If you think Settle is more than its railway, you’re on the right line

For many people outside North Yorkshire the name Settle will always be synonymous with Carlisle, simply because of the famous railway line that links the two.

So it should be no surprise the railway, a unique blend of tradition and contemporary infrastructure, has a band of supporters bigger than any other railway-related ‘friends’ group in the country.

But those who know Settle understand there is much more to the town – and its community – than just a railway line, even if it does take in some breathtaking scenery.

Settle typifies the qualities that make North Yorkshire what it is and can be illustrated with one simple example.

When the pandemic struck last year, a network of Community Support Organisations was set up across the county to ensure all residents got the assistance they needed.

By that point, residents in Settle and surrounding villages had already stepped into action, with either existing groups switching priorities or new groups emerging to help their neighbours.

It is a detail that will not surprise those who live and work in the area, because it illustrates a mood which exists through society.

Traders also work together and for each other’s benefit, resulting in a vibrant and unique experience for shoppers, at a time when traditional retail is struggling in many town centres.

Cllr David Staveley said: “Settle is a small town with a diverse range of community interest and support groups.

“It is no surprise it attracts a lot of visitors and they make a welcome contribution to the local economy, but, more than stunning countryside and pretty villages, the area is a tremendous place to live and work.

“We are lucky in North Yorkshire to have a community with a caring attitude and a willingness to put others first.

“That applies in Settle, and the surrounding communities, every bit as much as anywhere else in the county and it is a vital part of making the community what it is,” he said.

One sweet irony of the pandemic is that many of the organisations that previously worked in the town now operate more closely, to the point of holding monthly ‘Settle Cobra’ meetings, meaning the community’s bonds continue to grow close.