Chairman's Statement

Roy Gudgeon.

As I write this report, it is a little over six months since I was elected Chairman at the Annual General Meeting held last October at Lawkland Hall, and since then I have been involved in the activities planned before my arrival.

I am sure that anyone looking at our programme realises that the North Craven Heritage Trust offers members varied and interesting events to suit all tastes, and it is my intention to continue with the same pattern, but as well to introduce various new schemes and ideas to further improve and increase our knowledge and understanding of the North Craven area. Looking back on the previous year, we again had an excellent recital given by the Leeds Parish Choir, three excellent talks, a superb concert given by Craven Camerata, and as usual a most enjoyable day out with Bill Mitchell. The attendance at Lawkland Hall for the AGM was almost embarrassing, as David Joy had to amend his talk, such was the unexpectedly high turnout that there was no space for projector or screen. No doubt the venue contributed to the high attendance, and our thanks are due to Mr & Mrs Giles Bowring for entertaining us so well, and for providing a tour of the Hall. 1995 ended as usual with an excellent party at Harden and our thanks are extended to Enid Parker and her willing helpers for making the evening so enjoyable. Throughout the year the monthly walks were well supported and Phyllis Houlton deserves our grateful thanks for making matters run so smoothly.

This year started well, on the musical front with a good audience at St John's Church, Langcliffe for the recital given by the Leeds Parish Choir, to be followed in April by a further excellent concert given by Craven Camerata at St Mary's Church, Ingleton. The talk by Kevin Lancaster, at Ingleton in March, did not attract a large gathering, but provided an interesting evening for those who attended. Looking ahead, in July we have Bill Mitchell's day in Swaledale and in September we welcome Val Leigh, who will be giving a talk on the Treasures of Craven Churches at Watershed Mill, Settle. This year our AGM will be at Cappleside, Rathmell and we look forward once again to a good attendance. As usual our party will be held at Harden and I anticipate seeing another good turn out. Running throughout the year are the very popular Sunday Walks: they are to be recommended for those who are not familiar with them, and attract a strong following.

As we appear to have somewhat of a lull in the summer, I thought it would prove popular to arrange a series of evening walks around some of our local areas, to show members the local history. Accordingly evening walks have been arranged for Giggleswick, Bentham, Long Preston and Langcliffe; details will be found elsewhere in this journal. It is to be hoped that this new initiative will prove popular, and if so it will be continued next year. The North Craven Heritage Trust is starting an archive section, as we believe that being a local organisation, we should ensure that details relating to local history are kept in the district and made available for members living in the area. As a start we are attempting to build up a record of the North Craven Heritage Trust's journals and publications, but there are many gaps particularly in the early years, and if anyone has old issues they would like to donate they would be much appreciated. Likewise if anyone feels that they could present any old documents or books of historical interest these would be gratefully accepted. This would ensure they were available for reference and for future generations.

I look forward to the future with confidence as I believe we have an excellent programme, though I would wish for better attendance at some events. If you have any suggestions to improve the Trust or new ideas which you think would benefit it please let me know. My thanks go to all the committee for their hard work. Without the dedication of the many people who are involved with the Trust we could not function, and I am sure you all appreciate their efforts.