SETTLE Stories will hold its sixth festival next weekend – but one familiar face will be missing.

Prolific Dales journalist and author Bill Mitchell was a stalwart supporter of the festival, but he died in October at the age of 87.

However, he will not be forgotten.

The festival will start on April 1 with a Remembering Bill event at the town's grade one listed Folly at 11am.

Guests will be asked to share their stories of Bill, who trained on the Westmorland Gazette's sister newspaper, the Craven Herald, was the editor of the Dalesman for many years and wrote more than 200 books on local history.

Settle Stories director, Sita Brand, said: "Bill Mitchell was a master storyteller. He was involved with Settle Stories almost since we started. His presence, his stories and his work have greatly influenced us.

"Bill Mitchell was at every festival, telling stories, meeting people, sharing experiences. Events with Bill were always very popular. He was so well loved.

"Even though Bill Mitchell isn’t with us telling stories this year we wanted to make sure that our audiences could still feel his presence. It made sense that a fitting tribute was to open the festival with Remembering Bill."

During the last year of Bill's life, Sita visited Bill every week, recording his stories and memories for the WR Mitchell Archive, a digital version of his interviews and pictures.

Sita recalled: "At the Remembering Bill event, I will play excerpts from these interviews.

"It will also mark the opening of a small exhibition which will show photographs and slides from Bill’s personal collection. This small exhibition is a beginning of the work we want to do to make these incredible photos available to the public.

"Bill loved people and his photographic collection of 15,000 photos and slides holds a treasure trove of images of life as it was. It is so important to celebrate our Yorkshire heritage and remember life as it was.

"This exhibition is a small sample of his work. In time, we hope to raise enough money to digitise the whole collection in time so it will be more widely available."

The exhibition will be at The Folly for April and May before touring around Craven.

Other festival highlights include The Naked Stun with comedian Alfie Moore, the premiere of Romance and Ragamuffins by former Emmerdale actress Ursula Holden Gill, a talk by 38 Degrees founder David Babbs, master storyteller Martin Shaw and the Potter's Story by Giggleswick School teacher Matthew Wilcock, who won the BBC's Great Pottery Throw Down.