A new exhibition commemorating North Craven’s part in the First World War has opened at The Museum of North Craven Life (The Folly) in Settle.

Barry Blood, vice-president of the British Legion (Skipton branch) and representing the Duke of Wellington’s regiment, opened the ‘War Beckons’ exhibition, which runs until November 2 and focuses on the early stages of the War and the effects it had on the North Craven district, in areas such as agriculture, industry and village life.

Also at the opening were Year 8 students from Settle college, who were set a project in History to research their First World War ancestors, and contributed to the exhibition by donating their work for display.

Sophie Armitage, who following her research is now planning a visit to the grave of her great uncle in France on the 100-year anniversary of his death, said of the project: “Wearing a poppy means a lot more now, having researched our own First World War family history. Knowing about someone who was involved makes it feel much more real.”


A special feature of the exhibition is a series of emotive paintings by local artist David Hartnup, who was inspired by ‘Craven’s Part in the Great War’, which was published in 1920 to commemorate the men from the district who died in World War I. David has interpreted the images from the book, in his own style, to depict the men from the villages of High and Low Bentham who lost their lives, giving visitors an insight into the scale of human loss during the conflict.

Anne Read, Honorary Curator at The Folly, said: “We are delighted with the very positive response we have had to the 'War Beckons' exhibition over the last few days. We've already received additional information and promises of further material, which is exactly what we'd hoped for!

“It is very exciting to think there are still plenty of local stories to discover and we want as many people as possible to come along and be inspired by what was happening in Craven exactly 100 years ago this summer.”

A series of events are planned around the exhibition, including a talk given by James Spry from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority about archaeological investigations of First World War sites around Settle tonight (Monday, July 28), from 7pm-8.30pm.

The exhibition helps to launch the Heritage Lottery-funded Craven and the First World War project, which is planning a series of events, exhibitions and performances to mark the centenary in the Craven district.

Project Officer, Rob Freeman, said: “The ‘War Beckons’ exhibition is the first in a series of events planned over the next few years which we hope will develop a greater understanding of Craven’s unique history of this period.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to commemorate the sacrifices made by the men and women of Craven 100 years ago, and we hope that as many people as possible will want to get involved and learn more.”

For information about The Folly and its opening times, visit www.ncbpt.org.uk/folly or ring 015242 51388.