Walking in the Woodland Trusts’ lovely Nidd Gorge on our way to Knaresborough we came across this memorial bench to the actress Dame Thora Hird (28 May 1911 – 15 March 2005). A much loved and hard working actor, Thora Hird was born across the Pennines from Knaresborough in Morecambe, Lancashire. On the stage and TV Thora Hird was a versatile actor who worked until the age of 90-years and won three BAFTAs.
We were lucky to have a beautiful day to visit the paths through the stunning Nidd Gorge, the sunshine filtered through the trees on to the lively river and the network of paths. We had walked from the handsome Ripley Castle where romance was in the air with a wedding, along the old railway line to the river. Once we were at the bottom of the gorge, the overhanging trees provided plenty of resting spots for the kingfisher that followed our progress along the River Nidd.
Dappled sunshine along the River Nidd near Knaresborough
I was intrigued to find this bench as I had always associated Thora Hird with Lancashire not Yorkshire and I took the photographs for the blog to prompt me to find out more. Despite searches I am no wiser and have not been able to find any link between Thora Hird and the lovely town of Knaresborough. Thora Hird does have links with the county of Yorkshire; she played Edith ‘Edie’ Pegden from 1986 to 2003 in the Yorkshire comedy sitcom ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ filmed in Holmfirth in West Yorkshire and many of her finest performances were in roles created by the Yorkshire playwright Alan Bennett, including starring in two of his dramatic monologues Talking Heads.