Looking back over last year's programme, I believe that we have managed to provide items to interest all tastes, and this year I am sure we have been able to maintain the high standard with another varied list of events.
We were extremely grateful to Mr and Mrs Chris Weston for allowing us to use their home at Cappleside for our AGM, which was well attended, and those present heard not only an interesting talk on Cappleside itself by Chris Weston, but details of the successful lottery application for "The Folly" in Settle, given by John Miller. In December we again had a most successful party at Harden, Austwick which was well supported and for many signals the start of Christmas festivities.
On the educational front we had three excellent talks on "Historic Population Studies", "Historic Landscapes in the Newby Area" and "The Treasures of Craven Churches". These lectures should have attracted larger audiences, and I hope that the three lectures that have been arranged for 1997 will appeal to our members. The lectures will take place this year at Long Preston, Ingleton and Settle so giving members from all parts of the district a chance to attend without a lengthy journey. The three talks chosen are "The Leeds and Liverpool Canal", "North Craven from the Air" and "Exploring the Dales". The three speakers are well known and are sure to provide an interesting evening.
Last year our decision to arrange four local evening walks around different parts of the area was an outstanding success. Many people enjoyed the opportunity to find out more about Giggleswick, High Bentham, Long Preston and Langcliffe. This year we are visiting another four areas, Settle, Austwick, Kirkby Malham and Ingleton, and these informal walks are an ideal way to find out more about the locality.
Our thanks go to Bill Mitchell, who once again provided a large outing with a most pleasant day out in Swaledale. As well as providing many interesting places to visit, he also managed to pick the hottest day of the year, and even with the attentions of the RAF it was a marvellous day out. We look forward this year to another interesting trip in July to Nidderdale. Throughout the year the numbers attending the monthly walks have been growing, an indication that members enjoy the opportunity to see different parts of the Craven area, on a friendly and informal basis. The walks are usually about five miles or so and last some two to three hours depending on the weather and time of year.
At the beginning of June, we have arranged a special Archaeological and Historical ramble in the Grassington area, it is certain to be interesting, and if there is a large demand for this type of activity, then we shall ensure that similar events are included in our programme for future years. It seems a long way off, but we are fortunate that this year our AGM is again being held in a local historical house, and we are most grateful to Mr & Mrs Robert Bell who are allowing us to have our meeting at Langcliffe Hall in October, when apart from the usual business, we have a talk on "Lancaster and the African Slave Trade" which should ensure a good attendance. Our membership is increasing, though I would naturally like to see it higher still, and I feel certain that the North Craven Heritage Trust is able to provide an interesting and varied programme. Whilst we concentrate our efforts on the social and educational side, we are aware that some local activities require from time to time financial assistance; this part of the Trust's brief is always under consideration and a couple of applications are under review at the present time.
The present state of affairs could not have been reached without the support of your committee, and I am most grateful for all their help and experience over the past twelve months. Sadly 1996 has seen the loss of many good friends of the Trust. Both of our Vice Presidents Mr J Brassington and Dr E Buckle died during the year, and we also lost two of our committee members, Michael Sykes and Joe Shevelan. It is due to their efforts that we have managed to reach our present position, and we continue to remember and be grateful for their past help and assistance. After many years on the Committee Phyllis Houlton and Enid Parker decided to "retire", and I thank them on your behalf for many years of devoted service. I welcome to the committee this year Joy Morgan, Jill Sykes and John Chapman who I know will bring their knowledge and experience to the activities of the Trust. I again look forward to another successful year and hope to see as many of you as possible at our various events.
RGK Gudgeon Chairman