A Hidden Nidderdale History
Updated: Sep 15
There's a place we all belong. A place that has a magnetic pull, a connection; it's calling us, willing us to explore, to find out something we never knew about ourselves. Nidderdale is my place, a valley lost in time, a secret dale hiding a history of smiles and stories, tragedies and triumphs. Love and loss.
The story starts with my Nana Swale. Ivy Holtham (nee Swale); 1910 - 1998.
Nana was a wonderful woman: warm, caring and overflowing with love and creativity, a true Yorkshire woman from Nidderdale. She made the best Yorkshire Puddings I've ever tasted, served proudly together with the most delicious gravy on the best bone china plates, as a starter before Sunday dinner.
Sundays were nana's day - we visited every Sunday without fail a short ride over with the family from Harrogate to Rainton then in later years Marton-le-Moor as the big house became too much for her and Grandad George Holtham.
I've recently uncovered nana's cine reels opening up a treasure trove of fascinating memories.
Rich images of Rainton flicked in-front of my eye, like silent forgotten memories.
Nana shot lots of film on her travels from Nidderdale, to South Africa, where my uncles moved to. (another collection of stories from our extended Nidderdale Family) Nidderdale runs through my blood, the creativity and love my nana gave me is born in the dale. My sense for adventure and ability to create change is something she shaped in me, as the dale shaped it in her. I admired her peaceful spirit and eye for detail, again qualities reflective of the beauty around her. She lived in Bishop Thornton and grew up in Warsill near Brimham Rocks both places have a tranquility a sublime stillness that captures your heart. It can only be appreciated by spending time there alone in silence.
More memories to follow from Nidderdale.