Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Pannal Fell Silent

I was on my own do I watch the Queen's funeral or not. I watched some of it but it made me very sad. Not helped by the fact I had a Covid inj and I had no ill effects with any of them but this one felled me. I was so cold could not stop shivering and felt sick and that lasted for three days. 

I was thinking of our lovely Queen and I met her as Chairman of Friends of the Valley Gardens when the Sun Pavilion in the Valley Gardens was re-oped by her Majesty. Could curtsy them but probably fall over now if I had to curtsy. Also met (as he was then) Price Charles at the Pateley Bridge Show. He came over to speak to me and as he was speaking a person ran between us and grabbed his sleeve. Fortunately it was a Down's Syndrome boy who meant no harm but if it had been an assailant his security personnel were not quick enough to intervene. 

My Dad who was a Chief Petty Officer went to Buckingham Palace to receive his Distinguished Medal from King George V1. Dad joined the navy as a boy sailor and was in before and long after the Second World War. I have written a book about my Dad as he was a war hero and when he died he had a military funeral in Harrogate. He won his DSM as he was on duty on his ship the famous HMS Cossack and he noticed a mine had come loose on the deck and he ran to it and tied himself onto it and the rails of the ship. His watch was from 2am to 6am and at 6am he had to wake another sailor but because he was tied to the mine he could not and so the sailor slept on and it was not until ships company mustered at 8am that Dad was found. He had been holding the mine from 2am to 8am. I said to him much much later when he had left the navy that was a very brave thing to do and he said it was spur of the moment and when I realised I could not let go I felt sick. He said very often brave deeds are spur of the moment. He was involved in the Altmark (German ship) who had a number of British sailors held captive in the hold and denied it. HMS Cossack drew alongside and boarded her and Dad was on the searchlight and he was shot at and if it had not been for his cigarette case in his breast pocket which the bullet hit he would have been killed. My Mum who was a staunch Catholic had put a medal inside it and she said it was the medal that saved him. The sailors were saved and taken aboard HMS Cossack and taken from Norway back to Leith in Scotland.

 I was a child at school when King George V1 died and whatever I had been doing I do not remember but the teacher Miss King was shaking me. She had me by the shoulders and my head was all over the place and I was saved from it falling off by the school secretary who came bursting into the classroom shouting The King is dead God Save the Queen. 

For the Queen's funeral day Pannal was silent no people and no cars. Except when she was taken to Windsor I went out to stretch my legs and met a few people doing as I was doing or walking their dogs. 

What a day. We will all miss her. Charles will be a good King and Camilla will be a tremendous help and support to him but it will be difficult to sing God Save our Gracious King instead of Queen as we have been singing the latter for as long as we can remember. 

Friday, 9 September 2022

Our beloved Queen

 I felt so terribly sad yesterday and could feel tears welling up in my eyes as I expect we all did. A tragic surprise as we did not expect it. I only hope Harry (who was not going to see his Grandmother on this visit) thinks long and hard over his behaviour. Him, Prince Andrew and Liz Truss who wanted the monarchy abolished I feel they all hastened her end. 

All I have to say. God Save the King. Wonder when we sing the National Anthem we will remember to say King as it has been Queen in all our memories. All our children have known only a Queen a wonderful gracious lady who gave her whole life to serving the people. 

Wednesday, 7 September 2022

Summer in Pannal

 As I wrote before I had an accident and was deaf in one ear. Still am but an excellent lip reader I am becoming. Hope Covid and masks do not return as I shall be stuffed if it does. I am answering queries re Pannal and relatives that have lived here in the past which is quite fun and I have met some lovely people. One lady had relatives in Pannal but she could not trace them and came to me. When she said the name of the house I knew where it was but it was not in Pannal village but on the outskirts and I had seen it on my walks. So one happy lady. I am also given photos and asked where it is their relatives are standing in front of. Doing well as I have been able to find the answers but I won't get to cocky as pride comes before a fall as my Mum told me. So I must have been an insufferable child. Now read this with an accompaniment of the music from Jaws....I am the only historian left Harrogate, Knaresborough, Bilton, Starbeck, Ripon all gone.

Hasn't summer being marvellous in Pannal. We are lucky as friends in Scotland have not had it so good and there has been rain and the occasional thunderstorm around in places but not here. Who needs to go to the Bahamas come to sunny warm Pannal. One thing though our arms will be a lot longer as we are carrying watering cans around to save our plants but oh joy not having to cut the lawns. School is back and so is the traffic and heaven help us when all the new houses are built up near the Squinting Cat as it is Pannal the cars will come through. One night I was woken up by a car coming down Church Lane and through Pannal at about three hundred miles an hour. I slightly exaggerate I think but only slightly. 

Good wishes go to Peter Allison of Main Street who fell off his garage roof and sustained broken ribs and other injuries and has been in Leeds Hospital for two weeks. Get well soon Peter and you will be so pleased when you are able to come home as there is no place like home as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz says.


You know I have lived in this house for over fifty years my Mum and Dad lived in Harrogate and my husband all our four children. the dogs and cats that we have had and have all Yorkshire only me born in Scotland but I think I am accepted here now. Living in Pannal I have had and still have lovely neighbours not just the people living alongside me but across the road, In fact the whole of Main Street and beyond. We lived in Kirkby Overblow when we were first married then bought a house in Pannal and have never regretted it. Never wanted to move, Bas turned down various moves through work as we felt nowhere matched here. We have everything. Lovely towns Harrogate, Knaresbvorough, Ripon, Otley, Ilkley and great walking country a lot of it on our doorstep. Who has not enjoyed the great walk to Alscliffe Crag or the walk to the pub at Kirkby Overblow. Oh I could go on but you get the just we are lucky to live here. 

Poor little Marble is nearly blind and follows me around now and I have to be so careful I do not fall over her. The Vet says nothing can be done and having lived here nearly 17 years she knows her way around. Tigs to me is a lovely cuddly cat but she sneaks up on Marble when she is eating and tries to steal her food so there I stand every morning waiting until she is finished eating.

Incidently I have a reader of my Blog who lives in Scotland and told me he knew my Mum and Dad.  






Thursday, 28 July 2022

Pannal, Malcolm Neesam and me

 I attended the funeral today of my friend the great Malcolm Neesam and I was one of the speakers so here is what I said and everyone seemed to like it.

I have known Malcolm over fifty years and the Malcolm I knew is different from the Malcolm Neesam most people knew. We first met at a Harrogate Society meeting in 2972 and found we had a great love for old films, Laurel and Hardy and opera. Malcolm love Wagner. I loved Elvis but we managed.

When I first visited Malcolm's house there is a framed picture on his landing and and I said is that your father and he said no Wagner. He loved his music and also spoke fluent German, Malcolm had a girlfriend when we first met and he finished with her and I said why did you break up and he said she did not like Wagner. Malcolm wrote his autobiography in 2004 called Buckram Binding and I have a copy. I received one and one went to America. He wanted to know what I thought of it and I loved it. Why ~Buckram Binding well there was an antique book shop at 81 Station Parade run by Mr Archie Miles and Malcolm used to frequent it. Mr Miles looked for rare books for Malcolm and having discovered one and shown it to him Malcolm handed it back saying I would prefer it buckram bound. So after that he was always known to Mr Miles as Buckram Binding. Indeed when his mother required him to help her carry shopping when visiting town she would call in at the bookshop and Mr Miles would say Buckram Binding is upstairs. I must say and you might find this hard to believe but Malcolm was at times a naughty little boy who played practical jokes on his relatives. Malcolm and my husband shared a love of practical jokes which at times was a complete pain. Hard to believe the Mr Neesam that appeared in public lecturing really had a wicked sense of humour. One time we went to a talk by a lady who came gallumping on stage with all the mannerisms of Joyce Grenfell. I turned to look at Malcolm and his glasses were steamed up as he was trying not to laugh during this serious talk. I have never been Captain of the Girls' Hockey Team but Malcolm wrote in his book History of Harrogate under the Improvement Commissioners 1841-1884  "for a splendid effort as Captain of the Girls' Hockey Team, Anne Smith from the Editor Malcolm Neesam" and this was presented to me at the Swan Hotel by Malcolm who read out what he had written to much applause from all who were present, It was so embarrassing but Malcolm just stood there smiling and applauding.

We will all miss him dreadfully, he was our friend and there will never be another Malcolm Neesam ever as my children say. He was a constant in our lives and added to it with laughter and kindness, I will finish by saying when you all go home those of you who have a copy of Malcolm's book Wells and Swells Volume 2 put it on a chair stand back and have a look. I said to Malcolm the banner across James Street that says Long Live the King looks like a big bra and he just smiled and said I know. 

 I can't write any more but I felt that Malcolm was present at Christ Church and was sitting there smiling and giving the occasional royal wave. 


Friday, 22 July 2022

Pannal quiet?

 Hurrah school has broken up for the summer holidays. For six weeks we in Main Street will be able to get in and out of our drives. We don't have to make appointments before 8.30am or after 3.40pm. We are free to come in and out when we want. Although I must admit the parents cars are not there for all that long morning and afternoon but it is nice to have the freedom to come and go all the day. One thing none of us want is double yellow lines as we all have families that visit and park on the road. By none of us I mean we who live here. People that talk about yellow lines do not live on Main Street. 

I have a big funeral to go to next week as our lovely friend Malcolm's funeral service is at Christ Church. People were asking me what can we do to honour this man who has given so much to Harrogate. I said no to a statue as Malcolm did not like statues as pigeons do and the idea of having a street named after him made him throw up his hands in horror because of all the houses developers are being allowed to build.I HAVE THOUGHT OF A FITTING     TRIBUTE TO MALCOLM - APART FROM PUTTING A PLAQUE ON HIS HOUSE WHICH WILL BE DONE MALCOLM AND I MET UP WITH REPRESENTATIVES FROM VARIOUS ORGANISATIONS AND HARROGATE BOROUGH COUNCIL IN NOVEMBER TO ASK HBC TO KEEP THEIR PROMISE AND RESTORE THE COLONNADE IN THE VALLEY GARDENS BY REROOFING IT. A TRIBUTE TO MALCOLM AND ALSO TO THE PEOPLE OF HARROGATE.

I am speaking at the funeral as Malcolm asked me to but my speech will not be about Harrogate's greatest historian it will be about our lovely friend of over fifty years who was funny and kind.  Incidentally I am now the only historian left in the area. Music from Jaws being played here. 

When I write these blogs I get comments but one I had was from "unknown" saying I knew your family when you lived in Scotland and then said "don't be a stranger". Don't know what that means. Why doesn't "Unknown" make himself known - only polite to do so.

Fantastic hot weather I love it not sure Marble and Tigs did. They did not complain but there was a lot of noise going on which on second thought could have been complaints. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Pannal and my sadness

I have been supporting my very lovely friend Malcolm who died in the early hours of this morning ( I got a phone call at 3am) at Hampden House. Poor Malcolm over the past few of years has had a brain tumour, both hips replaced, bowel cancer, a stoma bag, and the killer liver cancer. Today was his birthday. Thank goodness I saw him yesterday..We have known Malcolm for over fifty years, Malcolm Neesam was Harrogate's premier historian having written very many books on Harrogate and he just managed to attend the launching of his latest two volumes Wells and Swells. Malcolm was main speaker at the launching of my book Pannal and Burn Bridge Their Stories and we shall miss him dreadfully. The staff at Hampden House were so lovely and when Jamie, his nephew, and I went up had placed a rose on his pillow which was a lovely thought Jamie and I  were very touched. A very sad day for all Malcolm's family and friends. Their will be many tributes to him from all over Harrogate.I have asked the Harrogate Civic Society to have a plaque on his house so that he will never be forgotten and he deserves it as he has done so much for Harrogate and was a great supporter of Pannal which he came to often. 

On another note going up Church Lane is getting even busier and the cars coming down Church Lane are not always on the right side of the white line. I slowed down for two horses and riders approaching the brow of the hill and was hooted at by the car behind me!! Yesterday going up Church Lane I know the matrix is there and drive accordingly just below thirty miles as I want to see a smiley face when the car behind me overtook extremely fast and I do hope he has been fined or whatever they do. Also no doubt we shall have the road gangs back repairing the roads as we are having some "extremely" heavy traffic going up and down through the village. 

I am still answering queries after the Jubilee which is lovely people wanting to know about Pannal. So far can answer them. Have not been stumped yet. 


On a happier note I went with my friend Jenny to Harlow Carr Show last Friday and the gin was lovely. Nuff said. 










Monday, 13 June 2022

Pannal. Me and the Jubilee

 Been a little while since I blogged as I have been suffering. First of all through the kindness of the bottle and paper weekly collectors what they did to my black box. It was torn all down the side with jagged edges and I picked it up and it tore my leg badly. Then much later on was eating museli and felt I was going to sneeze put my hand over my mouth and the museli stuck in my throat. I was choking I could not get my breath. I got out into the garden and eventually did but it was so scary. Result was I developed a rotten cold and very very sore throat and still deaf in one ear. Still not right but I am alive and was ok enough to take part in the Jubilee Celebrations. Now if you are thinking things come in threes - don't.

I went down to the lighting of the beacon at St Robert's car park organised by Pannal and Burn Bridge Parish Council and that was lovely. Someone took a very good photo of the lit beacon, St Roberts and fireworks, Really good. The fireworks were set off from the top of St Robert's Church and there was a lone bugler. All very nostalgic. I actually met the bugler outside my house getting into his car and he said did you hear me? 

Second event also organised by P and BBPC was on the Sunday on the Rec at Crimple Meadows. Weather not too good but a lot better than they had down South. I was asked to let them have a history of the village from 1953 to the present day which I did as they were having a History stall. At the beacon lighting I said who is doing the history stall to be told I thought you were. Answer well no one asked me but ok I will. Fortunately I was in a marquee. I had taken my Coronation mug, my brothers Coronation mug and a couple of other Coronation things for the display. The history of the village and the photographs I had provided were well laid out on boards and all who attended came into the marque and were very interested in the display. I also took a 1953 Kelly's Street Directory and said to people tell me where you live and I will tell you who lived in your house in 1953. All who came loved that and it was fun. I answered many questions and I have come away with queries that I am answering from my records and emailing the answers to the people who asked them. I was also asked to judge a children's painting competition and that was an honour. I picked my three First, Second and Third and said to Steve Cobb who was in the marquee with me what do you think and he agreed with my choices. The winners were announced and a little while later a little girl with her mum and dad came over and said are you the lady who judged the painting competition and she was jumping up and down with joy as she had won First Prize and said thank you. How lovely was that eh?  Only sorry I did not have time to talk to her a bit more. I did see the welly wanging from my tent and the races children's and adults and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Forget about the weather there was beer. I then went to one of my neighbours as they had asked my up for a barbecue. So Derek was outside barbecuing and Denise and I were sitting indoors drinking Prosecco not a bad life and a lovely way to end Her Majesties Platinum Jubilee Celebrations. Cheers Hic.