I had two trips to Grassington this week and apart from freezing weather and the fact I had to fork out over a fiver to park the car, had an enjoyable and informative time. The first visit was to check out a walk which is timed to coincide with the Dickensian Festival in the town – watch out for details in next month’s magazine. The second was to hear of a new initiative to develop electricity by using the power of the river Wharfe near the falls at Linton. A hundred years ago local entrepreneurs saw the potential to create electricity by installing a turbine in a disused mill by the top weir, and they successfully supplied Grassington with enough power for lights right up to the late 1940s when the town was finally connected to the national grid. The mill is now in a poor state but thanks to the owner J N Bentley, English Heritage and the National Park hopes are high that the Wharfe will by later next year be generating power once again. Gayle Mill near Hawes and Yoredale Mill at Aysgarth are already utilising water power while over in Settle plans to use the Ribble have temporarily been thwarted because of problems regarding fish migration. It’s all very promising though and those involved have to be congratulated.

Photo: The old mill at the top weir, Linton

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