Ruth Yeoman recalls a childhood of picnics, extended family and growing up as part of the very first Scargill Community.
I was born at Amber Cottage, Kettlewell in September 1960. After their marriage in April 1959 my parents joined the Scargill Community; my dad, Richard as the Estate Manager and my mum Shirley to work on the House Team.
It was incredible to be a first-born among such an array of loving and supportive adults; surrogate ’aunts and uncles’, who popped up all over the place; to babysit, to share in a task, to sit next to in the chapel or come to our house so that Mum could share in prayers, to encourage me on through snow up to Hag Dyke at New Year where there was lunch and roaring fires all waiting for us, or pile into the cottage for coffee on a Sunday morning after worship at Kettlewell Parish Church, where Dad became a churchwarden.
The House and grounds at Scargill and the surrounding Dales were a wonderful playground and source of endless adventure and opportunity: Throstles Nest for summer picnics by the river, children’s games during the holidays with families staying at Scargill. Much of the time dad drove around in the Landover. Occasionally I could join him strapped in, as we climbed up rough and ready tracks or down into the valleys. We would meet guests out in the Dales with food and drink to sustain them for the afternoon.
Was the House running low on water? Dad showed me where to look up at the reservoir at the top of the Scar to see if the marker on the water was visible and if not we would cross the road below the House to turn on the pump to bring water up to the necessary level. Apparently dad’s instructions for this are still being used!
Dad seemed pretty fearless and endlessly practical. He was soon taking groups potholing and was a member of the Wharfedale Fell Rescue for almost a decade.
There were sorrows too. I remember a large more muted gathering to dedicate the new Marsh Lounge. Later I was to learn of how Dick Marsh and his fellow climber had both died in an accident on Coniston Old Man.
It was a busy life, but always one where people were ready to pray and be supportive, where needs were the mother of invention, with laughter and fun accompanying the daily round to be ready to welcome the next group of guests.
Looking back I am sure that this early experience of community and lived out Christian faith has shaped my life and the person I have become, together with the many Scargill members from the 1960’swho are still life long family friends. I had a privileged childhood. Thank you Scargill and many congratulations on reaching 60! May you go on shaping lives for good through faith and fellowship in Christ Jesus.