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Pioneers Past & Present

Spring 2023



Beginning with pre-historical pioneers at Streethouse near Loftus and travelling through time to the present day, contributions reveal the pioneers who aren’t necessarily in the guide books …

STORIES that add layers of intrigue to the local mill, chapel and moor include the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century weavers and fullers of Glaisdale (the ‘Bradford of the Dales’), eighteenth-century experimental farming near Commondale and early Methodists who built the beautiful Glaisdale Head Methodist Chapel.


We hear of the Horne family who pioneered the local paper in Whitby, the Whitby Gazette, the fate of a young man who one day walked out of Fryupdale never to return, the larger-than-life nineteenth century Whitby minister, Francis Haydn Williams, who tore down walls with his own hands campaigning for public access rights, a ‘Northern Nightingale’, Sister Elizabeth Purvis, who pioneered nursing and care for Teessiders before the advent of the NHS, and Bill Cowley who created the cult ‘Lyke Wake Walk’ challenge that became a national legend.

Not all ideas were great ones either: a secret proposal to explode a nuclear bomb under the North York Moors in 1969 fortunately died a death.


There are pioneers from the past and pioneering projects happening today. The new Community Earth Festival for the Esk Valley and East Cleveland is just one of the pioneering subjects about to explode on the scene this spring and summer – for your convenience the full festival programme is printed as part of this issue.

Pioneers Past & Present

152 pages | full colour

£ 5 (shops) |

£ 8 (inc. p&p) | £ 3 (digital)

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