Neighbourhood Forum – new Chair for MCA? 1st MCA village film show. 10 years of Bambisanani

Photo of St Mary's student reading with two South African pupils during a Bambisanani project visit to South Africa

Bambisanani, see below

If you are interested in our village and it’s future, it’s a good idea to attend the Neighbourhood Forum in the Kirklands Community Centre this (Tuesday) evening. More details under the Events menu.

An announcement expected at the forum is that following years of service in several village groups and the Parish Council, Quentin Mackenzie is standing down as Chair of the Menston Community Association. It is understood that Steve Ellams has offered to take on the role.

Also on the agenda will be a further announcement of the village film show (the wonderful Dame Maggie Smith in ‘The Lady in the Van‘) on 21 October, under the MCA umbrella, following sterling work by Tony Joint (who has also taken on leadership of the eggs2iPads project). Apart from selling tickets to the film show, Tony will be asking for more help with this pilot, and possible future, shows.

Bambisani – 10 years of an amazing project

In its tenth anniversary year, the astounding project begun at St Mary’s Menston, the Bambisanani Partnership, working with Mnyakanya School in South Africa, has ambitious plans to extend its work and influence. In addition to the annual exchanges reported on this site in the past, supporting students in need and the provision of a wide range of new learning activities in both schools, the charity is working with the University of Leeds and Leeds Trinity University to develop leadership programmes with its own students in South Africa. At Mnyakanya the charity is currently working on the installation of Wi-Fi and computers to enhance teaching and learning in this remote rural area. It is also the aim to create a football pitch for the school and wider community on land nearby. The partnership’s long term relationship with Zulufadder Orphanage will be developed through the building of a new hostel for the most vulnerable of  children who need immediate care and accommodation.

It was in 2006 that David Geldart, then Director of Physical Education and Sport at St. Mary’s, visited South Africa as part of a British Council and Youth Sport Trust initiative to promote sport in the country’s most deprived areas. As a direct result of that visit, St. Marys and Mnyakanya High School in Kwa Zulu Natal developed a unique partnership using sport to inspire young people in both countries. The two schools named their collaboration the ‘Bambisanani Partnership’ – Bambisanani being the Zulu word meaning ‘working hand in hand’. The partnership has subsequently gained international acclaim for its pioneering and inspirational work using the power of sport to promote education, health, global citizenship, enterprise in one of South Africa’s poorest rural regions. Ten years on, the partnership has become a multi award winning charity chaired by David Geldart, now retired from St Mary’s, and led by Mrs Catherine Chattoe at St. Marys and Mrs P K Zondi in South Africa.

Mnyakanya High School, situated in the rural remote Nkandla region of Kwa Zulu Natal, is in one of the most deprived areas of South Africa with high rates of HIV/AIDS, unemployment and adult illiteracy. The area has one of highest rates of AIDS orphans in the world. Class sizes are in excess of 60 and the school has very limited resources. Despite all this ,Mnyakanya provides an oasis of hope in the area and many students walk two hours, each way, for the opportunity to receive an education.

Menston Parish Church report

It is not usual to publish information as received on this site. News received or of which we become aware, if reported, is published at the editor’s discretion in the style of the site. However, we are happy to make an exception with this report which was inadvertently omitted from the recently distributed Menston News. Click the link above to read it.

A Menston favourite singer-songwriter launches album

Just two days before opening the Ilkley Literature Festival ‘Fringe’ show of local writers’ club Writing on the Wharfe, one of Menston’s favourite singer-songwriters – Emma Nabarro-Steel – launched her album ‘Leaving a Space‘. It will be no surprise to visitors to the Menstone club for the monthly ‘open mike’ night that it is just beautiful. The album can be downloaded from streaming sites like Spotify, or ordered as a CD – see below.


Emma performing during an ‘open mike’ night at the Menstone club


Emma, who is a member of the writers’ club as a writer of lyrics, will be performing a couple more of her songs amid short stories, poems and story-telling with pictures from other members during an hour long presentation at the Ilkley Playhouse on Monday evening (3 October, 9pm). As with all ‘Fringe’ events, entry to the show is free.

There’ll be poems from Marjorie Hanbridge (known in the club as ‘Menston’s own Pam Ayres’) and David Machin (well known to children at Menston Primary School), short stories from Becky Bond, Kelly McCarthy-Wright, Dan Brassington, and club founder Ruxandra Busoiu, a very short short story and some very short ‘poems’ (haiku) from Roger Livesey, and a narration around the superb street photography (all shot in Shipley market place) by Bob Hamilton. The show will end with audience members being invited to write the last line of a short story, hence the show title: ‘Help! We’ve lost the plot …’.

To order Emma’s CD go to:

If you’d like a taster, go along to the show on Monday evening.

For more details about the writers’ club, email or come along to the show and speak to Ruxandra and other club members in the bar after the show.

Menston writers debut, artist exhibits, at Ilkley festival; singer-songwriter album release

Menston will be well represented during the Ilkley Literature Festival, opening on Friday this week, by the local writers’ club which meets regularly at the Menstone club in Farnley Road, and by local artist and photographer Justin Leeming. The writers’ club, Writing on the Wharfe, will be doing a one hour ‘fringe’ show at the Playhouse on Monday 3 October, 9pm-10pm, featuring the short stories, poems, songs and photographs of members, five of whom live in Menston. They will also be asking audience members to write the final lines of a short story. All fringe events are free.


Members of ‘Writing on the Wharfe’ following a meeting to finalise their programme for the ILF ‘fringe’. l to r: Becky Bond, David Machin, Emma Nabarro-Steel, Bob Hamilton, Ruxandra Busoiu, Roger Livesey, Marjorie Hanbridge, Kelly McCarthy-Wright. Another member, Dan Brassington, will be joining them for the fringe performance.

A couple of days before the show, on 1 October, Menston singer-songwriter Emma Nabarro-Steel will be launching her album Leaving a Space.  There’s a taster on youtube.

Justin will be exhibiting some of his paintings and prints, for sale, as part of the Art Trail which runs from Thursday 30 September to Sunday 2 October at venues throughout the town. Details on the website

Prints of the elephant trees, photographed by Justin

A favourite print of Justin’s, of the elephant trees, will be on sale

Magnificent flowers and superb junior entries at Menston Show

A number of innovations in the classes, especially acceptance of 15/16 year olds who in previous years had to compete against adults, attracted some wonderful entries to the 41st annual Menston Show last Saturday.

Some of the prize and trophy winners at the 41st Menston Show

Some of the prize and trophy winners

As usual on this website, clicking on any picture in the montage below will show all pictures larger, with captions, as a slide show.

Dahlias made a big comeback, as did flowers generally following a summer which did not favour fruit and vegetables. Show stalwart Elizabeth Loy picked up two cups despite finding time to again mount her guessing game with animal, vegetable, mineral specimens; “I think I found five future geologists”, she said.

Junior entries showed a wide range of creativity and skill and best in show went to a superb bit of baking by Olivia Ashworth Ellis with her focaccia bread with olives and home grown rosemary. Handicrafts, both junior and adult, displayed tremendous skill.

Burley’s Dougie Ascough was back to scoop the fruit and vegetable trophy, share the flower trophy with Raymond Pollard for magnificent dahlias, and again take the overall show winner trophy.

Another innovation was to ask Barnoldswick town crier, Elisa Mowe, to present the trophies in her full regalia. Elisa, who spent much of her life in Guiseley, will be moving back to Menston to live soon.

Thanks to sponsors and donors

The show owes much to many donations from Menston businesses, including members of the Menston Business Association and the two sponsors, Menston estate agents Ribston Pippin, and Shipley Paint (Manor Coating Systems). Show President Sue Rix also paid tribute to the team of volunteers, including the show committee, who work tirelessly to make the show a success and invited anyone interested to join them to contact her.


Full results for all classes can be found by clicking on the Menston Show Results logo in the right hand column.

Menston Show next Saturday; eggs2iPads restarts 15 Sep, Highroyds memorial garden open

Back again following a long summer break. Making a start updating the site are all the details of the forthcoming Menston Show, the 41st, next Saturday. The show has its own set of pages, giving full details of all the classes which can be entered. There are quite a few changes from previous years, particularly in the ‘junior’ section.  Especially noteworthy is that 15 and 16 year olds no longer have to compete with adults in some classes, notably in some art, baking and handicrafts classes. The detailed pages can be accessed from a link under the Events menu, or by clicking the image in the right hand column under the countdown, or here.

As in recent previous years, it is hoped all the results from the Show, with photographs, will be published on this website on Sunday 11 September.


Sessions of the eggs2iPads project, in which older members of the Menston community get together with a team of teenagers to learn about accessing internet and other ‘apps’ on tablets like the iPad, Kindle Fire or others, are due to start again after a summer break on Thursday 15 September at the Menstone club in Farnley Road. As before, the sessions are from 5pm to 6pm.

Emmot, so far our youngest 'teacher', with three students

Emmot, so far our youngest ‘teacher, explains

The project , which has been highly praised not only locally but nationally and even internationally, is run under the umbrella of the Menston Community Association. However, it needs some more help. Roger Livesey, who launched the project and has led it since inception, has said that due to health he can no longer lead it though he hopes to attend many sessions. His role has been taken over by Tony Joint who has been one of the adult supervisors for the past year, but one or two more are needed. With two ‘vulnerable’ groups attending, an adult with DBS clearance is always present. It is not necessary to attend every week and if someone does not have DBS clearance it can be arranged.

Some more teenage ‘teachers’ would also be welcomed; again it is not necessary to be able attend every week. Anyone from 12 to 17 will be welcomed.

More details of the sessions for any elderly person who would welcome meeting regularly with a great team of young people, or anyone who would like to volunteer to join the teaching’ team or as a supervisor, contact:

Tony Joint, email, tel 0771 131  0272 or Jane Pratt of Menston Cares on 01943 876949.

Memorial Chapel and Garden open as part of the 2016 Heritage Days

The High Royds Memorial Garden and Chapel, on Buckle Lane, will be open for some periods during 8 to 11 September as part of the Heritage Open Days 2016 promoted by the Leeds Civic Trust. More details from Chairman of the ‘Friends’, Ron Sweeney, on, or Secretary Quentin Mackenzie, tel 01943 876625.

The garden has recently had considerable work done as a result of funding received and the efforts of volunteers, including some pupils from St Mary’s Menston. It is hoped to feature this beautiful spot in Menston in a future post on this website.

Eggs2iPads breaks for summer – MCA needs help

As has become a tradition, the final session of the eggs2iPads project before  a summer break until 15 September was a bit of a celebration, with snacks and a cake as well as a final opportunity to get advice on using iPads and other tablets.


Rosie Ogden, who lives in Ilkey, is a student at Bradford Grammar School and joined the young team of ‘teachers’ earlier this year, was presented with a certificate for her “Outstanding Community Service”. The certificate was presented on behalf of the Menston Community Association by leader of the project, Roger Livesey.

Roger said he was sorry to announce that due to health he was no longer able to lead the project as he had since he began it in early 2015, though he hoped to be able to continue to attend the majority of sessions as one of the obligatory DBS accredited adult supervisors. For the immediate future MCA member Tony Joint, who has been one of the adult supervisors over the past year, will act as project leader.

In this situation, MCA is appealing for some additional adult supervisors but also  for help with other projects under its ‘umbrella’ (see below). No IT or computer expertise is necessary; that is supplied by our young ‘teachers’. If adult volunteers do not already have DBS clearance, as is necessary in the eggs2iPads project as it works with two vulnerable groups – the elderly and the young – it can be obtained for them.

NB. Click any picture above to see larger as a slide show with captions.

Sessions are normally from 5pm until 6pm each Thursday at The Menstone club in Farnley Road. There are no formal lessons, no charges and currently the ages of ‘students’ range from about 60 to 90 years. The young ‘teachers’ currently range from 13 to 17. The project currently has three tablets for the use of students if they do not have their own – an iPad and two Kindle Fire.

As far as is known, this is the only project in Menston which brings together the two widely spaced generations on a regular basis, something much appreciated by both. Sessions are as much a social occasion as a learning environment.

For more information about this project contact Tony Joint, telephone 0771 131 0272, or Jane Pratt at Menston Cares on 01943 876945.

Other MCA projects needing helpers

Several village projects are run under the ‘umbrella’ of the Menston Community Association, which is a registered charity. Among those needing a little support, apart from the eggs2iPads project described above, are:
Village film shows
Menston Newsletter
Notice Board maintenance

If you can help, contact Quentin MacKenzie, Chair of MCA, on 01943 876625.

Note. The Events listing on this site and the ‘imminent events’ calendar in the right hand column is not likely to be updated frequently, if at all, during the summer holiday period.

Music night line up; pic of Young Writer and Poet

YoungPoet:writerTeacher_6135_pHere are the Menston & Burley Young Writer and Young Poet of the Year, Lewis Boyle and Esther Killan, with their teacher at Burley and Woodhead CE Primary School. For results and links to entries to the Writing on the Wharfe young writers’ competition click

Menston & Burley Young Writers/Poets Challenge

or click the Writing on the Wharfe picture in the right hand column.

Menston Musicians for Charity

Not to be missed – The ‘Menston Musicians for Charity‘ night at the Menstone club – 7-11pm on 9th July. It’s raising money for War Child. Piictured are just some of the great Menston musicians performing tonight. The full lineup, as known at the mo’, is below.

Tickets are just £10, which includes food. Email or telephone 874765 or 0771 404 3650.

Paul Davy, Keely Hodgson, Patrick Davy  Folky, bluesy, singer songwriter  Guitars and cello

Dean Bagnall, Matt Pugh  Soulful  Ukelele and violin

Nick Davy, Jonathan Harris  Acoustic alt-country  Vocal and guitar

Ryan Clarke  Indie rock,  britpop mod   Guitar

Martin Rix  Modern acoustic and jazz songbook  Guitars

Hattie Barnes  Folk, singer songwriter  Guitar

Kuimba Choir  South African and protest  Voices

Graeme Morrell  Folk Blues  Guitar

Emma Nabarro-Steel  Melodic singer songwriter with soul  Guitar and bass

John Early  Modern acoustic and jazz songbook  Guitars

Mark Kelmanson and Patrick Davy  Blues  Harmonica and guitar

Dave Willis   Indie rock  Guitar

Andy Buncall  Indie rock  Guitar

Keely Hodgson    Folk and gospel blues  guitars

The Harpoons  Acoustic versions of classic rock  Guitar, ukelele, bass