Skipton Business Awards 2017

Entries keep rolling in as we remember those gone before

skipton-market-1During the darker months, and at a time when we pause to remember those fallen in battles, my thoughts wander to a time when people traded in Skipton during times of war, and I wonder how they felt; what they experienced.

History was a dry subject to me at school.  I used to see numbers and words and black and white, I had little interest in the subject and I didn’t attach it then, as I do now, to real people, experiences, sounds, emotions; lives affected.  It seems as I’ve become older and experienced the knocks that life can bring, I recognise more and more the challenges, sacrifices and triumphs of those who went before us.

During this approach towards celebrating 120 years of Skipton Chamber of Trade and Commerce and launching the much-welcomed Business Awards, it has given me opportunity to look through ledgers past.

I noticed in a look back at first subscription ledgers dating back to 1897, that  Chamber of Trade membership had dropped momentarily in 1913, at a time when there must have been incredible fear and uncertainty, and increased again from 1914 to 1918 as traders must have come together in camaraderie and defiance during the war years.  In 1912 there had been 248 members listed, by the end of 1913 only 111. Without looking further into press releases, minutes, genealogical records etc. I can only speculate that some traders must have enrolled; there was a hesitation recorded in subscription numbers and then it seemed that until 1918 numbers continued as if one subscription could carry traders throughout those years; the end of 1918 being marked with a double line.”

The same throughout World War II – Skipton has been a place of thriving trade for so many centuries and that community spirit has continued right through to the present day.

Each week, on the build up to the Awards, I’ve had the opportunity to reach out to media partners and expand upon the award categories, as entries are encouraged towards the closing date of 16 January 2016, 12 noon.

This week I’ve looked at the following categories:

Best Market Stall

Skipton wouldn’t be the same without its market.  It is recognised as one of the oldest Markets in the country and as such we are celebrating those Traders who brave the elements and set up stall day after day, week after week, all year round.

Best Apprentice/Trainee Business

Open to all businesses who host an Apprentice/Trainee scheme; a growing and for some, favoured way by younger members of our community to enter the world of work; guided by their employees and years of experience. We’d love to hear from businesses who champion their apprentices and have found this method of introduction to employment rewarding and beneficial.

Best Health & Beauty Business

Everyone deserves a pampering at some stage in their lives and Skipton hosts many businesses which can provide that opportunity. From the Barber’s to the provider of hot tubs we’re looking forward to celebrating those whose focus is to make others feel and look great.

Next week I’ll focus on another three categories. In the meantime, I’d love to hear from people looking for further information about the application process; online entry can be found at Plus we’d love to hear from any business owners interested in becoming an Associate or Headline sponsor.

Best wishes

Wendy Lawson MInstF
Secretary of Chamber of Trade & Co-ordinator of Skipton Business Awards 2017

You can contact Wendy Lawson on 01756 798257 or email