10th June 1998 Leader - Roger Neale
Despite the counter attraction of TV coverage of the start of the World Cup on an evening which threatened (and eventually produced) heavy showers, there was a respectable turnout assembled outside the New Inn. A group of sixteen people, together with an unquantified number of midges and (later) four mallard ducks, were given a knowledgeable overview of the history and hidden corners of Clapham by Roger Neale, a former headmaster of the village's Primary School.
Walking up the village we were able to shelter in the porch of the restored Holme Barn whilst the worst shower passed. From there, passing the Old Reading Room, we came to the YDNP Car Park, formerly the kitchen gardens of Ingleborough Hall with remnants of the greenhouses still visible. We were privileged (with prior permission) to view the exterior of the Hall, now an Outdoor Centre for the Bradford Education Authority, and sample the extensive and unusual gardens. We also were told about, and viewed, some of the bridges and tunnels which were constructed to provide seclusion on the estate.
Passing the house in which Harry Scott started the (Yorkshire) Dalesman, we arrived at the Church and explored its deceptively large interior, after noting the original site of the Village School in the graveyard.
The name Farrer was threaded through the recounted history during the whole evening and we were delighted to meet the energetic Dr Farrer in person as we moved via the Estate workshop area to view the dam and the lake.
Returning down the opposite side of the village, we passed Arbutus House (the former Rectory), and Yew Tree Cottages, some of the oldest buildings of the village. Then on to the old smithy and to the Primary School, with the beneficence of the Farrer family again much in evidence.
As ever, the party had much detail drawn to its attention which would not normally be noticed. Two examples were the date 1776 on the gutter down-pipe hopper at the front of the New Inn, and the early quality control system of the blacksmith - using his forge door to test his new branding irons!
Again a most informative walk, followed by further discussion in the local hostelry.