Next month Rathmell will be bidding farewell to two of its long-standing residents, Lynne and David Wilkinson.
Lynne has lived in the village for 52 years and David for 32, but they have now decided to sell up and move to Knaresborough; in Lynne’s words: ‘As I’m in my 70th year and David has retired, we felt now is a good time to explore pastures new.’
As a member of the Garnett family, Lynne is one of the few remaining links with Rathmell’s illustrious recent history. In the 1950s her father Kenneth established agricultural engineering business Thornton and Garnett, which was a significant local employer and in many ways put Rathmell ‘on the map’. Lynne herself worked for five years for her father, as a drainage surveyor, which involved going round farms measuring the drains after they had been laid. ‘It was one of the best parts of my life’ she says with characteristic candour.
She was born in Butterfield House, where she lives now (‘that’s enough reason itself to move on’), and subsequently was brought up in the next door house, Lynfield. She attended Rathmell School in the days of the legendary Mrs Hinsley, then Settle High School and college, after which she spent some years living away from the village. Her business career has been long and varied, encompassing local house-building projects with David; purchasing and renovating Watershed Mill in Settle, which provided business units as well as a hub for local craft firms under the Dalesmade brand; setting up her own marketing business under the name Marketing-U; and finally working as an adviser for Business Link until it closed in 2012, when she too retired.
For many years Lynne has played an important part in the local community, having been for 10 years treasurer of Rathmell PCC, and a Ribble Banks Councillor for 3 years. She has always been willing to stand up for what she believed in and prepared to take on important issues which affected the community, such as traffic calming, speed restrictions, planning disputes etc. She has also been master of the web – the driving force behind rathmellvillage.org.uk and the author and photographer of our entertaining and informative village newsletters.
David has been a staunch supporter of this website and of Rathmell village as a whole, bringing his much-appreciated expertise to planning. Parish Councillor John Ketchell says of David: ‘His analysis of Craven District planning regulations and applications is forensic, and he’s been a great help to councillors in their efforts to protect the best of the village and in their crusade against the mediocre plans frequently submitted by developers. His detailed knowledge of sight-lines and Right to Light is second to none’.
‘He’s also quite good at wheelbarrowing horse muck’, says Lynne.
We all wish Lynne and David very well in their new venture, but they will be much missed in the village.