Category Archives: Menston traffic

Wet but determined – Menston/Guiseley green belt protectors march. Strictly, come dancing in Menston

Banner inviting to honkAround 100 protesters, including the Chairman of the Menston Action Group (MAG) and a peacefully protesting contingent of dogs, gathered at the Menston/Guiseley boundary on the A65 in pouring rain on Sunday lunch time to bring to people’s attention the loss of Green Fields, the potential merging of Menston and Guiseley to be part of a Bradford/Leeds urban sprawl, and the lack of facilities to cope with yet more houses, if Ings Fields on the boundary are developed, . Passing motorists were invited to “hoot in you love green belt” and around half of passing cars did just that with gusto. After gathering where the Mire Beck crosses the road the bedraggled but cheerful and determined crowd walked up to Ings Lane, down to the proposed entrance into the housing development planned for Ings Fields, then back into Menston via the bridle path beyond St Mary’s school. Pictures, and more about the protest from yesterday’s post, below.

Strictly dancing – Tuesdays Kirklands

Ballroom dancing has joined the ballet classes at Menston’s Kirlands Community Centre on Tuesday evening, beginning of 14 April. Ballet classes for grade 4 to intermediate are well established from 6.00 to 7.15pm, turning out award winning dancers; most recently three students at the Menston classes being chosen to dance with English Youth Ballet in Giselle at St. George’s Hall, Bradford, in June.

The ‘Strictly’ classes are being brought to Kirklands by Sandra Beaumont, former UK champion and championship adjudicator. The new classes will cover Ballroom and Latin at 7.30pm, then Rock & Roll at 8.30pm, each Tuesday . There are some Tuesdays when Kirklands is not available for the dancing so consult the ‘Events’ listing to see if they have been arranged in another location.

PROTEST WALK TO SHOW LEEDS WHERE THE REAL MENSTON/GUISELEY BOUNDARY IS (click any picture to see larger as a slide show; text from post on 10 April)

If the Ings fields between Menston and Guiseley are developed then Menston and Guiseley will have merged!

Menston and Guiseley Greenbelt Protection Group had a day of action rally, walking the site under threat, which is just off the A65, behind the BP petrol station.

The rally was organised together with WARD (Wharfedale & Airedale Review Development). On this day Community Voice on Planning prepared a National day of action to protest at the loss of greenbelt between settlements which is leading to urban sprawl and a reduction in social standards across the nation.

We in Menston are one of many unique (and we are unique, aren’t we?)  communities which are threatened with becoming just part of an urban sprawl.

One of the major factors for preserving Green Belt according to Government guidelines is to maintain the distinctiveness of named settlements by keeping the greenbelt buffer between them. Building on the Ing fields, apart from the fact they are Green Belt, will effectively join the two settlements. If they are built on they are gone for good!

The walk was intended to show Leeds where the real Menston/Guiseley boundary is and should be preserved as a slice of green between the two settlements.

Recently Menston village was represented at the Inspectors examination in public of the Bradford Core Strategy for housing over the coming 15 years and much angst was raised by many communities around Bradford over the planning rules which state that Local Planning Authorities should be seen to cooperate over the development of their core strategies where these impact on neighbouring authorities. Those present could see the results of no such cooperation as sites are coming forwards for development across both sides of Menston that will result in the settlements of Guiseley and Menston becoming a single sprawl.

We may be forced to, once more, become victims of circumstances if the green space between Menston and Guiseley is further eroded and do remember that at the moment, this comes at the end of many years of heavy developments, where no additional communications or social infrastructure have been put in place.

The settlement boundaries between Menston and Guiseley need to be highlighted as Leeds’ planners have included Moorland Crescent and Bradford Road, Menston, in the major settlement extending from Guiseley, thus making the Ings Fields look like wonderful infill to them! This is a political boundary not a settlement or geographic boundary. The settlement boundary runs along the back gardens of Moorland Crescent Menston following Mire Beck.

The walk was organised by Liz Kirkpatrick at mandggpg@gmail.com, phone 01943 875640.

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Anti-social behaviour in and near to Menston Park; A65 junction; Alan Ayckbourn in Menston

The author of this site has recently become aware of a discussion on the village Facebook site (he does not like or use Facebook but it was shown to him) concerning anti-social behaviour by a small group of boys (11-12 years old?) in the park or adjacent to it on Easter Sunday. Following a notice about it, some Facebook users who clearly had no direct knowledge of the incident ‘defended’ the boys concerned saying they were “just kids” with nothing to do and only doing what “we all did” in our youth and they would soon be back at school and the problem would go away. Not true!

These are three extremely unpleasant youngsters looking for trouble and the Easter Sunday incident is not unique; at least one of these boys, who seems to be the ‘ring-leader’, has been seen behaving unsociably in the park on several occasions when schools were not on holiday.

The Low Hall Road side of the eyesore building at the side of Menston Park, behind the Scout hut.

The Low Hall Road side of the eyesore building at the side of Menston Park, behind the Scout hut. A magnet for the more unsavoury elements of Menston youth.

Location for ‘seedy’ goings on

The building on which they were misbehaving, that behind the Scout Hut, is the location for frequent seemingly ‘seedy’ goings on with young people. It is adjacent to the ‘over 55s’ flats at Menston Hall and Sunday’s incident was unpleasant for those residents because of the appalling, obscene language used, loudly, by the boys on the roof of the building over a period of around an hour. Another young person did remonstrate with them only to attract taunts – laced with obscenities – to fight.

The side of the building facing into the park

The park side of this unpleasant looking building

What is more, when the three left it was not before attempting to smash in the doors of the building, whatever it might be.

Insulation, kicked free by boys on the roof, hanging down, and many gaps in the edging stones.

Insulation, kicked free by boys on the roof, hangs down. Notice the many gaps in the edging stones.

The boys involved in the Easter Sunday incident will be reported to the police; publishing their pictures on this site was considered but they would probably just enjoy the notoriety and indulge in even more anti-social behaviour.

It is a great pity that this small minority spoils a wonderful Menston amenity; it was a joy to see the park full of families and young people on Easter Sunday. Just a few need better educating to use the many litter bins!

However, whatever authority is responsible for this building should be taken to task by the Parish Council. Buildings in this state inevitably attract hooliganism and further vandalism.

Another problem corner

Another corner of the park which attracts unsavoury elements is at the back of the children’s playground behind another ugly building, or on the other side of the fence behind it. This is a pity as many young children play there usually doing no more than hide and seek though they often need to be reminded not to trample down the flowers planted by residents. Almost every morning empty packets and drinks cans/bottles are scattered here even though there is a strategically placed litter basket (see photo). In fact litter in the park is far more widespread. Easter Monday morning litter next to the seat close to the building mentioned above, with a litter bin adjacent, is shown in another picture below.

Park corner behind the children's playground

Park corner behind the children’s playground

The seat and litter bin near to the ugly building with Easter Monday morning rubbish on the ground

The seat and litter bin near to the ugly building with Easter Monday morning rubbish on the ground

Alan Ayckbourn at Highroyds

NB. The Alan Ayckbourn play at the Highroyds Social Club is this coming Friday evening, not Friday 17th as originally listed in ‘Events’ and in the ‘Imminent events’ calendar. These have now been corrected but unfortunately this may happen when things are picked up ‘on the grapevine’. A plea to Menston organisations: please send information on your events, meetings, etc in good time to menston.village.wharfedale@gmail.com otherwise they can occasionally be mis-publicised or not publicised at all.

Otley traffic discussion spreads to Menston

Another discussion on another social media site ( click Streetlife) is worth a look by Menston residents (and joining in). What began as a discussion about Otley’s one-way systems has now spread to include discussion of the Bingley Road/Buckle Lane/A65 junction and traffic lights.

Flooding & drainage expert would not buy a house on Bingley Road, Menston, development

Picture of flooding in Menston village“Of course not” was the unequivocal reply of independent flooding and drainage expert, Dr Duncan Reed , when asked at last Thursday’s (29 Jan) meeting of the Bradford Council Regulatory & Appeals Committee whether he would buy a house on the proposed Bingley Road, Menston, housing development. Having heard also a warning from solicitor for the Menston Action Group, Chris Schofield, “Put simply, if you get this wrong, householders and their insurers are entitled to hold you legally responsible”, the committee did not approve the scheme.

Reports show a purchase would be foolish

You do not have to be an expert to conclude from a careful reading of Dr Reed’s report, and that of Professor David Rhodes before this, that anyone buying a house on this development would be very foolish. It is clear that the Bradford Council officers advising councillors to go ahead did not, do not, have the necessary expertise to give that advice. This in itself is no reflection on them: flooding resulting from situations like that of Menston is only just beginning to be understood.

Of course this is not likely to be the end of the matter; there is a lot of money to be made, and not only by the developers, but almost certainly also by a small group of individuals who have backed the scheme from the start. The developer’s agent has already indicated that if they do not appeal against last week’s decision they may instead proceed with another application for the same site.

Objectors to the R&A committee decision who commented on the Telegraph & Argus news report (in particular ‘Toni’ – who insists this is her/his real name), are completely wrong when they say, or imply, that those opposing the planned developments are a few wealthy ‘nimbys’ who would be directly affected by the flooding. By far the larger proportion of Menston residents who voted overwhelmingly against the Bingley Road and other developments in the referendum on the matter, would not be directly affected by the consequent flooding, nor are the developments in ‘their back yards’, nor are they ‘wealthy’. What these residents would be seriously affected by would be the overloading of already stretched health, educational facilities and transport and the irreparable damage to one of Yorkshire’s special attractions – village life in the individual communities which are scattered throughout the vast Bradford metropolitan area.

However, faced with a Council which thinks nothing of destroying its villages and semi-rural communities, and not only Menston, and developers and ‘Tonis’ who care even less, the stupidity of building on areas prone to flooding was the most likely reason for the Council to stop the developments if Councillors could be made to listen to the overwhelming evidence, which previously they have refused to do.

We now await the outcome of the recent High Court hearing on the other similarly foolish planned development, off Derry Hill, Menston.

For all the background, go to the Menston Action Group website: menstonactiongroup.wordpress.com. You can always get to the MAG website using the link in the right sidebar.

 

Confusion and obfuscation on Menston housing developments at Neighbourhood Forum

Confusion! Deliberate or just, as someone remarked at the Menston Neighbourhood Forum on Tuesday evening, that the right hand in Bradford Council does not know what the left is doing as far as housing developments are concerned?

LATEST INFO RE COMMONS DEBATE (see below): Should be 5.00 – 5.30pm today (Thursday).

What did come across strongly is that having run up considerable costs making plans for dealing with traffic problems relating to the proposed housing developments on Derry Hill and Bingley Road, which are mostly not wanted by residents, nor required if the developments do not go ahead, BMDC officers are now desperate to get the money from the developers. To do this they have to ensure that the developments go ahead.

Bulldozers in the Community Centre?

Philip Moore

Philip Moore

Cllr Sue Rix

Cllr Sue Rix

There were several attempts to bulldoze the plans through by trying to convince the assembled Forum that it was already a done deal. Several residents, led by Philip Moore, of the Menston Action Group, and Sue Rix, Menston Parish Councillor, were having none of it. Both representatives said that at the ‘consultation’ re the plans (which Philip insisted was not a consultation but an exhibition!), they and many others had been assured that an amended plan resulting from the ‘consultation’ would be fed back to Menston before anything went ahead. This had not happened. Principal Engineer, Highways, at Bradford Council, Simon D’Vali, and Richard Gelder, Transportation Development Manager, capitulated under the pressure and said that the amended plans resulting from the ‘consultation’ would be sent.

Nevertheless, the BMDC officers insisted that the Derry Hill developers would be signing the necessary agreements and the Council would get the money and begin the appointment of contractors within a very short time.

Emeritus Prof David Rhodes

Emeritus Prof David Rhodes

In comes Emeritus Professor David Rhodes (the BMDC officers had left by this time) to tell us that, backed by simulations using “the best software available”, taking 16 days on a ‘super-computer’, he now had “absolute proof” that building on the proposed sites was not viable. This was backed up by the British Geological Survey (which, as its website states, is “the United Kingdom’s premier centre for earth science information and expertise”). Prof Rhodes said that he had submitted his report to BMDC before Easter but there had been “zero feedback to date”.

Decisions to grant planning permissions for the developments had been on the basis of a complete lack of the necessary expertise to make sound decisions, and evidence supplied by Menston representatives had been ignored, Prof Rhodes said. Should the council go ahead with the developments without properly taking into account the evidence he would take them to court, he added, “and we will win”.

“What happens if the developers start work?”, someone asked. They would immediately be served with an injunction to stop it, Prof Rhodes said.

Against this background, our MP Philip Davies has finally got the Adjournment Debate in the House of Commons on planning in Bradford Council and the experiences of Menston. It is tomorrow, Thursday 5 June. He will have 15 minutes to make our case.

3 important Menston meetings and two ‘consultations’; Cleasby Road street party; Menston Show details and entry form

There’s a lot going on in Menston next week; three important meetings and another two consultations to follow. At least one Menston ‘mini-community’ has managed to turn the Jubilee street party into an annual event, and St Mary’s Menston is in the news again with an Assistant Head being appointed a trustee of a leading Vatican charity. Finally, full details of this year’s Menston Show have just become available (some classes are different, with more than one nod to the ‘Grand Depart’). Click any of the links below to go directly to the story, or just scroll down to read them all.

STOP PRESS: House of Commons Adjournment Debate.  Philip Davies MP. Planning Issues in the Shipley Constituency. 9.30am onwards Thursday 5 June. Philip has 15 minutes to state our case! (added 2 June).

Dangerous junction: Main Street/Bingley Road

Idiots’ junction: the majority of traffic coming down Bingley Road does not slow down. Neighbourhood Forum/MCA meeting

Menston Neighbourhood Forum

The next Menston Neighbourhood Forum, which as usual is combined with the monthly meeting of the Menston Community Association, is at the Kirklands Community Centre on Tuesday 3 June evening (click the following link for an outline AGENDA). Important for many residents is that the Bradford Council Traffic Officer Simon D’Vali is due to be present to discuss traffic issues. Among these is likely to be the situation at the mini-roundabout where Main Street joins the Bingley Road, at which drivers coming down Bingley Road fail to slow down, let alone stop, crossing the junction as though no mini-roundabout exists. The newly-formed Menston Business Association (see below) is campaigning to have the road down from High Royds opened to traffic to better integrate the new complex with the village.

Menston WW1 commemoration events

Poppy1The second meeting to discuss possible activities in Menston to commemorate the First World War over the four year period from August this year until November 2018 will be at the High Royds Memorial Chapel on Wednesday 4 June evening. Notes on the first meeting in April, at which there were many suggestions for activities, ranging from trips to the battlefields to research by Menston schoolchildren into relatives involved in the war, have been circulated to those attending the first meeting and can be found HERE. The Agenda for the 4 June meeting can be found HERE. Of course all residents with an interest in the commemoration events are invited to attend the Wednesday evening meeting.

Menston Business Association meeting

Menston Business Association logo_gnThe newly-formed Menston Business Association will take the opportunity of the Neighbourhood Forum to introduce itself more widely to Menston residents before its next meeting on Friday 6 June (at The Studio, 9a Cleasby Road) to which anyone running a shop or business based in Menston is invited. Of special interest at the moment is the proposal to move the Post Office from its present location to the Londis shop at the junction of Cleasby Road and Main Street. Siting it at this busy junction is far from ideal from many points of view but the Post Office is saying it will either be there or nowhere. There is a consultation to which residents can contribute until 26 June. Comments can be emailed to comments@postoffice.co.uk. You may also be able to pick up a form at the Menston Post Office.

Walk and cycle route consultation

A two day consultation event on the proposed walking and cycle route – the ‘Wharfedale Greenway‘ – connecting Menston with Pool in Wharfedale, Otley and Burley-in-Wharfedale via the former railway line – will be staged in the Menston Methodist Church Hall on both Thursday and Friday, 12 and 13 June, from 10.00am to 8.00pm. The deadline for submitting written comments is 30 June. 

One Jubilee street party has become an annual event

Alison and Glenn Brookes, hosts for the 2014 Cleasby Road street party.

Angela and Glenn Brookes, hosts for the 2014 Cleasby Road street party.

At least one of the many Menston street parties arranged to celebrate the Jubilee two years ago has become an annual event and on Saturday 31 May many residents of Cleasby Road came together again for an open air ‘picnic’. Residents have been taking it in turn to host the event and this year is was taken on by Glenn and Angela Brookes who opened up their rear garden to a large number of guests. The weather was kind enough to be dry so the marquee was probably not necessary although the sun was rather too shy for the end of May.

The trampoline kept the children occupied

The trampoline kept the children occupied

Are there any other Menston locations which have scheduled a street party this year? We’d love to know. The closest we have found is the ‘Big Lunch’ scheduled for today (1 June) by St John’s Parish Church, which has been in the ‘Events’ listing for a while now. Are there any more to come which could be added to the listing and the ‘Imminent events’ calendar?

Menston teacher Trustee of Vatican Foundation

David Geldart, Trustee of JP2F4S

David Geldart, Trustee of JP2F4S

David Geldart, Assistant Headteacher at St. Mary’s Menston, has been appointed a Trustee of the John Paul II Foundation for Sport (JP2F4S).

JP2F4S was launched by Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Britain in 2010 and is inspired by Saint John Paul’s enthusiasm for sport and the unique potential that it offers to enhance physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual development in individuals and to be a force for good in communities and wider society.

Eight years ago David founded the acclaimed Bambisanani Partnership in South Africa which uses the power of sport to develop education, health, leadership and global citizenship.

Monsignor Vladimir Felzmann, the Foundation’s Chief Executive said: “We are delighted that David has been appointed to the Foundation. He has a wealth of strategic and operational experience and has gained an international reputation for his work in Physical Education and Sport. David has held key public appointments at national level with Sport England and the Departments of Education and Health”.

Menston Show DeTails – all classes

Full details of the Menston Show, to be staged as usual at the Kirklands Community Centre, Saturday 6 September, have been released by the organising committee. As last year, details of all the entry classes together with an entry form which can be downloaded and printed can be found on this website by clicking the Menston Show link here, the link at the top of the Events listing or the Show ‘button’ in the right sidebar . The link button in right hand side bar will be a permanent feature on the site until the Show. As last year, we will endeavour to publish all the prize and trophy winners as soon as possible after the show. Last year we managed it by the next day.

Women’s Day; mums-to-be praise local Pilates; more awards for St Mary’s Menston; responding to Bradford’s long-term plan

Logo for International Women's Day, 8 MarchToday is International Women’s Day so a good day to recognise that many Menston local community organisations, from the churches to organisations like Menston Cares, depend for the most part on women. There is also a significant number of Menston businesses run by women. Yet we have only one woman Parish Councillor and only one active female member on the committee of the Menston Community Association. Isn’t it time to change that? There can be a Parish Council election in May 2015; the next MCA AGM, at which officers can be elected, is in November this year.

Three stories in today’s post, two of them featuring the gender appropriate for today. Click on the link below to go directly to the story, or just scroll down.

Mums-to-be recommend pilates

“It’s great having something local”, says Ruth, one of eight mums-to-be attending pre-natal Pilates sessions at Menston’s own Pilates studio. “It helped me with posture and walking, and relieved some of the aches I was feeling as a result of pregnancy”, says Hannah, another of the group.

The classes began about four weeks ago and are limited to eight people at a session so that each can have individual attention from proprietor and qualified modern Pilates trainer Christine North-Minchella. There is already a waiting list but as each mum-to-be has her baby a place is vacated.

Menston village Pilates studio with Christine North-Minchella with a model of the spine

Menston Village Pilates centre; Christine North-Minchella in the studio with the model of a spine used to show how Pilates can help aleviate back pain

The rise in obesity and the resulting increase of diabetes in pregnancy has prompted NICE (the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) and RCOG (the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists) to recommend safe exercise during pregnancy. Pilates is known to be gentle and safe so ideal for exercise when pregnant, says Christine. It also tackles one of the major problems for women during pregnancy – back ache; 70% of women suffer this during pregnancy. Pilates strengthens the back and abdominals and is safe exercise right up to the last week. And after birth, it helps with bending and picking up baby. Many of the women intend to return for post-natal sessions after the birth.

“There’s a social element too”, says another mum-to-be, Ruth, “It’s good to meet other expectant mums with similar feelings”. Aimee says she learns things “which I can then do at home”. Or, Catherine says, “It gives an hour every week when you can be calm and focus on yourself”. “I’d really recommend it”, says Shelley; “it’s relaxing and keeps you active”.

The Studio is a purpose-equipped facility behind an imposing house near the bottom of Cleasby Road. Telephone 879816 or email christine@pfetraining.co.uk

Leeds Sports Awards for St Mary’s teacher and students

A St Mary’s Menston student, Isobel Palmer, former student Sarah Lawn, and teacher Barbara Pounder, were all honoured at this year’s Leeds Sports Awards at the end of February (click a picture to see it larger with caption).

Barbara Pounder was honoured for her Services to Physical Education and Sport. In addition to Barbara’s contribution to the St. Mary’s curricular and extra-curricular programme, her outstanding work developing young leaders and her significant contribution to the school’s work in South Africa (the Bambisanani Partnership) were also noted. Special mention was given to the SOS Club (Sport on Saturday), which has been run by Barbara for the past fourteen years and provides young disabled people with the opportunity to participate in sport.

St. Mary’s student Isobel Palmer received a Young Achiever Award in the Young Disability Sportsperson of the Year category. Former St Mary’s student Sarah Lawn was recognised for her outstanding achievement in football, both participating and officiating, as Leeds City College Sports Personality of the Year.

Would Sinehlanhla Fortunate Qwane of Eshowe, S Africa, please send an email to menston.village.wharfedale@gmail.com and give us a return email address so that her recent message (comment on the Bambisanani article last year) can be answered.

Bradford Core Strategy – less than four weeks to respond

Residents who attended the traffic ‘consultation’ last week had the opportunity to see a copy of the Bradford ‘Core Strategy Development Plan Document – Publication Draft’) and its supporting ‘Evidence’ documentation and talk to Alan Elsegood and Steve Ellams about it. They also would have seen the form which had to be completed to ‘object’ to the plan and if this was not enough to put people off then the massiveness of the documents they were required to comment on certainly would. What is more, the bases on which any objection can be raised are limited to three (the ‘soundness’ of the plan, the legal compliance of the plan, and the ‘duty to cooperate’); most people would not be able to make a challenge on the basis of the last two of these.

As a result, it is nigh on impossible for most people to make any meaningful response at all, certainly not within the short time period allowed. You might wonder whether that is the whole idea.

We are fortunate in having one resident who has been prepared to go through this pile of documentation – days of work – and draw up some very sound objections, mostly on one of the bases upon which it can be challenged – that it is ‘not sound’.

Tireless campaigner for the village and former chairman of the Menston Community Association, Alan Elsegood, has now gone through this Brazilian forest of paper and drawn up detailed arguments against the plan, mostly on the basis that they are ‘not sound’ but also on not meeting the ‘duty to cooperate’ (eg with Leeds re the High Royds development or the road infrastructure).

It was impossible, within the time available, to organise a way for all residents to see Alan’s objections and append their supporting signatures, so Alan has sent them to the Menston Parish Council in the hope that they will be incorporated into a vigorous response on behalf of the electors of Menston.

The final submission by the Parish Council will be examined with interest.

Fairtrade, Soul, awards for St Mary’s and Menston ‘traffic management’

Battling the attempted destruction of our village by Bradford Council is not the only thing going on in Menston nor the only thing occupying the Menston Community Association. Click on any of the links below to go directly to the story.

Fairtrade Fortnight

The St Mary's team display the Fairtrade status award.

The Fairtrade team display their Fairtrade status award. L-r:- Catherine Garrett (Acting Headteacher), Isobel Tysoe, Thomas Rothwell (Acting Headteacher), Felicity Hemming, Stuart Andrew MP, Jack Tunnecliff, Caitlin
Grady, Benedict Kershaw, Louise Oddy, Marienn Collins, David Geldart (Assistant Headteacher)

St. Mary’s Menston were awarded Fairtrade Schools Status in February, the award being presented to the school by Stuart Andrew MP in a special assembly in February to mark the beginning of Fairtrade fortnight. To qualify for the award, the school had to meet five set goals:

  • to set up a Fairtrade student group
  • to adopt a Fairtrade Policy
  • teach Fairtrade lessons
  • sell Fairtrade products
  • actively campaign for Fairtrade

The school had a series of activities to raise awareness of Fairtrade products including a “Crossbar Challenge”, quiz, bun sales, creative writing and prayer workshops.

The Fairtrade Assessor said of the St. Mary’s application: “Congratulations, St. Mary’s! It is evident that you are working very hard to make Fairtrade a vital part of your school life and that the entire student and staff body are embracing it with great enthusiasm. Your hard work has paid off – I am very pleased to recommend you for approval and am excited to see what you do in the future.”

Fairtrade stall. There will be a Fairtrade stall on Saturday 8 March from 10 am to 12 noon at the Cornerstone cafe on Main Street as part of Fairtrade fortnight.

PhilipPines Typhoon

The Fairtrade Assessor said of St. Mary’s application:- "Congratulations, St. Mary's! It is evident that you are working very hard to make Fairtrade a vital part of your school life and that the entire student and staff body are embracing it with great enthusiasm. Your hard work has paid off - I am very pleased to recommend you for approval and am excited to see what you do in the future."

Poster for the event on Saturday 15 March to help schools in Philippines devasted by typhoon Haiyan

Schools in the Philippines were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan last November. Some of the devastation can be seen in the poster here (click it to see it larger). There’s an opportunity to help and have a great evening at an event on Saturday evening, 15 March, at the Kirklands Community Centre, organised by Menston resident Beth Street.

Soul music, soul food (chilli and rice) and dancing are the recipe for the evening from 8.00 to 11.00pm. The Soul Surgeons will be providing the music. Sally’s Army, the ladies group from Otley, will be singing a varied programme of 50’s Classics from Elvis and the Poni-Tails to more modern numbers by Caro Emerald and Take That. All proceeds will go towards the rebuilding of schools in areas of the Philippines destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan.

Tickets are just £10 for this great cause; to book or enquire contact Beth Street on 07719 785986 or email Babeth70@sky.com

St Mary’s night of trashion

St Marys year 13 students displaying the 'Trashion' they created

Fashion from trash was created and showed by St Mary’s students as part of studying the environment within the Religious Studies programme

St Mary’s Menston have been busy not only with Fairtrade. Valentine’s Day saw year 13 students mounting a ‘Trashion Show’ as part of ‘Creativity on Show’, ending a day considering the theme ‘The Environment’ as part of the Religious Studies programme. During the ‘runway’ fashion show, students modelled items of clothing made from recycled materials such as crisp packets and bin liners.

Mgr Vladimir Felzmann with St Mary's Sports Leaders

Mgr Vladimir Felzmann with St Mary’s Sports Leaders

Sport award. St. Mary’s Menston has become only the fifth school in the country to be accepted into the John Paul 2 Foundation 4 Sport. The John Paul 2 Foundation 4 Sport was launched by Pope Benedict XVI on his visit to the UK in 2010. The Foundation is inspired by Pope John Paul’s own vision of sport’s unique potential to develop individuals and communities.

St. Mary’s was presented with a special certificate to mark the occasion by Monsignor Vladimir Felzmann, Chief Executive of the Foundation. Presenting the certificate, he said: “St. Mary’s epitomises the values of the John Paul 2 Foundation 4 Sport. The scope and influence of PE and Sport at St. Mary’s is vast, both within and beyond the school. This is a school that uses PE and Sport in the most positive way with its own students and in the wider community. The vision, commitment and outcomes are inspirational. 

Mr David Geldart, Assistant Headteacher, who has been at the forefront of Physical Education and Sport Development at the school for many years said: “This is a most significant accolade for all associated with the school. The Foundation honours the memory of Pope John Paul II who was a great advocate for all the positive attributes that sport can bring; we are totally committed to those values in our work at St. Mary’s, in the wider community and in our international work in South Africa, the BAMBISANANI PARTNERSHIP.

MCA meeting 5 March

The forthcoming village motor show (5 May), an update on the possibiity of regular film shows in Menston, the village information board project, and of course reactions to the traffic management scheme proposed for Menston are all on the agenda for the Menston Community Association meeting on Wednesday 5 March in the Methodist church hall, Main street. Click HERE for the MCA page and access to the full agenda.

Local business initiatives

Proposals for promoting support of local shops and businesses are moving forward on two fronts. Sue Rix, working in a personal capacity not as a Parish Councillor, will be presenting proposals of a small working group at the 5 March MCA meeting for more and better village information boards, which are intended to include information on local shops and businesses as well as local charities and groups and things like village walks.

Apart from the MCA initiative, some local businesses are planning to get together at the beginning of April to discuss a possible campaign and other measures to promote local business. If you’d like to be involved watch this web site for more details when available and drop an email expressing interest to menston.village.wharfedale@gmail.com.