Normally up to their armpits in muck and sawdust, the volunteers and friends of Gayle Mill were able to swap overalls for their best clobber on Friday when the Queen’s cousin, the Duke of Gloucester, dropped in for a visit. He enjoyed a tour of the 18th-century building, which started life as a cotton-spinning mill, and unveiled a plaque to commemorate four years of hard graft which has helped get it up and running again. It is rapidly becoming a major tourist attraction in Wensleydale, boosting the local economy along with the Creamery, Outhwaite Ropemakers and the museum, all of which the Duke visited. The mill also provides a timber service and manufactures wood products, is used a training and teaching venue and even produces green electricity through its turbine. With all the doom and gloom around it is so refreshing to visit this part of the Dales where a positive attitude is reaping rewards.

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