A taster for the Menston panto – Aladdin. Ballet by Menston youngsters

A foretaste of what is to come in the Menston panto (at the Kirklands Community Centre in March), which this year is Aladdin. Dancing in the 2015 show is to be choreographed by the teacher who has been turning Menston youngsters into superb dancers for the past 20 years at Kirklands – Stephanie Clements of Bradford Theatre Arts. Make sure you get your tickets early – it’s always a sell out.

Chorus in performance of 'A Christmas Carol' by  Bradford Theatre Arts at the Bradford Playhouse, December 2014

The picture and short video clips here are a little bit of Christmas from some talented Menston pupils who, along with other Bradford Theatre Arts dance pupils from other parts of Bradford, presented a wonderful show based on the Charles Dickens favourite A Christmas Carol at the New Bradford Playhouse at the end of last week. Here’s a taster.

A joyful Christmas dance

Talented Menston dance pupils

More clips and pictures from the show will be posted on grumpytyke’s personal blog sometime over the holiday period.

Another Christmas present?

Front cover of Menston history booklet 'The Laundry Whites'Another late Menston Christmas present idea to add to the list in the previous post, suggested by Cllr Dale Smith.

A reprint of a booklet by Michael Ayrton recalling the days of White’s Laundry, another valuable part of Menston history. It’s available from Village News at £15.


Ten late Christmas presents from Menston village

photo of holly with berriesphoto of holly with berriesStill 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: 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 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 lisa@mightychefs.co.uk, 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 andLauren.

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. Scholarship winning Menston schoolboy Nic Cain, practising with Molly ? from East Morton during Menston dance classes at the Kirklands Community CentreAmong 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.

The Wharfedale calendar, from SmallprintWharfedale 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

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:
www.thewharfedalebeer club.co.uk
or contact Daniel on 0789 981 7486 or email thewharfedalebeerclub@mail.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

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 gardenBleach 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.

historyMenston 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:

Photo of baby Lucinda with a painting of herOriginal 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 PhillipinesAlthough 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:

Give blood 'flyer'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.

Twice nominated as a local hero, Shirley Thompson who work with Menston Cares

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:shipleyareaneighbourhoodforums@bradford.gov.uk;
but be quick as nominations close on Friday 19 December. 

Fun cooking for kids; New Menston business – Extraordinary Writing; first general meeting of Menston Business Association

Mighty Chefs in action at Menston Cricket Club on 13 Dec

Poster for Mighty Cheffs 13 Dec eventMenston’s ‘Mighty Chefs‘ are holding one of their cooking workshops for children between 6 and 14 years old at the Menston Cricket Club next Saturday morning (13 December).

The mission of Mighty Chefs is to introduce children to cooking and enjoying honest and nutritious food – but in a fun and exciting way. Mighty Chefs say that by enabling children to start cooking from an early age, they are encouraged to make wider food choices whilst gaining key life skills.

Click the poster picture to see it bigger but for more information on this innovative Menston business go to the website at:


New members at Menston Business Association November meeting

The first full members’ meeting of the Menston Business Association (MBA) was held at the Menstone Club on 21 November. Previous meetings since formation of the MBA have been committee meetings. New members were welcomed. The minutes of the meeting can be found on the MBA page; click the MBA logo in the right sidebar to go to it. The next meeting is scheduled for February 2015.

New Menston business, Extraordinary Writing, launched on Small Business Saturday

A new Menston business offering a writing and newsletter editing and production service, called Extraordinary Writing, was launched on 6 December, when the website went live:


The service was launched by the ‘webmaster’ of this site, former journalist, marketing communications and public relations consultant Roger Livesey, and is a member of the Menston Business Association.

Menston people and groups recognised

Watch out for the next post for news about some notable Menston people and groups which have gained some well-deserved awards and recognition. (If you ‘follow’ this blog – button top right – you will get notification of each new post as it appears).

Christmas events in Menston; Menston youngsters on stage

Lots of events in Menston in the run-up to Christmas, at the Primary School, at the two village churches including, of course, Christmas carol services and a Christingle Service, the chance to donate some toys for the children at Meadowlea, Menston’s childrens’ home, and Santa will be at the Menstone Club. There are several Christmas Fairs, including the one at Menston Primary School on St Nicholas’s Day. The next five events will appear in sequence in the ‘Imminent events’ calendar in the right column but for more details, contacts, etc, go to the Events menu heading.

Menston classes in Kirklands turn out award winning dancers

Scholarship winning Menston schoolboy Nic Cain, practising with Molly Foster from East Morton during Menston dance classes at the Kirklands Community Centre

Scholarship winning Menston schoolboy Nic Cain, practising with Molly Foster from East Morton during Menston dance classes at the Kirklands Community Centre

Not in Menston, but with Menston youngsters attending dance classes in Menston taking part, is a performance of ‘A Christmas Carol’ staged by Bradford Theatre Arts (BTA) on 18, 19 and 20 December. The venue is the New Bradford Playhouse in Little Germany in the city. BTA’s 2013 Christmas production has been nominated for three Theatre Awards and students and teachers will be attending a champagne reception and Awards Ceremony at the Playhouse on Friday (5 Dec).

Tickets for this year’s performance later in December are available from the Playhouse booking office or go to http://www.bradfordplayhouse.org.uk.

The youngsters are from the Menston dance classes held in the Kirklands Community Centre every Tuesday afternoon and evening and Saturday mornings. These classes have been going for 20 years, are turning out award winning dancers and Menston youngsters are winning scholarships with the British Ballet Organisation (BBO), getting extra lessons with top professional ballet dancers. Nic Cain is the latest Menston youngster to get a BBO scholarship.

Stephanie Clements, who teaches the Menston classes, is founder and principal of Bradford Theatre Arts which also has classes in Bradford city and Eldwick in the Bradford area.

BTA Menston dance class students with teacher in the Kirklands Community Centre. L to r: Nic Cain (Menston, April Lever ( Leeds), Izzy Eades-Jones (Bradford), Maria Sage (Menston), Stephanie Clements (BTA Principal and teacher), Molly Foster (East Morton), Josephine Gibbs (Menston), Aimee Turnbull (Burley in Wharfedale)

BTA Menston dance class students with teacher in the Kirklands Community Centre. L to r: Nic Cain (Menston), April Lever ( Leeds), Izzy Eades-Jones (Bradford), Stephanie Clements (BTA Principal and teacher), Molly Foster (East Morton), Maria Sage (Menston), Josephine Gibbs (Menston), Aimee Turnbull (Burley in Wharfedale)

However, it is not only ballet which is taught, but modern dance and tap dancing too. To enrol in classes contact Stephanie by email, omatiggerific@gmail.com, telephone her on 0798 671 3203, or email BTA at bradfordtheatrearts@talktalk.com.

St Mary’s WW1 blog; Menston village events; BMDC ‘stopped’ by Minister Pickles; video of the Menston Vehicle Show 2014 and we ask “who let the dogs out?”

StMarysvisit2St Mary’s Menston high school, celebrating its 50th year this year, is looking for comments from the Menston community on “Why it is important we remember the Great War 100 years on”.

The school has created an interesting blog to record these comments. This includes a short on-line form which Menston residents can fill out with their own comments, these being  added to the illuminating comments already there. Click the link below to go to the blog and form:

St Mary’s Menston WW1 blog

St Mary'svisit1In September this year St Mary’s pupils visited some of the WW1 battlefields, a visit they described as “emotional”. You can see some more photographs from the visit by clicking the flickr link below:

Flickr photos

The Menston Business Association has a general members’ meeting on Friday 21 November at the Menstone club in Farnley Road (7.00pm). An agenda will be posted on the MBA section of this site as soon as it is known but the meeting will be part business (first part) then a social.

Chartford Homes stopped as Main Street gas holes flood

Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, has instructed Bradford Council not to approve the application by Chartford Homes to build houses on Bingley Road; meanwhile he will decide whether the application should be referred to him for a decision. Click the following to see the letter re Chartford Homes to BMDC. He has made a similar instruction for the proposed Bingley Micklefield development.

We await now to see if action is taken by the Minister about the other proposed developments in Menston, at Bingley Road and Derry Hill. The flooding of holes dug on Main Street for gas supply has added yet another piece of evidence showing that these latter developments, if allowed to go ahead, will cause a lot of Menston homes problems with flooding. Not to mention – again – that transport, education and medical infrastructures cannot support such a massive increase in population in Menston.

Buzz and Woody’s final toy story adventure will be shown in the film  at the Methodist Church Hall on Saturday 15 November. It’s free. More details under the ‘Events’ menu.

Menston Arts Club is having one of its two annual exhibitions at the Kirlands Community Centre on Saturday and Sunday 15/16 November. Entry is free, but art and craft will be on sale. More details under the ‘Events’ menu.

Menston vehicle show and terrier racing

Great video now on Youtube showing the 2014 Menston Vehicle Show. Click the link below (it’s about 10 minutes).


If you are feeling down and need a lift, have a laugh with Menston residents asking “Who let the dogs out?” for the terrier racing on the same day (about 3 minutes).



Normal service soon – meanwhile, give blood

Apologies that due to a number of difficulties, including a health problem, this website has not been kept up to date in recent times. Normal service should be resumed very soon. Meanwhile:

Poster re giving blood, Menston, 25 November

Menston Village Show; children come out tops

Where1_1370046thmb_96Maria Sage, 13 years old, managed to beat all the adults and score the most points for her entries at the Menston Village Show on Saturday 6 September, taking the Fawcett Trophy awarded to the overall winner. She won three other trophies for entries in her age category, taking the cups for photography, handicrafts and flower arranging.

Click for answers to MBA Show quizzes

Click any picture in the gallery below to see them larger, with captions, as a slide show.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABest in Show was taken by D Ascough with wonderful entries of dahlias, and best children’s entry in show was won by Charlie Hooton with a superb miniature garden, complete with greenhouse.

Click the following link to the Menston Show pages (or click the show button in the right side-bar) to see all the prize and trophy results. You will also find a link to a list of all the prize winners in the Menston Business Association (MBA) ‘Young People’s Activity Zone’.

In the MBA young people’s activity zone, the most popular activities were a property game to match people and cartoon characters with their houses, staged by estate agents Ribston Pippin, and a mini toy supermarket for under sevens, staged by Cleasby Kindercare and sponsored with produce by the Menston Coop.

Identifying places in Menston from photographs taken around the village fascinated some children (and perplexed even more adults) though no-one identified them all and no-one managed to correctly translate to English the date in Roman numerals on the old primary school building.

Identifying leaves from locally growing trees, assembled by Elizabeth Loy, also attracted some young contenders though none managed to get them all right, the top score being ten of 12.

Top prizes of vouchers to spend in Menston’s Solo delicatessen and coffee shop were won by Rebecca Shaw (1st, £12.50), Dylan Britchford (2nd, £7.50), Imogen Baker (3rd, £5). All the MBA prizes and accompanying certificates can be collected from Solo.

Answers to the ‘Where in Menston’ and ‘Menston History’ quizzes in the MBA ‘zone’ are now on this site here; the ‘Identify the leaves’ answers, with photos of the leaves, will be on the site soon, so visit again. In fact, why not ‘follow’ this site by entering your email address in the box towards the top of the right side bar and you’ll get an email notification of each new post, usually not more than one a week.