Petition submitted to push council to honour Harrogate’s Lioness

A petition to honour England footballer Rachel Daly in Harrogate has been submitted to North Yorkshire Council after attracting more than 700 signatures.

There are now hopes it will be debated by the Harrogate and Knaresborough area constituency committee, and local councillors can push officers for action.

The petition forms part of a campaign by Killinghall Nomads, backed by the Stray Ferret, to ensure the Lioness was recognised after playing in the World Cup Final.

As well as being available online, paper copies were signed by attendees at the club’s World Cup watch party last weekend.

Her former football club has called for Harrogate’s Hydro leisure centre to be named after her.

Following a 16-month refurbishment, it is set to open next week under its new name, Harrogate Leisure and Wellness Centre.

North Yorkshire Council has said it is “urgently” looking at creating a policy for recognising successful local people.

Ripon’s new leisure centre has already been named after the city’s Olympic gold medal winner, diver Jack Laugher.

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Killinghall Nomads, which has honoured Daly by naming its cafe after her, said it is important that there is a public recognition.

That sentiment has been echoed by her former school.

While Rossett School will name its sports centre’s 3G pitches after her, both the headteacher, Tim Milburn, and her former coach, Mike Sweetman, said a civic honour was needed.

Mr Sweetman added:

“Killinghall Nomads have done their bit and we are doing our bit. I still feel the council needs to do something for her.”

Daly was a crucial member of the England squad, playing in all of the group stage matches, as well as the last 16, quarter final and semi-final matches.

She played the first half of the final against Spain, before being substituted at half time. The Lionesses went on to lose 1-0, finishing as runners up in the tournament.

Young Rachel Daly fans from Killinghall Nomads watch the World Cup Final

Fire station open day set to draw crowds in Harrogate

Harrogate Fire Station will welcome members of the public to its popular annual open day next weekend.

The Skipton Road site will open its doors on Sunday, September 3 from 10am until 3pm.

Visitors will be able to see a variety of fire engines, including some demonstrations and interaction, and speak to members of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Children will have the chance to pretend to be a firefighter, as well as learning basic first aid from St John Ambulance.

North Yorkshire Police, Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue and the Red Cross will also be represented, along with some police vehicles on site too.

The open day is free, though there is a charge for some of the activities.

A bouncy castle, refreshments and a raffle will all be held, and donations can also be made to the Fire Fighters Charity.



Visitors get to know the emergency services at last year’s open day

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Stray Views: Exceptional care from staff at Harrogate hospital

Stray Views is a weekly column giving you the chance to have your say on issues affecting the Harrogate district. It is an opinion column and does not reflect the views of the Stray Ferret. Send your views to

I’m a mental health patient in hospital receiving help for anorexia. I have over 15 years’ experience in and out of many medical and psychiatric wards and I have never experienced such exceptional care as I have here on Nidderdale ward at Harrogate District Hospital.

From the ward sisters, to staff nurses, health carers and domestics – everyone shows such respect, making my long stay so comfortable and reassuring. I feel this team don’t get enough credit for their incredible skills. Ward sister Rachael Little and sister Emily Jonas have given me an outstanding level of care which I can’t thank them enough for.

I’ve experienced at least 10 different mental health units in my life and had many medical admissions and never experienced the level of care I have here, so I felt they needed to be noticed!

I’d also like to add that the mental health liaison team within the hospital was absolutely excellent. They came to visit me daily and made such a difference to my progress and mindset. Their level of professionalism and dedication is something I’ve never experienced in the many other hospitals I’ve been in.

Vicky Somerville, Harrogate

‘I know what it’s like to live near a building site’

I have much sympathy for residents of the Kingsley area.

In one road in our small village .building has dragged on for years. Proportionately our rural residence has doubled.

There’s no consideration for extra noise.dirt.or parking in a route well used by locals and caravanners.

Polite requests are met mostly with abuse. Threats to summon police are laughed at, empty as they prove to be.

Building and planning regulations are laughably non existent.

If houses have still to be built – though three new builds remain unsold in our village after a year – could the industry legislation have a mandatory code of conduct  to make life tolerable to those who live  here already?

Helen Watkinson, Scotton

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New plans submitted for 138 homes on Knaresborough’s Water Lane

A new application has been submitted to build 138 homes on Water Lane in Knaresborough.

The plans, put forward by Cunnane Town Planning on behalf of landowner Geoffrey Holland, also include a playground, a pond, and tree-lined streets.

The site had previously been subject to a proposal for 170 homes, which was rejected by Harrogate Borough Council in August 2021.

An appeal over that decision was unsuccessful, with the government’s planning inspector saying the plans would have caused “significant harm” to the surrounding area.

In the new plans submitted to North Yorkshire Council, Haines Phillips Architects said:

“The submission now presents a well-balanced, landscape dominated proposal where front gardens are generous, dwellings are no longer cramped, parking or garaging no longer remote or dominant, and casual surveillance and street activity visible in all locations.

“Thus this revised proposal addresses both the inspector’s concerns at appeal and the subsequent comments of the planning officers throughout the recent pre-application dialogue.”

The documents reveal that plans for 148 homes were initially considered after the appeal failed, but a council case officer suggested the scheme be “wholly redesigned”.

After this was done, the planning officer said the proposal was “moving in the right direction”, and further discussions resulted in the new plans being submitted this month.

Site layout for the 170 homes on Water Lane, Knaresborough, as submitted to Harrogate Borough Council.The previous plan for 170 homes, which was rejected on appeal

The site, a former nursery, lies adjacent to housing on Halfpenny Lane, and to the Hay-a-Park site of special scientific interest.

Road access would be created via Mint Garth, with footpaths onto the site from Guinea Croft and Water Lane.

To view or comment on the application, visit North Yorkshire Council’s planning website and use reference ZC23/02886/FULMAJ.

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Rossett sports pitches to be renamed in honour of Rachel Daly

Sports pitches in Harrogate will be named after former pupil and England star Rachel Daly, Rossett School has confirmed.

Headteacher Tim Milburn said the decision was a “no brainer” after Daly was part of the Lionesses team which reached the World Cup Final last weekend.

He told the Stray Ferret:

“I’ve only been here a relatively short time, apart from when I was a pupil, but the association with her has been quite close.

“As everything has ramped up, with winning the Euros and now getting to the World Cup final, to talk about your former pupil like that is incredible.

“The messaging we can give to young people about whatever you dream, you can go on to do, has been phenomenal.”

Mr Milburn said the Football Association had promised to invest in pitches in honour of each Lioness after the team won the European Championships last summer.

However, that had “failed to materialise”, he said, so the school will rename its 3G pitches at Rossett Sports Centre in her honour.

While the school is investigating the potential for funding to be given by the FA or the Department for Culture, Media and Sport towards the renaming, Mr Milburn said the school would proceed regardless.

“it’s a quite straightforward, simple thing for us to do, given that she spent many hours in that area of school, honing her skills.

“It’s a really great visual reminder for our students that you can dream big and go on to achieve it.”

Mr Milburn said he had hoped to get Rachel back to join Rossett School’s 50th anniversary celebrations at the end of September, but she will be playing for her club, Aston Villa, at that time.

However, the school is planning to organise another date when an official opening of the newly-named pitches can be done with Rachel as guest of honour.

Early promise

Among those on the guest list at both events will be Mike Sweetman, the former football coach at Rossett School who first spotted Rachel as a promising young player.

Now retired, has spent the last week being interviewed by news organisations around the country, all keen to hear more about England’s number nine.

He told the Stray Ferret:

“I was head of recruitment at the school in year 7, so I used to go round the primaries to get them to come to Rossett.

“Really, it was just an excuse to secure the best footballers.

“Someone said, ‘there’s this kid, Rachel Daly, she plays for Killinghall Nomads’. I went down there and I stood on the sidelines and I saw this blonde-haired kid up front who was great, but I couldn’t see any girls, so I thought, ‘I’ve missed the game’.

“Someone came up to me afterwards and said, ‘you haven’t missed her, you watched the match’. I said, ‘don’t tell me it was the blonde-haired kid up front!’.”

After starting at Rossett aged 11, Rachel was soon selected for the under 16s – the only girls’ team at the school at the time.

But over the following years, Rossett gained an impressive reputation for its girls’ football, so much so that promising young players chose to go there so they could be part of it.

Mike Sweetman with England international Rachel Daly, who he coached at Rossett School.Mike Sweetman with Rachel Daly

Mr Sweetman was so sure he had a future star on his hands, he rang the FA to bring her to their scouts’ attention while she was still at school.

A representative came to a game where Rossett won 5-0, with Rachel scoring two of the goals. A few weeks later, she was invited to an England training camp.

Yet even he lists her achievements with a sense of wonder.

Rachel has been shortlisted as PFA players’ player of the year, as well as winning the golden boot in the WSL last season, before playing in the World Cup Final.

Mr Sweetman added:

“I felt proud when she was playing in my school team, never mind playing for Villa or England.”

Backing the campaign

While they’re keen to honour Rachel at school by naming the pitches after her, both Mr Milburn and Mr Sweetman believe more should be done for the wider town to recognise her achievements.

The Stray Ferret and Killinghall Nomads have been pressing North Yorkshire Council to do so, such as by naming the newly-opening Harrogate Leisure and Wellness Centre after the town’s Lioness.

A petition in support of the campaign has attracted more than 600 signatures.

Mr Milburn added:

“The town is clamouring for something to have in her honour. The Hydro probably fits that bill – a place that inspires people to get fit and active.”

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Students celebrate GCSE results across Harrogate district

Thousands of students across the Harrogate district have collected their GCSE results today.

The teenagers, whose preparations for the exams over the last two years were impacted by the covid pandemic, have been celebrating their achievements at schools around the area.

At Harrogate Grammar School, 83% of the 284 students sitting exams this year gained five standard passes in English and maths.

Headteacher Neil Renton said:

“We celebrate the success of all our students. Their remarkable achievements reflect not only their drive for success, but our emphasis on providing a broad and balanced curriculum that meets the differing needs of all our learners.

“These exceptional outcomes recognise the hard work, resilience, and determination of our students and we thank them for all their efforts.”

Harrogate Ladies’ College students performed well in sciences, with more than 75% of results graded 9-7.

Across all subjects, 57% of grades were 9-7 and 36% were 8 or above, while more than 60% of pupils at the school achieved five or more 9-7 grades.

All results in French were 8 or above, and almost 90% of grades in textiles were at that level too. Seven of the school’s textiles pupils were individually congratulated by the exam board for being among the highest performers in the country.

Other high achievers include Maisy Lindley and Ella Marshall, who both achieved a clean sweep of 9-7 grades.

Principal Sylvia Brett said:

“Our results were excellent across all subjects, but as a girls’ school, I’m particularly pleased that we’re leading the way in STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths], an area where women are still hugely underrepresented in the careers market.

“If we want to change this, we need to inspire and encourage girls while they are still at school.”

Hattie Dixon, Chloe Homer, Ella Marshall, Maisy Lindley andAmelie CoyleHarrogate Ladies’ College students Hattie Dixon, Chloe Homer, Ella Marshall, Maisy Lindley and Amelie Coyle.

At Ripon Grammar School, more than 90% of grades were 9-5, the equivalent of A*-B, while 57.3% were 9-7, or A* and A.

The 122 students in the year group achieved a total of 432 top grades of 8 and 9.

Headmaster Jonathan Webb said:

“I am delighted so many of our GCSE students have done so well this year. With the regrading of results to pre-pandemic levels there has been a degree of national uncertainty as overall pass rates have fallen.

“Our year group have worked through adversity and disruption to achieve a strong set of results which now allow them to access their chosen pathway for further study.”

Rossett School‘s students were also celebrating after 63% of the year group achieved five standard passes including English and maths.

Among those achieving grades 9 to 7 across the board were Sam Barker, Arlo Collins, Harry Duffy, Maya Dunmore, Daniel Golding, Danni-Mae Hampson, Robyn Heywood, Henry Hull, George Park, Abbie Ramsden, Mariia Sorokina and Adam Taverner.

Headteacher Tim Milburn said:

“It’s been lovely to see our students this morning and to hear how well they’ve done. The results they have collected today are a real testament to their resilience, commitment and dedication.

“Young people have faced unprecedented disruption to their education over the last three-and-a-half years but that only makes these results more remarkable.”

Rhys Wolf collects his GCSE results from Ashville CollegeRhys Wolf of Ashville College

Among Ashville College‘s high-scoring pupils was Rhys Wolf, who achieved 10 grade 9s and is staying on for sixth form at the school, before setting his sights on a degree in maths or economics.

The school has not released its overall results. Headteacher Rhiannon Wilkinson, said:

“Every success has been incredibly well deserved, and we are proud of what our Year 11 pupils have achieved both in and out of the classroom. They can now focus on the future and the opportunities that lie ahead in our sixth form.”

Queen Mary’s School, between Ripon and Thirsk, has also not released details of its results, but headteacher Carole Cameron said:

“It is truly heart-warming to witness long-standing Queen Mary’s pupils achieving outstanding grades after many years of dedication.”

St Aidan’s Church of England High School in Harrogate has not released its results, but interim headteacher David Thornton said:

“Our students have been there for each other, supporting their friends and classmates.

“St Aidan’s is a close community with parents, carers, staff and students all working together to ensure each student achieves their potential. We all celebrate with them and are immensely proud of each and every one of our students.”

The Stray Ferret contacted all other schools in the Harrogate district for their results and comments, but had not received responses by the time of publication.

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Memorial service for long-serving Harrogate councillor

A memorial service will be held this week for a long-standing councillor and former Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate.

Jim Clark served for 20 years on North Yorkshire County Council, representing the Harlow Hill division, and was the organisation’s chairman during the covid pandemic.

In this role, at the age of 73, he was among the first to have a covid vaccine in February 2021, wearing a tartan face mask for the occasion.

He was also a Harrogate Borough Council member, representing the Harlow ward for the Conservatives from 1998, and served as its mayor.

Mr Clark took a particular interest in health matters during his time as a councillor, representing North Yorkshire County Council on the West Yorkshire Health Scrutiny Panel.

He called for an enquiry into the Nightingale hospital set up at Harrogate Convention Centre in April 2020, and for staff at Harrogate District Hospital to be allowed to continue to park free in its car park after the initial months of the pandemic.

Professionally, Mr Clark was an accountant, achieving chartered status and being appointed head of entrepreneurial services at Ernst and Young.

He was a keen supporter of the arts, serving as chairman of the Harrogate Theatre board for a decade.

He also took an interest in community organisations, including the Friends of Valley Gardens

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Mr Clark stepped down as a councillor in May 2022 and moved to be closer to family in Scotland, where he died in December.

He left two sons, Andrew and James, a daughter-in-law, Pamela, and three grandsons.

He was posthumously awarded the title of honorary alderman of Harrogate on the abolition of the borough council in March.

A memorial service for Mr Clark will take place at St Wilfrid’s Church on Duchy Road on Friday, August 25 at 2pm, followed by refreshments at the Old Swan Hotel.

The occasion will be a celebration of his life, so his family have requested that attendees do not wear black.

Anyone who would like to attend should contact Andrew Clark on 07710 709172, or by email.

Harrogate musician died from poorly-managed diabetes, inquest finds

A talented Harrogate musician diagnosed with diabetes at 18 died eight years later from the disease, an inquest heard today.

Aaron Joseph Bertenshaw was 26 when he went into a diabetic coma and died at his home in Dene Park in December 2021.

At the inquest in Northallerton, coroner Catherine Cundy heard evidence that he had struggled to come to terms with his diagnosis and the condition had not been well managed.

Mr Bertenshaw, a popular musician who also worked as a barber, was admitted to the emergency department of Harrogate District Hospital 40 times over a period of five years.

Of those, 36 admissions were because of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA), which occurs when the blood glucose level is dangerously high.

Following his high frequency of admission to hospital, a multi-disciplinary team meeting was called in April 2021, involving the GP practice as well as the hospital’s diabetes team.

As well as his poor diabetes control, health professionals were concerned that he failed to keep appointments or respond to attempts to contact him.

The meeting considered whether Mr Bertenshaw had the mental capacity to make decisions in his own interests and it was agreed this would be assessed whenever contact was made with him in future.

However, the psychiatry team at Harrogate District Hospital never felt that Mr Bertenshaw had an underlying mental health problem that would have impacted on his ability to make decisions.

Mental health

The consultant psychiatrist, Dr Akram, told the court Mr Bertenshaw had had a number of referrals to mental health services over several years, the latest in October 2021.

He said patients in acute episodes of DKA can lack judgement and behave strangely, but this does not mean they have a mental health disorder.

Nor, he said, can someone be detained under the mental health act to force them to accept treatment, which Mr Bertenshaw’s parents had suggested could have been done for him.

The community mental health team felt that Mr Bertenshaw was struggling to accept his diagnosis, but was not deliberately misusing his insulin.

Dr Akram added:

“His intention was not to hurt himself. He just wanted to be on a different type of diabetic medication.”

The inquest also heard that the diabetes team at the hospital had discussed different options with Mr Bertenshaw to help him manage his condition.

He had requested going onto an insulin pump, which diabetes consultant Dr Sutapa Ray told the inquest had been “on the table” for him.

She said Mr Bertenshaw was told he first needed to have his sugar levels under control, which he had not been able to do.

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Mr Bertenshaw’s mother, Sammy Oates, told the court he had lost a significant amount of weight and vomited after every meal, causing her to suspect he had an eating disorder.

However, Dr Ray said this was a common symptom in cases of poorly controlled diabetes, and Mr Bertenshaw had not engaged well with the diabetes team to help him manage the condition.

She said:

“It was very much the case that we would reach out to Aaron and we would do whatever he allowed us to do to engage with him to make the changes that needed to be made…

“Type one diabetes is such a burdensome condition. People adjust in different ways. Some take years and years, and some never come to terms with it.

“It’s probably one of the most difficult conditions to live with for the person and the people around them. it’s not at all uncommon [to struggle with it].”

The court heard Mr Bertenshaw had avoided emergency admission to the hospital for most of 2021.

When he was admitted in early October, he said he had been drinking and taking cocaine following the death of a friend. Having initially refused tests and treatment, he did later agree to accept help.

He was again referred to the mental health team but, despite repeated attempts to contact him, he failed to respond.

Aaron BertenshawAaron Bertenshaw was a well-known musician who gigged around Harrogate

On Thursday, December 2, 2021, Mr Bertenshaw’s mother went to his house, having not been able to contact him or seen him active on WhatsApp since Monday, November 29.

She found him on his living room floor, and paramedics attended to confirm his death.

Police officers who were also present reported signs of a “chaotic” lifestyle, including an unhealthy diet, and use of alcohol and drugs.

The post-mortem and toxicology reports found that while there was some cocaine in his system, it was not in large enough quantities to have put him at risk of death. However, the court heard use of cocaine is thought to be linked to a higher risk of DKA.

Concluding that Mr Bertenshaw had died of natural causes relating to his diabetes, Ms Cundy said she had not seen any evidence that more could have been done to intervene by the organisations caring for him.

She said she accepted that sectioning him to force him to take medication was not appropriate, adding:

“People cannot and should not be detained in psychiatric institutions simply because they make what others of us might consider to be unwise choices about how they live their lives.”

Where to watch the World Cup final in the Harrogate district

Pubs, sports clubs and other venues across the Harrogate district are gearing up for a morning like no other tomorrow, as England’s Lionesses face Spain in the World Cup Final.

The match takes place at Stadium Australia in Sydney, kicking off at 11am UK time.

The early start has not deterred fans and businesses alike from making the most of the occasion.

No doubt the biggest cheers will be for Rachel Daly, the former Rossett School student and Killinghall Nomads junior player, who will be hoping to start once again for the Lionesses.

Here’s a round-up of some of the places putting on a special event for the match.

If you know anywhere else, email us at and we will add it to the list.


The Empress on the Stray will be open from 10am to welcome fans.

The Tap on Tower Street is opening its doors at 11am for the match.

The Den, on Cambridge Road, will be showing the match.

The Balcony at Harrogate Cricket Club will be open from 10am, with bacon butties, hot drinks and the bar open. Book a seat via the website.

Husk Beer Emporium will be open for the match from 11am.

Harrogate Conservative Club on East Parade will be showing it from 10.45am.

Bilton Cricket Club on Bilton Lane is opening at 10am and offering a free pint to anyone who wears their England shirt. Check the club’s Facebook page for booking details.

Starbeck Working Men’s Club on Forest Avenue will be showing the match on a big screen, with doors open from 10.30am.

The Knox in Bilton will be serving breakfast butties from 10.30am ready for kick-off.

The Shepherd’s Dog on Otley Road will be open from 10.30am and serving sausage and bacon butties.



Knaresborough Town Football Club on Manse Lane is hosting a watch party, with doors open from 10.30am.

The Cricketers on Thistle Hill will be open from 10am for the match.



The Black Swan in Westgate is throwing a Women’s World Cup Final party from 10.30am, with a raffle and England merchandise.

So! Bar and Eats in Old Market Square will open its doors at 10.30am. There will be free bacon sandwiches until kick-off.

Ripon Bowling Club in Bondgate Green is opening from 9am for fans to gather and watch the build-up and match together.

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Ripon woman charged with sexually assaulting boy under 13

A Ripon woman is facing five charges relating to sexual offences against a child.

Denise Povall, 60, has been charged with four counts of inciting a boy under 13 to engage in sexual activity with her.

She has also been charged with sexually assaulting a boy under 13 by touching him.

The offences are alleged to have taken place around 15 years ago.

Ms Povall, of Bondgate Green in Ripon, is expected to enter pleas to the charges at a hearing at Harrogate Magistrates Court on Friday, September 1.

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