Kit Calvert

Kit Calvert was born in Burtersett in1903. His working life began at the tender age of 12. In later years he was to become Hawes most famous and respected son. 

After recovering in Leeds General Infirmary from a farm accident, Kit came home to Hawes and took the tenancy of some land. This was in1931 and he was happy selling milk in the district. 

During the 1930's industrial depression, the local dairy was in deep trouble. Kit called a meeting in the Town Hall and gathered enough support to rescue the dairy. This secured the livelihoods of many folk. Kit was the head of the new company. He did well and eventually it was sold to the Milk Marketing Board in 1966 for 500,000. Going back to private ownership, it went fairly well for a few years until ambition overtook practical ability. In May 1992 the Milk Marketing Board closed the Hawes creamery, the only one in the dale, and transferred production of Wensleydale Cheese to Lancashire. God forbid it!

Kit Calvert*

In November the same year ex-managers took up the fight and, against the odds, persuaded the owners to sell the creamery back to them, enabling the company to go on producing the real Wensleydale Cheese. The company continues to prosper.

Hawes has a delightful bookshop, established by Kit and bearing his name. It is still going strong. One of Kit's pastimes included translating parts of the Bible. He also fought, and won, a battle with the local authorities to provide playgrounds for Hawes children. In 1977 he went to see the Queen at Buckingham Palace and was awarded the MBE.  

The 23rd Psalm in the Wensleydale dialect. Translated by Kit Calvert, 1974.

The Lord is my shipperd,
Ah'll want fer nowt.
He lets m'bassock i' t' best pastures
an' taks m' bi't watter side whar o's wyet an' peeacful.
He uplifts m'soul an' maks things seea easy
'at Ah can drew w'ats reet an' gloryfy His name.
Evan if Ah cu't' deeaths deursteead,
Ah's nut bi freetend, fer He'll bi' wi' me.
His creuk an' esh plant'll uphold me
Thu puts on a good meeal afoor me,
reet anenst them' at upbrraids me.
Thu ceuls me heead wi' oil
an' Ah'v meeat an' drink t' spar'
Seurlie Thi goodniss an' mercy
'al bi mine fer o' t' days o' mi life,
an ah'll beleng t' t'hoose o' the Lord fer ivver.




*(photographer unknown)