Category Archives: Menston clubs

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.

 

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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’.

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?

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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? 

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.

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

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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.