Settle Stories: The WR Mitchell Archive Project

Posted on 02/05/2012 by


The WR Mitchell Archive is an HLF project, based in Settle North Yorkshire, to digitise a sample of audio interviews made by WR Mitchell MBE, formerly editor of the Dalesman, author and journalist over the last 30 years, and make them available to the general public. These unique recordings of Dales voices will be accessible on a website where they can be heard and enjoyed by many.

W.R. (“Bill”) Mitchell was born in Skipton in 1928. After gaining journalistic experience on the “Craven Herald”, he joined “The Dalesman” in 1948, later becoming editor. He retired in 1988, but continued to write about Yorkshire, producing over 100 books and many articles for other journals and local newspapers. In 1996 he was awarded the MBE and in the same year the University of Bradford awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters. Bill is anxious to ensure that his work can be listened to and enjoyed by many more people. While still in good health he is able to support the project with additional information about the people he interviewed.

There are over 300 cassettes of recorded interviews with people from all over the north but particularly the Yorkshire Dales. The exact number is not known. Included in the project will be interviews with people like:

  • Kit Calvert, well known for establishing Wensleydale creamery.
  • Tommy Dugdale, local Settle businessman whose family are still based in Settle
  • Mrs Mason of Upper Swaledale
  • Sam Dyson, farmer on Stanbury Moor
  • Henry Cox, local worker
  • John Geldard, dry stone waller
  • Marie Hartley and Joan Ingilby, Dales authoresses
  • Yorke family of Halton Place


The project team is interested in hearing from people who are interested in volunteering a few hours, either in Settle or remotely. You can download more information the volunteering opportunities by clicking here.

For more information about the project, please see

Posted in: Project News