A week in the life of Pateley Bridge, with Keith Tordoff

Keith Tordoff with Ian Dimmick holding a fridge for the Red Nose challenge
Keith Tordoff with Ian Dimmick holding a fridge for the Red Nose challenge

Never a dull moment in Pateley Bridge. Last week a man came into our shop carrying a fridge! I didn’t give him the ‘cold shoulder’ (the jokes can’t get any worse, can they?!).

It turned out this was Ian Dimmick, who was on a Red Nose fundraising challenge set by parents of Ashville College students where he is a teacher. Challenge complete and on his way again with a donation, sweets for energy and his rather heavy looking fridge. Apparently his next challenge would be heading towards the River Ouse where he would be paddling down it on a raft made by students of his school. Trusting fellow and “a better man than me, Gunga-Din”.

Interesting that saying as it is a poem from 1892 by Rudyard Kipling. I have previously written about the exceedingly good Mr Kipling (one of those poor jokes again) and how he used to come to Pateley Bridge to visit his grandfather who was a Methodist Minister at Greenhow Hill.

Leads me nicely onto Methodist Julia, who I met on Pateley Bridge High Street early one morning (there is a song there somewhere) who had been for a walk and run. Methodist Julia told me that the Friday before more than thirty people had turned up on the weekly Friday afternoon sing-along in aid of the registered charity Dementia Forward – a fantastic turn out. Methodist Mike in his trainers must have been trailing behind somewhere….possibly strumming away on his guitar!

I talked last week about bumping into Peter Chadwick, of ex-Yorkshire County Cricket Club fame, and following on in the sporting vein, this week I bumped into Alan (Sutty) Sutton. Sutty is not a chimney sweep nor I don’t think Sooty from Sooty and Sweep (the jokes are getting worse!).

Sutty, although originally from Bradford where he was a builder, came to Pateley Bridge in 1979. Between 1981 and 1986 Sutty was the physio for Halifax Town Football Club. In the 1985–86 season as well as being physio for the football club, he was also carrying out the role on an evening for Halifax Rugby League the year they won the championship.

In August 1986, Sutty became Leeds United’s only physio, a position he kept until 1993 when other physios joined him. These were the great times for Leeds United where he served under managers Billy Bremner and later Howard Wilkinson. Sutty has numerous medals from being part of Leeds United when they won the second division championship and the first division league cup.

In 1992 he was physio during the “Battle of Britain” when Leeds played Rangers in the second round of the European Cup – no doubt he was kept busy! In the 2000–2001 season, he was part of the physio team when Leeds were in the Champions League semi-final against Valencia.

Sutty finished his illustrious career as a physio with Leeds United in 2015. I know Sutty has many fond memories of great moments and times from that unique period in Leeds United’s history, not to mention the many friends he made over the years.

Sutty is one of Pateley Bridge’s great characters and now enjoys his time walking in Nidderdale and spending time with his family. I hope in the next week I bump into another resident of Pateley Bridge who has a sporting background and pedigree. As they say in sporting circles, bring it on!

If you do not live in Pateley Bridge, why not hop on a number 24 bus from Harrogate and enjoy the delights of not just any old bus ride but a coach tour of Nidderdale delights (if this sounds familiar, think of a famous M&S ad!) all for the price of a bus ticket return. Who knows, you may even stay and say “blow the return ticket, I’m staying”, especially when you see the magnificent blossom trees in full bloom just off the High Street by Southlands.

You can always send a postcard to the ones you left behind!