THE Rev Richard Coles, former member of The Communards, co-presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live, Chancellor of the University of Northampton, and Vicar of Finedon, North Northamptonshire, recently visited our part of Yorkshire and seems to have gone home very impressed indeed.

Amongst his tweets was one of a group of cyclists, with the caption: “There’s more Lycra pouring out of Skipton today than all the looms of DuPont put together”, while a picture of the shop in Kettlewell was accompanied by: “LOOK AT THE VILLAGE SHOP ‘ in capital letters.

He evidently visited Langstrothdale,which is now a filming location for Channel 5’s popular all Creatures Great and Small, currently being screened, while another tweeted picture was accompanied by: “Yorkshire people banging on about their homeland is for some a bit wearisome, but they’ve got a point don’t you think?”, finally he finished with a tweet: “Yorkshire, adopt me.”

He also seems to have dropped in on Kettlewell Church, the churchyard of which was recently named the best in Yorkshire by CRPE The Countryside Charity.

I am told a donation envelope with his name on it was found at the church.

Sadly dear reader, I am not aware of the scale of the Rev Coles’ generosity.

STOATS are such fascinating creatures; I recently saw one dash across a path in front of me before hiding in a wall and watching with what looked like great curiosity as I walked past; it really didn’t seem frightened at all, just merely curious. Does make you think its a good job they are no bigger, and its only rabbits and other small mammals they terrorise.

This stoat, pictured below, visiting a bird table in Burnsall was photographed by Margy Stockdale, who was really in the right place at the right time - I’ve always found the little critters are long gone by the time I’ve got my smartphone out of my pocket.

THE call has gone out for people in Craven with various medical conditions who would be willing to share them on the television programme Skin A& E.

Producers of the Channel 5 series have announced filming for the third series of the programme is getting underway and they are looking for people to take part.

Following on from the success of the first two series, the doors to the Skin A&E clinic will be open once again where a team of top UK dermatologists will give participants a free consultation, advice and medical treatment if appropriate.

Producers, Boom, are looking for people of at least 18 years old who may have a condition which does not qualify for treatment on the NHS, or whose treatment may have been delayed for some reason.

They are also after people who may have been on a waiting list for a long time. Those chosen will have to be prepared to talk open and frankly about their condition and be available for filming for a day sometime between November and January.

To find out more, email the production company at: by December 17.

SOMETHING else I find endlessly fascinating, fungi; and what better way to enjoy UK Fungi Day earlier this month, than a trip to Thruscross Reservoir, between Skipton and Harrogate.

The reservoir, which has some lovely wooded areas around it is a great place for spotting mushrooms, toadstools and brackets - they are the ones that grow out of trees, of all shapes and sizes.

I spotted Fly Agaric, beautiful but potentially deadly, and something that looked very much like a sponge, which I think, according to my Collins Nature Guide was a Polyporus umbellatus, also poisonous, but rare - if my identification is correct. The British Mycological Society tells me that fungi are not plants or animals, but an entirely different kingdom altogether.

What we actually see are the ‘fruit bodies’ - much like the flowers of flowering plants, and are the ‘tip of the iceberg’.

There is in fact, loads going on beneath the surface. The main body of the fungus - the mycelium - is made of long, thin, interconnected threads hidden in things on which they feed.

Many fungi feed on dead cells, but some feed in association with living cells and some fungi kill other organisms for food. Some like nothing better than dung. Some glow in the dark and they grow extremely quickly, which is why one can appear overnight attached to a tree stump. Fascinating.

THIS year, I have tried making rose-hip syrup for the first time ; rose-hips, for anyone who hasn’t noticed, are in great abundance this year, they are literally all over the place; you just have to be a bit careful when picking them, because of their little prickles.

So, having got a suitable amount, picked following some cold nights - apparently, they should be left until after the first frost, I gave them a quick checking over for insects, etc, and left them in the freezer overnight - this will apparently give the impression of a frost, make the little prickles fall off and make them sweeter.

I then covered them in water and let them simmer for around 25 minutes before straining the fluid though a muslin cloth.

The fluid is then put back on the heat, with sugar, and left until the sugar dissolves, after which it is ready to put into jars and ready for a number of uses.

It is quite delicious, a very delicate taste, if I’ve got it right, that is, and lovely on porridge. I’m told its also good for a sore throat.

IT was the illegal supplying of eggs and not drugs that was getting people into trouble at Skipton Magistrates Court 75 years ago, in October, 1946.

Sitting on a Saturday, no less, the magistrates fined a farmer of West Marton the sum of £2 plus legal costs of one guinea for supplying fresh eggs to other than a licensed buyer or packer. Identical penalties were imposed on the landlady of the Cross Keys in East Marton for obtaining the eggs, she being an unlicensed buyer.

Both pleaded guilty to the offences, which involved the exchange of five dozen eggs on one occasion and six dozen on a separate occasion.

The court was told that the farmer’s 15 year old daughter looked after the poultry on the farm and any money made was her pocket money. The landlady of the pub was an industrious sort and used the eggs to make cakes to be served with tea.

Magistrates also heard the further case of a Gargrave man who pleaded not guilty to the supplying of rationed goods, including margarine, sugar and tea to the manageress of the canteen at the Johnson and Johnson factory.

In a case brought by the Ministry of Food, the court heard how food had been supplied to the manageress of the canteen on various occasions. He was fined £2 and ordered to pay costs of £1 11 shillings.

A farm labourer of Cononley must have caused a stir in the afternoon court when after being fined 20 shillings for being drunk and disorderly, he said: “You can take me away if you want, I aren’t going to pay’.

The labourer had been seen by a police officer in High Street Skipton waving a stick in the air and threatening to break every shop window in the town. He told the bench that he remembered nothing about it.

Meanwhile, a decorator and an apprentice electrician were each fined 10 shillings for riding two persons on a bike in Kirkgate, Silsden. When stopped by a police officer, one said: “ I thought this was a free country.”