Dear Reader: David Bowie and the floods

Weekly column by Graham Chalmers of the Harrogate Advertiser.

Famed music photographer Gered Mankowitz with The Harrogate Advertiser's Graham Chalmers at RedHouse Originals Gallery in Harrogate.

When I get it wrong, I get it very wrong.

Last Thursday night saw me chatting to my great friend James over a pint of craft beer or two about one of our favourite music acts.

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I hasten to add we’d done so many times before.

“I reckon David Bowie might tour again,” I told him.

That chance has gone now, obviously, but along with it has gone a whole lot more.

A secretly ill man for some time, Bowie might not have been quite the same person in his final years as the one who recorded the likes of Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust, Low and Heroes.

But as long as he lived, there was still a thread which ran all the way from his final album Blackstar, released just last Friday , back to all those dazzingly brilliant albums of the 1970s which I, and millions of others, loved so much.

With Bowie’s death that link is gone.

The whole story is now simply in the past.

Along the winding, rolling roads in wild and woolly Nidderdale I went last week on the way to an interview.

Past Mackenzies Smokehouse in Blubberhouses, grey mist clinging to the desolate moors, over Greenhow Hill and onwards to Grassington.

Water streamed across the tarmac but at least the back road to the B6265 was open, unlike the A59 which was closed at Kex Gill after the recent flooding.

How on earth was I meant to reach Dan Turner to talk about river management and flood risks?

But the end result was well worth the journey. A senior projects officer with the Yorkshire Dales River Trust, this impressive young man was full of practical ideas, as you can see for yourself in the feature inside this issue.

His sheer enthusiasm lightened the dismal day.

What a difference from our initial meeting last July in bright sunshine by the tranquil waters of the Nidd.