trying to raise a family of three on 18 shillings a week (90p). They survived by keeping their own geese and hens, although many of the eggs were sold to eke out their weekly income. Kit recollects asking his mother if he could eat a whole egg, rather than one half, to be told “Half an egg was good enough for David Lloyd George!”

Henry Cox

Henry Cox was born in 1884 in Derbyshire and moved with his family to Giggleswick when he was only four years old.

Philip Dawson

Philip Dawson's family were Lords of the Manor of Hartlington, and owned many properties in Craven including High Hall at Appletreewick, Hartlington Hall, the Folly in Settle, Hornby Castle, Langcliffe Hall, and Calgarth. Christopher Philip Dawson was born in Dawlish, Devon, in 1925, the son of Christopher Dawson, a famous catholic historian, and Valery Mills.

Thomas Dugdale

Thomas Dugdale was born in 1912 in Settle. His grandfather Javez Dugdale of Priest Hutton near Kendal was the first Dugdale to move into the Settle area having worked as an auctioneer and Methodist preacher in Burton-in-Holme and Lancaster. Jabez sold John o' Gaunt sheep dip to farmers in the Craven area and also did farm evaluations, gradually building up his own business. Thomas Dugdale’s father William Eddie married Gertrude Harger and they continued the family business.

Sam Dyson

Sam Dyson was born in 1913 and married his wife, Peggy Barker, in 1939. He farmed at Buckley Farm, Stanbury, near Top Withens, a farm made famous by Emily Bronte's classic novel ’Wuthering Heights’. Sam and his wife farmed shorthorn cattle. had an egg round and gradually built up their business and land from 4 acres to over 50 acres. They also catered for visitors who walked the Bronte way. You can see an image of a shorthorn to the right. 

John Geldard

John Geldard farmed for many years at the head of Malhamdale. He was born at Green Close Farm in 1919 in an area between Clapham and Bentham, near Ingleborough. When John was six weeks old the Geldard family—Thomas Henry, his wife Ellen and three children—moved to Malhamdale. Baby John was carried in a clothes basket softened by a blanket and grew up at Prior Hall Farm in Malham, near Malham Cove.

Marie Hartley

Joan Ingilby and Marie Hartley were historians who published many books about the Yorkshire Dales.

Marie was born in the town of Morley, close to Leeds, in 1905. She went on to study at Leeds College of Art then at the Slade School in London, specialising in wood engraving. Working with author Ella Pontefract, she used her skill to interpret Dales life.

After Ella died in 1945, Joan Ingilby joined Marie in writing books about the heritage of the area. Joan was born in 1911 at North Stainley, near Ripon, North Yorkshire.

John Keavey

John Keavey was born in Leeds in 1921 and grew up in York. He was a life-long member of the Cyclists Touring Club and the Youth Hostel Association. He was also a founding member of the Yorkshire Dales Railway Society and worked tirelessly to save the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Railway.

Annie Mason

Mrs Mason of Burtersett, born Ann Margaret Pratt, recalls how one Richard Metcalfe gained his nickname ‘Dickie Vocator’, attempting to raise a glass to Queen Victoria after an evening’s celebrations and mispronouncing Victoria as ‘Vocator’! Her grandfather, another Richard Metcalfe, managed the quarries at Burtersett. She recalls that many a town in Lancashire was paved with cobbles from Burtersett. Her detailed recollections of lambing, hay making, and domestic duties such as bannock-baking and cheese-making are captivating and bring a bygone age back to life.

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