Picture Above: It is March 1987 and Grace Thompson is pictured in her general dealer’s store/newsagents in Osmotherley. She ran the store for many years after starting work there aged just 16. The business had been owned by the Thompson famaily for two centuries. Mrs Thompson died earlier this year aged 87, but not before selling the store with the stipulation that it
remained a shop and that the old fittings remained.

From this newspaper 150 years ago. – Gala at Barningham Park. On Tuesday there was a large gathering of people at this delightful place, the occasion being a village gala under the immediate patronage of Mark Milbank, Esq., and Lady Milbank, and a distinguished circle of visitors from Barningham Hall. The Rev W F Wharton and Mrs Wharton, Barningham Rectory, and the elite of the district, the occasion was also to welcome the bride and bridegroom (Lady Susan and Mr Henry Milbank) on their first visit to the estate after their marriage. The flower show tent from Barnard Castle was erected in a pleasant position in the park and numerous banners were conspicuously displayed. The interior of the tent was grandly decorated with excellent taste by the noblemen, ladies and gentlemen from the hall and rectory, who worked with right good will to make the thing a success.

The entrance to the tent was a beautiful arrangement of heather in bloom. Above the orchestra a fine device with the words “Welcome to the Bride” was the work of Mrs W F Wharton, and was greatly admired. A number of sports took place in the park and caused much amusement.

Tea was set out in a style that cannot be too highly spoken of, and the display together with the ample provisions were highly eulogised. The distinguished patrons on entering the tent were loudly cheered. Sussex Milbank, Esq., addressed the assembly in appropriate terms. The tent was cleared for dancing and the ball was led off by Mark Milbank, Esq., and Mrs Henry Milbank.

Dancing was kept up with great spirit until a late hour, and to all appearance the enjoyment of the company seemed complete. About 800 people were present. The Barnard Castle and Barningham bands were in attendance.

From this newspaper 100 years ago. – An Appeal to the Dalesmen. In pursuance of the plan to hold meetings throughout Wensleydale for the purpose of obtaining recruits for Lord Kitchener’s Army, a meeting was held in the market-place, Hawes, on Tuesday afternoon. A great many dalespeople, it is feared, fail to realise the seriousness of the European situation, and need to be roused to a sense of their responsibility as citizens of the British Empire. On Tuesday, the speakers, who addressed the large company from a motor from which hung several Union Jacks, were Mr M D’Arcy Wyvill, JP., Constable Burton Hall, and Mr L Parsey, Recruitment Officer, Leyburn, and late Lieutenant 3rd V B Gordon Highlanders. The speakers were supported by Mr H A Crallan, Hawes, who is taking a deep interest in the recruiting movement in the Hawes district, and Mr John Chapman, Thornton Rust, who is also actively engaged in obtaining volunteers. Mr M D’Arcy, Wyvill, in the course of an excellent and soldierly address, said they had come to Hawes that day to ask the young men of the dales to come forward and assist in defending our shores. We had gone to war to defend our homes, our shores, and the trade of our country. Our Navy had done a great work already. (Hear, hear). Where would we have been if we had not had a Navy capable of defending and securing our food supply, and it was our duty to assist our Navy in every possible way. (Hear, hear). He regretted the absence from their meeting of Mr J C Winn, who was suffering from lumbago. Sir David Barclay was also unable to be present, and while they regretted his absence they rejoiced at the cause, viz., because he was too busy swearing in recruits at Leyburn, and he hoped they would be able to take him word back that the men of Hawes had come forward nobly in defence of their country. Some people had said that Great Britain had gone to war to help Serbia. Nothing of the kind. It was for the honour of our country that we were at war. England was one of the parties to the treaty which guaranteed the neutrality of Belgium; the Kaiser had for his own sake violated and torn up that treaty, and it was to discharge our treaty obligations that England took up arms.

Darlington and Stockton Times:

From this newspaper 50 years ago. – A public appeal is to be launched to raise £5,000 to get one of the country’s most famous old grey mares back on to her feet again. She is now in every respect a non-runner, and unless the public respond generously she will just fade from sight. Kilburn’s famous White Horse, carved out of the Hambleton Hills to plans drawn by Mr John Hodgson, the village schoolmaster in 1857, has attracted thousands of visitors to the area. She is 228ft high and 314ft long; a very forlorn giant nowadays. The preservation of the horse has caused much anxiety in recent years, and Mr R C Gibson, the North Ridings; county surveyor, has made a special examination of the problems involved.

He has reported that much stabilisation work is necessary to deal with all the loose stones and debris on the outline. He said that the legs are now so bad that they will need completely restoring with large hand picked stones as the foundations. Mr Gibson says that time will suffice as a temporary colouring; but further tests are being made to find a permanent answer to the particular problem.

Only a very small investment is available for the upkeep of the horse, and the preservation committee, of which Mr J Weston Adamson, of Oldstead Hall, is chairman, is setting out to raise enough money to do the necessary repairs and ensure that the White Horse is groomed as she should be in the years to come.

Darlington and Stockton Times: