OTLEY AND DISTRICT MEN’S FORUM
resident’s view of the Dales
22nd Oct 2009
From Rails to Dales was the path taken by our speaker Geoff Queen who has previously told us about his life as a Civil Engineer with British Rail. Today he recounted his life since his retirement to Wharfedale.
A resident of Kettlewell, he told us of the advantages and disadvantages of Dales life. Transport, weather and midges are the main drawbacks. It is wetter in the upper dale than Otley and the nearest conurbation is a thirty mile round trip. Community spirit is still strongly evident and there are numerous community activities in the dales towns with Grassington offering over sixty.
The geological structure of the dale has been the prime cause of the course of its development. Good grazing for farming, lead mining for the roofs of the Yorkshire Abbeys and sand and gravel quarrying all contributed to the population growth and decline. Today tourism is the main economic driver although this industry has not yet recovered to its pre Foot and Mouth level.
hotel in Kettlewell named Race Horse is said to
derive its name from “ Trace Horses” a name
given to the beasts used to pull wagons up Park Rash. And Kettlewell
is thought to be one of the first places in
also showed us numerous projected photographs of the dale showing the
variation in views changed by the weather and season, before he closed his
talk with a recitation of a poem about the small Hydro Electric plant.
to the inability of the previously booked speakers to come on Thursday 5th
November the talk will now be