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The Dalesman

A gathering of Yorkshire folk as Alan Bennett joins the lauded Dalesman editor Bill Mitchell to ruminate on the character of being a Dalesman.

Documentary 1988 25 mins

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The end of an era as local legend Bill Mitchell retires from the Dalesman magazine in 1988, after having been a journalist with the magazine since 1948 and its editor for 24 years. Bill reminisces about the Dales, the magazine and his life with his fellow Yorkshireman Alan Bennett. Along the way we meet some typical Dales folk, including a sheep farmer, a dry-stone wall builder and Marie Hartley and Joan Ingleby, who have contributed to the magazine right from the start in 1939.

This Yorkshire Television production has left us with an invaluable portrait of Bill Mitchell, who started out as a reporter on the Craven Herald in 1943, before serving two years with the Royal Navy. He had already met Harry Scott, who started The Dalesman back in April 1939, and after joining the magazine went on to document the life of the Dales in the second half of the century in thousands of interviews and articles. He also wrote more than 200 books on local history, and biographies of James Herriot and Alfred Wainwright, receiving an MBE in 1996 and an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University of Bradford. The Dalesman is the UK’s best-selling regional magazine, with a circulation over 60,000.