Are Bradford council officers blind, deaf, daft or … ? Superb art exhibition. Menston library volunteer?

Are ‘officers’ at Bradford Metropolitan Borough Council blind, deaf, daft or is something else operating? It’s a pity some weren’t taken by the scruff of the neck to accompany stalwart campaigner Alan Elsegood on his tour of the village, recording the floods, this week. Would they still have insisted that neither they nor other authorities “have found any clear evidence to suggest that the two sites flood or water courses and combined sewers cannot cope”. Probably! Of course the fact that some of the flooding was caused by leaves blocking drains is likely to be used as an explanation, rather than the underlying causes and the drains themselves.

Nuff said. A letter to the local Press from Menston Community Association Chair Steve Ellams is up on the Menston Action Group website so no need for more here.

Art exhibition best ever?

favouritepic_ed

General view on last weekend’s art exhibition by Menston Arts Club was “the best exhibition for years!” A good turnout of visitors despite the weather and many paintings were sold. The café was busy and the craft stall and the cake stall sold out very quickly.

The ‘vote for your favourite painting’ was again popular following its introduction at the May exhibition. The favourite was ‘Moon Lighting’  by Judy Illingworth (picture) . Her painting was one of those sold at the exhibition.

Not too early to put the next exhibition in your diary –  13-14th May 2017. It’s already under the Events menu.

Sadly not enough votes for cricket club scheme

Although Menston Cricket Club got almost 3,000 votes for funding from Aviva for a tearoom extension and new roof it wasn’t enough. It’s a pity as the extension would have given the village another valuable venue for events. The club reckoned it needed about 5,000 votes so, with 10 votes each, it required around 500 villagers to cast their ten votes.

Volunteering takeover of Menston library?

The recent ‘extra’ newsletter from the Menston Community Association has a form for those interested in volunteering at Menston library when Bradford council ceases to run it. Lots of possible roles are there to choose but a surprising omission is just helping on the counter to date stamp books, receive returns etc. If you haven’t received the newsletter you should be able to pick up a form at the library.

 

Art exhibition next weekend. Vote for ‘new’ community venue. Barratt to continue chasing misplaced Menston development? Call to support Menston businesses.

Picture of MCA newsletter and MBA leafletTwo leaflets dropped in my letter box this past weekend: one seems to signify that the Menston Community Association (MCA) is taking up the cudgels again to battle against inappropriate development after dropping out of involvement for the past year or more; another from the  Menston Business Association suggests that if we each spent £5 a week with Menston businesses the local economy would benefit by over £1 million.

Click the above links to go to a discussion on each of the these (or just scroll down) but first:

Menston Arts Club art and crafts exhibition and sale

I’m reluctant to mention Christmas in November but the Menston Arts Club’s November exhibition of art and crafts on 19th and 20th, next weekend, in the Kirkland’s Community Centre is a good chance to find some Christmas presents and support some Menston artists. Entry is free and the exhibition will be open from 10.30am to 5.00pm on Saturday and 10.30am to 4.00pm on Sunday. Refreshments will be available with a café serving “delicious” home made cakes, lunches and beverages. (As usual on this site, click any picture below to see them larger as a slide show).

Visitors are encouraged to vote for their favourite painting; this was a popular activity at the exhibition in May this year.

Following the successful exhibition in May a cheque for £100 was presented to Menston Pre-School for their contribution to the exhibition; they painted ‘selfies’ which were used to decorate the café area.


Menston Cricket Club is seeking funding for a new community venue, ie a tearoom extension, and a new roof, from Aviva. Proposed projects get money depending on votes received. Cast your votes (you get 10) before 18 November.
Click to go to voting site


Barratt to continue fight?

It seems that at least Barratt has not given up on building its host of little boxes on the Derry Hill fields. According to the Yorkshire Post in an article following the Press release from the MCA (the basis of the recent leaflet), a Barratt spokesman has said “Barratt Developments has a contractual position on the site and remains committed to the project at this stage. We are awaiting the Supreme Court verdict on the ongoing judicial review proceedings before progressing our planning strategy for the site.”

This is hardly surprising. Barratt has invested a lot of money in proposals to develop the site and rumours have it that not only Barratt, but several individuals, stand to lose considerable sums if the development does not go ahead. MCA has said the fight will continue and is appealing for funds for the Menston Action Group for this purpose .

Of course the ongoing legal arguments are only around the subject of flooding. They do not consider at all the inadequacy of infrastructure – transport, education, health, etc – to support a large number of additional homes in the village, or the destruction of the countryside.

Where to spend £5/week to support Menston?

The latest leaflet from the Menston Business Assocation, which lists 36 members, just over half of the businesses based in Menston, suggests that if each Menston adult spends £5 a week with Menston businesses then the local economy would benefit by £1 million (presumably over a year). However, there is a problem for many people to spend this as there are relatively few retail businesses.

The major shops, the coop and now Sainsbury’s, in which it would be easy to spend £5 a week, are not local businesses, but part of large chains. Ladies’ hairdressers abound and I guess their clients spend more than that but we see people on the village Facebook page recommending salons in Guiseley and elsewhere. We did have a greengrocer most recently but not enough villagers spent that £5 (I did!) so it closed.

Here’s an idea for the Menston Community Association: what about a project to set up a community owned community store in Menston, similar to Dales examples in Clapham (http://claphamvillagestore.co.uk) or Burton (http://www.burtonshop.co.uk)? Of course we already have a Post Office, around which these examples are based, but worth exploring? 

Derry Hill & Bingley Rd developments abandoned; Art exhibition & other news

BattleThanks to the untiring efforts of many Menstonites, and donations from many more, Menston Action Group (MAG) is celebrating that former plans to develop on Derry Hill and Bingley Road are not going ahead. The developers have ‘given up’ and planning permissions have expired. As I said in the previous post, since the MAG website became more active this site has not generally covered village housing development in such detail as in the past but, as this is written, a Press statement issued yesterday is not on the MAG site so it is published in full HERE. Let’s hope that now proposals for more sensible development, eg housing for older people to downsize without leaving the village, in more sensible locations, come forward.

Art and crafts exhibition

Christine Thomas with her painting 'Rwo glasses of red'The next exhibition of the Menston Arts Club is on Saturday and Sunday 19th and 20th November at the Kirklands Community Centre, 10.30 till 5.00 on Saturday and 10.30 till 4.00 on Sunday. There is always an astounding display of art from local artists at the club’s twice a year exhibitions and the November one is a great opportunity to look for Christmas presents among the painting and crafts.

Entry is free but there are great cakes and drinks on sale and you can vote for your favourite picture; at the exhibition earlier this year the most popular picture was ‘Two glasses of red’ by Christine Thomas (pictured).

Events to be updated later

Following the previous post saying that closure of this site is being considered unless more information about forthcoming events is emailed to menston.village.wharfedale@gmail.com and there is more reaction to posts in the way of ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ some information has been received though the information has come from organisations which have always kept us informed. The Events listings and Imminent Events will be updated a little later than this post, hopefully today (Wednesday 9th).

 

To be or not – continuing this site/blog?

Picture of tin can and string for communication

Acknowledgement to ITworld

Postings on this site/blog have become somewhat irregular for some time, mainly due to the health of the author. Even the event listings are not and have not been as complete or as up to date as in the past, much of this due to not receiving news of events directly by email (see below – incomplete information particularly affects the ‘Imminent events‘ listing in the right column) in a situation where the author has not been able to trawl notice boards etc or chase village organisations as in the past (apologies to those who have sent information but it has not appeared; sometimes this is health interfering, sometimes lack of space, sometimes it is judged not be be of wide enough interest). In this situation stopping publication of this site is being considered but, having mentioned the dilemma – it is obviously a lot of work, all voluntary of course – to many village friends, many in positions of influence in some village organisations and groups, there have been strong requests to keep it going.

Discussions

The deterioration in health coincided with the Menston Action Group site becoming more active and in this situation it was decided to generally leave the battle against inappropriate development to them so, when mentioned, the mention was brief and a link was usually given to the MAG site. This immediately cut the discussion on this site, which used to be quite lively, to very little.

One unique feature of the site was this discussion, often prompted by posts which advanced an opinion, not necessarily on inappropriate development. In theory the opinion was usually anonymous, being signed ‘grumpytyke’, the name of the author’s personal blog, though most people knew who the author was. More recently the real name has been added in ‘About’.

Facebook

Another factor has been the increased popularity of the Menston Village Facebook group. Many people in the village seem to understand Facebook and favour it; few seem to understand how to interact with a blog.

With all the above in mind it has been decided to continue this site/blog for the time being but to attempt to return to having regular opinion to which readers can react, either by adding a ‘like’ or a comment.

Decision

A decision will be made over the next two or three months whether to continue publishing the site, this depending on:

  • The number of followers who register (or who are already registered) with the site
  • The number of ‘likes‘ given to posts on the site
  • The number of ‘comments‘ made on posts on the site (they are not edited, other than for style, or censored, unless obscene, illegal, potentially libellous or a personal ‘attack’ on someone).
  • The emails received (to menston.village.wharfedale@gmail.com) containing info on forthcoming events (date, start time and estimated finish time, location, who or which organisation/group is organising, costs if any, and contact for more info, tickets, etc, are vital, together with brief details of the event). For events, the info must be emailed at least one week before the event but to be sure it appears in time to be useful much more in advance than that. For post event or other news it should be received immediately following the event, ie it should be ‘news’.
  • The number of visits to the site and to particular posts (before the health problems and resulting irregular posting the site averaged about 5,000 visits a month and over its lifetime so far has had about 35,000 visitors from all over the globe).

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.

Emma2_1951

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

rmmacd_6724_ed

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: http://emmanabarrosteel.bandcamp.com/album/leaving-a-space

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

For more details about the writers’ club, email rbusoiu@yahoo.co.uk 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.

team_17-09-2016_ed

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 http://ilkleyarttrail.co.uk/.

Prints of the elephant trees, photographed by Justin

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