Building Societies were founded on the principle of mutual self-help, and in an age where banking is increasingly done on computers rather than in communities, the return of one organisation to its roots is welcome indeed.
The opening of a branch of the Newcastle Building Society in Hawes is also a timely reminder of how local force can sometimes move mountains in the face of corporate indifference.
Not long ago there were two banks in this Dales town. The nearest now is 16 miles away in Leyburn.
The late councillor John Blackie did more than just protest their loss; he found space in the community centre and arranged for the Newcastle to move in. We hope its presence will be his lasting legacy.
In rural communities, banks remain a lifeline. You can’t pay in a cheque on the internet and nor can you do much else when the nearest fibre broadband point is further away than the bank. The Newcastle has realised this; it is to their shame that other institutions have not.