Friday, 9 March 2018

Settle's historic churches walk - 8 March 2018

The Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust and the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust organised a walk around Settle and Giggleswick's Historic Churches for 8 March 2018.

The group were to visit 7 churches and I had been invited to show people St John's Methodist Church as they walked round. 

20 minutes had been allocated at each church but that really meant about 10 minutes of talk by the time people had assembled.

First was Giggleswick School Chapel.

Barbara Gent, archivist at Giggleswick School, gave the background to details that I would not otherwise have noticed. Look at the lovely mosaic domed ceiling.  The building of the chapel started in 1897.

1. Organ: the organ was made by Henry Willis & Sons, a leading organ makers at the time. It was rebuilt in 2005 by GO-Organ Builders Ltd

The chapel was built at the time of Art Nouveau when artists were using shapes in nature to inspire their drawing.
2. Angels round the base of the dome have their arms raised.
3. Above them is the sky, with clouds and birds, then with  cherubims,  and at the top is the sun.
4. There is a big area of inverted triangle called pendentes. Because it is a square building, pillars support the roof and this triangle area is available for decoration
5. This type of decoration under the arches is sgraffito. Sgraffito is defined as 'decoration by cutting away parts of a surface layer to expose a different colored ground'.
6. The windows have figures to inspire the students. The man at the top centre of the window is Edward VI. He gave the school the charter. (Even though he closed down a lot of other schools)
7. Below him, but off the picture is the headmaster who developed the school
8. Bottom left is Walter Morrison, of Malham Tarn (who donated the resources for the chapel)
9. On top of the pillars are stone carving (?? well stonework)
10. The original lamps/candelabra had looked something like this. Then at some period they were replaced with strip fluorescent tubes lighting. Then in the 1980s much money had been spent on making them more like the original.

Carved woodwork

 These leaves could be Wood Crane's-bill

Edward 6th and Victoria look down on us.
 We walked down to Giggleswick Church in the village, and met Revd Hilary Young.  She told us about the history, and about the new door at the back of the church

I gave the church another of my "Mosses of Giggleswick churchyard booklets", and tried to interest them in the mosses.. but time was short and there was not time to visit all the churchyard.

I remembered the mosses workshopI had led the  at Giggleswick Church in 2011 and 2013

22 people had attended that workshop in 2013

I also remember the Lichens Day when Prof Mark Seaward nad Nigel Mussett  brought the Institute of Biology to Giggleswick Church in 2009 


We followed Tems Beck as far as the playing fields. I returned for my car and the the group walked on to Settle to the Catholic Church.

I went to the Methodist Church. I put out a display of the Rainforest Cards, (Thank you to those who bought £17 of cards)  and some Green Christian leaflets.

History of New Church: 

We moved across the road to our new church just over two years ago in December 2015, It must be the fifth Methodist Church building that has been built in Settle: Our old church was demolished in 2016 to be replaced by 4 houses (which went a long was towards paying for the new church building).  I'll talk more about the history of the Settle Circuit and of John Wesley lower down 

inside St John's Church Settle

History of previous Methodist  churches in Settle
So the history of our new church is rather short: We moved in in December 2015 The Church hall was built in 1939 as the Sunday School, of the church across the road which was built in 1893, and has been very useful and functional ever since. Rather than tell the visiting group the history of the old church building (1893-2015 - and it was after all the third Methodist Church built in Settle - the Primitive Methodist (Now Christian Fellowship on Skipton Road) was opened in 1909 to replace their former building being the fourth) I decided to concentrate more on the start of the Settle Methodist circuit. There is a booklet by Henry Longbottom which tells the history of that church.

Rather I looked into the history of Methodism in our area. I reread the booklet by Peter McCabe "John Wesley and the Settle   Circuit - A Celebration of 300 Years." written in 2003, from where much of the following info is derived.

The revivals that eventually became the Methodist Church were brought to people in our area by people other than John Wesley.  Most importantly and firstly by Lawrence Batty of Newby Cote (off the back road from Clapham to Ingleton), who went to attend Cambridge Universty in 1737 and returned in 1739. And on returning he and in due course his two  brothers brought the ideas, and wrote hymns. Lawrence persuaded Delamotte to come and preach, and Delamotte persuaded Benjamin Ingham. (Ingham had been in the Holy Club with Wesley (see below) at Oxford and had accompanied Wesley to Georgia. Ingham returned to our area in 1743 and preached at Austwick, Newby and Settle. Thus Methodism was becoming established in this area from 1743.  The first society was formed at the Batty home in 1748 at Newby Cote. In 1757  a chapel was built on Newby Moor:- Thinoaks chapel and a thousand people attended the afternoon service. It is now used as a barn at Oaklands Farm. At the same time a chapel was being built at Burton in Lonsdale that was opened in August later that year, 20 years after Lawrence had set out for Cambridge.

Preaching was known at Settle in 1760 and by 1771 a room was being rented for preaching in kirkgate,  See more of Settle at Proceedings of the Wesley Hostorical Society vol XL June 1975 page 35-37

To put things in context, here are some dates of John Wesley, the founder of a movement:  Wesley did eventually come to Settle 3 times, in 1764, in 1977 and in 1784 (when he was 81)
John Wesley: born 1703, saved from a fire in 1709, went to Oxford University 1720, ordained a deacon in the Anglican church 1725,  led Holy Club at Oxford in 1729 (which had been started by his brother Charles). They were being called Methodists by 1734.
In 1735 he sailed to Georgia then a British colony in the Americas. He returned in 1738. On 24 May 1738 he went to a meeting at a Moravian church and "felt his heart strangely warmed".  In 1730 he began preaching in the outdoors on the advice of George Whitfield.  From this time till his death at 88 in 1791, he travelled 100s of 1000s of miles and preached 40,000 sermons. He preached in the Settle area only three times: 1764 He preached at Burton in Lonsdale (then called Black Burton) then in the afternoon at Long Preston and arrived at Skipton in the evening. He preached in 1977 and in 1784 (when he was 81)

Across the road was welcome lunch provided by Holy Ascention, the Parish Church.

We walked past the Folly, up to Zion. This has been closed for two years now. It closed in its 199th year. (We benefit at St Johns as several people from Zion now come to St Johns)  It is recently been bought / donated to North Craven Buildings Trust. Ann Read showed us round and told us of the history. I am only just beginning to appreciate how what a big contribution the free churches made towards education in the 19th and early 20th century. There is the big hall/schoolroom at the back (  where we used to have the Churches Together Breakfast after the Easter morning sunrise service) and I know there used to be a further hall behind that. They were used for all sorts of adult classes as well as for children.

Finally we walked across to Settle Friends Meeting House where we heard about the work of the Quakers - active in so many social issues - an excellent final talk.

Thank you to Judy Rogers and Sarah or the YDMT who organised the trip and to all the people who spoke to us.

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Where is Suriname?

 Next Settle Messy Church (on 18 Feb, at St John's, Settle) features Suriname
Women's World Day of Prayer this year is on 2 March. The material has been written by the Women of Suriname

But where is Suriname?

Suriname is on the north east coast of South America.  It used to be called Dutch Guiana before it gained its independence in 1975.

Its capital, Paramaribo, on the coast, is 4,436  miles  from Settle.  That is almost 1/5 way round the world. This distance is 7 1/2 times the length of Britain (600miles). And if there was land between us and South America, and you kept walking south west and walked at 20 miles a day, it would take 221 days to get there. And if you walked a bit further you would get into the Amazon rainforest. This forest stretches across from Brazil.

I have put up a display at St John's Church Hall, Settle.

I have had fun finding out about this country.
- with its important wildlife, (and its tropical rainforest )
- its lingua franca: - Sranan Tonga
- The many ethnicities in this population of half a million, and its  history.

- The Leatherback turtles which lay their eggs in the sand on the coast.

Joy Orwell at Messy church is going to tell us about a leatherback turtle that got washed up on the shore of Cornwall when she lived there. 
Adult leatherback turtles weigh 250 – 700 kg. (Note 10 stone is 63.5kg, so a heavy turtle would weigh ten times as much as a lightish person)
The turtles eat jellyfish.

If you live near Settle I hope you can come to Messy Church (3.30pm Sun 18th Feb) or WWDP service at Langcliffe Church - 7.30pm. We have lots of activities planned and will hear some Suriname music

Friday, 12 January 2018

The Heath-snail at Lower Winskill 6 Sept

This rather gloomy evening found four of us from  Craven Conservation Group  searching at twilight for the Heath Snaill - but we found some .. and realised the habitat was short grassland on south facing slopes.

Awesome Secrets of UK Snails and Slugs in Settle and Dentdale.

And not only UK Slugs.. but Spanish ones too!  .. but more of that below.
Visit to Dentdale on 9 Sept 2017 by YNU and CCG

It's ten years since national snail expert Adrian Norris, and Yorkshire Naturalists Union Recorder led  Craven Conservation Group along Giggleswick Scar (6 May 2007) where we discovered the Heath snail.

And 11 years since we visited the Hoffman Kiln and found 27 land species! - more than 1/10th the British fauna.  (I rediscovered the speech I had written for Craven Speakers Club about Snails which recounted that expedition.. I'll put that up later)

2017 found us on two more snails trips (three if you include New Year's Day.)

A couple of lichen pictures have strayed in ..

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

I am already whelmed. Ten Tips for Time management from Chris Birch

Chris Birch gave a good speech at Craven Speakers Club at Skipton in autumn 2017. He gave it to illustrate the "list" format for making a speech.

But it was such good advice I write it here:-

1. Ruthless priorities
        One Route, One direction
2. Schedule your time
3. Put aside two hours with nothing scheduled in it.
4. Chaos is a terrible thing (I forget what this title meant)
5. Leave some problems unresolved
6. Have a "Don't Do" list
7. Have Humour: Remember to say "I am already whelmed" - Don't get overwhelmed.
8. Use the energy - How?
9. Think of the gas law (Any gas fills the available space)

Well I have achieved and understood number 4. These points were written on a piece of paper. Now they are filed in this blog, and the piece of paper is in the bin.

Happy day everyone.

Have a Whelmed Day.


Tuesday, 2 January 2018

New Year Plant Hunt 2018

On Monday 1 Jan 2018 at 10 am three members of Craven Conservation Group   went for a walk / route march to visit the highlights from previous years. David Fisher, Ann Craven and I. We found 22 species in flower. 
I sent in the results that evening to BSBI and felt happy that on Day 1 of the New Year I had achieved something.

You can see our results (and everyone else's in UK) here:

 This Lesser Burdock is not in flower, but by the time (at Dave's suggestion, thank you Dave) I had examined it, it had left its hooked involucral bracts on my coat, bag and red pompom hat. Huh.

See it was a somewhat moist day.

The  Red Valerian was really struggling to be seen in flower.

The churchyard supplied its usual daisies.

Yes, a small plant of Thale cress.

Once onto the industrial estate we found a large area with 
Rue-leaved-saxifrage (though none in flower elsewhere)

Further along in the lorry park a driver
told us about Dog Daisies.. and we found two.

Senecio viscosus - Sticky Groundsel
Thanks Dave, Ann (and briefly Chris Taylor) for taking part.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Parmelina pastillifera

Many, many years ago, in the dim and distant past,  I used to lump all large grey foliose lichens growing tree branches, wood or  acid rock as "Parmelia saxatilis" - (Crottle or Stony Rag). ("Large" means having lobes that are greater than 7mm wide). 

O lazy, lazy me.

But nowadays I am more discerning.

Parmelina pastillifera

Parmelia saxatilis

This post is devoted to stories of my findings of Parmelina pastillifera. This species was uncommon once, but like many other lichen species it is spreading as the air has much less SO2 pollution now.
 Differences between the two species:

Parmelina pastilliferaParmelia saxatilis
No pseudocyphellae on thallus
Pseudocyphellae present (=whitish ridges on the thallus) 
Isidia presentIsidia present (= lots of wart like projections that are a means of vegetative reproduction.)
The isidia are black/dark blue and are button shaped (mushroom shaped- a dark blob on a narrower stalk.) and thinly scattered on the thallusThe isidia are grey or dark grey, and finger tip shaped and are on the older parts of the thallus and can be very concentrated and numerous if the thallus is old.
Lobes indented with rounded axils

This is what it says on the Last Dragon web site:

A foliose lichen forming rosettes, lobes grey to blue-grey, often brownish towards lobe margins (as in Hypotrachyna), slightly lustrous, surface faintly marbled, usually developing conspicuous, button-like, blue-black or black isidia; apothecia apparently unknown in Britain. Widespread and locally frequent, especially in the south and west, generally on nutrient-rich bark, sometimes on rocks and other substrates.

I first discovered Parmelina pastillifera on a Rowan Tree on the grass triangle area beside the bridge beside Horton in Ribblesdale church in 2014, and keyed it out.  

The following year I attended Allan Pentecost's course at Malham Tarn Field Centre. We were delighted to find it on the moribund Slapton Minibus at Malham Tarn Field Centre beside High Stables. He pointed out that it was a new record for the Field Centre, and for the hectad (10 km square).

The minibus remained there for two years - serving a useful storage function for Field Centre bits and pieces, and possible minibus parts, and an excellent beautiful example of colonisation substrate with wonderful textures

- but it may have gone now.

Pictures from August 2015:

Location of the van:

Vans in the foreground. It was the van on the right as you look at it. See Allan and students in the background studying scree looking for Farnoldia lichen

See vans in background by High Stables

Parmelina pastillifera on van

Parmelina pastillifera on van

Parmelina pastillifera on van

Snail trail on van

Pictures of the same van in November 2016:

Campylopus introflexus (From Australia)- this moss gets everywhere

I think this photo is a splendid example of different textures .. from the snail tracks to the reflection of the trees in the window
Don't you?
See how the algae are increasing

In my jogging / walking locally I have seen it on the stone wall on the road at Knight Stainforth, just near above the cafe.

The YNU trip to Marwick in Swaledale I stopped at some trees by the river Swale. and discovered Parmelina pastillifera's sister species: Parmelina tiliacea, P.tiliacea has isidia that are coraloid rather than button shaped.

Finally whilst going for a botany walk this December 2017 with members of PBA-Applied Ecology we found it on the gate just opposite the road from their office.

I saw the big foliose grey lichen and thought "Right, I'll show them the very common Parmelia saxatilis, it will be useful for them to know.

But lo, it turned out to be Parmelina pastillifera

P pastillifera on gate opposite PBA - Stackhouse Lane, 1/2 mile from Giggleswick/Settle

P pastillifera on gate opposite PBA - Stackhouse Lane, 1/2 mile from Giggleswick/Settle