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A LIFE IN HILLAM - DAN BEDFORD 1995 – A momentous year for Hillam In the Hillam News from Oct-Nov 1995, the Parish Council endorsed planning consent for the demolition of farm buildings at Rose Tree Farm. Permission was granted to Wild Bennett Homes to build ten houses on the site, to be known as Bedford’s Fold. Victor Homes gained approval for the erection of twenty detached houses at Hilltop and Hillside Farm. Mrs V Wilkinson had her outline planning approval at Boundary Farm, Lumby Hill renewed. Arncliffe Homes submitted a planning application for 23 homes on Hillam Hall Lane.

Some people may wonder about the origin of the name for Bedford’s Fold. The obituary of Dan Bedford by Tony Hudson and printed below sheds light on the mystery.

As a young man, Dan worked with his father on the farm and also played cricket occasionally for Hillam, when Hillam and Monk Fryston had their own teams and the rivalry between the villages was intense.

Dan Bedford’s Obituary from the Hillam News January 1999

Those who knew Dan for many years know that in true Yorkshire fashion The death on Saturday 7th of he would speak his mind if he felt November of George Daniel (Dan) that the occasion demanded it. Bedford marked the end of an era. Several young village lads, myself With his passing the family name of included, were often put in their Bedford joins other long gone Hillam place by Dan when, after making a farming family names such as good score or taking a few wickets Ringrose, Gill, Longbottom, he said, ‘Tha’s done alreet lad but Robinson and Holey. tha’ll never be as good as thi dad!’

Dan lived all of his 78 bachelor years in Hillam, most of them spent at Rose Tree Farm in Main Street. All this was in a single issue of Hillam News. The modern history of Some years ago Dan sold the farm and built himself a new home at Hillam had begun. Austfield Lane where he lived until his death. Fortunately his family name lives on in the title of Bedford’s Fold, the name nominated by Hillam Parish Council for the development at Rose Tree Farm.

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He did however on occasion turn up at the cricket field and send down a few balls to young aspiring cricketers. Dan was always proud of his farming background and would often appeared in wellington boots and overcoat tied round the waist with ‘hairy band.’ Yet at weekends Dan was one of the smartest dressers in the village when he partook of a drink (or two) at the British Legion Club, South Milford. Sadly, in recent years old age and memory problems rendered him a somewhat eccentric character. Nevertheless his presence added to the diverse picture of village life and many villagers will miss him, myself included.

Hillam News Feb March 2010  
Hillam News Feb March 2010