Best ever Menston Show? Final post on this site?

Krizzler Cree with her painting which won best young person's entry and the Barbara Hannam Trophy

Krizzler Cree with her painting, which was judged best young person’s entry in show, and the Barbara Hannam Trophy

The 42nd Menston Village Show, held in the Kirklands Community Centre on Saturday 9 September was “the best show ever” said Show President Sue Rix as she thanked the crowds attending, the entrants who had earlier braved appalling weather to bring their entries, the hardworking committee and ‘town cryer’ Elisa Mowe who presented the trophies, before introducing the trophy winners.

Wandering from exhibit to exhibit two things were striking: the wonderful flower displays and arrangements but, even more remarkable, the astounding creativity and practical abilities of local youngsters. Baking, models, needlework, Lego constructions, art, odd creations with fruit and vegetables, floating flowers – all demonstrated an extraordinary ability. The only disappointment was that there seemed to be no entries in the class to write a prose piece or a poem; perhaps it was the given theme, WW1, which was not maybe appropriate for young writers. Not setting a theme, following the example of local writers’ club Writing on the Wharfe in its young poets’ competition last year, would surely have produced some accomplished entries. There was some excellent handwriting though.

As usual on this site, you can view the pictures in the gallery below larger, as a slide show, by clicking on any one of them.

Youngsters’ trophy winners

Barbara Hannam Trophy for best children’s entry: Krizzler Cree

Fred Marcham Cup for needlework/embroidery: Lily Edwards

Junior Photography Cup: E Zigmund

Children’s cups for Floral Art, Novelty and Baking

Age 6 and under: Sophie Wilson

Age 7 to 10: Lucy McNabb

Age 11 to 14: Rebecca Shaw

Children’s handicrafts cups

Age 6 and under: Ben Richardson and Charlie Whelan (joint winners)

Age 7 to 10: Ronnie Barker and Emelyn McCann (joint winners)

Age 11 to 14: Lily Edwards and Owen Sage (joint winners)

Adult trophy winners

Leslie Wood Memorial Trophy for best in show: Brian Parker

Fawcett Trophy for overall winner: Julie Wilks

Derek Bond Trophy for fruit and vegetables: Barry Atkinson

Fred Ashton Trophy for flowers: Geoff Lomas

Rose Wood Trophy for best single rose: Andrew Sage

Wharfedale Fuchsia Society Trophy: Brian Parker

Joan Pullan Cup for flower arrangement: Elizabeth Loy

Handicrafts Cup: Julie Wilks

Photography Cup: Muriel Sage

Final Post on this site?

This site was originally set up when the ‘official’ Menston website was not working and repeated declarations it would be working “soon” were not fulfilled. By the time the ‘official’ site was working sufficient followers of this site had requested that it continue as it took a completely different, more journalistic, approach, often took a campaigning stance (eg about inappropriate development), was not ‘censored’, offered the possibility to comment, could offer better coverage of village events like the village show with – when appropriate – a photo gallery, and a running village events diary.

Things have changed. Campaigning on inappropriate development has the Menston Action Group site (though disappointingly it doesn’t seem to offer readers the ability to comment). Facebook, despite its superficiality and tendency to descend into meaningless ‘comment’ and so called ‘wit’, not to mention the appalling English which is a feature of many posts, has not only taken over some of the ‘campaigning’ role but also that of publicising some village events though it can only report on them in a limited way.

The above all developed over a period when ill health of the creator/author/editor of this site meant that posts became erratic. It was first said that an attempt would be made to maintain the diary and coverage of major events but the former relied on the author trawling the village for news, which he is no longer able to do. It was decided to change the direction of the site, using it to feature the many remarkable people to whom Menston is home. However, the author was to be a superb other blogger living in the village. She finally decided she was unable to do it so this plan was put on hold.

This plan has not been entirely abandoned but although it may be possible to resurrect the idea of featuring remarkable villagers, written by the site editor, perhaps about one a month, it would be merited only if news of forthcoming events was submitted reliably, in a format making it easy to transfer information to this site’s listing. So far requests to event organisers have generally had no effect.

So, it’s possible this will be the final post on this site.

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Raymond exposed! Kirsty transforms the Menston deli with some blanc magic. Menston dancers at F1

A brief rest for Kirsty on Saturday

Ey up! There’s a Yorkshire lass in Menston who’s bringing a bit of French into the village, French with a Yorkshire accent. Last night was the ‘grand opening’ – we should perhaps say reopening – of the Menston deli after frantic ‘shop fitting’, sorting, painting, cooking and making an alcoholic fizz (elder flower ‘champagne’ ) for the night by new owner Kirsty Richardson, staff, friends and her partner, a real French chef, Lionel Strub (Lio), chef/owner of the Clarendon Hotel in Hebden and well-known as former owner of the Mirabelle in Harrogate.

Many of us are familiar with Kirsty’s French street food, and many other international cuisines including Italian and a range of Asian, but always with a twist ‘à la Kirsty’.

It’s an exciting development for the village, building on the deli, catering and occasional ‘bistro’ evenings pioneered by Gareth and Audra Andrews over the past 13 years. Kirsty will be transforming a damp, dark cellar into a cosy restaurant and space for her popular cooking lessons; the deli with coffee shop upstairs will remain of course, with the popular ‘al fresco’ area in front.

As always on this site, click any picture to see them all larger as a slide show

Yorkshire appreciation of Raymond Blanc

As for Raymond, we’ll let Kirsty tell the story: “So the story is … I watched a tv show in the 1980s where Raymond Blanc took a Yorkshire miner around various kitchens and he’d always say ‘Très bon Raymond’ in a Yorkshire accent. With Lionel Strub’s work with the Goût de France project we worked with Raymond and 23 other French chefs at the French ambassador’s private residence to promote French cooking around the world. I told him about my street food van and that I’d called it Très Bon Raymond. He thought it was funny and wished me ‘bonne chance!’. I’ve met him several times since.”

F1 grand priX Silverstone & summer break

It’s always a delight to go to ‘Miss Stephanie’s’ dance classes; the joy of dancing, the fun, shines through the hard work. The last session before the summer break for the Menston class in its new home in the Parish room after 21 years in Kirklands (see 28 June post) had an air of expectant excitement as most of the girls pictured will be dancing in front of crowds at the British F1 Grand Prix next Saturday. Last year it was before a capacity crowd in Wembley Stadium. “

Left to right. Back row: Tilly, Lilli, Niamh, Miss Stephanie, Maria. Front row: April, Mollie, Kenix, Josephine, Jenny. Showing us some of the gestures, six who will be dancing at the F1 British Grand Prix

Future Posts

Unfortunately Becky Bond has found herself unable to do the regular monthly posts mentioned last week; that above on the deli was intended to be the first. In this situation this site will sadly revert to only, perhaps if possible, covering ‘major events’. Regular posting is suspended for the moment.


For more on Goût de France/Good France go to: http://us.france.fr/en/goodfrance2017

Bleach Mill charity day

Bleach Mill House charity day

Don’t forget the annual charity day at Bleach Mill House, again raising money for 10 year old Charlotte Wormald, this year specifically for a special suit costing around £1,000 which helps Charlotte to have a more comfortable day. Pop down and have a word with Charlotte, a delightful little girl despite her problems. Great home-made cakes, tea, coffee and cordials. Every penny raised goes to the cause.

Exciting news from Menston – the blog, food and ballet

Menston mum Becky Bond, blogger extraordinary, BBC Radio Leeds producer, columnist and occasional feature writer for the Yorkshire Post, and a valued member of Menston-based writers’ club Writing on the Wharfe, is joining the editorial team of this site/blog. Followers of Becky’s own blog will know she has a unique writing talent, witty and often hilarious, described by the founder of this site – a former journalist – as “one of the three best writers I have ever worked with”.

Regular posting on this blog was interrupted some time ago by health problems and suspended altogether early this year other than occasional posts about “major events”. It was intended to keep the events and other listings up to date but these suffered too. This will now be remedied as far as possible though it does depend on people emailing details of their events or new/changed businesses to menston.village.wharfedale@gmail.com. If you sent something for the listings earlier than, say, beginning of April and it hasn’t yet appeared please resend.

So, beginning very soon, posts written by Becky will appear about once a month and she will be introducing herself briefly within her first post. Becky will be completely free to choose her own subjects and how she treats them. The best way not to miss her posts is to ‘follow’ this site; WordPress users will know how, others just click the button at top right and enter their email address (which will not be public nor disclosed).

Occasional posts by the original author of this site will continue (as ‘webmaster’ he’ll continue to be responsible for the ‘mechanics’, listings, etc); posts will continue to be strictly about Menston (as defined in ‘About’) its people and organisations or matters affecting them. Businesses and organisations will only be listed if based in Menston and posts about them will only appear if there is genuine ‘news’ about them – ie no surreptitious advertising. Although comments will continue to be uncensored any attempt to use them for commercial advertising, as often the case on the village Facebook group, will not appear.

Solo delicatessen

Menston delicatessen Solo, Main Street

No longer solo but will continue to be ‘très bon’ for sure

After 13 years serving the village in the Solo delicatessen and coffee shop, Gareth and Audra Andrews are handing over the business to Kirsty Richardson, who as ‘Très Bon Raymond – Kirsty is Cooking‘ is already well known to many villagers. The ‘grand opening’ is on 11 July but more about this in a future post. One of the changes will be a new manager, Jilly Geering; a sad loss for the Menstone which she has turned into a real, much appreciated, ‘community facility’ but hopefully this will continue.

Much more about this, Kirsty and her plans in a future post very soon.

After 21 years Menston’s ballet/dance school moves from Kirklands to the Parish Room

Miss Stephanie as she is fondly known to current and former students, who teaches ballet/dance in Menston, has turned out many top, award-winning dancers in the 21 years she has been serving our village and (some for even longer) other localities in West Yorkshire with her unique, very professional tuition. She has also given her young dancers unique opportunities, like dancing before a capacity crowd in Wembley Stadium and, coming in July this year, at the British Formula 1 Grand Prix at Silverstone and of course participation in some wonderful annual shows.

Bradford Council, with their usual unappreciative arrogance, recently ‘moved’ the ballet classes from the main hall at Kirklands to a totally unsuitable upstairs room in the old building. Fortunately a new very suitable location was found in the Parish Room at St John’s Parish Church so Menston’s ballet/dance classes will continue on Tuesdays – late afternoon/early evening except in school holidays. This may turn out to be no bad thing as many villagers are against taking over Kirklands from Bradford Council – the financial burden would be enormous – so it may cease to function at all as a community centre.

Latest accomplishment by one of Stephanie’s students is the award of a scholarship by the British Ballet Organisation (now known as bbodance – one of the leading dance examination boards in the United Kingdom which provides an examination syllabus in classical ballet, tap, jazz and modern dance) to 12 year old Jenny Horsfall. Having seen her dance for the first time in the class at the Parish Room, the author of this blog, a follower and fan of ballet since well before the years of Fonteyn and Nureyev, predicted great things for her. So much joy and beautiful movement in her dancing with the unique, knowledgeable encouragement from ‘Miss Stephanie’.


Another success story is 18 year old Nic Cain who has been followed on this blog for about four years, though ‘Miss Stephanie’ has been teaching him for 14.  Another Menston student we predicted would achieve great things having seen him dance frequently in class and in the annual shows, Nic has just been funded to attend Laine Theatre Arts in Epsom from September.

 

Menstonbury – a superb Menston night with a wealth of local talent

Although posts on this blog are generally suspended it was said that perhaps some ‘big events’ might be featured. Menstonbury, Menston’s own mini (in size only) music festival on 17 June at Kirklands certainly rates as a ‘big event’, so here are a few ‘snaps’ from the night.  As most who know the author of this post will know, he favours monochrome for recording this type of event but if anyone wants a copy of one of the monochrome pix in colour just drop an email to menston.village.wharfedale@gmail.com quoting the number (hover over any picture to see the number) and it’ll be emailed to you.

Some of the appreciative crowd at the Menstonbury event

Thanks are due to Barbara Kennedy and her Menston Preschool team who organised the event, brilliantly, to Emma Nabarro-Steel who pulled together the astounding array of local musical talent, to Adam Nabarro-Steel who did an amazing job with the complex sound arrangements (and managed to switch himself on too with some stunning bass guitar), to all the musicians who performed and gave us such a great night, to Kirsty Richardson and her assistants in the kitchen for the superb food and to the bar staff who kept us well lubricated. Not least thanks to all who bought a ticket and attended to make this event truly memorable.

At danger of being labelled as ‘sexist’, apart from the array of local talent on the stages what an array of ‘talent’ (to use a no-longer fashionable term) we have in Menston, beautiful women, many of them parents or former parents of pre-school children. Sexist? It was a female who made the remark to the author of this post!

As usual on this site, click any picture in the gallery below to see them larger as a slide show.

No promises on when the next post will be but there will be an attempt to update the events and organisations listings where new information has been sent in as soon as possible.

Meet Sophie Walker, leader Women’s Equality Party, in Menston

Superb recent photo of Sophie by Magnum photographer Olivia Arthur

So much positive feedback coming from everywhere Sophie Walker, leader of the  Women’s Equality Party, has spoken during her campaign to be elected MP for the Shipley constituency, which of course includes Menston. Really looking forward to hear her at the Menstone, Farnley Road, this evening (Wed 31 May, 7.00pm).

An added bonus, ‘Tres bon Raymond, Kirsty is cooking’, is bringing some ‘snacks’.

Art exhibition & French street food this week in Menston

Although in general posts on this site are currently suspended it was said that major events would, if possible, be covered. The twice a year exhibition by the Menston Arts Club surely falls into this category; perhaps a French street food event at the Menstone does not but as the page is open for the first it would be a pity to miss the opportunity to prompt you to go to sample some ‘real food’ and celebrate with 2/3 of French voters their presidential election result.

Art exhibition and sale

The exhibitions by the Menston Arts Club, in May and November, are always worth a visit. The talent on display is astounding and there’s always the chance to pick up a piece of art or craft for yourself or for a present.

Christine Thomas with her creation 'Two glasses of red'

‘Two glasses of red’, a pastel by Christine Thomas, was voted favourite by visitors to the exhibition at this time last year

This year the first exhibition is on 13 and 14 May, as usual at Kirklands Community Centre, between 10:30am and 5:00pm on the Saturday, 10:30am and 4:30pm on Sunday. Admission is free.

Along with the extensive display of paintings, there will also be a craft stall and a cafe providing lunches; the homemade cakes are always delicious.

The Autumn 2017 exhibition will be held on 18 and 19 November.

French street food

Truffle fries , Tarte Flambée with various toppings (an Alsace pizza), and more substantial meals plus deserts at the Menstone club, Farnley Road, on Friday from 5pm till “when it’s gone”. No need to book. There’s a children’s menu too. The host is Kirsty Richardson, aka Très bon Raymond. Kirsty is cooking.

There are ‘veggie’ things but I’ll opt for the navarin of lamb with homemade bread and spring vegetables, £7 (£10 large). The desserts, Apple Rose Tarte, Chocolate Tarte, Vanilla Crème brûlée look irresistable

Click

 the full menu

for all the options and prices.

You don’t need to be a member of the Menstone, all the street food will be served in biodegradable disposable containers and cutlery so you can stand up, sit down or takeaway as long as you buy a drink from the bar while you’re waiting.