TT100 panel on project research 24 November 2017

Could you explain your connection to Tom Twisleton?

I’ve know about Tom all my life. Greg my father, born in 1900 above his parents shop in Settle market place, was 48 when I was born, knew Tom and shared with me about him. One reason the centenary has so much energy is that one step away living link between Tom and I.  My father read me Tom’s poems, walked me up to Winskill as a child, and when he died in 1974 left me the graphic mid 19th century press cutting of Tom’s father, Frank, the Craven Giant. 

Church involvement as a teenager helped me look at parish records in the 1970s where, in the-then manual searching, a rare name like Twisleton is an advantage.
Being a writer I’ve set my mind in recent years, to publications linked to Twisleton’s in genealogical magazines: Family Tree Magazine July 2007 on Seeing the World as a Twisleton from which I built another article on A Religious Gene in Your Family Tree July 2007. With my mother living in Settle up to 2010, I was regularly visiting the town and talking to friends at North Craven Heritage Trust for whom I presented a lecture at Long Preston village hall in 2007 on The Twisleton’s of Craven and elsewhere.

What do you see as the benefits of the project?

The project traces back in many ways to a meeting I had years back with former Settle Mayor, Joe Lord who’d been using Tom’s poems to teach dialect at our secondary school. That’s where the potential of Tom for saving the Craven dialect was recognised by Settle Stories especially. We’ve built on Joe’s practice this year getting the young people to engage with dialect through Tom and through their elders. There will be ongoing fruit from that.

Other benefits - I think of how its boosted the important work of the Museum of North Craven at The Folly and how Anne Read played her part building from Joe and my conversations into what’s happened this weekend. We will be building on the Temperance element of Tom’s story with their rolling exhibition. Thinking of the farming element, getting reacquainted with my friend and contemporary Tom Lord who lives where Tom Twiz once lived played another part in how things shaped up, symbolised by today’s trips to Winskill that’s profiled local farming.

Anything else you would like to say about the Project and Celebration event in terms of what it means to the Twisleton family?

The project has been facilitated by my living in Settle a lot of my life, by collaboration built from friendship and being in a family network that remembers and celebrates past family members. Today’s lunch of 35 Twisleton family members will bear a lot of ongoing fruit

I should mention how the Tom Twisleton Facebook page, the Centenary website, an their promotion on Twitter and, more tangibly, in Settle & District Community News. I hope to do some more writing as I reflect on the achievement of this weekend. With my mother moving south to live with me and then near me, I’ve missed Settle and jump at any reason I can find to come back, even if it's just on Facebook’s Back in Settle. I preach regularly at Giggleswick School, enjoy liaising on local history with Anne Read at the Folly, the late Phil Hudson over the years and the relatively new guys on the block, Settle Stories with Sita, Charles, Hazel and the team.

Genealogical research is the third greatest occupation on the internet after making money and, sadly, seeking base sexual gratification. The internet is full of genealogists which helps people like me continue in being rooted where we were once planted through web resources like Back in Settle. When my mother was 95 in February I posted a picture of her on Back in Settle and there were 70 likes and comments. I printed the short messages out for her and she said they were just like telegrams - remember telegrams anyone?  Anyway I look forward to building from the Project, especially the poems, through the medium of the internet most especially through the extended Twisleton family galvanised by this weekend.  On behalf of the family our profound thanks for the work done by you, Hazel with Catherine, David, Sita, Charles and the team at Settle Stories, for Anne’s invaluable contribution, for Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and all supporters of Tom Twisleton 100.


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