A NEW maypole is to be erected on Linton's village green for the enjoyment of future generations.

The old maypole had to be taken down recently as it could not stand the ravages of time and had been slowly rotting away.

Villagers say it had been very well used since the turn of the century.

James Boothman, of Linton Hall Farm, told the Herald: "There has been a maypole in the village for longer than living memory. I am 70 years old and I can remember one from when I was small.

"We don't know though when it was first put up. We've got some very old photos dating back to the 1880s when there wasn't one."

He added the village would be bare without a maypole.

"I don't think any of the villagers would like to do without a maypole - it's been part of Linton's heritage for almost 100 years."

Now the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, which has a nature reserve in Grass Woods, Grassington, has come to the rescue, donating a large tree.

The new structure will also be used as a flagpole and has a weather vane.

Fundraising for the new maypole has been a real community effort, as has the actual task of building it.

Local woodworker Dave Brearley and farmer Jonathan Metcalfe have both been heavily involved in making it.

Pat Metcalfe, clerk to Linton Parish Meeting, told the Herald that it was hoped the pole could be used to fly the union flag on St George's Day.

She added that in the past the the structure had been mainly used as a maypole, drawing crowds of people to the annual festivities.

Mrs Metcalfe said: "There used to be a lady, Mrs Tom Boothman, who ran the St John Ambulance cadets in Grassington and organised all the May Day celebrations. She passed away about 25 years ago and since then no-one has really used the maypole."

Mr Boothman added that children used to come from the surrounding villages of Threshfield and Grassington to join in the May Day celebrations.

Work has also been carried out on the village green by the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.

It gave villagers a grant to renew the chain and posts around the green, and to make safe the railings and steps at the clapper bridge.

Wendy Lawson, of the millennium trust, said: "Linton is unusual for a Dales village in that it has posts and chains around the village green.

"They have been there for many years and are viewed as an important and attractive part of the village scene."

The trust has provided a grant of £2,250 to the project and other funding has come from the European Delegated Grant Fund and Linton Parish Council.

"This work has really helped to rejuvenate the village and also spurred on the lads to make the new maypole," added Mrs Metcalfe.

Work is still continuing on the new maypole, but it is hoped it will be ready in the near future.

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