Dalesman Editor W R “Bill” Mitchell

W R “Bill” Mitchell was the editor of the Dalesman from 1968 to 1986 though he had worked on the Dalesman since 1948, so most of his adult life was dedicated to this quirky publication. Under Bill’s editorship this publication went from strength to strength and is still going strong in its 76th year of publication, now edited by Adrian Braddy.

Sadly Bill died on 7th October 2015 aged 87 and there is a thoughtful and interesting obituary printed in the Daily Telegraph, which is worth the read.

The Dalesman started life in 1939 being produced on the table in the “parlour” [sometimes referred to in Yorkshire as “best room”] of Harry Scott, who was a Yorkshire Post sub editor.

One of the fascinating aspects of Bill’s work was the fact that he carried out over 600 interviews, which he used to record on tape. Now some of these tapes have been digitally remastered to form a unique archive of oral history, with local people speaking in local dialect. The W R Mitchell Archive “in their own words” has a number of oral interviews, which help to create a much fuller picture and provide a real sense of the people being interviewed that cannot be gained from reading a transcript alone.

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