BOOK: Nowt’s Same
Nowt’s Same – A Light-hearted review of Dales Life in the 20th Century.
Dales life is recalled through folks tales and much humour.
In 1900, women showed little more than their ankles to the gaze of the opposite sex.
A prudish Dales housewife covered the bare legs of the living room table on Sundays.
Ninety-nine years later, members of the Rylstone Women’s institute felt able to raise money for charity by posing unclad, for a calendar.
In Grandma’s day, chests were rubbed with goose grease and working-class folk were often in ‘right pickle’.
136 pages with illustrations by Richard Bancroft.
W.R. ‘Bill’ Mitchell joined the Dalesman magazine in 1949, starting a journalistic career inspired by owner Harry Scott’s adage ‘put people before things.’ He took over as editor from Scott in 1968, a position he held for eighteen years. As well as editing Dalesman and its sister publication Cumbria, Bill had a prodigious output extending across over two hundred books, innumerable articles and countless lectures. His thirst for knowledge and a keen listening ear made him an expert on many topics. He had the skill of putting often-reticent Dales folk at their ease, his interviews reflecting a bygone age and remaining for posterity in the W.R. Mitchell Archive.
In 1996 Bill was awarded the MBE for his services to journalism in Yorkshire and Cumbria and received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Bradford. In 2007 he was awarded a Golden Eagle Award from the Outdoor Writers’ and Photographers’ Guild which cited him as one of the founding fathers of outdoor writing. Two years later he was voted ‘Greatest Living Icon’ for the Yorkshire Dales National Park in a poll to mark the 60th anniversary of the National Parks.
In 2010 he won the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Dalesman Rural Award ceremony, receiving the award from another advocate of the countryside, John Craven. Bill’s work for Dalesman over four decades is arguably the defining feature of an illustrious career.
Bill died in 2015, aged 87.