Category Archives: grumpytyke

Menston’s spectacular events – Vehicle Show and St Mary’s Menston ‘Nelson Mandela’ concert

Menston village saw two great events in the beginning of May Bank Holiday week, the vehicle show on Monday and a superb concert at St Mary’s Menston on Friday evening. Lots of pictures from both so they have each been given a page of their own. Click on the appropriate link to go to the associated page with, together, over 200 photographs of these memorable days.

Menston Vehicle Show 5 May 2014Click on the following link to go to the Menston Village Vehicle Show, 5 May 2014 page



St Mary's Menston concert 9 May 2014Click on the following link to go to the  St Mary’s Menston ‘Spirit of Madiba’ concert page.




PS. If you run a local business don’t forget the second meeting of the Menston business group on Wednesday evening. Details in ‘Imminent events’ calendar at the right and more under the ‘Events’ menu.

Apologies to followers of this blog who earlier received a spurious email informing them of  non-existent blog posting. After several hours preparing the photographs, the wrong ‘button’ was pushed. Sorry!

Bradford Council housing proposals “illegal”, “insane” and “uninsurable” claim Menston village residents

Illegal“, “Insane” and “Uninsurable” were words used to describe housing developments on greenfield sites, and associated ‘traffic calming’ works, proposed by Bradford Council (BMDC) for Menston along Bingley Road, by speakers at the 8 January meeting of the Menston Community Association (MCA).

Minutes of 8 January 2014 meeting (posted 16 Jan). Click this sentence for link on MCA intro page

Yet again there was a ‘complaint’ at the 8 Jan meeting from a Parish Councillor that he had been unable to find/access the minutes of the previous meeting. Yet again it was pointed out that the minutes were up on this site shortly after being received from the (currently ‘acting’) Secretary – in this case Christmas Eve morning, ie more than two weeks before the 8 Jan meeting. It is very frustrating when this site endeavours, and generally succeeds, to get information posted promptly that people say they are ‘unable’ to find minutes, etc.


Traffic ‘calming’ proposals

Residents wanted to know why they were not supposed to hear about the traffic calming proposals, following complaints from the BMDC traffic planning officer after a Parish Councillor had let the cat out of the bag by circulating the proposals. Another Parish Councillor present at the meeting failed to convince the residents that they should not yet have heard about them. In fact, he was questioned on why previously agreed plans had been abandoned and asked to put this question at a forthcoming meeting with BMDC to discuss the plans. However, another speaker pointed out that the housing developments should not go ahead at all so the traffic measures were irrelevant.


The housing developments themselves were claimed to be “illegal” under Common Law and would be opposed on this basis, another speaker said. They were also illegal under European law another resident added.

NB. Various documents relating to the above will be added to the site at a later date.

Notice boards: Cllr Sue Rix reported that, following her suggestion at the previous meeting that there was a need for more and better noticeboards in the village, work was progressing in a small working group. Various suggestions were made, among them inclusion of a village map. These will all be taken into account with the aim of having a firm, costed proposal to present to the next (February) meeting.

Car Show: following some discussion about the proposed car show on 5 May, it transpires that this is intended to be a ‘village only’ show, with vehicles from the village being displayed at sites around the village. Various other suggestions made at the meeting are therefore not relevant.

Children’s Centre: Cllr Sue Rix reported that she had been to a meeting which, in BMDC style, had not been ‘advertised’ until the last minute; she only found out about it by accident and staff had been given only 48 hours notice. She urged residents to get objections to closure in very quickly..

Neighbourhood Forum/MCA meeting: The next Neighbourhood Forum, which will also be the February MCA meeting, is on Tuesday 4 February in the main hall of the Kirklands Community Centre. In the first half of the meeting the agenda will include proposals for supporting local business, proposals for better communications within the village including the proposed MCA notice boards, an update re the Children’s Centre, proposals for the village Car Show and for 2014 Christmas lights and accompanying festivities in the village. The second half of the forum will be devoted to the proposed housing developments on Bingley Road and Derry Hill, accompanying plans for managing road traffic in the village, and of course the latest situation re fighting these proposals.

Grumpytyke asks:

Did you see the BBC1 Countryfile programme on Sunday evening? Covering extensively housing developments on greenfield land in Surrey, in some ways similar to Menston, both David Cameron and Nick Boles were shown assuring viewers that they had no intention to cover greenfields with housing! Personally I do not now believe a word which comes out of their mouths, on this or any other subject. Which presents me with a dilemma. I would like to vote of our MP, Philip Davies, who does seem to be working hard on our behalf, but how can I do that when he is a member of the political party represented by these two? Nick Boles did, however, make a valid point, saying that local councils could be more likely to get housing they wanted where they wanted, and avoid inappropriate development, by developing a ‘local plan’. Menston has not done that. Whether expecting small Parish Councils to make such a plan is realistic is a valid question, but our neighbours Burley seem to have managed it. When are the next Parish Council elections?

Menston village – what more can Philip Davies MP do?

Philip Davies MP, worried about proposed housing developments in Menston but is he doing enough to prevent them?

Philip Davies MP seems as worried about the ill-conceived proposed Menston housing developments as the majority of Menston residents, but is he doing enough to oppose them? Here’s a chance to tell him what more you think he can do.

Can our local member of Parliament, Philip Davies, do more to help prevent the inappropriate and destructive housing developments proposed for Menston village? Could he have done more?

Click here for An interesting debate (comments) following the report in the Telegraph & ARgus on the recent derry hill decision

MCA meeting 6th November. Click here AGENDA.

Click this paragraph to see the full flooding report prepared by JBA Consulting.

He does not think so but if you do then here’s a chance to tell him.

Grumpytyke responded to a comment on the most recent previous post (Menston village community slapped down by Bradford MDC … ) which said “Surely he (Philip Davies MP) can pressurise Parliament to investigate the Council’s dubious tactics” by saying he would pose the question at a meeting with him scheduled for last Saturday. 

At the meeting on Saturday afternoon our MP pointed out that he had attended numerous meetings, had managed to bring two Government Ministers to Menston so that residents could put their case, has monthly meetings with the BMDC Chief Executive at which he frequently challenges the developments and points out that they will benefit Bradford not at all as any new residents will certainly work (if they can work at all) and shop in Leeds, and had very recently asked council planning officers for an explanation of why the conditions of the planning permission had been changed.

He said that he was as frustrated and angry about the determination, and ability, of the BMDC Labour group councillors to force these ridiculous, inappropriate developments through against common sense and the wishes of the majority of the Menston community.

If you have a suggestion of what more he can do just respond with them in a comment to this post and they will be fed through to the MP and the outcome reported in a future post.

grumpytyke says … 
as I said in my previous comment, and even more frustrating than this particular situation, is that it proves conclusively that we do not live in a democratic country. My personal argument with Philip Davies is that he believes the BMDC Labour group were “democratically elected”. Only if you accept a flawed definition of democracy, I say. The BMDC Labour group is an oligarchy, the Labour group on the Regulatory and Appeals Committee even more so, the opposite of democracy; the group does not represent us in any way, so it is not even ‘representative democracy’. Let us hope that Kris Hopkins MP and others succeed in their declared intention to remove us from the control of this incompetent local authority.

Menston village community slapped down by the Bradford MDC; past Menston Chair expelled

Yet again Bradford Metropolian District Council (BMDC) has passed a last minute variation of the vitally important ‘Condition 10’ in the planning application for the development on Bingley Road in Menston, refusing to give appropriate attention to the expert evidence the Menston Community Association, Menston Action Group and the Parish Council had prepared and could have presented at the meeting of the Regulatory and Appeals Committee last Thursday afternoon. During the meeting immediate past Chairman of the Community Association was ‘expelled’ from the meeting.

A thorough investigation of BMDC is required



and what goes on behind closed doors?
Click here to read more.


Call for more attention to Menston younger generations from new Chairman of the Menston Community Association

Newly elected Chairman of the Menston Community Association, at the Annual General Meeting of the association last Tuesday evening, made a call for more people from younger generations to become involved in the association and more attention given to their needs.

Click here for more information on proceedings at the AGM


Need someone to walk your dog or ‘Pet sit’?

Need someone to stay with children after school, maybe help with homework?

Click here to go to Jobs/seeking small jobs


Neighbourhood Forum

The MCA AGM was preceded by a ‘Neighbourhood Forum’, with presentations by Incommunities, local police and Menston & Burley Children’s Centre.

Incommunities Housing Officer, Bev Lockwood, said that the organisation’s lettings policy had been changed and now some one bedroom properties were available to rent by people aged18 and above, whereas before they had been available only to over 55s. However, she said that to be allocated a property people had to be registered and so far she had no-one registered from LS29. She did not seem to be aware, at least it was not mentioned, that a number of people have recently moved into rental properties in Menston in order to qualify as having ‘local connections or family’ though they had no previous connections with the area. This has probably been prompted by the possibility of ‘social housing’ in the proposed Bingley Road and Derry Hill developments.

Local police warned that garages and sheds were often not secure and that had been an increasing rate of garage and shed breakins; valuable bikes and other high value equipment being the main target. Increase security and fit alarms they advised.

Drug dealing, which several residents say they had observed in the village, should be reported and car registration numbers taken and passed to police. The same applied to potentially unlicensed scrap collectors, residents were told

Children’s Centre new manager Lizzie Hughes urged residents to come and have a look round this wonderful facility.

Menston village – our new site takes off

The second of occasional contributions from grumpytyke

Today grumpytyke‘s commenting on:

  • Are younger adults in Menston less community minded?

  • New Menston site takes off

  • Menston village pub lunch a bargain


news flash!

The promised News flash. this site is looking for two young aspiring journalists to keep it up to date for young people in menston. If you’re interested click here for further details!


don’T forget the parish council meeting, thursday 29 August and following planning committee meeting


New site takes off

Just two weeks since this site was launched and it’s already had over 250 different visitors and almost 2,000 visits, and it’s yet to be indexed by Google.

Menston village website visitor map

Visitors to the website over the 2 weeks since launch have come from six countries apart from the UK

Surprisingly though, some visitors have not just been local or even just from the UK but include some from Belgium, Bermuda, Italy, Romania, Spain and the United States.

Followers have been building more slowly, probably as there seem to be few WordPress bloggers (or bloggers at all) in Menston so they need to subscribe to ‘follow’ by email. But it’s the only way to keep up with the news, by getting a notification each time there is a new posting. The same seems to apply to comments: quite a few via email to – all positive so far – but few using the ‘comment’ box at the bottom of each post and page. As there will be a new post not more than twice a week your email box will not be bunged up by us.

Why are younger adults less community minded – or so it seems?

In the ‘About’ page for this site there is a comment about the many greetings you will get on a walk down Main Street. However, there is a distinct split in the reactions according to age, more so with males. I wonder why this is.

A Menston resident contributor has also commented that he would like to see more ‘younger’ people getting involved in village activities, commenting “Just a bit conscious that there are a lot of elderly groups in the village but less for ‘younger’ people, especially those which encourage activity & social interaction”.

I know of social activities proposed where the positive response has been far greater from people over about 30 than from those less than this. It’s not a matter of them having children as children have been welcome and events have been timed to suit them.

Returning to the ‘greetings’, in my experience most people over about 30 who are met on Main Street will exchange a greeting, and many women who are younger. But when it comes to younger men, it is noticeable that many will positively avoid eye contact, even when greeted. Why is this?

In praise of a Yorkshire ‘English’ Sunday pub lunch

If you like a traditional Sunday lunch, and I do: roast – beef, lamb or pork – Yorkshire pud, roast spuds and a few veg. But if you don’t want to cook, a visit to the Malt Shovel in the village centre is recommended, especially as it won’t hurt your pocket very much. £5.50 for two courses – main and either soup or sweet of the day.

Menston village pub Malt Shovel menu board

Menston village pub Malt Shovel menu board

None of the other village pubs can match that, in fact few anywhere. You can of course add a sweet if you opt for the soup including, eg, that favourite hot chocolate fudge cake and cream/ice-cream. And there are alternatives to the roast, including pies and lasagne. Last orders for lunch are at 1.45pm.

It’s good old-fashioned Yorkshire cooking like my grandmother used to do, except that the veg are not cooked to death as hers always were.

In fact you can eat lunch at the Malt Shovel any day of the week and the menu extends to more than a ‘roast dinner’.

‘Buy Local’ for Menston?

The first of occasional contributions from grumpytyke

Is Menston following the trend and seeing more and more people buying at local independent shops and buying less at the big supermarkets? I know of one or two Menston residents who are.

The Ilkley Business Forum is organising a ‘Buy Local’ event in November, recently inviting shops in Ilkley to back it by joining the forum. Chair of the forum, Vera Woodhead, says that the same initiative may be repeated in other areas within the LS29 postal area, including Menston.

However, good though this initiative is, going to shop in Ilkley – which has the benefit of a large number of ‘tourist’ visitors – isn’t going to keep the shops in Menston viable. Couldn’t the shops in our village get together and drum up a similar initiative? Maybe the ones which are part of large organisations – the Coop and Londis – could put some money into it.

As far as food is concerned, we have an independent bakery, greengrocer and delicatessen, but for how much longer if they are not sufficiently patronised?

Menston viilage delicatessen Solo

Menston village Fruit and Vegetable shopMenston village bakery shopWouldn’t it be good to add a butcher? Only a couple of weeks ago I was suggesting to Binns in Bradford market, who have a shop in Saltaire which sells the same excellent quality meat at a much, much higher price, that they open a butcher shop in Menston. If they did it would have to be more expensive than in Bradford city, I was told.

Of course! To some extent pricing is a matter of turnover so local independent shops have to charge more. But if they are well patronised then the prices can be pitched  a little lower. Having said that, avoiding the inconvenience of going into Bradford or Leeds (and the unpleasantness of the former), or even Guiseley, is worth a premium. And don’t forget the three excellent Menston free-range egg producers, whose prices compare very favourably with ‘similar’ (but nowhere near as tasty!) eggs from the supermarkets.

While on the subject of ‘shopping local’ I am wondering whether the long-promised new ‘official’ website for the village is being developed by a company in Exeter – just about as ‘unlocal’ as you could get. I could be wrong as the situation seems very confusing. Googling Menston brings up two sites – and Is the menstonvillage, which looks very similar to the ‘old’ one, the new one? There’s no explanation on either site. However, if the new site is being developed way down south, much as I like Devon I’m not sure they can really cotton on to a Yorkshire culture.

I’m not suggesting that the authors of should have done it – I know they wouldn’t have wanted to – but there are many excellent fairly local web development companies; I’m not aware of any in Menston (send info for this site’s business list if there are!) but there are certainly many within Yorkshire.

Although I’m concerned about the truly independent village shops, the Coop and Londis should be patronised too, of course, but it’s the independents who have to rely totally on their own efforts, do not benefit from any bulk buying and couldn’t invest the close on half  a million the Coop spent on its recent refit which really need our support.

So, let’s patronise our local shop keepers, especially the independent ones, and other local businesses; they are part of what makes Menston, Menston.