Chairman’s Report

Michael Southworth
 North Craven 
 Heritage Trust 

Welcome to another issue of our annual Journal which is such a flagship for the Trust, and so ably compiled and produced with the devoted endeavours of our editors, Maureen Ellis and Mike Slater.

Last year I reported on a number of changes we were planning, but which had not yet been completed. One, in particular, was the launch of a new website. This is now ‘up and running’ and if you have not yet visited it I urge you to do so. It is a great source of historical data, including back issues of the Journal, and a source of news about coming events.

In recent years our membership has been gradually declining. Perhaps inevitably, we are a group with an above average number of retirees, so it is not unexpected that we lose a certain number of members each year. Your committee is therefore conscious of the need to constantly promote the merits of joining the Trust to replace the leavers. As part of this programme we staged a two week display in Booths in Settle, before Easter, to draw attention to our activities. It will be interesting to see what impact this may have made.

If existing members could find ways to recruit new members - friends or newcomers to the area - every now and again, it would not be difficult to increase our membership substantially. There is no better way than a personal approach and recommendation.

We have taken two initiatives in recent months to support ‘heritage issues’ in Settle. The first of these has been to offer to run a fund-raising coffee morning in support of The Folly Appeal. I hope many of our members will come and support this event, which will be held on Saturday 15th September at The Folly.

The second initiative has been to give financial support to, and have representation on, the Settle Area Regeneration Team (StART). This group’s activities are concerned with reinvigorating Settle as a thriving market town community. Your committee believe that it is important that our views are represented on this group insofar as they affect the many historic features of the town.

Last summer we held a new musical event by staging a ‘Picnic-in-the-Park’ at Coniston Hall. About 90 people came to this, many of whom were not members of the Trust, and it was both very enjoyable and financially successful. We have decided however that we cannot repeat the event this year for fear of clashing with the 500th Year musical celebration by the Halle Orchestra at Giggleswick School on 30th June. Next year we will look again at incorporating a summer musical event in our programme.

Finally I commend to you the Trust’s programme for the year. We have the usual broad range of evening lectures and interesting outings and walks.