HOLIDAY CAMP IN WENSLEYDALE-PUBLIC OPINION
Sir – After reading the letter of Mr. Daykin, re: this camp, I think the opposition to it is very weak, and that Mr. Daykin has said all that needs be said in its favour.
I am pleased Mr. Willis has a great thought for others, even the promoter, as he would not like him to get the camp erected and then to have it condemned: Let me assure both Mr. Willis and the promoter that so long as the camp is sanitary there is no power to condemn it.
The reason I write under the nom-de-plume, “Public Opinion,” is that in Mr. Willis’s letter he said he would like to know what public opinion thought about it. My claim to speak on this is that I am a property owner, a ratepayer, an employer of labour, and a lifelong resident of the dale. This public-spirited person, as Mr. Willis calls the promoter, has turned some of his good intentions in other directions. Three years ago he built two houses in Hawes, and at present has another two in the course of erection, and is employing a lot of local labour. Through these ventures he is paying his fair share of insurance, and I think Mr. Willis will agree that he is doing his bit towards solving one of the biggest problems before Parliament to-day, finding work for the unemployed.
Take the length of the dale from Hawes down to Leyburn, seventeen miles; how many houses have been built between these two places during the last ten years? I should say not half a score. When we have someone with enterprise come into the dale to do good, do not let us put every obstacle in his way; rather let us help him. We have plenty of stick-in-the-mud residents. In fact we breed them.
In the meantime, if Mr. Willis will only take a look round and see the untidy state of the numerous wooden garages, hay and implement sheds, all in a state of decay for want of paint and wood preservative, and the general untidiness of the farmsteads, and wait until this camp is completed before giving his opinion, then I think he will write something of a different tone to what he has already written.
Perhaps as Mr. Willis says, in the future he and I may talk of many things.
Of natures destruction in years that are gone,
Of progress that’s likely in years which will come
; Even of bairns and of upgrowns who should see things half done.
I am etc,
March 4th 1930.
March 8th 1930
JOHN A. WILLIS
Sir, – When your correspondent signs his name and proves his disinterestedness, I may consider his right to use Public Opinion for a nom-de-plume.
I decline; however, to follow him in his renewed attempt to divert discussion from the point in question. I care not how well-finished and painted his bungalows and caravans may be, they will, none the less inevitably prove an eyesore in such a position, and spoil one of the loveliest views in the dale.
To say there is no power to condemn it savours of the boast of King Robert of Sicily.
What power removed the Malham Cove bungalows? Or even these same Whitley Bay erections? Mrs. Thorpe’s timely reminder of the noise and the rubbish such a camp propagates should encourage us in out endeavours to prevent such a state of affairs in Wensleydale.
I doubt if Mr. Daykin’s enthusiasm for the camp would outlive a year’s experience of it. His threat of a mighty extension is one which should not be taken lying down.
This is the time for the annual Parish Meetings in the district. No village knows when its turn may come for a share of this vandalism.
May I suggest that each would do well to consider and pass the following resolution, sending a copy to the local authority? That in the opinion of this meeting, the establishment of the holiday camp between Carperby and Askrigg is detrimental to the best interests of the district. Let us see to it that future generations shall enjoy the beauties of our lovely valley as we have done.
JOHN A. WILLIS
Manor House Carperby.
Sir, – The experiences of Jane Thorp should to say the least, give the owner of this beautiful site a few points for calm consideration.
Messrs. Willis and Graham are fully capable of replying to Mr. Dakins rapturous little contribution to the discussion, but it is to be noted that there is no mention of the £. s. d. side of the question.
When this mighty extension is completed (?) and fully inhabited, the occupiers will naturally need to be supplied daily with milk and eggs, not to mention butter, cheese, vegetables (unless these latter can be grown on the bog ), etc. The nearest farmhouses will consequently reap this harvest, and the beauty of this, as well as that of our site, will not have escaped notice.
Sir, – would it be possible to save Hawbank from the hands of commerce by securing it for the whole world of beauty lovers instead of for a few individuals?
Large sums of money rise quickly to save and safeguard precious buildings from decay.
This piece of ground in Wensleydale, with its glorious setting of wild rose and nut wood, its treasures of shy flowers, some of them rare, which will disappear with the arrival of the bungalows (because residential living is not for wild plants, and never can be), possess also a stream, whose very name Ellerbeck is music in the ears of those who know it.
There is the nucleus of a natural park here, and a little indifference as to what is being done with it will turn it into a piece of common ground.
One of your correspondents has said that thrift cannot grow in boggy land, but such is the fine order of this particular district that while in the boggy ground there are one or two rare plants which are nurtured in the bog and the grasses that belong to them, there is also the dry limestone ground, where the thrift grows so well. Then there is honeysuckle, and in the wood itself a wealth of primroses, which bless the eye of the passer by more by not being picked than by being gathered into the hand, and in the autumn the slope below Nab End presents a riot of colour, red, brown, gold, of nut trees, rowanberry, hawthorn and the guilder rose. The Ellerbeck sings at the foot of this tree covered slope.
Hawbank ought not to become the bedrock of building plans, but the place where such people as these bungalow dwellers can come, with the residents, to share in its joys, not to settle down upon them.
There are so many Nature lovers in every county in Britain that there would be an opportunity to secure this spot through organised effort.-Yours, &c.
Aysgarth. March 12th 1930
To Editor of Darlington and Stockton Times.
SIR,- As one who has read with interest the correspondence in your columns on the above subject, may I add yet another protest against the suggested disfigurement of such a Dale beauty spot as Hawbank?
It is much to be hoped, as you so well say in, your excellent leading article, that the protests made to those concerned may be the means of preserving this delightful piece of ground from threatened spoliation. May I bring the following points to the notice of your readers?
- (1) Those that live in towns enjoy all sorts of diversions such as cinemas, dances, etc. from participation in which the country dweller is largely excluded. And so the beauty of the surrounding country is perhaps the greatest asset which those who live in the country possess. Rob them of this, and they become poor indeed.
- (2) Such a camp would greatly militate against the interest of all those who have hitherto supplied visitors with accommodation. Many such visitors, attracted by the unique beauty of Wensleydale, would no doubt cease to come, for there would soon be no beauty left to be appreciated. Hitherto the landowners of the district are to be congratulated on having preserved the natural advantages of the vicinity for the benefit, not only of the inhabitants, but also of those numerous visitors who stay at farms or come on day trips to the Dale.
- (3) Such camps are frequently composed of undesirable people who are not wanted elsewhere, and who have been turned away from other places. Those who live in the immediate vicinity should have some voice in regulating the ingress of all and sundry. Finally, if we must submit to a camp, is such apparent conflict between beauty and utility inevitable? The proposed wooden bungalows are the last word in ugliness. Everywhere our English countryside is being ruined beyond repair by the erection of these horrible monstrosities. Once we permit such structures to get a footing here, then I fear the word “Ichabod” will become synonymous with that of Wensleydale.
March 27th, 1930.
HOLIDAY CAMP IN WENSLEYDALE-DALESMAN.
Sir,-There is one sentence in Mr. Daykin’s letter of 26th February, which requires further light throwing on it.
After emphasising in the early part of his letter the smallness of the site in relation to the length of Hawbank, he later on says : ” This encampment as a summer resort is only the thin end of the wedge to a mighty extension”.
Does this mean that if the first little speculation turns out well and the public shows no resentment, the 300 yards of the present site will be extended mightily?
If so, I think your readers action was taken to preserve the amenities of the Dale.
A stream there flows ‘neath northern skies
With waters crystal pure,
North of Nab End it comes to birth
And all its ways allure.
From Cat-leap falls, down Hawbank-side,
To where it joins the Yore,
Its banks are strewn with flowery gems
From Nature’s wondrous store.
When last I walked along its banks
A flash of vivid blue,
Proclaimed the kingfisher’s swift flight
O’er haunts that he loved, too.
And now, alas! The vandal’s hand
Doth all this beauty mar?
And wooden huts offend the eye
As you walk to Nappa Scar.
Ye who love Nature undespoiled
Rise up and stir the Dale!
Surely you cannot rest content
While Ellerbeck’s for sale.
Oh! beauty has vanished
And loveliness fled.
And cheap wooden bungalows
spring up instead.
Where wild flowers flourished
to bless one and all
What think you will grow now
behind this grey wall?
Oh! Hawbanks were bonny,
and Hawbanks were gay.
Go! weep for their beauty.
‘Tis fled, fled away.
How oft have we lingered
Beside this dear place.
To gaze on the beauty
Of natures fair face
No more will I linger,
For nought can I see,
Save cheap wooden bungalows,
One, Two and Three.
Oh! Ellerbeck flowing
So crystal and clear
Oh! Primroses growing
on banks that were dear,
The hand of the spoiler,
The voice of the crowd,
Throughout this fair valley
Are echoing loud.
The campers are coming,
And what will they bring?
I leave you to picture
this horrible thing.
For Hawbanks were bonny,
And Hawbanks were gay,
And all who have loved them
Are sighing to-day.
A LOVER OF NATURE
Leyburn, March 16th 1930