Denis Fox’s painting of Eric Lock’s Spitfire

I was interested in the first picture shown by Denis Fox of the Spitfire flown by Eric Lock.
In 1971 I moved to Bayston Hill, to a new housing estate two miles south of Shrewsbury. Whilse there a number of new roads were completed and one of these was named Eric Lock Road, I vaguely remember that it was said that he was a wartime pilot and this was to honour him. I know nothing about his background but I think it very possible that he came from the Shrewsbury area.
Doreen Leggatt, Oswestry, Shropshire

I have been around long enough now for it to be brought home to me how things can come full circle within a lifetime. In a recent issue of The Dalesman I saw mentioned that the wetlands on the moors are to be restored in order to preserve the threatened wildlife they once supported. Back in 1946, when I was a sprog of 16, I was at a loose end during the school holidays, so went out with my godfather, who had been a farmer and was then working for the North Riding War Agricultural Executive Committee, to measure up the newly cut grips on the moors.
The NRWAEC was one of many such bodies set up during the war to improve the productivity of the farms. One of the things the NRWAEC put in hand was a scheme to improve drainage of swampy unproductive moorland so that more sheep could be run and so increase the production of wool. A special plough had been designed for this purpose. I saw it parked in Marsett Bardale, a hamlet near Semerwater. As we were checking the length of grip cut by the plough to calculate the cost of the work I began to realise why I had been dragged along. Somebody young and agile was required to do the running about! The grips were already running like young rivers and were lethal to sheep. We saw a few who had fallen in and got wedged, upside down, and drowned.
Now, nobody wants the wool, and the price of it, so I am told, does not cover the cost of the shearing. Someone now reckons that the moors are too dry, the wetlands are to be recreated, so the grips, laboriously cut at great cost in the 1940s, are to be blocked up. What is to be used to block them? All that unwanted wool! You couldn’t make it up, could you?
Bill Bateman, Crowland, Lincolnshire

Thank you Dalesman for a wonderful walk with lots of interest.
On a sparkling September day we set out to find our ‘inner Hockney’ on the Fridaythorpe Wolds Walk as described by Ian Richardson.
Spectacular views all the way with plenty of opportunity to stop to admire them, we felt artistic inspiration coming on.
Approaching the gate at Gill’s Farm we could see a gentleman with a distinctive hat taking a rest. Was this him? Mr H? No, but it was another Dalesman reader following the same route.
We took the extension into Huggate and found the delightful tea room – homemade scones and cake, delicious. Well worth a visit but note closed on Wednesdays.
Sadly the pouch for contributions was missing at the Poetry Bench but a lovely place to rest and take in the scenery.
The ducks were still quacking as we sat by the pond in Fridaythorpe to change out of our walking boots at the end of a grand day out.
Lyn Cadmore, Leeds

It must have been in the late 1940s, before the ‘Clean Air Act’ came into force when pea souper fogs were very common in winter. I lived in Leeds with my parents and younger brother and my late mother used to have a stall in Rotherham market a couple of times week.
Mum told the story, very embarrassingly, of it being very foggy one evening when she was travelling home. Naturally, she was rather scared and a bit lost when she noticed a car with a Leeds registration in front.
At the time, Leeds registrations were: UA, UB, UG, UM, NW.
Delightedly, she thought. “I’ll follow that car, it will take me on the right road home” which she did. Some time later, the car turned into a large drive and the driver got out. Mum asked where she was and was told Bradford.
I was a youngster at the time of the incident but even now at 84 years of age, I still chuckle thinking about this.
Nevil Tolkin, Leeds

A mystery photo – do you know where it is?

Attached is a postcard I have of a non conformist church/Sunday school, the photographer was S Hattersley of Bradford. I have tried hard to find its exact location but without success. I believe it may not be in Bradford but maybe Calderdale or Airedale. Would your readers be able to help? I would be very grateful.
Alun Pugh, Leeds. Email:

I refer to the letter in the September issue from Norma Green of Aberystwyth who wonders if there are other places where people refer to “Scrogging”. I am not a true Yorkshireman but born and bred in the Midlands, only venturing into the glorious county of Yorkshire in 1966.
However, I am the proud father of three Yorkshire Tyke sons. There is also a lovely daughter but she is Northamptonshire by birth but living in Scarborough and married to a Tyke. My late wife and family moved into the hamlet of Wrench Green just inside the North York Moors National Park in 1975 and only a few hundred yards from the banks of the lovely River Derwent. We were told that further along by the riverside was an area of rough uncultivated ground where we would find The “Scroggs” and where locals went “Scrogging”! We discovered just at the right
time of the year that the “Scroggs” was a large area of blackberry bushes, huge tall and dense bushes covered with the most delicious big berries. In fact it was possible to almost remain in one spot and fill a basket with the fruit. Sadly the area was bulldozed and cleared when the farm changed hands and the picking days were over. We still refer however to the Scroggs when we refer to that particular area by the river.
Bryan M Dew, Hackness, Scarborough

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  1. Brian waller

    Reading the fog experience reminds me of our experience of a foggy night. We’d been to the Fighting Cocks, a pub in Rawmarsh near Rotherham. Thursday night Rock and roll night. When we came out at the end of the night the fog had descended a real as he said ‘pea souper’ You couldn’t see your hand in front of you. Peter our driver said “this lad says “it not far back to main road I’ll walk in front for you”, . After we had gone a little way Pete said “he’s disappeared” so one of us got out “we’re on some allotments and he’s no we’re to be seen” was his comment. The next week the lad came up to us and asked “got any spuds lads”


    Thank you so much to Lyn Cadmore for sharing how much she enjoyed the Wolds walk I had the pleasure of writing for Dalesman. It is such a beautiful and tranquil area and hopefully soon we we will all be able to enjoy again! I have a coastal gem of walk in the April edition and I am itching to get over to Dentdale to complete one on the many waterfalls there.
    Ian Richardson.


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