Category Archives: Events

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

Becky Bond is writing for you Menston. Give her a welcome. Bleach Mill charity day

Here’s the first post from Becky Bond, taking a little time off  from Radio Leeds, the Yorkshire Post and Families magazine to introduce herself briefly, as announced a week ago. Her first real post will follow soon (see below). She’s asking for your help by suggesting who among the many extraordinary characters we have or have had in the village she might write about in her inimitable way. Please give her a bit of support; the best way would be to make an encouraging comment and/or a ‘like’; to do this you can log in with your email address or your Facebook account if you don’t have a WordPress account.


 

 

 

 

First of all, thanks to Roger for the earlier introduction. He said I was funny, but don’t get your hopes up. Let’s not forget that Roger’s in his eighties, so he probably just mishears most of what I say.

But he was right in the fact that I’m going to be posting the odd thing on this site from time to time (around once a month). It would have been more, but my teenage aspiration of marrying someone rich went tits-up so I pretty much work full time.

There are some amazing people living in our village and I’d like to use this website to share their stories. So drop me a line if you or someone in Menston is doing something fun, interesting or noteworthy. It doesn’t have to be recent, it could be from way back. Nor does it have to be an event. I’d like to hear about the love of your life, a regret, a hobby, a confession even. And don’t be shy – I’ll provide wine or biscuits.

I’m going to kick off though by crashing Kirsty Richardson’s Deli takeover in a couple of weeks – mainly because she’s a great cook and there’s something fizzy on offer. But in general, I’ll leave all the bunisessy stuff to the brilliant MBA website (https://www.facebook.com/groups/menstonba/). I definitely WON’T be writing about building regulations or dog poo, but, I might consider a piece on swingers. So if you know any…

If you want to have a nosy at other things I’ve written, www.beckybondwrites.com pretty much covers it.

Hope to hear from you soon.


You can write to Becky at:
menston.village.wharfedale@gmail.com

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.

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.

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?