Village Focus: Skelton on Ure

Relatives of men from the North Yorkshire village of Skelton on Ure who fought in the First World War are being sought to take part in a special act of remembrance this summer.

Picture by Simon Hulme

Kate Dale is organising the event on Sunday, August 6, which will mark 100 years since the death of her great uncle John Thomas Hardcastle, of the Yeoman Rifles (Kings Royal Rifles Corps) in a German military hospital.

Fourteen village men did not return from the conflict and Kate said organisers are searching for descendants of those named on a document which tells of how the village dealt with the loss.

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“The document is an extract from John Holt’s book about Skelton on Ure, the proceeds of which paid for the memorial tablets outside the village’s Reading Room to be renovated,” she said. “John died recently.

“We are planning a small act of remembrance, particularly for the descendants of the families listed, followed by tea and cake in the Reading Room.”

At the end of the war, a day of rejoicing - including a cricket match, sports day and burning of an effigy of the Kaiser - was held in the village to coincide with Newby Show.

Tributes were paid to those who gave their lives in the Great War - D C Bingham, A J Herdman, H Metcalfe, J Yarwood, E Hawkin, J W R Donaldson, W Warriner, T Dearlove, J T Hardcastle, C Fowler, J G Markell, W G Blencoe, W Burley and G Patrick.

The village those men left behind remains a relatively small one, with 361 residents at the last count, according to the 2011 Census. It lies just west of Boroughbridge, close to Ripon, in the Harrogate district and is short distance from the A1.

It has a pub, called The Black Lion which boasts a separate restaurant, a primary school and a village store.

The village is also located at the foot of the Newby Hall Estate, a location that has been used in ITV television production Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, broadcast in 2007.

Newby Hall and Gardens are now a major visitors attraction and it is gearing up to host the annual Tractor Fest, held by the Yorkshire Vintage Association, during the weekend of June 10-11 - a reflection of the area’s agricultural heritage.

The Aldborough and Boroughbridge Show is also being held within the main grounds of the estate this year, on Sunday, July 23.

The 18th century Newby Hall is now the home of Richard and Lucinda Compton, ancestors of William Weddell who acquired a stunning collection of ancient Roman sculpture and Gobelins tapestries.

For more details about the village’s special remembrance event, contact Kate Dale on 01423 322444.