Savile shock for the upper Calder Valley

JUST over a year since his death, a village has been left shocked by sexual abuse revelations regarding shamed former television presenter Jimmy Savile.

Friday, 2nd November 2012, 12:59 pm

Police have identified over 200 potential victims of the deceased former BBC presenter, who often visited Cragg Vale.

Calder Valley residents have been left horrified by the news and said they believed Savile, who raised thousands of pounds for good causes in Cragg Vale and had strong links with St John’s In The Wilderness Church, was a “nice man”.

Lynn Trewartha, from Mytholmroyd, said: “I and my friends used to do the 10-mile charity walk with him every year and he was brilliant. He would just run along in his little outfit. I’ve probably got 20 autographs off him. I never saw anything inappropriate – I only saw the good side of him. He certainly never touched me. I just feel so sorry for his victims.”

Elva Wood, who runs The Robin Hood in Cragg Vale, said: “I met him once after he had just done a fundraising walk with everybody. He was very charming.

“A lot of people did the walks but we didn’t hear a thing about anyone being abused. “He raised a lot of money for the area and saved St John’s. I know absolutely nothing about the abuse allegations and it’s never been mentioned in the community – not until last month. I don’t know anybody in the community that has claimed to be abused.”

Savile often used to visit St John’s Church, for which he raised thousands of pounds, and was an honorary church warden. He was a popular figure in the Calder Valley right up until his death. In the 1970s he had a caravan parked outside the Hinchliffe Arms Cragg Vale..