The day Mrs Brown's boys met the Queen.


CRAVEN has been mourning the loss of Queen Elizabeth with commemorative services around the district and residents relating their own memories of her reign.

For one Skipton family the memory of meeting Her Majesty is very recent and occurred at the royal home of Balmoral.

The occasion was a proud moment for Skipton mum Diane Brown as she watched her twin sons James and John, along with husband, Ian, meet the Queen during an event at the Aberdeenshire location.

The two boys were part of the 264 (Skipton) Squadron which they joined six years ago and were at Balmoral to play in front of Her Majesty in 2019.

Mrs Brown said they would travel up to Scotland to practice and play with the Air Cadets pipe band for weekends and week camps.

They are also part of the Combined Cadet Force pipes and drums which incorporate Air Cadets, Army Cadets and Sea Cadets. They had combined practices and a week long camp at Inverness once a year where they played along the street at Dingwall and a concert in the Ironworks at Inverness.

This was the first year they had played at Balmoral. John Brown, now 18, said it was a special moment for himself and his brother.

“I’m grateful we got the chance to play for her. It was especially nice to speak to Her Majesty afterwards and we shook hands. She said she had enjoyed the music and asked us if we were enjoying the day too,” said John, who played the bagpipes for her while James played the drums.

Mr Brown, who joined 1224 (Wharfedale) Squadron as a civilian member, teaches the drums within the pipe band.

The memory of meeting the Queen go back a little further for Lindsey Johnson, chief executive officer and principal of Craven College, who was working at Bishop Barton College as curriculum area manager of animal and equine in 2002.

Lindsay said: “I was privileged to present our students and staff across both departments to Her Majesty and students from across all levels performed a drill ride and corresponding heel work.

“Her Majesty was an exceptional Head of State. She set a wonderful example for all of us to live by and her ethical and moral code and the selflessness that she gave the country were extraordinary. She was an inspiration to us all.”

The anonymous Barlick Yarn Fairies took to their yarn craft on the news of the Queen’s death to update pillar box toppers which they first made during the platinum jubilee.

The friends added dates to the topper which had been at Bolton Abbey and now sits in Colne.

Other toppers with a royal theme adorn pillar boxes in Barnoldswick.

FOLLOWING the Queen's death on Thursday, the proclamation for King Charles III as the new monarch was read outside Craven District Council offices, in Belle Vue Square, Skipton, on Sunday by district council chairman Cllr Simon Myers in front of fellow councillors and staff and Craven residents.

The Union Flag, placed temporarily on Skipton Town Hall while renovations continue, was flown at full mast during the proclamation and was again lowered to half mast following the ceremony as a mark of respect to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. It will remain at half mast during the period of mourning.

When news of the Queen's death broke, Cllr Myers said on behalf of Craven District Council: “We would like to express the deep sadness of council members and staff on hearing the announcement of the death of Her Majesty the Queen. This sorrow will be felt across Craven and we send our sincere condolences to the Royal Family.”

Floral tributes are being placed in the grounds of Holy Trinity Church and Christ Church in Skipton where special services have been held. There are also books of condolence available for people to sign both at the churches and council offices.

Craven District Council announced that as a mark of respect all events and performances at Skipton Town Hall during the mourning period for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II have been postponed or cancelled as too have district council meetings. Alternative dates for events and meetings will be made available.

Craven has been marking its own way of mourning through people who have had the pleasure of meeting her.

Skipton community stalwart Roger Ingham was awarded an MBE for services to sport in 2007 by the Queen at Buckingham Palace; one of a number of occasions he has been in the presence of royalty including at sporting events and agricultural shows.

There was another occasion at Buckingham Palace where Roger mingled with dignitaries and members of the Royal Family after he was chosen as ITV Local Hero for Yorkshire and Humberside as part of its Britain On The Move series.

Over in Pendle, the district's mayor Cllr Yasser Iqbal spoke outside Nelson Town Hall saying: "We are deeply saddened by the death of our monarch and our thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family.

“Local people can join with us as we honour the Queen’s steady leadership during a 70 year reign of momentous change - and share our sadness as the nation grieves."

Pendle Borough Council read its own proclamation at the war memorial on behalf of King Charles on Sunday.

The Lord Lieutenant for North Yorkshire, Jo Ropner, and senior figures at North Yorkshire County Council expressed their sadness.

Mrs Ropner and senior councillors have paid tribute to the Queen’s 70-year reign and the monarch’s work across both the country and the globe.

She said: “I had the privilege to meet Her Majesty the Queen in 2018 and I have also witnessed so many examples of her diligence and hard work, not only within North Yorkshire but also nationally and across the world."

The chair of North Yorkshire County Council, Councillor Margaret Atkinson, spoke of the profound impact that the Queen had on the lives of so many people throughout her reign.

Cllr Atkinson said: “I have always had a great deal of admiration for the Queen, and she was such a beautiful, kind and remarkable lady who I was fortunate enough to meet at a garden party in 1997 due to my charity work for Yorkshire Cancer."

North Yorkshire County Council’s leader, Cllr Carl Les, praised the Queen’s “unstinting commitment” to serving the country, and praised her dedication to the role as the nation’s monarch saying: “The Queen’s reign has already been noted as the longest ever of any of the country’s monarchs, but she will be remembered for so much more than the length of her time as the Sovereign of our nation."

The council's chief executive Richard Flinton, spoke of how the 'Queen’s legacy will live long in the memories of so many generations'.

A number of scheduled events have been cancelled or changed in light of the period of mourning.

Hodder Valley Show, on Duchy of Lancaster land at Dunsop Bridge, went ahead on Saturday in the Queen's honour, whole Nidderdale Show at Pateley Bridge has brought its show forward a day from September 19 to Sunday, September 18.

Grassington 1940s weekend will go ahead as planned. A spokesman said: "After consulting with all stakeholders involved with Grassington 1940s Weekend and an awareness towards the sensitivity of feelings, we feel the event can still go ahead whilst respecting the period of National Mourning of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II."

Bus operator Transdev has also said it will operate a Sunday timetable on Monday.

Elsewhere, nationally, scheduled rail and postal strikes were called off until after the period of mourning.

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