Down memory lane in the Dales

allotments

A walk down Watery Lane in Settle today took me on a diversion down Memory Lane. I was reminded of my primary school days some fifty-odd years ago when a wonderful teacher, whose name I forget, used to take the class down a similar lane and into nearby fields. We were townies in the industrial West Riding but behind the school were a few meadows full of buttercups, dandelions and daisies (and cow pats) – and views stretching to the Pennine chain. She introduced us to wild garlic, bluebells, harebells and a host of other wildflowers, all kinds of berries and taught us the names of birds. On warm days we would create daisy chains. This was the era of Famous Five adventures; Swallows and Amazons, when the sun always shone and life-long friendships were created. Sadly, those times, along with the school and the meadows, are now gone; and teachers for one reason or another are unable to provide this kind of education. I moved from that area in my teens and am now lucky enough to live permanently amongst beautiful country lanes and meadows in Ribblesdale. The photo shows a view from Watery Lane over the allotments to Upper Settle (the last time I inquired, there was a two-year waiting list for one of these plots – a shame more land can’t be used in this way instead of being sat upon by landowners waiting to make a fat profit).

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