Travellers Rest

IN response to David Wilkinson (no relation to my husband Dave Wilkinson) and his letter “Pub dreams” (D&S Times letters, Mar 26).

I was saddened to read the views of Mr Wilkinson regarding the anticipated reopening of the much missed Travellers Rest in Skeeby.

Unlike him I do not consider Skeeby as my village, more our village and as such am hoping that Skeeby Community Pub Society (SCPS) are able to successfully negotiate a mutually acceptable deal with the current owner and bring back a valuable community asset which will offer the residents of Skeeby and its visitors a place in which to “sample local food and drink enjoy a feeling of relaxation, companionship and community togetherness” and potentially so much more.

Yes, it is unfortunate that we have not been able to hold face to face meetings, or indeed knock on doors to canvass opinion however, we have made every effort to engage with the community, we have developed our own website, host a Facebook page, and recently delivered 2,000 leaflets to the local area which invited people to give us their feedback. We have held regular public meetings via Zoom which anybody can join by providing us with their email details and have openly invited opinion regarding the project, personally contacting those individuals who have specific concerns.

After all it is a community’s pub/hub that we are striving to achieve and the hundreds of supporters who have already engaged with us agree it is definitely something worth striving for. We sincerely hope that our neighbours are able to work alongside us and themselves benefit from all it will have to offer.

If anybody would like to know more about our endeavours please get in touch via our website,, email at or look up our Facebook page The Skeeby Community Pub Society Ltd – The Travellers Rest. Alternatively you can write to us at SCPS, The Old Post Office, 18 Richmond Road, Skeeby, DL10 5DS.

Your views and opinions are important to us and will help shape the future of our much loved Travellers Rest.

Carol Wilkinson (chair, SCPS), Skeeby.

Pub reopening

IT appears that David Wilkinson “Pub dreams” (D&S Times letters, Mar 26) was suffering from some malady whilst composing his letter since the content bears scant resemblance to the actuality. Either that or he, presumably being a newcomer to the village, omitted to research the subject sufficiently prior to putting pen to paper. His comments suggest that he would not like to see the pub reopen.

When looking at the village as a prospective place to live didn’t he notice the pub (it is on the main road), and investigate the possibility of it reopening? Had he done so he would have learnt of the villagers efforts to reopen it and the fact that it was an Asset of Community Value, which in itself would have been a good clue.

When the pub closed a public meeting was called to see if there was sufficient support for efforts to re-open it, to which the answer was a resounding “yes”. Since then a small group which evolved into the Skeeby Community Pub Society has, in my opinion, (I am not a member but have supported them from the outset) consulted properly with those interested and persevered against considerable odds to get to the current situation. Where his comments regarding the lack of consultation comes from escapes me.

I have lived in the village for 41 years and have seen the pub when it was the social hub of the village. Since its demise the village is simply a dormitory and I am saddened that Mr Wilkinson is not supportive of its reopening and the enhancement to village life that would bring. His assertions that those involved in trying to save the pub approached the matter in an arguably flippant and gung ho manner and accept support from individuals and groups with their own agenda, and considers any scrutiny to be hostile, beggar belief.

With regard to the traffic and parking, he should have seen the situation when the pub was really busy in its heyday. People parked on the main road which was welcomed by some villagers as, in the absence of proper traffic calming measures, parked cars slowed speeding traffic.

Come on Mr Wilkinson, support those who are working to improve village life.

Donald Harker, Skeeby.

A reflection

JUST over year ago, the Prime Minister told the country that people must stay at home and certain businesses must close. What became known as lockdown began. Something most of us had never experienced before meant we were suddenly thrust into the unknown.

There was for Herriot Hospice Homecare, a sense of frantic change, moments of chaos and confusion and hours of planning, all tinged with some fear of what was to come. We were determined to keep providing our services and support for patients and clients and we wanted, from the very beginning, to do all that we could to further support our communities and NHS with all that we were going through – but what did we expect to happen?

As we look back on those 12 months, I can reflect that on March 23, 2020 this is what I expected:

  • That our staff and volunteers would step up to the mark and adapt and give what was needed.
  • That everything we were doing would need to change in some way.
  • That we would come under significant financial pressure with income from retail and a lot of fundraising suddenly disappearing.

Everything changed overnight. Our HOME care teams donned strict protective clothing, with masks and visors. Gallons of sanitiser were continuously applied to our hands. Offices were deserted as working from home became the new norm for many. Our shops closed, our events were cancelled, and our Just ‘B’ bereavement services went virtual. Zoom filled our screens and the workload ramped up with days merging into nights and weeks into weekends.

What I wasn’t expecting:

  • The incredible response of our communities in supporting us with gifts, donations, grants and time in all that we were doing.
  • To have maintained our HOME service, which cares for people living with terminal illness in their own homes, at full tilt as demand increased.
  • To have developed three incredible helplines for anxiety, loneliness, grief, loss, and trauma locally, regionally and nationally.
  • To be working in close partnership with the Royal Foundation providing proactive emotional wellbeing support to our emergency services, NHS and care sector staff across the UK.

So, in the words of Monty Python, "always expect the unexpected". But two expected things did happen; everything we were doing did change, and of course, our staff and volunteers stepped up to the mark, adapted and gave what was needed – and still are. But then, I never expected anything else.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all out staff and volunteers – and our community – for their tireless commitment to everything that we do supporting local families in the most difficult of times.

Tony Collins, chief executive, Herriot Hospice Homecare.

HGV parking

I WAS so disappointed to read the article "Orders to prevent overnight parking could be extended" (D&S Times, Mar 26), and dismayed by the claims of success of a so called crackdown of "antisocial behaviour".

Truck drivers are not antisocial, they are key workers, and mums and dads and brothers and sisters.

They are human beings too and deserve to be provided with parking with decent facilities to use the toilet, wash and eat.

There is a shortage of 60,000 drivers in the UK, made worse by the number of EU driver citizens returning home as a result of Covid and Brexit. One of the reasons we cannot attract more recruits into the industry is a disastrous lack of facilities for drivers to park overnight, especially female drivers. It is a national scandal.

I would have hoped that truck drivers might have justified their worth delivering the goods through the pandemic to keep our economy together and food on your table.

If you are not happy with where they currently are having to park, provide a plan and option where they can park. Somewhere you would like your mum or dad or brother or sister to settle and rest for the night.

Andrew Spence-Wolrich, Moulton, Richmond.

Heating sources

ON the top of the front page of the D&S Times last Friday it stated I would find “a slice of heaven” on page 57. When I turned to the page, I found a house with many large windows that did look attractive, but some essential information was missing. Without these details I could not judge if this house was designed for 21st Century.

We nearly all accept we are facing a climate crisis where excess carbon dioxide in our atmosphere is putting up the world’s temperature. To tackle this serious problem, we all need to do what we can to cut out burning materials containing carbon such as wood, natural gas, mineral oil and plastics.

The house on page 57 will need good heat insulation. Are the large windows double or triple glazed and treated to reflect excess sun light in the summer? Are the walls and roof well insulated?

We are told the ground floor has a wood burning stove which is a fashion statement and burns off carbon dioxide as well as a number of toxins. There is underfloor heating but we are not told what fuel is used.

Why are we generally not informed how houses for sale are heated?

Michael Chaloner, Aiskew, Bedale.

Scottish split

THANKFULLY, the feud between former friends and colleagues, Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, is likely to sink Scottish independence for good; especially as both have recently had to defend themselves, admittedly successfully, against differing charges of impropriety.

Just as Nicola must have felt she was off the hook, Alex has bowled a googly by launching another nationalist party, rivalling the SNP, in preparation for the forthcoming Holyrood elections. Appropriately, he’s named the new party Alba, the Gaelic name for Scotland.

Alex claims he’ll bolster the number of nationalist MSPs by only putting forward candidates via the regional list system, made possible by the crazy Scottish system of proportional representation. But, many politicians, including Nicola, see his intervention as a challenge for the nationalist leadership itself.

If the Scots have any sense, they’ll shy away from supporting either of these inflated egos and turn to the more traditional parties, whilst, at the same time, coming to the opinion that the UK is okay after all.

Cllr Steve Kay (Ind), Redcar & Cleveland councillor, Moorsholm, east Cleveland.

Inquiry call

AT the constituency wide Zoom meeting held on February 19, Thirsk and Malton’s Conservative MP Kevin Hollinrake said:

“There is no doubt that we made mistakes through this process. I think will be a time and a place for a proper inquiry into exactly what's gone wrong and why the UK has been very hard hit by this virus."

Since then, we have had the BBC reporting what 20 of the most senior politicians, officials and former officials thought of the handling of the Covid pandemic. The picture is one of chaos, complacency and a government clinging to dogma.

The reporting details how ministers and officials became locked in arguments over how to respond, with the prime minister and many cabinet ministers reluctant to consider anything as draconian as a lockdown. The British public have been told repeatedly that the government did not consider a herd immunity strategy yet it is reported that one senior figure said: "There was a genuine argument in government, which everyone has subsequently denied. There was even talk of ‘chicken pox parties’, where healthy people might be encouraged to gather to spread the disease.”

Even after the first lockdown the Conservative government continued to defy the science. The summer optimism and re-opening was "the biggest mistake – a rush of blood to the head", another senior figure says. "The prime minister has to carry the can."

Boris Johnson continues to defy the ever-increasing calls for an inquiry sooner rather than later. Does he want to move on and leave the government’s responsibilities behind? It is sobering that the Conservatives consider this to be acceptable when more people have died in the UK since the beginning of December than did between February and December; a total now nearing 130,000 deaths.

Yes Mr Hollinrake, your government has “made mistakes” and we have a right to know why they were made. The 20 leading witnesses interviewed think that they know and after an inquiry the British people will know as well. This inquiry cannot come soon enough.

Graham Scott, Hunmanby, Filey.