Tot Lord

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BBC Recording of Tot Lord, 1948

Anyone tuning into BBC radio on the evening of Monday 14th June 1948, at 7.15pm, would have heard Tot Lord being interviewed live from Broadcasting House, Manchester, on a programme called Northern Scene. Subject of the interview, Tot's fabulous Pig Yard Club Museum collection.

Updated 5th February
Track 01
The Courtyard, Settle

A Tot Lord information board is now on display at 'The Courtyard.'  It features various photographs along with  text by Richard Whinray.  Standing next to the board is Richard, holding his Grandson, George Kennedy,  Tot's Great Great Grandson! 

Updated 31st July 2013

Recent discovery made at Attermire Cave 

My son Matthew and I followed in Tot's footsteps today by exploring Attermire Cave to the very end. Attermire Cave was first excavated by the Pig Yard Club, probably in the 1920's, when two small discoveries were made - a bone bead and toggle - which proved to an excited Tot that the cave in the distant past had been occupied by man! As I crawled through a very narrow tight section of cave, I wondered how much more difficult it must have been for Tot's larger than mine frame - on one occasion  it was reported that he got well stuck, and frantic efforts followed to extricate him!  Towards the end of the cave are a lot of signatures in copper plate handwriting, dating from the Victorian period  Tot himself had added his name - no date unfortunately - and it was a great delight for us to re-discover it, all these years later.

Updated 1st May 2013

Settle News - Tot Lord Trail on Easter Sunday

Despite the bitterly cold conditions, and consequently with a smaller number than usual in attendance, the Tot Lord Town Trail went ahead as planned, beginning as usual in the Market Place before winding it's way around Settle.  Many thanks to those who came along - it is  hoped that you found the event interestng and rewarding. All proceeds from the event will be donated to Oxfam.  The next town trails will be taking place this summer.

Updated 11th April 2013

Craven Herald and Pioneer review of Tot Lord book

Former Skipton school teacher Richard Whinray chose a subject close to his heart for his first book – a biography of his grandfather, Tot Lord. Tot has been described variously as “one of the Yorkshire Dales’ greatest characters”, “one of Settle’s greatest citizens” and “as much a part of Settle as Castleberg Rock itself!”. His colourful and eventful life had a marked impression upon the town of his birth and upon the Yorkshire Dales, a place he loved. Richard is working on a second book, the Tot Lord Town Trail, which will help visitors discover about the history of Settle, by looking at buildings and places associated with Tot. Here, using the biography, we chart some of Tot’s life.
The full article can be found on the Craven Herald and Pioneer website if you click here.

Dalesman Magazine write review on Tot Lord book

Here is what the Dalesman magazine had to say about the Tot Lord book by Richard Whinray. ''There's been plenty written about Settle's famous son, Tot Lord - especially in the pages of Dalesman - but probably nothing as intimate as this fascinating book by one of his grandchildren, Richard Whinray.  He inherited a battered old leather case containing family documents and letters which shed further light on Tot's remarkable life.  Tot, who  was born in a small Commercial Street Cottage in Upper Settle ended up living in a grand house, Town Head, where he housed the famous Pig Yard Club Museum, one of the finest private collections of old bones and cave discoveries in the country.'

Tot Lord book reviewed by Westmorland Gazette

The Westmorland Gazette reviewed the book and described it as 'an entertaining account of the life of Thomas ''Tot' Lord, a great Yorkshire Dales character, and one of the founder members of the Clapham based Cave Rescue Organisation.  Tot, who was born in Settle on Empire Day in 1899, was a renowned Dales archaeologist who excavated the caves around Settle to discover evidence of ancient man's occupancy.  Mr. Whinray, Tot's grandson, writes with obvious affection for his subject, whose 'greatest acheievement' was the founding of the Pig Yard Club Museum in Settle.'

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