Sunday, 26 January 2020

Pannal - what's going on

I went up to Pannal Memorial Hall yesterday as they were holding an Open Day for everyone to see the plans they have for the building and what plans.It is going to look so good and be a credit to the village with a new entrance bypassing the main hall leading to other rooms. A far cry from when we used to go and have our babies weighed there and then there was the Women's League of Health and Beauty where we used to to exercises to music by Peta on the piano and Eileen teaching us. Then we would go across the road to the bakery and cafe and have a lovely cake. Well we deserved it!! Bakery and cafe and shop no longer there. They were situated just up from the Post Office. Still in this area the road is now through from Pannal to Leeds Road A61 and already being well used. We were told that this road was going to be a lot smaller in width but no two cars can easily pass each other on it.A worry for locals as the post office is used by many elderly residents and also school children who will now have to cross the "new"road.  Also the old ghastly Dunlopillo building, a planning application has gone in to make it even taller and also built another 29 houses behind it on the land that was going to be light industry. We in Pannal fear that the application will be passed as it seems the Ward Bros get what they want. This land went to Public Inspection and it was ruled that it would be light industry. The Ward Bros (Forward) had already purchased it and would you believe it the Planning Inspectors judgement of light industry was ignored and housing was approved. Now how did that happen? Wonder if the parking area in front of the ghastly old Dunlopillo building has been purchased from the firm in Halifax that own it? How Harrogate Borough Council think they are going to solve the traffic problem here and in Harrogate I do not know with the number of houses they are allowing to be built and have they worked out that the residents will all have cars. We all have cars nowadays.
The police were in attendance yesterday as well as representatives from all the groups that use the hall, The Parish Council want to resurrect the Neighbourhood Watch Schemes and I said we in Main Street are covered and have been for many years. When the Scheme first started we had Ken Hall then Geoff Holberry now Trevor Hughes. Who are the others in other areas? If you know can you please let me or the Parish Council know.
The road works plus building works are driving us all nuts, Apart from the fact that one morning I could not see to get my car out as VANS were parked all down the road and I could not see round them. I was sitting in the car wondering what to do. Should I ask one of my neighbours to see me out when I heard a tap on the back window and a lady who was coming up Main Street came and said I see you are having problems can I see you out. THEY hopefully have found the gas leak and taken down part of my neighbours wall and dug up part of their garden. We are hoping they will put everything to rights and then go and taking all their stuff with them. What is happening on Church Lane I do not know but it does seem to have coincided with the building of houses.The point of all the traffic lights is making drivers who do not live here go so much faster when they see a green light. I was turning into my drive and I always stop and see if there is anyone behind me when this car shot through and tried to overtake me on the inside. We are all suffering these problems and thinking of getting notices printed and displayed in the car saying "We live here".
Cats are speaking to me now but I think I am on my last warning.

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Happy New Year Pannal

I had and I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year. All the family came here and I fed 15 of us for a week. Favourites like the Desperate Dan pie, large roast ham, potato scones and of course the turkey with turkey soup etc. I make a large Christmas cake, Christmas pud also large, 5 scone loaves,Ginormus trifle and of course the Clootie Dumpling. I believe I am conned into all this as the family say Oh but Mum you do it so well.
My bedroom is the biggest so I had in my room the two youngest grandchildren Bethany aged 7 and Daniel age 4. The first morning I woke up with two faces (very near my face) staring at me. Fortunately that did not continue every morning. Just after Christmas I went down to Cheltenham and then onto Bristol to stay with Richard and family and James and family., My other two children Susan and family in the Peak District and Michael and family in the Lake District. Really great for us all to be together. We have a family holiday every year - brilliant get together.

The workmen have descended on Pannal. Church Lane traffic lights and road dug up for a long way. Now is it a gas leak top of Main Street? More traffic lights. Now have a number of vans with flashing light a large spotlight and a large digger. This has been going on since yesterday afternoon.

Cyclists are now asking for a route through the Crimple Valley from behind St Robert's Church to Almsford Bank and they would like street lights to light their way. Why they cannot make a cycle path on the A61 up to Almsford Bank is beyond me. The pavement is very little used by pedestrians so that would be ideal.

A friend of mine who used to live on Crimple Meadows son came to visit Pannal after many years away and reported back to his Mum the traffic was awful cars parked everywhere.He is right. A couple of weeks ago I could not see to come out of my drive as there were large vans and cars parked all the way up and also on the other side of the road from me. I really did not know what to do as I could not see round them. Then I lady came over and said I can see you are having trouble I will guide you out. That was so kind.

Our book A Souvenir Guide to the Valley Gardens is doing very well and we have sold 1000 since October so we are going to have another run. Talking of books I have hundreds of slides of Pannal - Turn of the 20th century photos right through to now which I could use in another book. As I said my first two are out of print so I think another one is called for. Looks like Pannal Golf Course will not see me for a little while. I am doing a talk with slides Wednesday 15th January in St Robert's Church for Pannal Wives. This one is on Pannal but I have another talk in March of the Valley Gardens. I only do talks from October until end of March as golf and my gardens calls and of course walking.

Because I was away in Cheltenham and Bristol the cats Marble and Tigs are not speaking to me. They have taken (can't spell umbrage - ha -so let say they are very annoyed with me)

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Pannal and another book

I am going to write another book about Pannal. What it was like as a village with village shops, The two wars right up until now how it has changed. My other two books on Pannal are now out of print so it is about time we had another. I wrote the first ever books on Pannal. Over the years I have found out so much about this area. I am the Pannal historian and the Pannal Golf Club historian. It has changed over the years would we say for the better I will leave that up to you. I remember when Harpers had the farm on Main Street and the cows used to be driven up or down the village. One time they decided not to walk down the road but to come down through our gardens that was when none of the houses had a stone wall and a pavement our front gardens went right out to the edge of the pavement and we all had larch trees there until a compulsory purchase order by Harrogate Borough Council took part of our garden and felled all the trees in order to have the pavement and the road widened. There was also the time a vast swarm of bees descended on our houses and covered the front windows. The Queen bee was eventually found by the bee keeper and harmony was restored. Another event that happened when Rosedale was built people from the Main Street end together with people from part of Main Street after their evening meal used to have a walk down to the church and back again stopping to have conversations with each other. This of course was on summer evenings. This event only carried on for a couple of years but was very pleasant and a way of getting to know your neighbours.
So there we are a topic for next year. I find this village very interesting and I hope I can convey that to you all.
Tigs and Marble are trying to convey to me how fed up they are with this weather. Yes they are getting through and I agree with them.
Had our Christmas lunch at the Golf Club today which, as always, was a very nice "do"
Compliments of the season. Enjoy your Christmas with your families.. All my family will be here which is very lovely.A Happy peaceful and healthy New Year to us all.

Monday, 2 December 2019

Pannal at Christmas

The lights on the trees on Pannal Green are so lovely this year. Now on the two Christmas trees as well. It was many years ago when I was on the committee of the Pannal Village Society ( now gone) that I asked at one of the public meetings wouldn't it be great to have some fairy lights on the Green at Christmas. This idea was quickly taken up and the money came from a very generous donor. as had the money to put the two fir trees on the green from another very generous donor. I know who they are but no one else does as they wanted to remain unknown. Harrogate Borough Council's Bob Stirzaker (the lights man) could not have been more helpful and from meeting him that first time we became friends and my husband and myself and Bob and his wife all met up one New Year's evening at Ripon torchlight procession which we had been attending for many many years and we saw the New Year in with them and all the hundreds in Ripon Market Square. The lights that we had then were the lights that our parents had then came LED's cheaper to run and much prettier. Our old lights went outside Pannal Memorial Hall. Shall have to check this year to see if they are still being used.

The other night I went to a talk at the Royal Pump Room Museum for the launching of Malcolm Neesam's latest book. I have known Malcolm for a very long time and we are great friends. He dedicated his first book in the series Harrogate in 50 Buildings to me and also featured my being Chairman of the Friends of the Valley Gardens for 22 years. His second book was launched A~Z of Harrogate and I am in it also. Fame will not go to my head. Whilst at Malcolm's talk I sat next to Frances Williams a Pannal lady who surprised me by saying she read my blogs.

I have taken advantage of this dry weather (expect we all have) of clearing the garden. Thank goodness for a spell of dry weather and not the constant rain.So much clearing up to do but I have got on well with the front garden can tackle the back now which is much much bigger but probably wait until after Christmas for that. All my family coming up as usual four children, their partners and the grandchildren who are young enough to appreciate Santa coming. A magic time and I love it.A lot of work cooking (always have to do my own Christmas cake, big trifle and clootie dumpling they are musts) Everyone is so busy arn't we.

Have now sold 700 of a Souvenir Guide to the Valley Gardens, Harrogate. Did a walk and talk for a lovely lady Kerry Morrison whose daughter had a new heart and kidney 25 years ago and Kerry invited all who had had transplants to coffee and cakes at the Mercer Gallery, then our walk and talk round the Valley Gardens then lunch at St. Mark's Church. I did not know of this arrangement. Every Wednesday lunch is provided with foodstuff that all the big stores have not sold. It was amazing and all done by volunteers. In all it was a lovely day. A tribute to those very brave people who have had transplants.

If I do not manage to write another blog before Christmas I will wish you a very Happy Christmas and a Healthy and Prosperous New Year. Might see some of you at Carols round the trees on Pannal Green.

Monday, 11 November 2019

Pannal Query and news

Just heard that the Mill Pond (duck pond) is being cleaned. Diana Clark of Mill Cottage told me as she lives there and is very much involved. The leading light in this is, and sorry I do not know his name, but he has come to live by the pond and is from Argentine. This is amazing good news as Dunlopillo were a disaster for the wildlife round the pond especially the ducks with all the chemicals from Dunlopillo that leaked into the pond. The ducks egg were sterile. So pleased that Dunlopillo have gone as it was a well known fact at the Pannal Surgery on Leeds Road, in days of old, that children who had coughs and went to the doctor were treated for Pannal cough. A resident has a letter that stated it was felt that the source of the coughing was Dunlopillo.
Attended the Remembrance Day Service in Pannal Memorial Hall today and it was a lovely Service. I have been attending for many years.
The SouvenirValley Garden books are selling very well and we have another book signing at Waterstones on Saturday 23rd November. People are buying them as Christmas presents for their children who used to play in the Gardens but have now married and moved away from Harrogate. Also a number have been posted overseas to expats. The Souvenir Guide costs £5 and does not cost a lot to post.We also do talks on the Valley Gardens and also in the summer a Walk and Talk through the Valley Gardens starting at the Main Entrance up to the King Edward V11 Memorial Gates continuing up to the New Zealand Gardens past the Sun Pavilion through the Colonnades and back to where we started
Now my query is Mr Tom Wright who was Headmaster at Pannal Primary School (where the Scout Hut is now) during the Second World War. All the children he taught have never forgotten him and speak very highly of him. My second book Postcards from Pannal contained a number of his photographs which he gave me. He had two daughters. Does anyone know where they live? Do they have families? I would appreciate information please. My email address is
Once again no golf due to a waterlogged course. In between showers and any free time I have from the book I am gardening and picking up thousands of leaves. The cats are in. Enjoying their beds so winter must be approaching.
I have given my email address so if anyone wants to email me about anything to do with Pannal do so by all means. Love to hear from you.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Pannal weather and me

I know I am not the only one fed up with the weather. Seems like months since I last played golf never mind the gardening. I am rushing out between showers or even heavier stuff to cut down bits., only two more times for the garden bins to be collected. Think we all shall all be going to the tip as we can not manage to get everything in the bins.I have lived here over fifty years having lived in Harrogate where my parents lived and then when we got married in Kirkby Overblow. and I have never known weather like this but I can tell you we had a far better summer than the poor souls in Glasgow did. My life long friend lives there. We have known each other since we were four and Terry and her husband Bob came here in the summer and stayed at the Hotel Majestic which I wish I had not recommended as it was rubbish. I complained about the service we received sent 2 letters to the manager (named) and never had the courtesy of a reply. I digress as when they were here the weather was fantastic for a whole week. They said Is it always like this I lied and said Oh yes. Well we have to blow our own trumpet once in awhile eh?
Valley Garden books are selling amazingly well. Now in Weatherstones and we did a book signing in WH Smiths on Saturday which was fun selling books and asking do you want it signed? Does signing enhance or deface? Now there's a question.  Most people said yes they wanted a signed one .Pannal Post Office is selling the books but they are at the rear of the shop amongst magazines and comics. So if you want a book that is where they are. I am told they are useful Christmas presents. Parents sending them to children who used to play in the Valley Gardens but now married and living elsewhere in the UK. It really is a nice book for £5. I am a journalist and this is my sixth book but my co-author Jane this is her first. We had a lovely time writing it and sorting out the photographs to be put in. Many cups of tea were drunk and the occasional beer. Jane and I take people round the Gardens telling them the history of the buildings, the gardens and the plants and we also do talks Have a talk and a walk round the Gardens on the 20th for the Gift of Life Celebration Walk and the Mayor and Mayoress will be walking with us.. Did a talk last week at Southlands and had a chat to long time Pannal resident Pat Lamb. She is in her nineties and looked well.
I started this blog with a moan about the weather and I will end it with a cats moan about the weather.When they go out into the garden they look back at me as if to say what do you call this? Wet underfoot and overhead.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

Peace in Pannal

Quiet in Pannal. Could be because I am out and about selling books. A Souvenir Guide to the Valley Gardens. Steve has some in Pannal Post Office and they are in Harrogate.  It is selling tremendously well. A number of people are buying it for Christmas presents for their children that were brought up here but now scattered around the country but all have a fondness for the Valley Gardens.When friends come to stay with me I ask them where would they like to go and they say Valley Gardens and Bettys. Not surprising really. Our book is £5 a low price as we wrote it for the residents and tourists so that they can get as much enjoyment as we have and are still having. We - me 22 years as founder and Chairman of Friends of the Valley Gardens and Jane followed me for 9 years.
We had our Launch on Sunday and it was lovely. Hosted by CC Jim Clark we had a service in St Wilfred's followed by tea and coffee then off to the Sun Pavilion for lunch with local dignitaries, sponsors and guests. Finished up at Jane's house on York Road. Both Jane and I made cakes and scones and it was a very nice end to a lovely day. The event was great but the weather was not. Constant rain which seems to be par for the course. Our course Pannal has been closed as it was waterlogged.
My cats have not had me around so much but when they do they are so affectionate. See absence does make the heart grow fonder.
Have a look at the book you will really like it. Count the spelling mistakes. It was not Jane and I as not only did we go over our own work but we read each others, Printing errors and they have apologised and will correct them in our next run. There will be another print as it is proving to be a very popular book. First print 1,500. Might be more next time.