Trade and Industry

A mineA mine, © W.R. Mitchell
and the University of Bradford Special Collections.

The story of the Dales is also a story of Trade and Industry.

Henry Cox's meticulous descriptions of Mill life at the turn of the 20th century dramatically challenge the view of Settle and Giggleswick as sleepy agricultural towns. They were hubs of activity with many local shopkeepers, traders and businessmen, as Thomas Dugdale's descriptions of scrap merchants, beauty parlours and haberdasheries makes clear. Entrepreneurs such as John Delaney and Hector Christie made their wealth in paraffin and cotton, respectively, and Hector Christie later bought large estates in Jervaulx out of the large profits he made from cotton.

Kit Calvert began work on a farm and worked in Hawes auction mart before starting the Wensleydale Creamery. His descriptions of the workings of the Milk Marketing Board and associated businesses are fascinating. Anne Margaret Mason's description of the Iveson family, who set up the auction mart at Hellifield and also ran Hawes auction mart, shows that, just as today, businesses could cover a large geographical area. There are references in many of the recordings to the trade in cattle between Scotland and Yorkshire, moved either on foot or by rail.

The stories in these recordings tell a tale of the changing nature of the Dales, as the area became less isolated and more dependent on outside trade. Sam and Peggy Dyson catered for Pennine walkers visiting Haworth Moors, to supplement their income from their smallholdings. Yet John Geldard noted that increased visitors to the Dales resulted in more dry stone walls being eroded as visitors took stones from the walls. Sam Dyson also records his fears that increased visitors to the Dales would result in damage to paths and fields. These issues are still relevant to the Dales today.

Theme: Trade and Industry.