The Dales Way Association held its 21st Annual General Meeting on Saturday 26th October. Despite the awful rain on the Friday and the storms predicted for Sunday, members travelled from as far afield as Essex and Shropshire.
The day started with a walk along the Dales Way from Burnsall to Hebden swing bridge where we paused to inspect the work which is being done to replace the planking on the bridge. The repairs have been made possible by a generous donation from DWA member Eileen King in memory of her late partner Roy Doherty and we were delighted that Eileen had made the long journey to join us. We then walked on to Grassington where we had a short break before returning to Ilkley and the business part of the day.
We got to Burnsall and returned from Grassington on the number 74 bus, a regular service that takes both locals and visitors up and down Wharfedale and is a lovely ride in its own right. During the meeting Footpath Officer Alex McManus told members that he had spent the summer inspecting the Dales Way footpath and had relied on the bus to travel back to his car. We were astonished to learn therefore that this and other rural bus services are in danger of being cut.
Dales Way Association Chairman, Colin Speakman told the meeting; “The Yorkshire Dales National Park, and the Dales Way, one of the jewels in the National Park’s crown, must remain fully accessible to everyone, and the bus services in Upper Wharfedale are essential to achieve this.”