how's about that then?

ON the 40th anniversary of his first visit to Cragg Vale, Sir Jimmy Savile fixed it to return to the area and meet church members.

The former Top of the Pops presenter and Radio 1 DJ attended the Church of St John the Baptist in the Wilderness on Saturday to reminisce with parishioners from 40 years ago.

A buffet was laid on throughout the afternoon, old photographs were displayed, and church-goers enjoyed listening to a recording made when Jimmy took part in Songs of Praise at Calder High School.

Church member Doris Hirst said: “It was a lovely friendly afternoon and he was the perfect gentleman.

“Quite a few people showed up who knew him back then and we had a service of thanks for all Jimmy’s done for us through the years.

Sir Jimmy, 81, has long established links with the area. He once completed a 10 mile sponsored walk through the Calder Valley raising funds for groups in the district.

He said: “I have to say after 40 years many of these people are now more than friends, they are also like family.

“I first came down here to help the church find a vicar and soon after was appointed church warden for my efforts.”

Speaking about the possible sale of the Sunday School at St John’s Centre, he said he was sure that locals would fight to keep it open.

He said: “I will be behind them whatever they do. If the community want to keep this place open they will have to fight for it.”