Voices From The Dales podcast

Voices from the Dales features people from the Yorkshire Dales in northern England, highlighting their stories, accents and dialect. All episodes are 15 minutes and presented by Andrew Fagg.

Our latest episodes are Our Ingleborough Parts 1-6 (episodes 9-14).   These episodes were commissioned by Wild Ingleborough and published on 7 June 2022. 

Episodes 7-8 (‘Cheese Past’ and ‘Cheese Present’) were published in October 2021 as part of the Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival.

Episode 6 (‘Fell Runners’) was a one-off inspired by a special exhibition at the museum. It was published following the Hawkswick Dash fell race on 20 June 2021.

Episodes 1-5 (‘Schools pt.1’, ‘Schools pt.2’, ‘Chapels’, ‘Bard’ and ‘Museum Makers’) came out during the third Coronavirus lockdown in March 2021 and were funded by Museum Development Yorkshire’s ‘Museum Development Fund Grant’, with support from The Nash in Hawes.

Episode 14 – Voices From The Dales Our Ingleborough Part Six: Classic Oral History. In Part Six, hear children from nearby Settle Primary School interview their grandparents.  93 year old Edna Thornton, from the village of Austwick to the south of Ingleborough mountain, remembers the days when the milkman delivered milk directly into a jug on her doorstep each morning.   Two granddads from Settle are asked about the changes they have seen in the natural environment.  Meanwhile builder Kevin Woods, who from his home looks at Ingleborough’s peak, reflects on a lifetime of restoring traditional buildings in a way which doesn’t rob birds of their nest sites.  ‘We’ll do owt we can for nature,’ he says.

Episode 13 – Voices From The Dales Our Ingleborough Part Five: Caving. Ingleborough is limestone – or karst – country.  It is world famous for its caves.   Part Five features Avelina Wright from the local Cave Rescue Organisation.  ‘We don’t only pull humans out of holes,’ she says.  Such was the pull of the caves for Lincolnshire woman Leann Rennie, she upped sticks and moved to the area.   ‘There’s everything here that adventurous people like,’ she says.  Her husband, Tam Rennie, also speaks of caving, while also giving an insight into his day job as signalman at Blea Moor on the Settle-Carlisle railway.  ‘You don’t have to talk to anyone, it’s just bells,’ he says, glorying in the isolation. 

Episode 12 – Voices From The Dales Our Ingleborough Part Four: Campaigners. People have visions for the future of Ingleborough.  For many, the hope is that it will become a wilder, even more species-rich environment.  In Part Four, hear how Rachel Benson, who runs a bunk barn, has been making the vision a reality.   ‘Now it is very flowery,’ she says of a restored hay meadow.   Also hear the voice of an activist, Amy-Jane Beer.  ‘It’s my place to go out to roam at will,’ she says.

Episode 11 – Voices From The Dales Our Ingleborough Part Two: Recreation.  Thousands of people, often from the towns and cities of Lancashire and West Yorkshire, travel each week to the Ingleborough area for recreation.   In Part Three, hear two men from a Muslim hikers group.  Group leader Sham Ali proudly declares that he is from ‘Bradford, born and bred as a Yorkshireman,’ while teacher Tariq Shiraz shares his admiration for the way people try to keep the area free from litter.  ‘People walk with bin liners,’ he says.  Also in Part Three, Anna Greenwood goes for a dip with Les Peebles.  ‘It quite clearly puts me into the present moment,’ says the all-year-round outdoor swimmer known as the ‘Dales Dipper’. 

Episode 10 – Voices From The Dales Our Ingleborough Part 2: Ribblesdale. Ribblesdale is the main valley in the Ingleborough area and is renowned for its quarries.  In Part Two, local farmer and former quarryman Winston White reflects honestly on his career.  ‘If they had the chance they’d knock your house down and crush that up as well,’ he says.    Ribblesdale has also become home to printmaker Hester Cox. She has become so well known for using natural materials in her work that she receives unusual gifts. ‘People give me little boxes with dead birds in,’ she says. 

Episode 9 – Voices From The Dales Our Ingleborough Part One: Farming. The Ingleborough area covers around 100 square kilometres and it is the mountainous heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.  It is mostly a farmed landscape.  In Part One of Our Ingleborough , commoner and dairyman John Dawson explains hill farming practices. ‘Our mark is a red arse,’ he says, referring to his sheep, before developing the argument that ‘everything is fine as long as you walk hand in hand with nature’. 

Episode 8 – Voices From The Dales…Cheese Present: The Courtyard Dairy cheese shop at the foot of Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales has been named ‘among the best 50 food shops in the world’ by the Financial Times.  In Voices From The Dales ‘Cheese Present’ hear the Courtyard Dairy story from co-founder Andy Swinscoe and his fellow cheesemongers, as they ‘fill faces’ with farmhouse cheese made from raw milk.  ‘Cheese Present’ follows on from the last episode, Cheese Past, which featured clips from the oral history collection at the Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes.   ‘Cheese Present’ was recorded at the Courtyard Dairy on Tues 28 Sept 2021, in advance of the fourth Dales ‘Cheese Festival’. 

Episode 7– Voices From The Dales… Cheese Past: Producing milk and making cheese are essential industries in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. What’s the story behind this great tradition? Find out in ‘Cheese Past’, the first of two Voices From The Dales podcast episodes dedicated to cheese. Presented by Andrew Fagg, in Hawes, hear the voices of Brian Sunter, Margaret Watson, Matthew Bell, Eleanor Scarr, Kit Calvert, Derek Ramsden and Iona Hill

Episode 6 – Voices From The Dales… Fell Runners: Fell running is one of the oldest and most traditional sports in northern England.   Races take place across the Yorkshire Dales throughout spring and summer.  In this podcast you are taken to the ‘Hawkswick Dash’ in Littondale in June 2021, organised by the British Open Fell Runners Association.  Hear the voices of Skipton’s ‘Mr Sport’ Roger Ingham, ‘Run The Dales’ writer and organiser Victoria Benn, Kilnsey Show fell race record holder Mick Hawkins and Wensleydale fell runners Heather Hodgson and Brian Carlisle.    The cover photo is by Stephen Garnett Photography.  As Stephen has said, the image, taken at the Hawkswick Dash, “captures the lung busting rawness of fell running”.

Episode 5 – Voices From The Dales…Museum Makers: Marie Hartley and Joan Ingilby founded a museum and brought pleasure to millions of people through their popular books on the Yorkshire Dales.   What started their love affair with the Dales?  How did they encourage Dales folk to tell their stories?    And what role does museum they created, the Dales Countryside Museum, have today?  In this episode hear the voices of Marie Hartley and Joan Ingilby, Guy Ingleby of Littondale, Taylor Dinsdale from Gayle, and Fiona Rosher, the current Museum Manger. It is presented by Andrew Fagg from outside the Dales Countryside Museum and was recorded on 1 March 2021.

Episode 4 – Voices From The Dales…Bard: John Thwaite (1873-1941) was a Wensleydale dialect poet who wrote about the natural beauty as well as the ordinary working class people around him.  He worked as a grocer in the town of Hawes.  Some 30 years after his death a group of people in Wensleydale recorded his poems on cassette tapes.  In this episode hear two poems read by Jack Fawcett:  ‘The Quarryman’s Cross’ and ‘T’Auction Mart’.   It is presented by Andrew Fagg from Hawes Main Street and was recorded on 6 March 2021.

Episode 3 – Voices From The Dales… Chapels: “The energy is no longer there,” said the Methodist minister in Reeth in 2016, as another Dales chapel closed.  As journalist Mike Amos reported, a way of life was quietly disappearing. Chapels were at the heart of village life in Wensleydale and Swaledale for around 150 years, but decline set in during the second half of the last century.  And yet in half a dozen places such as Gayle and Gunnerside the Methodists are ‘still alive’, as they like to say.  In this episode hear Walden preacher Rowland Dent, as well as Jean Cockburn from Aysgarth, Joan Fawcett from Hawes and the late Richard Dinsdale of Gayle.  It is presented by Andrew Fagg from outside West Burton Methodist Church and was recorded on 4 March 2021.

Episode 2 – Voices From The Dales Schools pt 2: Clogs, snow, the bus driver and the ‘kiddy catcher’ are discussed in Episode Two of Voices From The Dales.  Hear the voices of Kit Calvert, Joan Fawcett, Eric and Vera Alderson and Reggie Fagg Rawlence – all from Hawes – as well as John Waggett from Gunnerside, Norman Guy from Muker, Jennie Sunter from Keld, Brian Sunter from Low Row, Eleanor Scarr from Bainbridge, and Allen Kirkbride from Askirgg.   It is presented by Andrew Fagg from outside Hawes Primary School and was recorded on 5 March 2021.

Episode 1 – Voices From The Dales Schools pt 1: A cockerel down a chimney, school closures, sex education and a ‘Roman toilet’ are discussed in Episode One of Voices From The Dales.  Hear the voices of John Waggett from Gunnerside, Joan Fawcett and Christa Fagg Rawlence from Hawes, Sally Stone from West Burton, Norman Guy from Muker, Enid Lundberg from Arkengarthdale and Barbara Buckingham from Reeth.  Also meet Mary Burrow, the woman who devoted her life to one Dales school.  It is presented by Andrew Fagg from outside Hawes Primary School in Upper Wensleydale and was recorded on 5 March 2021.