Once again I am pleased to introduce this year's Journal, which as usual contains many interesting articles and information about this particular part of Craven.
This is the last time that I will be making this report as I feel that after seven years as Chairman it is time for a fresh face to take over and continue with the Trust's aims and objectives. 1 have felt it a privilege to represent such an important organisation, and I believe much has been achieved over this period.
The Journal itself has benefited from improved printing techniques and, produced under the care of Maureen Ellis and Harold Foxcroft, is eagerly awaited each year, for the many diverse and varied articles contained in it. Over the last few years we have published 'The Dated Buildings of Bentham', 'A Flora of Craven' and produced a handy leaflet, 'The Settle Town Trail', which is particularly attractive and useful to our many tourists and visitors, Each item has helped to document our local history. Particular thanks must go to Sylvia Harrop, John Chapman, Harold Foxcroft and Elizabeth Shorrock for an immense amount of work undertaken for these publications.
On the musical front, as I look back over those last seven years, our two annual musical events have always proved to be a popular attraction. The Choir of Leeds Parish Church has now sung in most of the different towns and villages in Craven, not only providing revenue for the host Church, but also giving much pleasure to so many people. Likewise the Craven Camerata, who hold their concerts in April, has delighted many audiences in different Churches since 1981, and during that time has raised substantial monies for the Church involved, as well as providing funds for our Historic Churches Fund. In particular our very special thanks must go to Sheila Haywood, who has been the leader and inspiration behind the Group, but who has now decided that the time has come to retire. Her concert at Hellifield will be her 'swan-song' Not only Sheila's, but all of the Camerata's efforts, have been much appreciated over the years, and we all have many happy memories of enjoyable evenings. We all wish Sheila well in 'full retirement'.
I have been delighted over the years to see an increasing number attending the regular Sunday walks, not only giving everyone the opportunity of seeing a fresh area, but also giving members the opportunity to socialise and become better acquainted. Likewise the 'Know your Area' walks during the Spring/Summer have proved popular, as sometimes it is easy to miss history on the 'doorstep'. Also it is promising to see that some of our afternoon events at special locations are attracting members in great numbers. It is good and satisfying to see such interest by our members. The Christmas Party over the years has always proved to be a popular event, and numbers attending are growing year by year. Once again I believe that with such wonderful food provided by the members, and with the entertainment, it has provided a good start to the festive season. For the past five years we have been fortunate in having the 'Nonsuch Singers' at our Christmas function, and they have always provided us with much memorable and lively entertainment. Our particular thanks must go to Alan Hemsworth, their leader who founded the Group some 10 years ago, but who has also decided to join the ranks of the retired! Everyone is particularly grateful for his and the Singer's efforts and for the pleasure they have given to so many people over the years.
Some 21 years ago Bill Mitchell (now MBE) agreed to lead an annual outing to different parts of Craven. We have had some marvellous days out visiting places we would not normally be allowed to see, but were able to visit due to Bill's various 'contacts' in the area. This July sees the final trip and we all are grateful for the hard work undertaken each year for our benefit. I hope we have a really good attendance for this special trip to the Sedbergh area.
Finally, 1 would like to thank everyone connected with the Heritage Trust for all their help and assistance over the last seven years. At times life has been hectic, but I have always been able to count on the full support of all of the Committee, and consequently to resolve any problems quickly. Last of all I would like to thank you, the members for all the help and friendship which both Sheila and myself have received over the years. With such good friends and members 1 am sure that the Trust will flourish for many, many years to come.