Yorkshire Dales National Park
Local hero for:
Writing with wit, warmth, compassion and scholarship about the Dales and the idiosyncrasies of human nature.
A Yorkshireman born and bred, Bill Mitchell worked on The Dalesman magazine for 40 years, many of them as editor
William Mitchell, known as Bill Mitchell, was born in Skipton, known as the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales, in 1928.
He left school at 14, and took a business course at a local technical college where he learnt shorthand and book keeping.
In 1943, aged 15, he applied for a job on the local paper, the Craven Herald, and – to his surprise – was offered a choice of positions due to staff shortages (it was war time).
In 1948 he was offered a job at Dalesman magazine, which had been started by a fellow Yorkshireman in the Dales village of Clapham in 1939.
Awards and honours
In 1996, Bill Mitchell was awarded an MBE for his services to journalism in Yorkshire and Cumbria.
And in July 1996 the University of Bradford awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.
He worked for the next 40 years at The Dalesman, many of them as editor, and the magazine is one of the UK’s most successful regional magazines. His writing name is W R Mitchell. Bill has had a lifelong history in the history and nature of the Yorkshire Dales and the life and work of its inhabitants. He writes with a genuine affection for the area and a great ear for dialogue.
Following his retirement in 1986, Mitchell went on to set up his own publishing company, Castleberg Publications, and has written extensively on life in the Dales – with 160 books to his name.
Did you know?
Bill Mitchell has been president of the Yorkshire Dales Society, a charity which protects, conserves and promotes the Yorkshire Dales, for 25 years.