How children’s TV show gave Yorkshire Dales hamlet a quirky claim to fame

The River Wharfe in full spate in Yockenthwaite in the Yorkshire Dales after heavy rain.  Picture: Tony Johnson.
The River Wharfe in full spate in Yockenthwaite in the Yorkshire Dales after heavy rain. Picture: Tony Johnson.
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The miserable weather of recent days may have caused plenty of problems across Yorkshire – from temporarily closing flooded railway lines to forcing organisers of the UCI Road World Championships to shorten the route of its showcase men’s road race – but the downpours have had some upsides in creating some dramatic natural scenes.

This picture taken by Tony Johnson, one of The Yorkshire Post’s award-winning photographers, shows how heavy rain contributed to the stunning sight of the River Wharfe in full spate as water flows faster than it usually does downhill through the tranquil hamlet of Yockenthwaite in the Yorkshire Dales.
Yockenthwaite, which is around eight miles south of Hawes, has a rather unusual claim to fame – one of the main characters in the 1990s children’s comedy television series Roger and the Rottentrolls is named after the hamlet. 
The show itself, which combined puppets with live action human actors and was narrated by Martin Clunes, was filmed at Brimham Rocks near Harrogate, and the character of Yockenthwaite was a blundering and slow-on-the-uptake knee-high Rottentroll.
While the Wharfe in full flow is undoubtedly an impressive sight, when it bursts its banks misery follows for those living nearby. Perhaps the most famous example in recent memory is the collapse of Tadcaster bridge in December 2015 following a deluge of rain, which also damaged scores of homes and businesses. Restoring the bridge alone took over a year and cost £4.4m. 
Yockenthwaite was far from the only place in the Dales to witness the impact of the heavy rain on its waterways following the recent bad weather. A dramatic online video captured Cray Waterfalls, near Buckden in Wharfedale, in full spate as thousands of gallons of water were sent gushing into the falls from the limestone moorland above. Similar deluges were experienced at other falls in the local area such Cray Gill, Cow Close and Crook Gill.
Technical information: NIKON D3s camera with a 28-70mm lens, 1/25 sec exposure, f11 320 ISO. Picture by Tony Johnson.