Making a life in Nidderdale

Born and educated in Sheffield, Steve Boast’s first sight of Nidderdale came when he looked across it from the confines of Pennypot Army Apprentices’ College. He had arrived there at the start of his career in the Army. He was to become a technician on radio relay. After Pennypot came postings around the Mediterranean to Cyprus, Malta and Libya. It was a time of travel before coming back to the UK and the place where it all started – Pennypot. After leaving the Army, Steve still used his skills in telecommunications by working for a fibre optics firm in Wetherby. This is the time he really came into our Dale by making his home at Dacre and then at Bewerley where he now lives. Retirement in the Dale started with opening an art gallery in Kings’ Court, Pateley. He did this with his wife Teresa to display and sell her beautiful animal paintings. However, Steve soon found himself involved in the many clubs and societies whose titles all started with the word Nidderdale. He is now extremely busy working with Bewerley Britain in Bloom. Steve particularly wants to thank How Stean and Hansons for helping with expenses by sponsoring Bewerley Britain in Bloom through their community fund.

Describe a typical day

If it is a week day I do a bit of watering and tidying up in the village before the usual household tasks and helping Teresa with her art work. Weekends are spent up at Scar where Teresa and I run the café for How Stean Gorge. One of the advantages of doing this is meeting people. Both of us are fascinated by the history of the area and love to swop stories with the walkers who pass by. As the founder of Nidderdale Ukes I take my ukulele up there and on a sunny day sit outside and play.

What would be your perfect day out?

I love travel but I am not keen on driving so my day out would be by train. If I could have a day on the West Highland Line that crosses Scotland I would be very happy.

What is your favourite part of the Dale?

Definitely Scar. This is probably because we spend so much time up there. It is so remote and because of this untouched. The history fascinates us and each year we learn a little more about it from unexpected sources.

What is your favourite Nidderdale business?

How Stean Gorge Café. Our love of Scar started with toasted tea cake at How Stean. It was through our frequent visits that we finished up with our weekend job at Scar.

What is the biggest change you have seen in Nidderdale?

The biggest change has come in Pateley Bridge itself. We have seen it develop into a place in its own right where people come to visit. When we first came here it was just a stopping place for visitors on their way to Grassington. Now there is plenty for people to see and to do. The High Street looks attractive and welcoming.

What makes Nidderdale special and why would you recommend it?

Spectacular scenery gives a feeling of remoteness. You feel you are miles away from anywhere because the developments are in enclosed pockets. The wildness of Scar and the ruggedness of the land around Two Stoops form a spectacular perimeter.

If there is one thing that you could change what would it be?

The Health and Safety Executive.