Chairman’s Report 2018 Journal

John Asher
 North Craven 
 Heritage Trust 

For most of the past decade the backdrop against which our public life has played out has been ‘austerity’. Cuts to funding have meant that our councils and services have been reduced in scale or are operating under stressed conditions. This can severely impact our scattered rural communities as we have seen with the closure of Castleberg Hospital. Community action, in which very many of you took part, has reversed that decision.

Our heritage assets can suffer, especially when local planning authorities, with very limited resources, fail to identify risks to our communities and heritage in their plans or planning applications; or lack the resources to defend their plans against the deep pockets of developers. This is why the local planning dimension of our work remains vital. If you are concerned, as I am, please volunteer for your Committee.

One part of our heritage which has received worthy funding has been the Ingleborough area covered by the ‘Stories in Stone’ project. This has enabled the conservation, preservation, publication and display of a vast range of documents, collections, artefacts and archives. It has funded archaeological research with community involvement and broadened and deepened our understanding of times past. Our thanks are due to the many members who have taken part in organising and delivering the project. The new website provides a home for a very wide range of items of local historical value which is now being managed by Friends of the Dales (Yorkshire Dales Society as was).

Our grants for academic research continue to provide analysis and insights into the lives of past generations in North Craven. Charlotte Moody has just completed an excellent project on The wills of women in 16th century North Craven which will be published next year.

Settle and District Civic Society was founded at the end of 1968. As we approach our half-century I hope that we will each pause to take stock of why we love North Craven so much - and why it needs our commitment, care and concern for the future. We are very concerned to find extra committee members to ensure that NCHT exists for another 50 years. Please respond to our call for support.