THE year of 2020 is creeping towards the finishing line. Like any television show, movie or novel; the beginning was calm, the middle was chaotic and the finale is a cliffhanger. What happens next? This year may seem overshadowed by coronavirus news, but the headlines in Ryedale highlight community spirit and a ‘no fuss’ mentality. We remember some of the headlines in Ryedale from July to December.


A NORTON taxi driver, who “died” for two and a half minutes after contracting coronavirus, has expressed his gratitude for the NHS staff who saved him.

Paul Ramsden was rushed to hospital in April after suffering breathing difficulties.

He had been in a coma for 36 days and was later told he had effectively died for two and a half minutes after his heart stopped shortly after he was admitted to hospital.

After coming out of the coma, Paul spent two weeks in ICU and was finally discharged on June 12, just over two months since he was admitted. “I cannot thank all the staff who have looked after me enough,” he said. “Without them I would not be here today.”


The performing arts, music of every kind, theatre, film studios and dance venues have been in the dark since the announcement of lockdown in March. Some successfully reopened, whilst other have struggled financially.

Helmsley Arts Centre (HAC) launched a new campaign to raise £50,000 in 90 days. The Light Up HAC initiative aimed to cover some of the lost income from this year and going forwards while the centre was on a reduced capacity.

In other news, teenagers across Ryedale received their GCSE and A-level results - despite the coronavirus halting the normal exam process.


David Chase, 57, who lives in Ampleforth, was due to take part in the Great North Run on September 13, in aid of Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity.

David ran from Ampleforth to Hovingham, and back, the equivalent 13.1 miles, on September 13, in memory of his wife Joyce, who died on July 7, 2019.

Joyce battled the disease for seven years, undergoing chemotherapy, radiotherapy and three craniotomies, while volunteering at Helmsley Walled Garden and Ampleforth & District Gardening Club.

“Joyce would wish that her life and experience of living with a brain tumour can be used as a positive to help towards funding research and ultimately finding a cure for this horrible disease,” he said.


Ryedale celebrated its success at a Yorkshire-wide food and drinks business awards.

Malton Food Lovers Festival was crowned the overall winner of the Garbutt + Elliott Yorkshire Food and Drink Business Awards for 2020.

The food festival organisers, Visit Malton, were also recognised with the Spirit of Yorkshire award.

Other category winners include Gilly Robinson, from Malton Cookery School, who won Yorkshire Food & Drink Ambassador, and Yorkshire Wolds Apple Juice, from Malton, who won Quench Yorkshire.

“To win the award is recognition of all that hard work and fantastic effort,” said Tom Naylor-Leyland, director of Malton Food Lovers Festival.


Ryedale paid its respects to the fallen servicemen and women on Remembrance Sunday.

While the usual parades were cancelled, services were held with social distancing measures in place.

In Kirkbymoorside, The Last Post was performed by Jeanette Kendall in the churchyard and Helmsley’s two minutes’ silence was held around the war memorial with social distancing.

In Malton, a service was held at the town’s war memorial.

Cllr Paul Emberley, mayor of Malton, said: “These are difficult days, but nonetheless it was important that we took time to give thanks for all those from our community who lost their lives.”


A SEVEN-year-old boy aimed to “spread some love” this Christmas by helping others in need.

Richard Wood, who lives in Malton, collected a range of essential items and treats to create 80 care boxes to distribute to the homeless.

His mum Karen Wasikowski said Richard had seen a programme on TV which mentioned the homeless in America.

“We are all so very proud of him; he’s a little super star,” she said.

The 80 care packages were delivered on Christmas Eve to Changing Lives, which provide hostel accommodation in York for the homeless and Foundation UK which supports 16 to 25 year olds in Scarborough.