Obituary W. (Bill) R. Mitchell, MBE, Hon. D. Litt. (1928 - 2015)

 North Craven 
 Heritage Trust 

The Craven Herald item of 22 October 2015 and the Daily Telegraph report of 13 October provide much detail of Bill’s life as a journalist, editor, historian, outdoor enthusiast, Methodist lay preacher and raconteur. His legacy of books, photographs, articles, interviews on tape and stories about local people and Dales country life is outstanding. His personal qualities of generosity, modesty and warm-heartedness with a lively sense of humour endeared him to all his acquaintances, friends and colleagues.

From 1981 to 2002 he supported the North Craven Heritage Trust by organizing an Annual Field Day - rambles by car. On every occasion he led a group of members into our local dales to explore countryside, old houses, places of worship, mines, watermills, smithies, almshouses, castles, farms, schools, folk museums, abbeys the list is endless. He accompanied his trips with useful informative notes about what was to be seen and explored. Since he knew everyone in the Dales we had access to many private places - giving those who enjoyed these events an insight into Dales country life which otherwise would have escaped our attention.

Bill was President of NCHT from 2004 to 2008 and made a point of attending committee meetings to help make up the programme every year. He was so much in demand by local groups that pressure on his time became somewhat overwhelming so we are grateful that he lent us his support as President for these years.

For the record the Field Days for which we have notes are as follows:
         1987 Swaledale lead Mines
         1990 Upper reaches of the Eden
         1991 Westward into Bowland
         1992 Treasures of Upper Lunesdale
         1993 Wharfedale
         1994 Wensleydale
         1995 More Wensleydale
         1996 Swaledale
         1997 Nidderdale
         1998 Upper Eden and Mallerstang
         1999 Ribble Valley beyond Clitheroe
         2000 Lunesdale
         2001 (Foot and Mouth epidemic)
         2002 Sedbergh and Upper Lunesdale and 21st anniversary with a cake!