Still got some Christmas presents to get? Menston businesses could provide some great gifts so save yourself the hassle of battling through the shopping crowds or buying on line. Here are a dozen ideas – any of the first ten will be supporting our local businesses – a Christmas present to each of them!
Click on any of the suggestions below for more details, or just scroll down. See a bigger size of most pictures by clicking them.
Healthy, fun cooking session for children with Mighty Chefs (voucher)
A term of dance lessons – modern, ballet and tap (voucher)
Food treats from Delicasolo (voucher)
A unique Wharfedale calendar from Smallprint
Membership of The Wharfedale Beer Club; a case of beer delivered
A series of Pilates sessions
Annual membership of the Menstone club
A night in Menston’s B&B – Bleachmill House
Menston history book
A limited edition print from local artist Justin Leeming
A small gift to the battered people of the Phillipines
Won’t cost you a thing – give a little of your blood to someone
This is free too – nominate a local hero
Mighty Chefs in action at the Saturday morning session at the Menston Cricket Club: left to right, instructor Lisa McLoughlin, Grace Cogan, Ruby Aldcock, Stephanie Kershaw, volunteer Leona McLoughlin, Georgia Voss, volunteer Hannah Richards, Louisa Katzee, Andre Katzee
Mighty Chefs: A ‘different’ present for any child between 6 and 14 years old would be a session with ‘Might Chefs’, where they will have fun learning to cook nutritious, healthy and appetising food. A session costs £15, including all ingredients and use of necessary equipment. Sessions are at Menston Cricket Club once a month on Saturday mornings (first in 2015 in February). You can get a voucher for a session by calling Lisa on 0744 361 0773, emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or go to the website at:
Thumbs up from the youngest dance group at their Saturday session at Kirklands. Left to right: back, Amelia, Isabel, Iona and Chloe; front Hannah, Amber, Orla, Stephanie and Lauren.
Dance classes in Menston: With multiple awards and former pupils performing on the West End stage, the dance classes at Menston’s Kirklands Community Centre might make an ideal present for a youngster and you could get a voucher for Christmas. Children, boys and girls, can join the classes from about two and a half years old.
For the little ones shown here a term of Saturday morning sessions will cost about £57 and a voucher for this can be obtained from dance teacher Stephanie, who has been teaching dance – ballet, modern and tap – in Menston for about 20 years. Among Menston award-winning pupils at present is Nic Cain (see previous post on this site by clicking the picture on the right). Stephanie’s Bradford-based dance company, Bradford Theatre Arts, has just won two more awards: ‘Best show of the year‘ and ‘Best child/youth ensemble of the year‘). You can see them performing next at the Bradford Playhouse in Little Germany on Thursday 18 and Friday 19 December evenings and Saturday 20 December afternoon and early evening. You can get tickets for ‘A Christmas Carol’ from the Playhouse box office or on-line via the Playhouse website.
Delicious bites from Delicasolo: Lots of ideas at Menston’s own Solo delicatessen and coffee shop. For a substantial present there are real panetonne from Italy, Christmas hampers, seafood platters and hams. Stocking fillers include unusually but deliciously flavoured popcorn (eg Camembert), or luscious Cloud Nine marshmallows. Or you can get a voucher to spend on anything from a coffee to the next Bistro evening.
Wharfedale Calendar: The Wharfedale calendar with photos taken by Tom at Smallprint and his family is available in a protective cellophane cover, and envelope for posting, from Smallprint in the village centre. It costs £5 and is a great present to post to former visitors to Wharfedale, who would surely welcome a reminder to hang in their home.
Menston entrepreneur Daniel Groom with a selection of some of the beers which can be delivered to your door by the Wharfedale Beer Club
Wharfedale Beer Club: A case of some of the world’s great beers, from a War of the Roses Yorkshire v Lancashire selection to the best from South America would make a great present for any beer lover delivered direct to their door.
The Wharfedale Beer Club is almost the newest Menston local business, started up by Daniel Groom from his Menston home. He’s been in the beer business for many years and currently looks after a string of pubs. What is more, if you can’t find a beer you particularly want to buy, tell Daniel and he’ll do his best to locate it and deliver it to you.
Another good bit of news: the prices are generally quite a bit lower than you’d pay in a licensed establishment.
You’ll find more details on the website:
or contact Daniel on 0789 981 7486 or email email@example.com
Pilates: How about a course of Pilates, specially for men, if Daniel’s beers (or other Christmas excesses) have added too much to the belly? Courses for men are among the speciality courses offered by The Studio in Cleasby Road (2 minutes from the station). Other speciality courses include those for expectant Mums and new Mums. For more details phone 01943 879816 or go to the website at:
Recent Christmas Fair in the Menstone
Menstone Club: An annual membership of the Menstone Club in Farnley Road would be a good present for anyone who is not already a member. Annual membership is just £20 year and you have a comfortable place for a coffee, a beer or, at the moment, something seasonal. Comfortable and pleasant, there are snooker tables upstairs. The Menston Business Association has chosen it as its meeting place and there are a variety of activities there. Recently there has been a Christmas Fair and Father Christmas has been twice. More information and a membership application form on the website:
or phone 01943 878114.
Bleach Mill House B&B: On one of the most attractive Menston Walks, Bleach Mill House at the end of Bleach Mill Lane would be a delightful place for a visitor to our area to spend a night or two. They could also breakfast on the tasty free-range eggs from the handsome speckled hens which greet walkers. There is more information on the Bleach Mill House website.
Menston history: A book for the bookshelf of every Menston resident surely – Menston Remembered by Jack Kell. The author has been a Menston resident of over 90 years. He takes a look at the village in which he has lived and loved all his life, including his memories of village life. He records some of the changes that have taken place, highlighting areas of interest, some of its buildings and institutions and meeting some of its personalities from Menston’s recent past. With 173 photographs, maps and illustrations in its 208 pages, the book costs just £15. It is available from Village News in the village centre or from Londis. You can also order it on line and have it posted to where you wish at:
Original painting or photograph: Menston’s resident artist and photographer, Justin Leeming, has a variety of limited edition prints and original paintings – all his own work – for sale or would take a commission, one idea being commissioning of a painting of a baby who he could then photograph with the painting, as shown in the picture. Justin, who is also a graphic designer, has a website at:
A present to the ravaged people of the Phillipines: Although thankfully the latest storm in the Phillipines did not result in the enormous loss of life seen in 2013, damage was still considerable and much remains to be done. You can help by making a Christmas gift to the Menston-based charity, Angels for Children, set up by Menston resident Beth Street earlier this year. A wonderful Soul night at the Menston Kirlands Community Centre and a ball at Ilkley’s Craiglands Hotel, both fundraising events, are to be repeated on 21 March and 6 June 2015 respectively but you can make a donation now by calling Beth on 0771 978 5986, or you can go to the website, where there is a ‘donate’ button:
A present only you can give: How about a present to an unknown person which will not cost you anything but might save their life? Just a little of your blood. There are donor sessions at the Menston Community Centre, Kirklands from 13.45 to 15.45 and from 16.45 to 19.30 on Tuesday 16 December.
There will be a number of walk-in appointments available for donors on the day but these are limited and so attendance is advised with an appointment. To book an appointment please visit
or call 0300 123 2323.
Awarded as a local hero, Shirley Thompson, who works as a volunteer with Menston Cares
Nominate a ‘Local hero’: Give a lovely present to a Menston volunteer which won’t cost you anything, by nominating a ‘local hero’ from Menston for next year’s ‘Local Heros’ awards for Wharfedale and Airedale, run by the Shipley Area Committee of BMDC. Menston’s Shirley Thompson was awarded as a Community Hero earlier this year (see post on this site, 30 March 2014) for her work with Menston Cares.
There are four categories for an award: established a small group of volunteers, operating for less than or more than three years; an individual aged 22 or over; an individual 21 or under. Shirley Thompson was also nominated for the recent similar Telegraph and Argus local heroes awards. Closing date for nominations in Friday 19 December and you can nominate by getting a nomination form by calling 01274 437146 or emailing:firstname.lastname@example.org;
but be quick as nominations close on Friday 19 December.