Memorial Plaque on Skelgill Bank
Shortly after beginning an ascent of Cat Bells a walker will come across this plaque on Skelgill Bank dedicated to the memory of Thomas Arthur Leonard.
T.A. Leonard was the Minister of a Congregational Chapel in Colne, Lancashire who began in 1891 to organise holidays for the local mill people. This led to the formation in 1892 of the Co-operative Holidays Association which set out 'to provide recreative and educational holidays by purchasing or renting and furnishing houses and rooms in selected centres, by catering in such houses for parties of members and guests, and by securing helpers who will promote the intellectual and social interests of the party with which they are associated'. The first property, the Abbey House at Whitby, was leased in 1896.
The Co-operative Holidays Association later became the Countrywide Holidays Association (CHA). In 1913 the Holiday Fellowship was formed, also at the instigation of Arthur Leonard who wished to extend the work of the Co-operative Holidays Association of which he was then General secretary. This was intended as a companion organisation to the CHA. Goodwill between the two organisations continues to this day. Many of those connected with the foundation and early years of the CHA have also been closely involved with the setting up of other well known organisations connected with rambling and the countryside.