IPad project to support Menston elderly off to a good start, as is cheese club

Five of the 'teaching' team

The eggs2iPads project got off to a great start on Thursday evening at The Menstone club in Farnley Road; five enthusiastic, elderly ‘students’ turned up thanks to Menston Cares, which brought them, and the idea that this first session would be just a ‘get-to-know-you’ social occasion was quickly put aside. With the special welcome cake, from the Village Bakery of course, tea, coffee and other drinks consumed, iPads were quickly turned on and ‘teaching’ began.

The six strong teaching team, Adam (France), Hattie (Barnes), Joe (Woollin), Luke (Guzder), Sam (Craske) and Shaun (Street) were soon hard at work solving questions on the iPads and, sometimes, on other tablets brought by some of the students – Dorothy, Janet, Jean, John and Pat – and some supporters. The young team all attend local schools, St Mary’s Menston, Guiseley School and Bradford Grammar School. All are members of Menston’s Explorer Scouts.

Apart from the volunteer drivers who brought the elderly people, thanks are due to Menston Community Association members Sue Rix and Tony JointMenston Cares Chair and Officer Jane Pratt and Sue Lee, and Beth Street, who came to support, and Petronela Prisca who temporarily joined the ‘teaching team’ with her iPad 2 and iPad Mini 3.

Project 'logo' on T-shirts worn by the 'eggs2iPads' team, showing a photo of eggs on an iPad

Project ‘logo’ on T-shirts worn by the ‘eggs2iPads’ team

One question resolved was “Where do the eggs come in?”, the long project title being ‘Teaching grandmother, from eggs to iPads‘ (see below – surprisingly many had not heard the saying).

A fine evening of Yorkshire cheeses

First meeting of Wharfedale Fine Cheeses Cheese club at the Menstone. Jeremy Benn or the left of the table, Caroline Bell on the right

First meeting of Wharfedale Fine Cheeses Cheese Club at The Menstone. Jeremy Benn on the left of the table, Caroline Bell on the right. 10kg of Shepherd’s Purse cheeses behind.

The Menstone was also the venue later the same day for the first meeting of Wharfedale Fine Cheeses‘ Cheese Club, hosted by Jeremy Benn, founder of the local company. A packed downstairs at the club tucked in to about 10kg of cheese from Shepherd’s Purse cheeses of Thirsk following a great introduction from Caroline Bell, daughter of founder Judith Bell. Caroline gave a good explanation of the differences between the different blues, comparing them to well-known French creations like Roquefort.


For another approach to the above stories see the grumpytyke blog.


 

Don’t try to teach your Grandma to suck eggs (from www.phrases.org.uk)
Don’t offer advice to someone who has more experience than oneself.
These days this proverbial saying has little impact as few people have any direct experience of sucking eggs – grandmothers included (This may be true in the UK but is certainly not true in Romania where egg shells are decorated for Easter and many ‘suck eggs’- Editor).
It is quite an old phrase and is included in John Stevens’ translation of Quevedo’s Comical Works, 1707: “You would have me teach my Grandame to suck Eggs.”

Eggs2iPads and Writers Club projects get going; young Menston talent at Summer Ball; we have a younger man on the Parish Council and another woman

Three of the 'eggs2iPads' project 'teachers': Hattie Barnes, Luke Guzder and Shaun Street, having fun with an iPad

Three of the ‘eggs2iPads’ project ‘teachers': Hattie Barnes, Luke Guzder and Shaun Street.

The project aimed at reducing loneliness for elderly people living alone, called ‘Teaching grandmother – from eggs to iPads‘ (eggs2iPads for short), gets underway this coming Thursday. Six elderly people will meet up with six teenagers to learn some of the mysteries of the internet and how to access them using an iPad.

Project sessions, under the umbrella of the Menston Community Association, will be at The Menstone club in Farnley Road at 5.00pm on Thursdays. The elderly people will be brought to The Menstone by volunteers from Menston Cares. The young ‘teachers’ are at the moment all Menston Explorer Scouts.

Once familiar with the iPad the ‘students’ will learn how to communicate with distant relatives using programs like Skype, how to search the World Wide Web for information, how to email if they wish and even how to shop on-line – or anything else they wish to learn. However, socialising with the young people on a regular basis is an equally important part of the venture.

The project has been helped financially by the Lloyds Bank Community Fund, the money from this organisation being used to buy two iPads. These are being supplemented with personal iPads from volunteers involved in the project. Later in the project, ‘students’ who wish to buy an iPad will be helped to set it up; those unable to buy one may be able to borrow an iPad for short periods at appropriate times.

More offers of help, from would-be ‘teachers’ (13 to 17 years old) or from people able to offer transport will be very welcome. All adults involved will be DBS cleared and one always in attendance at sessions. Requests to join the sessions, from elderly people living alone, will be welcome too. All enquiries should be made by email to Roger at menston.village.wharfedale@gmail.com.

Talented young Menston singer/guitarist will open charity Summer Ball

Hattie Barnes, with her guitar, performing at the recent 'Bambisanani' concert at St Mary's Menston

Hattie Barnes performing at the recent ‘Bambisanani’ concert at St Mary’s Menston

Hattie Barnes, one of Menston’s talented young musicians who attends St Mary’s Menston, will open the Summer Ball organised to raise money to help rebuild schools destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan. This black tie event at the Craiglands Hotel in Ilkley, which includes a two-course meal and a live band, has been organised by Beth Street who organised a very successful similar event last year and the wonderful Soul Night at Kirklands earlier this year.

For tickets for the ball, £25 each, contact Beth Street on 0771 978 5986.

Writers Club off to a good start in Menston

The first session in Menston of the recently formed Writers Club got off to a good start with two more Menston writers, from each end of the age spectrum, turning up.

As a result of the variety of members’ requirements from the club the sessions have been divided between Menston and Ilkley, though a session in Skipton is planned in June, and there will be three sessions a month, mostly on Saturdays.

During the sessions in Menston, at The Menstone club in Farnley Road,  members will chat generally about writing and exchange ideas but have the opportunity to read their own work, if they wish, to the others. The next two sessions in Menston are at 12.10 on Saturday 13 June and 18th July. Drinks and snacks are available from the bar during the sessions. Details are listed in the ‘Events’ pages of this site and flagged up at the appropriate time in the ‘Imminent events’ listing on the right.

The Ilkley sessions, currently planned to be in Cafe Nero, will combine an opportunity to chat with an opportunity to write; some will be limited to just writing. For more details contact the founder of the club, Ruxandra Busoiu, by email at rbusoiu@yahoo.co.uk.

Parish Council ‘election’

We didn’t get an election for the Parish Council, which was a pity as we had no opportunity to signal support for some candidates, but we did get a younger man with children and a woman to replace former Cllr Sue Rix who stood down. So thank you to Lilias Mcculloch and Philip Moore for adding two very active campaigners to the Council.

It’s a pity that, given the wonderful turnout and demonstration of ‘community’ on Tour de Yorkshire day, there were not many more nominations so we could have had an election. As it was there were only seven nominations, the number of ‘seats’ currently on the Council, so no election. Does that tell us something about the community’s view of the relevance of the Parish Council?

There have been rumours that perhaps the number of seats could be increased to nine and another two active campaigners seconded on. That can surely only be a good thing.

A Menston welcome for the Tour de Yorkshire; Writers Club to meet in Menston; don’t forget to vote locally on Thursday; Art Show next weekend

Some of the crowds gathered alongside Menston Park and up Bingley Road waiting for the Tour de Yorkshire riders

What a Menston turnout for the Tour de Yorkshire! It did the village proud but pointed again to the ineffectiveness of the Parish Council in representing the people of our wonderful community. More about this below in the context of the forthcoming election on Thursday 7 May. (Thanks to Sue Rix for the picture).

Art Show

The first of Menston Arts Club‘s two annual shows is next weekend – Saturday and Sunday 9 and 10 May at the Community Centre. There’s no entry charge and you might find an appealing picture to enhance a wall. Details under the ‘Events’ menu.

Writers Club

Ruxandra Busoiu, founder of the new Writer's Club, which will meet at The Menstone

Ruxandra Busoiu, founder of the new Writers Club, which will meet at The Menstone (pic by Bob Hamilton)

Writers and would-be writers of any genre are invited to come to a meeting of a new Writers Club, formed in Ilkley but which will be meeting every other Saturday lunchtime in Menston, at The Menstone club in Farnley Road. The next meeting will be on Saturday 16 May (the next on 30th) at 12.00 upstairs at The Menstone. It’s a small, informal friendly group with a wide age range, currently from early 20s to over 70s. There’s no agenda at the moment and no fees. It’s not a ‘writing course’, no lessons – just a group with an interest in writing who meet up for a chat and swap ideas. Sometimes when the weather’s good we might retire to Menston Park.

The Menstone serves drinks – coffee and tea, beer and others and offers snacks like Paninis so if you want to make it a lunch meeting, not just a lunchtime meeting, you can.

The group was set up by Ruxandra Busoiu, a young behavioural psychologist  who graduated from Bradford University and has been working for the NHS. She now lives in Ilkley. One member of the group has had a book published though it’s not a novel. Two have been working journalists. Three aspire to write a novel. Some write poetry and short stories but don’t want to write a novel. And, of course, one writes this blog (and some others). So whatever writing you do, published or not, or want to do, you’ll be welcome.

Just turn up on a Saturday 16 May lunchtime if you wish; if you prefer to make contact before just email  rbusoiu@yahoo.co.uk.

The election

Thursday 7 May we have three elections in Menston – national, district and parish.

No comment here about the national election other than to note that Philip Davies has been a very good local representative who has often gone against his own party for something he believes in and has worked extraordinarily hard for Menston. So, many who are of other political persuasions may well feel they should vote for him on that basis.

If only party politics could be eradicated from the district council.

As far as the Parish Council is concerned, we do have one woman nominated. Lilias Mcculloch has long been a force in the battle against undue noise from airport operations so it will be good to have a female with her energy and perseverance on the council, especially as Sue Rix stood down after a very energetic term in office. A substantial number of votes for Lilias would show she is appreciated by the community.

Unfortunately, as there were no nominations for other women or younger men, we will inevitably be stuck with the old team for another four years. The Tour de Yorkshire gave an insight into what we can expect there.

Last year, when it was suggested at a Parish Council meeting that the village should do something to mark the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire, it was said that as it was not passing through Menston nothing would be done. Some might think that was reasonable, some not. But it is embarrassing that when such an event is to come to us the same lethargic, do nothing attitude prevailed. What an opportunity missed to put Menston on the map, as other village communities like Addingham or Hunmanby did.

It was wonderful to see such a large part of our community, of all ages, coming together along Bingley Road; the community atmosphere was wonderful; special thanks to a few individuals who did do something – bunting, the wonderful comic figure, etc.

But no thanks to the Parish Council. The massive turnout illustrated well just how unrepresentative of the community the council have been.

There is a way out. The self-elected Council could ‘adopt’ others to the Council, as happened with the only female member in the past. But some younger people, and more women, would have to put themselves forward.

Sorry: A Menston welcome for the Tour de Yorkshire; Writer’s Club for Menston; don’t forget to vote locally on Thursday; Art Show next weekend

To be published later on Monday. Sorry for mis-notification

St Mary’s Menston Bambisanani concert 2015 – a wonderful evening

_DSC2800_edThis year’s concert at St Mary’s Menston, on 24 April, at which the school’s young musicians join the Leeds Youth Jazz Rock Orchestra (LYJRO) and the Madrigal singing group, provided the astounding music we have become used to and for the biggest audience ever. If you missed it you’ll have to wait until next year to get the best £5’s worth of entertainment you’ll find.

_DSC2859_ed

The concert raises money for St Mary’s Menston’s ‘Bambisanani Parnership’ project in South Africa and for the LYJRO visit to that country where they also work with South African children.

Below are a few links to video clips which hopefully give some idea of the talent of the youngsters involved. Quality isn’t the best, mostly because of the inexperience of the video ‘camera man’. The video clip links are followed by a large gallery of photographs taken on the night.

Leeds Youth Jazz & Rock Orchestra Plus
Madrigal
Lia Stephan
Harriet Barnes
Ukulele band
More big band, blues
Dancing
Finale

The following photographs were taken by Petronela and Roger, who retain copyright; they may be used freely but please credit them to this website. Click any picture to see them all larger as a slide show.

 

History in the making as the Court of Appeal supports MAG on Derry Hill; St Mary’s Menston Bambisanani concert well worth a visit

Another historical milestone has been reached by the Menston Action Group (MAG), on behalf of all residents, in opposing inappropriate development in the village when the Court of Appeal allowed a MAG challenge concerning development on Derry Hill to go to Judicial Review. Full story below.

Concert at St Mary’s Menston on Friday well worth a visit

St Mary's Menston concert 9 May 2014St Mary’s Menston’s now annual concert to support its South African Bambisanani project is this coming Friday (24th April) and very well worth a visit. Last year’s concert was superb and many of the same artists, including the Leeds Youth Jazz & Rock Orchestra in which several St Mary’s students play, are featured. This orchestra will transport you back to the ‘big band’ era then take you on a journey to the rock & roll age. On the other hand, there will be some wonderful singing, both solo and choral, and the fun of a ukulele band.

Places can be reserved by calling in at St Mary’s, Pupils’ Reception, between 1.30pm and 2.00pm or turn up on the night. Tickets are £5 (£3 concessions).

Both MAG’s objections to Derry Hill development supported by Court of Appeal

Following Bradford Council’s approval of a scheme from Barratt Homes to develop 176 houses on fields off Derry Hill, Menston, the Menston Action Group challenged the decision in the Leeds Administrative Court and were given permission to go to Judicial Review on one of the two grounds on which they challenged the approval: the validity of the procedure adopted by Bradford Council when making their decision.

However, MAG were refused permission to proceed with their primary ground, which is based upon a much wider issue of whether the condition and sustainable drainage principles required Barratt to put forward a drainage scheme that addressed potential improvement of flooding issues around the Derry Hill site, including a nearby electricity substation that is prone to flooding.

Now, the Rt Hon Lord Justice Sullivan, sitting in the Court of Appeal, has decided  to allow the Judicial Review of the proposed development at the Derry Hill site in Menston to proceed on all grounds of challenge.

Alistair Kennedy, who is leading the team of solicitors from Schofield Sweeney, acting for MAG, said: “This is a fantastic result for MAG and the residents of Menston, who are desperately worried that the proposed development at Derry Hill will make flooding in Menston much worse. MAG also have very serious concerns about ongoing flooding of the electricity substation adjacent to the Derry Hill site and have raised health and safety concerns. For the Court of Appeal to acknowledge the wider importance of this challenge and give MAG the opportunity to bring all of their concerns before a full hearing of the Administrative Court is very encouraging”.

This is a historical decision which has far wider ramifications for other communities throughout the UK fighting inappropriate development.

Of course Barratt and Bradford Council have brought out the big guns to oppose MAG; it is a great pity that it is necessary to go to very costly litigation to oppose such development, especially when a referendum in the village produced such resounding opposition to the scheme but, although local residents raised over £100,000 to fight the Bradford Council decisions, now more money is required although Schofield Sweeney have done much work without charge.

Contributions to the fighting fund, payable to ‘Menston Action Group’, may be sent to or left at:

  • 3 Albany Row, Main Street
  • 4 West Winds (off Moor Lane)
  • 39 Hawksworth Drive
  • 2 Red House Gardens
  • Small Print, Main Street

More information and the Press Release issued by Schofield Sweeney on the Court of Appeal decision will be posted on the MAG website.

Wet but determined – Menston/Guiseley green belt protectors march. Strictly, come dancing in Menston

Banner inviting to honkAround 100 protesters, including the Chairman of the Menston Action Group (MAG) and a peacefully protesting contingent of dogs, gathered at the Menston/Guiseley boundary on the A65 in pouring rain on Sunday lunch time to bring to people’s attention the loss of Green Fields, the potential merging of Menston and Guiseley to be part of a Bradford/Leeds urban sprawl, and the lack of facilities to cope with yet more houses, if Ings Fields on the boundary are developed, . Passing motorists were invited to “hoot in you love green belt” and around half of passing cars did just that with gusto. After gathering where the Mire Beck crosses the road the bedraggled but cheerful and determined crowd walked up to Ings Lane, down to the proposed entrance into the housing development planned for Ings Fields, then back into Menston via the bridle path beyond St Mary’s school. Pictures, and more about the protest from yesterday’s post, below.

Strictly dancing – Tuesdays Kirklands

Ballroom dancing has joined the ballet classes at Menston’s Kirlands Community Centre on Tuesday evening, beginning of 14 April. Ballet classes for grade 4 to intermediate are well established from 6.00 to 7.15pm, turning out award winning dancers; most recently three students at the Menston classes being chosen to dance with English Youth Ballet in Giselle at St. George’s Hall, Bradford, in June.

The ‘Strictly’ classes are being brought to Kirklands by Sandra Beaumont, former UK champion and championship adjudicator. The new classes will cover Ballroom and Latin at 7.30pm, then Rock & Roll at 8.30pm, each Tuesday . There are some Tuesdays when Kirklands is not available for the dancing so consult the ‘Events’ listing to see if they have been arranged in another location.

PROTEST WALK TO SHOW LEEDS WHERE THE REAL MENSTON/GUISELEY BOUNDARY IS (click any picture to see larger as a slide show; text from post on 10 April)

If the Ings fields between Menston and Guiseley are developed then Menston and Guiseley will have merged!

Menston and Guiseley Greenbelt Protection Group had a day of action rally, walking the site under threat, which is just off the A65, behind the BP petrol station.

The rally was organised together with WARD (Wharfedale & Airedale Review Development). On this day Community Voice on Planning prepared a National day of action to protest at the loss of greenbelt between settlements which is leading to urban sprawl and a reduction in social standards across the nation.

We in Menston are one of many unique (and we are unique, aren’t we?)  communities which are threatened with becoming just part of an urban sprawl.

One of the major factors for preserving Green Belt according to Government guidelines is to maintain the distinctiveness of named settlements by keeping the greenbelt buffer between them. Building on the Ing fields, apart from the fact they are Green Belt, will effectively join the two settlements. If they are built on they are gone for good!

The walk was intended to show Leeds where the real Menston/Guiseley boundary is and should be preserved as a slice of green between the two settlements.

Recently Menston village was represented at the Inspectors examination in public of the Bradford Core Strategy for housing over the coming 15 years and much angst was raised by many communities around Bradford over the planning rules which state that Local Planning Authorities should be seen to cooperate over the development of their core strategies where these impact on neighbouring authorities. Those present could see the results of no such cooperation as sites are coming forwards for development across both sides of Menston that will result in the settlements of Guiseley and Menston becoming a single sprawl.

We may be forced to, once more, become victims of circumstances if the green space between Menston and Guiseley is further eroded and do remember that at the moment, this comes at the end of many years of heavy developments, where no additional communications or social infrastructure have been put in place.

The settlement boundaries between Menston and Guiseley need to be highlighted as Leeds’ planners have included Moorland Crescent and Bradford Road, Menston, in the major settlement extending from Guiseley, thus making the Ings Fields look like wonderful infill to them! This is a political boundary not a settlement or geographic boundary. The settlement boundary runs along the back gardens of Moorland Crescent Menston following Mire Beck.

The walk was organised by Liz Kirkpatrick at mandggpg@gmail.com, phone 01943 875640.