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New books reveal fascinating insights into Chevin's history
Some fascinating insights into the history of Otley Chevin and the families who lived there are revealed in two new books.
The works, available to view online and at Otley Library, are based on painstaking research carried out by Friends of Chevin Forest Park volunteer Barbara Winfield.
Part of the Chevin Through Time project, they record the memories and describe the lives of people who lived in remote buildings – like Jenny’s Cottage and The White House – on Otley's most famous landmark during the past few centuries.
The books detail the origins of The White House and its first inhabitants and chart the changing fortunes of Jenny’s Cottage, at Surprise View, which was a popular destination for visitors for more than 150 years but ended up being demolished.
Barbara said: “It has been a fascinating story.
“I think my favourite memory has been listening to a radio recording of Jane Slater (née Blackburn) remin-iscing about her times at Jenny’s Cottage and her sadness at seeing it being pulled down in 1976 after years of neglect and vandalism.
“Our research has been supported by Leeds City Council’s Parks and Countryside service, which owns and manages Chevin Forest Park, and the West Yorkshire Geology Trust, which researched and created the Chevin Geology Trail.”
The books can be viewed online at the Friends of Chevin Forest Park’s www.chevinforest.co.uk website, which contains a selection of old photographs and a wealth of other information about the area, including two new audio trails that can be downloaded to listen to while following the Heritage Time Trail or Geology Trail.
Both trails have leaflets, available from Otley Library and the White House cafe, showing their routes and the locations of linked sculptures created by Otley artist and teacher Shane Green.
A chance to see the history books will be available on September 7 when the White House opens to visitors from 9.30am to noon as part of the national Heritage Open Day scheme.