Past Events


Art Workshop with local artist, Hannah Chesterman 

Cancelled and will be rescheduled at a later date

As part of the Presenting the Past project Hannah is running a one day workshop during which a collaborative response to the Inman photographs will be produced. The day and all the materials are funded by the Heritage Lottery fund. Numbers are strictly limited so reserve your place as soon as possible to avoid being disappointed. 15th March 2020, 10am start at Conistone with Kilnsey Village Hall.  This is a free workshop thanks to the Heritage Lottery funding of the project.

Cream tea with Anna Greenwood Thursday 5th March 2pm at Conistone with Kilnsey Village Hall.

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Anna Greenwood gathers stories, images and the spoken word predominantly in the Yorkshire Dales. She collects traditional tales, stories and rural crafts, mainly among farming communities in rural parts of Yorkshire. Tales from the older generation, recording a slower way of life that is rapidly disappearing. This afternoon will be an opportunity to eavesdrop on fascinating stories about life in Yorkshire, followed by a tasty cream tea!                                



“A Winter Wassail” with the Penhill Poachers.

Start thinking about Christmas with this group of musicians and their atmospheric music. Covers of folk songs and carols. Friday 29th November 2019 at The Octagon Grassington 7.30pm. £10 members/£12 non members.


Ian McMillan and Luke Carver Goss “BETWEEN YOU AND ME”

By popular demand a return to Grassington for Ian McMillan this time with Luke Carver Goss. Ian was joined by composer Luke to presented a hilarious night of words, music & breath-taking comedy which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. 

Friday 11th October 2019 at The Octagon Grassington 7.30pm. Members £11 non members £12.50


Author, academic and historian, Richard entertained us with his stories of Yorkshire, including some he couldn’t squeeze in to his hugely successful book “Yorkshire, a Lyrical History”. Friday 13th September 2019 at The Octagon Grassington

ROGER MCGOUGH: "Joinedupwriting."


A highly entertaining evening with Roger whose poetry and writing is familiar to both adults and children. Thoroughly enjoyed by a sellout audience.

Saturday 27th July 2019 at The Octagon in Grassington.



A fully booked workshop proved to be a huge success with all those taking part from absolute beginners to those with some initial experience. A busy day started with basic instuction on drawing out a design. This was followed by transferring the design onto soft lino (not like the lino many had tried in Primary school!). Cutting the design proved interesting but all succeeded with the task. Then to printing.......everyone was a little nervous but, wow, how well they all turned out. All were delighted with their prints.

 lino1.JPG   lino2.JPG   lino4.JPG  lino3.JPG  Heather-lino.JPGRabbit__Foxglove_Pam_Devine_4x6_inches.jpg"Rabbit & Foxglove" 


The launch of UWALS new Heritage Lottery funded "Presenting the Past" project took place at Conistone with Kilnsey Village Hall on 26th January 2019. People visited during the day to learn about the project and to sign up for many of the activities taking place over the course of 2019/2010 - all funded by the Heritage Lottery fund. If you weren't able to attend on the 26th but are interested to learn more then get in touch by email


2nd March 2019 was a full house in Conistone with Kilnsey village hall to hear Ian Clayton speak about his life and read extracts from his books. Ian kept us all audience entralled with his reminiscences of a Yorkshire childhood and many of his stories brought back memories for members of the audience. Ian stayed around to sign books and chat whilst people were enjoying an afternoon tea.

Photography Workshop 16th March 2019 Kettlewell Village Hall 10am till 4pm.

Despite the awful weather the workshop was extremely well attended. The workshop was run by Andrew Brooks, a professional photographer who has held photography workshops for UWALS in the past. People have chosen photographs from the collection which they will use as inspiration for their own photographs over the coming weeks. Andrew will return in a couple of months to run a follow-up workshop.

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Maire ni Chastasaigh and Chris Newman The Octagon Friday 5th April 

This was a fantastic evening of virtuoso harp playing by one of the country's most celebrated harpists and the reason for this event being a sell out. Maire was accompanied by Chris Newman whose acoustic guitar playing had the audience spellbound. The audience were rewarded by an extremely moving encore and oour committee members have been inundated by requests for us to book this formidable duo again next year.

"Streams of Wonder" a lyrical film of the Dales. The Octagon May 8th 2019

This recently commissioned film took us all on a journey through the beautiful landscape of the Yorkshire Dales. There was no commentary -just beautiful music accompanied the film. Film goers were treated to glass of fizz and canapes on their arrival in the Octagon. The evening was rounded off by a question and answer session where the film makers were available to take questions from the audience.




Appeared at the Octagon in Grassington on Sunday 4th February 2018 and despite it being a very cold evening the event was a sell-out. Professor Crystal's talk was fascinating, he brought all aspects of the English language to life - accents, dialects et al.


At Amerdale Hall in Arncliffe at 7.30pm on 16th March 2018. Heather was appointed Librarian and Keeper of Collections at the Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, where she established the new Polar Museum. This was a fabulous evening and all the tickets were sold out. Heather's talk kept everyone captivated. The evening was rounded off with supper. A great success.


A food historian, writer and broadcaster who came to give us a talk on Queen Victoria’s sweet tooth. The evening was followed by a buffet meal. This was a fantastic event and a very special evening at the beautiful Parcevall Hall on 10th May 2018 at 5pm. The staff at Parceval Hall couldn't have looked after us any better. Annie Gray held us all captivated with her superb talk and the weather was perfect for a stroll around the gardens.


The annual spring quiz and supper was held again at Conistone with Kilnsey Village hall and was a good evening with questions set by Pam Devine and Ron Norman. There was a wide variety of questions with an opportunity for everyone to be an expert on one topic or another!


Friday 15th June at Conistone with Kilnsey Hall

After a hugely successful day last year, Andrew Brooks agreed to come back again for another photography workshop. People learned how to get the best out of their cameras and how to make the most of their surroundings to produce the best photographs. Once again this proved to be a very popular UWALS event and fortunately for us the weather stayed fine.


Saturday July 14th and Sunday July 15th 2018 in Grassington Town Hall and the Octagon Theatre.

This fantastic UWALS event was an opportunity for visitors to learn about all aspects of life in Upper Wharfedale at the end of WWI. So much of the social history of this period is being lost and a group of UWALS members has been working hard to capture it before it is too late. There were photos and written accounts, demonstrations of local crafts, performances in the Octagon “Yorkshire Women in WW1”, a performance of letters from the Front and a chance to hear ballads and folk songs once so familiar in Yorkshire, now rarely heard. The tea room was entertained by UWALS choir master Ron Norman who played popular early 20th century songs on the piano.

WWI devastated many lives and changed society significantly, but its impact was not the same for everyone and this exhibition explored aspects of life in Upper Wharfedale that challenged our assumptions. Approximately 500 people attended the exhibition over the two days and the feedback has been amazing with many people asking for the displays to be exhibited again and for further exhibitions to be undertaken by the UWALS membership.

The following comments left in our “Comments Box” at the exhibition summarise the feedback we received:

“A fantastic exhibition of a tremendous amount of work! Thank you! Too much to take in at one visit”

“UWALS team – excellent exhibition. Amazing research and presentation. What a fabulous endeavour to be involved with and great local information. Very Well done! Poignant performance – 'Interpretation of letters' , tea, cakes, refreshments soooo good. FABULOUS!!"

This event was made possible by a Big Lottery grant - THANKYOU!   

“A JOURNEY WITH SIMON ARMITAGE” -FRIDAY 21st September 2018 at the Octagon Grassington.

This was a rare opportunity to join Simon Armitage for an evening of readings from his prose and poetry on the theme of ‘Journeys’ in the intimate space of the Octagon, Grassington. It was fabulous evening enjoyed by everyone who attended. We were also joined by the Grove Book shop from Ilkley who were selling copies of Simon's books at the end of the evening. The evening was a sell out and our apologies to go anyone who was unable to get a ticket for the event.

"An Evening of Autumn Music" with students from the Royal Northern College of Music

On Saturday 13th October a fantastic evening was enjoyed by everyone at this sell out performance by the Freeman String Quartet - talented students from the prestigious Royal Northern College of Music. This evening was brought to a close by a wonderful performance of Smetana's String Quartet No 1 "From my Life."

"Wartime in Upper Wharfedale" 6th November Kettlewell Village Hall

Following on from the success of the UWALS exhibition in Grassington Town Hall in summer, Geraldine Norman and Eileen Leahy gave a talk on how Upper Wharfedale was affected by and responded to the events of World War 1. Profits from this well attended evening were donated to the International Red Cross.

UWALS AGM - 13th November

Lauren Livesey of the Bronte Society gave a talk on the life of Emily Bronte in this the 200th year since her death. Members were given the exciting new UWALS Programme of events for 2019 and thanked for their support over the previous year.

"Goday my Lord Sir Christemas" 

5th December 2018 at the Octagon in Grassington saw a wonderful performance by York Waits who entertained this sell out audience with their medieval music to finish of the UWALS 2018 Programme of events in style! The range of instruments played was fascinating and led to a memorable evening which was enjoyed by everyone.


FUNK WIRE Christmas Sing-along 

On Friday 14th December the choir held their annual Christmas Sing-along. This annual event has become so popular that this year it was held in the village hall in Arncliffe to allow for the large number of people who attend. The evening was a great success and enjoyed by everyone who attended. A raffle was held and the proceeds were donated to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance and the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Society with both groups receiving £65 each.

We are pleased to announce

Present in the Past

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This collection of writings and accompanying photographs, Present in the Past, captures all that is Upper Wharfedale: its people, its history, its customs and, above all, its wonderful landscape.  You can buy it for just £10 by emailing or phoning 01756 770051/770350.  We can arrange delivery or post copies on.

Ron Norman has produced an exciting new YouTube video for you to watch which will let you know how this piece of work has developed over the last few months. 



See Future Events.