(Affiliated to the Yorkshire Archaeological & Historical Society)


VENUE:                        We meet fortnightly at the Swadford Centre,

   32 Swadford Street, Skipton at 7.30pm.

SUBSCRIPTIONS:     Full Programme of talks, Adults £10; Single talks,    Adults £3. Accompanied Juniors (under 18) admitted free.

                                           NEW MEMBERS WELCOMED


OCT 10:       Robin Longbottom:

  The Skipton man who lit up Craven and beyond

The story of rural electrification, both local and further afield.   (Powerpoint)

OCT 24:       Robin Bundy:

Walter Morrison – A man of many parts.

The life of a man known as “The Grand Old Man of Craven”, a country gentleman, philanthropist and one-time MP for Skipton. (Powerpoint)

NOV 14:       Kenneth Jackson:

   Skipton Woods – Ancient Woodland or Post-Industrial Landscape?

The valley of Eller Beck in Skipton Woods was the focus for the industrialisation of the town during the late 18th century. The talk examines the uses of water power, the extraction and transport of limestone, the way in which these activities shaped the woodland landscape, and their legacy for the modern tourist economy. (Powerpoint)

NOV 28:      Joyce Hill, Professor Emeritus, Leeds University:

   The Vikings in Yorkshire.

Yorkshire was at the heart of the Viking Danelaw from its establishment in 878. Lecture examines the striking archaeological evidence of their presence and their continuing  heritage in the names of towns, streets, features in the landscape and the very words we use. (Powerpoint) 

DEC 12:         Sue Jackson:

 John Chetham (1688-1746) – Skipton’s Forgotten Composer.

His “Book of Psalmody” ran to 32 editions. The talk hives an insight into his life and work in the context of Georgian Skipton. (Powerpoint)


JAN 9:        Members Social Evening.

JAN 23:      David Turner:

  A Tour of the Lake District in 1808 – from the journal of Rev John Pering, Vicar of Skipton and Kildwick 1806 to 1843

Based on the transcription of a newly-discovered journal including a walk he took with the poet William Wordsworth. (Powerpoint)

FEB 13:          Chris Skidmore:

How to save a Meeting House.

Redundant chapels converted for housing are a common sight. Fairfield Quaker meeting House escaped this fate in the 1950s Through a quixotic gesture by four early converts to conservation. Their story and how they managed to pass it on to the charity which continues to care for it. (Powerpoint)

FEB 27:       Angus Winchester, Professor Emeritus, Lancaster   University:

   Dry Stone Walls and Landscape History.

Drystone walls create much of the character of the hill.  country of northern England. Why were they built and by whom? How do we go about dating them? Talk explores these questions and how the walls may be “read” as historical evidence. (Powerpoint)

MAR 12:      Tony Young:

 Tramways of Britain – a missed opportunity.

Electric tramways spread rapidly through most towns in Britain at the start of the 20th century. They thrived for 30 years and then began to disappear until only Blackpool was left. Elsewhere in Europe they were retained and modernised to form modern light rail systems.  Now some British cities are bringing them back. (Powerpoint)

MAR 26:    Wilf and Hilary Fenten:

  Capturing the Past.

A description of a project to train local heritage groups and others to be able to digitally store and make their archives publicly available  on line and to explore the fascinating cultural heritage of the Dales. (Powerpoint)

APR 9:       Barry Martin:

Edison to Elvis – a History of Sound Recording

The talk covers the birth of recording, social history of the times, copies of some historical voices, the Jazz Age, electrical recording, and up to an beyond WW2 to the end of the “78” era, ending with Elvis. (Powerpoint)

APR 23:        ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING followed by:

                      Jane Lennon:

 “For the Dead and the Living”

The study of a churchyard offers so much more than the names and dates of deceased ancestors. It provides the opportunity for a practical field project enjoyable on a number of levels. The burial ground is as much about those who are still living as it is about the dead. Talk discusses implications of churchyard studies within local and national contexts and also provides practical insights for those considering such a project for themselves. (Powerpoint)



 These guided History Walks around various local villages, organized by Bernard Peel, have proved to be very popular. Details of the two Summer 2018 walks are:

Thursday June 20th 2019

Walk around Gargrave Village

Meet at St Andrew’s Church 7pm Church Street. Refreshments afterwards at the church.


Thursday 18th July 2018

Walk round Crossbills Village

The visit starts at 7pm. Meet at Old White Bear. Light refreshments will be provided afterwards.