The Settle and District Civic Society produced a first news sheet in 1971 and continued to 1975. In 1976 and 1977 it was called the Settle and District Civic Society News and included four special editions to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977. Then in 1978 the title was changed to the North Craven Heritage Trust News which continued to 1991 with about two issues per year. All these (with a few gaps) are now available to view on the NCHT website (see Archives). In 1992 the format changed to that of the present NCHT Journal.
Some items of note are worth recalling to mind. Alan Bennett was the driving force and was the first president of the Civic Society.
1976: The Settle and District Civic Society News was issued as a printed version with black and white photographs. It noted the Royal visit of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester in 1975. The bridges at Thornsgill on the Horton/Ingleton boundary and Sheepwash at Rathmell were the subject of restoration.
1977: Tree planting in the National Park was a controversial issue. The old bridge at Horton was to be widened to take heavy quarry lorries and Halton Gill bridge was also to be widened. New draft plans for National Parks were to be considered.
A museum had been proposed as a Jubilee project. The Settle Museum project was temporarily housed in Twisleton’s Yard in the New Barn. The derelict building in Victoria St, now known as Currier Cottage, was bought by the Settle and District Civic Society’s Building Preservation Trust in 1976. The Manpower Services Commission paid for the labour worth £9000 and an appeal was made to raise £5000 towards conversion costs to add to Society funds of £2000. In July 1977 the Museum of North Craven Life moved to the restored building in Victoria St. The Curator was Mrs Anne Read. The final cost was £19,700. The Building Preservation Trust had been set up as a charity but also as a limited company to allow operation on a trading basis without endangering its charitable status - to enable building purchase, renovation, capital fund raising and renting activities. The Museum Committee of the Civic Society was responsible for running the museum.
The previous museums in Settle were the Pig Yard Club, the British Speleological Association, the Giggleswick School museum and the Museum of Settle Naturalists Society.
1978: The Settle and District Civic Society changed its name to the North Craven Heritage Trust in association with the Building Preservation Trust.
1979: The Economic Forestry Group wished to plant 3000 acres of conifers on South House Moor. This scheme was opposed. Hellifield Reservoir and the Giggleswick and Settle bypass were under discussion. A Museum Appeal was made for an extra £4000.
1980: The Hellifield Reservoir idea was dropped. North Craven Heritage Trust offices in Chapel Square were used rent-free as the gift of Mr and Mrs Milnthorpe.
The Building Preservation Trust purchased the three-storey derelict building next to the Victoria St. Museum with money borrowed from the Architectural Heritage Fund. The Pendle Heritage Centre in Barrowford appointed John Miller as the full time director of the Trust. Conservation was then recognized as a business for which professional expertise was increasingly important. John Miller continues the operation of the North Craven Building Preservation Trust in Settle.
1982: The Museum of North Craven Life became a member of the Yorkshire and Humberside Tourist Board. The Ribblehead viaduct repair and possible closure of the Settle-Carlisle line was discussed.
1983: The Museum Appeal for £5000 launched in 1977 was reached and the appeal closed. An appeal for £500 was made to restore the Long Preston water pump at the almshouses.
1984: Water pump restored at a cost of £570 - a diagram of the system shown.
1985: The NCHT walking group was formed with Phyllis Houlton and Mary Farnell leading the first walks. Walks of 5 to 6 miles were arranged once a month, visiting in turn all the parishes in the Trust’s area, as a means of keeping people in touch with each other.
The NCHT Historic Churches Fund was set up to support restoration work on churches and chapels built before World War I.
The property 6/8 Chapel St was bought by the Building Preservation Trust to house the Museum, with the Victoria St building being converted into two flats. Manpower Services Commission provided the labour using local craftsmen. A loan of £40,000 was obtained from the Civic Trust Architectural Heritage Fund and a grant of £15,000 from the Historic Buildings Council. The total cost was £75,000. The Trustees of the Building Preservation Trust, the NCHT and the Museum Committee met to discuss management of 6/8 Chapel St and the formation of the North Craven Heritage Centre.
An appeal for £10,000 was launched. Funds were raised with an Antique Auction and other ventures. Museum operating costs were to be met by the NCHT rather than the Museum Committee.
1989: The Building Preservation Trust acquired Croft Barn on Duke St. for conversion to housing for local and first-time buyers (the gift of Dr P.M.Douglas). Membership of NCHT was 475. Grants were made by the Countryside Commission (£1600), Craven District Council (£600) and NCHT (£1000) for refurbishment of the Museum entrance on Chapel St. A satellite dish installed on the Shambles was queried concerning planning permission.
1990: The Building Preservation Trust purchased Undercliffe, a three-storey Victorian house on Duke St., adjacent to Croft Barn, for conversion into two flats and resale to recover costs of Croft Barn conversion.
Membership campaign and Endowment Appeal to support the North Craven Heritage Centre. A count was made of quarry lorries passing through Settle. The Newsletter to be replaced by an annual Journal.
1991: Last NCHT Newsletter. The NCHT News had been published twice-yearly for 13 years.
1992: First NCHT Journal. Edited by Mrs Amanda Hobson and Mr E. M. J. Miller. President Alan Bennett.
1993: Maureen Ellis became Journal Editor with Amanda Hobson.
1994: Bryan Braithwaite-Exley became Chairman of NCHT following Alan Bennett who held the role of President for 24 years. Discussion took place concerning the management of the Museum of North Craven Life and transfer of running costs responsibility for the Museum and the Museum Committee to the Building Preservation Trust from the North Craven Heritage Trust.
Harold Foxcroft joined Maureen Ellis as sub-editor of the Journal.
1996: The Folly Hall and South Ranges were purchased by the Building Preservation Trust with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Folly housed the Museum of North Craven Life from 2001 after restoration.
2000: Maureen Ellis and Harold Foxcroft editors of the Journal.
2010: The Building Preservation Trust acquired the North Range with a loan from the Architectural Heritage Fund.
2011: Appeal was launched for funds to repay the AHF loan and set up an endowment fund.