This year has certainly been interesting, from notable business ventures to honouring the best of Ryedale. So, what has been making the headlines locally in 2019? We remember some of the top stories in the district of Ryedale from January to June. Part two next week


What a wonderful way to start the year by honouring three special people for their service, dedication and organisation around Ryedale.

A stalwart of Malton cricket, a former director of Ryedale Festival and a man who has spent more than 25 years producing theatre shows were among those recognised on this year’s New Year’s Honours list.

Joy Elizabeth Ann Hudson, of Norton, was awarded a British Empire Medal for services in sport and the community.

Joy Hudson helped rescue the Malton Cricket Club from insolvency in the mid-1900’s, both through her fundraising and the formation of the Fitzwilliam Sports Association.

In addition, Robin Andrews, of Nunnington, is now an MBE, as is James Cundall, of Welburn, who was honoured for his services to the entertainment industry.

Robin Andrews was the director of Ryedale Festival since 2006 and chairman of the festival since 2010, though he stepped down from both positions in 2017.

During his time as chairman, the festival audience impressively more than doubled and is now the largest rural music festival in the country.

Awarded the MBE for services to the entertainment industry, James said: “Over the last 25 years I have had the privilege of producing shows around the world that have been seen, and hopefully enjoyed, by millions of people.”


February may be the month dedicated to romance, but one Ryedale cleaning company proved that social media has the power to completely “clean out” a one-stop shop.

The Dustpan and Brush Store, based on the Thornton Industrial Estate, near Pickering, saw the skyrocketing sales of one product after featuring on ITV’s This Morning.

Mrs Hinch, who has about 1.8 million followers on Instagram, advertised how brilliant the window squeegee is for removing troublesome pet hair from carpets.

Tom Thorp, from the company commented on how “in the space of 24-hours sold more than 3,000 squeegees, which all had to be individually wrapped and sent from our base in Pickering”.

Compared to the “Beast From The East” that swept through Ryedale like a tornado in 2018, the end of February featured a Malton firefighter aiming to run more than 1,000 miles along the American coastline in aid of Allied Forces Foundation.

Running more than 44 days, Justin Rowe, along with a Burley Nomad trailer full of equipment, started from Bar Harbor Marine and finished at the United States Marine Corps Memorial in Virginia.

Justin served in the army for 12 years and retired from North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service in March after 21 years’ service.


Who doesn’t love a cuddle from a canine companion. For one Malton café, being named the dog friendliest town in the UK was a huge cause for celebration.

Greeted by Ben and Narla, the French Bulldogs, and Nora, the miniature poodle, the Animal Arts Gallery opened its doors for plenty of cuddles and cake.

Owners Rachel Pirie and Thalia Counsell officially opened with 10 other friendly dogs by saying: “People love coming to dog events and our dogs love welcoming guests.

“It’s very popular in London and other major cities so why bring the idea to Malton.”

From canine companions to climate change, Ryedale District Council was determined to do its bit in the fight against climate change with a mountain of new changes.

The report included a large array of measures that the council was recommended to implement, such replacing all the streetlamps owned by district authority with energy efficient LEDs, electric carpool for staff and reducing travel.

Cllr William Oxley said: “The one thing we want to come out of this is that it is proactive,” and Cllr John Clark praised the report and said: “The enthusiasm that’s gone into this is immense.”


Losing a loved one is never easy. The family of Jenny Rooke, who ran Beadlam Grange Farm Shop with her husband Mark, honoured her memory by fundraising for Saint Catherine’s who cared for Jenny during her short battle with cancer.

Jenny was remembered for her love of life, wonderful smile and passion for nature and animals.

Recounting their life together,

Mark said: “Jenny was a core strength for the whole family and a loving wife. Since moving to Beadlam Grange in 1986 we worked tirelessly to secure a future for generations to come.”

Jenny was a supportive and

caring mum to Helen and Peter, always encouraging them on and

she took great pride in everything they have achieved; Helen, with her own gift and interiors shop, Robert and Ruby, at Beadlam Grange and Peter running the farm, rapidly increasing the cattle numbers and sharing her love of farming and animals.

Mark continued by saying: “I was so proud to have Jenny by my side and we could not have been a better match.

“To have a laugh and smile means happiness and that’s what we both had in all our life together.”


The national news has highlighted the stigma behind male mental health, with endless campaigns encouraging men to discuss their feelings.

May was the month to raise awareness right here in Ryedale.

Malton Veteran FC decided to organise a tournament, with teams from across North Yorkshire, in memory of one of the players friends who took his own life.

The tournament organiser Steve Mason decided to hold the event after his friend of 30 years died last summer.

“This is an issue close to my heart and became part of my life last year when a close friend of 30 years took his life,” he said.

“We don’t know why and to this day everyone around him wish they were better informed at spotting potential problems.”

Teams from across Yorkshire and further afield travelled to the Malton Community Sports Centre for the special seven-a-side tournament, hosted by Malton Veterans FC.

“Poor mental health for anyone can be devastating, but increasingly so in men, it can be fatal”

commented Leisa Burniston, who is the manager at Next Steps in Norton.

“Thankfully we are coming together as a nation to raise awareness of the support that is available, and it is projects such as this tournament which will really make a difference at a local level.”


With the sunshine poking through the miserable clouds, June is the month spent longing for endless summer evenings.

June, however, was the month Ryedale bid a fond farewell to Father Antony Pritchett who retired from the Pickering Parish.

Born and brought up in the Peak District, Fr Antony studied theology ministerial training at Westcott House, Cambridge, before taking up his first post as a curate in a parish south of Leicester.

Reminiscing on his time as a vicar, he said: “It’s good when I chat with people in Pickering’s Market Place: I’m going to really miss the terrific folk here and their friendliness, as well as these wonderful churches.

“It’s been a huge privilege to have been vicar here.”

They say love has no boundaries when it comes to matters of the heart, especially for a young Ryedale family.

It’s a love story with a romantic twist – a male and female from opposite sides of the track who have found each other and become one happy family.

A wild Canadian Goose has settled down with a domestic gander on a farm near Harome, with the couple taking to parenthood like “ducks” to water with a brood of six goslings.

Farmer Andrew Dzierzek, who has kept geese for more than 20 years, said it was the first time he has known a wild bird to mate with a domestic one.

“I never thought anything of it, but she has stayed around and paired up with one of the domestic ganders and as a result now have six healthy goslings.

“I have never known anything like it.”