Category Archives: website news

Snooker ace and young teachers top the bill at the Menstone club; Easter events; Writers Club news

Another great evening at the Menstone club on Thursday with six times world snooker champion Steve Davis entertaining youngsters first then older enthusiasts later. BBC Look North covered the event with, appropriately, Menston’s own superb presenter, Charlotte Leeming, reporting with her usual infectious enthusiasm.

Don’t forget the Open Acoustic Mike evening at the club this coming Sunday, 8pm start. Great opportunity to hear some superb local talent, and it’s free.

Some exciting news from the Writers Club, soon. Watch this space.

More young women join iPad ‘teachers’ 

Eggs2iPads project teachers, left to right, Kezia Hollings, Hattie Barnes and Rosie Ogden outside the Menstone club

Eggs2iPads project teachers, left to right, Kezia Hollings, Hattie Barnes and Rosie Ogden.

However, it wasn’t the only milestone event at the Menstone on that night. The teenage teaching team in the Menston Community Association’s eggs2iPads project moved closer to gender equality with now three delightful young ladies in the team. Hattie Barnes has been in the team from the start almost a year ago and has rarely missed a session. Kezia Hollings joined her last week and already is looking an ‘old hand’ and this week they were joined by Rosie Ogden. The team’s young men have also recently been augmented by Emmot Hollings, now our youngest teacher at 13, and Josh Geering, 15.

We now have about 18 ‘students’ from the older generation. Although the project began with the idea of helping to tackle potential elderly isolation by showing members of the older generation how to contact distant family and friends using, eg, Skype, on an iPad or other tablet, it has become much more. The ‘students’ say they really enjoy this unique opportunity to meet up with youngsters once a week and what they are doing on internet now extends from taking advantage of the Waitrose ‘favourites’ on-line shopping scheme and, of course emailing, to playing games and following up hobbies by searching for information using Goggle and the like. It’s quite a surprise to see elderly ladies enjoying games like Candy Crush!

The sessions are weekly at the Menstone on Thursdays from 5pm to 6pm, except in school holidays and new ‘teachers’ and ‘students’ are welcome. Either email menston.village,wharfedale@gmail.com or phone Jane Pratt on Menston 876945. There are no ‘formal’ classes, no fees, you don’t have to commit to coming every week, and a coffee, tea or other drinks are available at very reasonable prices from the bar.

Easter events

Among Easter events of which we are aware are the Menstone’s annual Easter egg hunt next Friday, 25 March, an Easter coffee morning at the Methodist Church Hall and a messy church for youngsters and Easter services in the church, see under Events menu for more details of these. There must be more but persuading village organisations to submit details of their events (to menston.village.wharfedale@gmail.com) is continuing to prove difficult.

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New events format; new business; quizzes and talent at The Menstone

If you consult the ‘Events’ list regularly (and you should if you want to know what’s going on in Menston) you will see the format change from 1 October. There are two reasons for this:

Make it easier to read for elderly people, and others, with a sight problem. Make it easier to exchange information with the events listing in the free local community magazine ‘It’s the business’ – same Editor.

Welcome to a new business – bike repairs

Hopey Bicycle Repairs is the name of a new (appropriate) business in Menston – a mobile bicycle mechanic. Chris Hopey, based at 15 Whernside Court, is offering the service around Yorkshire. Phone 0796 042 4348.

The Menstone fun quiz

Too late for this month’s Fun Quiz at The Menstone club in Farnley Road but plenty of time to get a team together for the next one. They are at 8.00pm on the last Thursday of each month, which means the next one should be on 29 October. Teams of six. Entry £1. You don’t need to be a member of the club to enter a team, or in fact to use the club as a comfortable place to have a coffee, tea or something stronger especially as the weather is getting cooler. It’s open 11.30am until 11pm. There’s also an ‘Open mike’ night on the last Sunday of the month – not karaoke but some real talent encouraged with musicians to accompany if required.

Free choir concert

Menston’s excellent ladies’ choir, Ladies Please, is giving a concert at Abbeyfield this Friday evening, 7.30pm. It’s free. Sorry for the late notice.

Happy New Year! Menston Action Group is back. Menston’s ‘election year’ is here!

FollowButtonPicA Happy New Year ! to all the readers of this website/blog, particularly the ‘followers’ who, by following, not only ensure they are informed of each new post and/or comment but indicate that the considerable (entirely voluntary) work required to keep the site up to date is worthwhile.

Thank you also to all those who have taken advantage of the unique facility, in Menston, provided by this website/blog, to comment and discuss issues of importance to the community.

Thanks are also due to the individuals responsible for ‘publicity’ in many village voluntary and charitable organisations who have regularly sent information to appear on this site, thus ensuring the ‘Events’ listing and ‘Imminent events’ calendar are more complete and up to date than they would be relying just on things picked up from the ‘grape vine’.

This site was viewed about 38,000 times in 2014

WordPress, which hosts this website/blog, tells us that Menston Village Wharfedale was viewed about 38,000 times in 2014, which considering that the author/webmaster was out of action for a considerable period and is only just getting back into regular posting, due to a serious health problem, is impressive.

St Mary's Menston concert 9 May 2014There were 419 pictures published on the site; that averages well over a picture per day, 95% of these being taken especially for and published only on this website. A considerable number have been of young people engaging in community activities.

The busiest day of the year was 11 May with 1,307 views. The most popular post that day was St Mary’s Menston Bambisanani concert, paying tribute to Nelson Mandela, 9 May 2014. The Menston Vehicle Show posts had even more views over the respective weekend.

Potential changes on this website

Some of the changes outlined below will lead to some changes on this website. It is likely to include even more opinion (the change has begun in this post) and point to issues for discussion while continuing to present news and pictures – even video clips – about events, activities, community developments and Menston businesses in a hopefully interesting way. The policy of allowing comments to be made anonymously, and not editing them unless they are obscene, illegal or personally abusive, will continue.

Some of the ‘services’ provided to village organisations, eg the ‘official’ Menston Community Association section, where meeting agendas and minutes have been published, may be dropped.

Massive changes seen in 2014

There were some notable developments for the Menston community during last year, particularly the transfer of many of the previous ‘campaigning’ activities of the Menston Community Association to the Parish Council. Most notable among these are opposing the inappropriate housing developments on Bingley Road and Derry Hill and the monitoring of aircraft noise from Leeds Bradford Airport.

Menston Business Association – MBA

The Menston Business Association logoThe formation of the Menston Business Association was an important step to help ensure that a vital feature of the local community – local businesses – are promoted and supported. Let us hope this organisation becomes ever more active over the coming year, helps to develop some of the important aspects of village life and even prompts introduction of new ones. Entrepreneureal thinking could be an important input to the development of village activities and services. Let us hope its activities might also lead to reintroduction of some important missing shops in the village – such as a butcher and greengrocer. A pipe dream? Maybe, but cooperation between the MBA and the MCA could lead to greater support for such local businesses than has been evident recently.

An important development last year was the involvement of the MBA in the Menston Village Show. It is to be hoped that the experience gained by both the MBA and the Show Committee as a result will lead to more development of this important annual event.

Housing developments

Although it has been argued on this site that the Menston Community Association was not the right body to lead the fight against inappropriate housing development, as it led to many other community matters with which the MCA should have been concerned being shoved to one side and even ignored, leaving this to the Parish Council would, on past experience, be disastrous. Indeed, had it been left to the Parish Council over the past few years it seems likely that we would already have all the traffic, transport, educational and health services problems that an extra few hundred houses would bring. A truly independent voice was needed.

Menston Action Group – MAG

Map showing proposed Menston 20mph/30mph sections

Proposed Menston 20mph/30mph restrictions

It is therefore a real relief to see the resurrection of the Menston Action Group which, of course, was formed originally to oppose inappropriate development. It is to be hoped that MAG fights the battle on all fronts, not confining itself to just the flooding consequences. Important as these are, and it may well be that these have been the basis on which the developments could best be stopped, it is not the consequent flooding which would kill Menston. It is the destruction of green space, destruction of Main Street, overloading of services and joining up of the currently separate Wharfedale/Airedale communities into one oppressive urban sprawl which would kill our village.

So, although very costly, there are engineering solutions to the flooding problems which would threaten the village should houses be built on the currently proposed sites. There are no engineering solutions to the destruction of a village community by the consequences mentioned above.

MAG has announced its resurrection with a new website and it will be interesting to see how this develops. At the moment there seems to be no facility for commenting publicly on items appearing on the site, reflecting the tag line “Relaunched site to keep you updated”, which seems to indicate only one way communication is intended. If so this is a pity. To be effective it needs the level of involvement of the community seen at the time of the referendum. Public meetings alone, particularly those now controlled – eg the Neighbourhood Forums – by the Parish Council, are not likely to achieve this.

Nevertheless, the new MAG site gives this site the opportunity not to publish the volume of factual information, reports, etc, as in the past, just pointing to the MAG site for these, so leaving more time to comment on developments.

Menston Community Association – MCA

Now that the MCA has had its teeth pulled, it will be interesting to see how it develops. Will it now be active in not only ensuring support of the many independent community organisations active in the village but active also in introducing new ones? As a registered charity it has an enviable capacity for supporting the community should it choose to use it.

Menston Parish Council – MPC

This year, 2015, is not only the year of the general election but before that there is an election which, it could be argued, is even more important for the future of Menston village – the Parish Council election. This is an opportunity for the community to consider whether the current ‘system’ of an MPC which effectively re-elects itself regularly is what the Menston community needs. Of course, there need to be nominations for new Councillors, and that means there need to be people willing to offer themselves as Councillors. What is more, we need a good turnout at the election to ensure we end up with a truly democratically chosen body to represent us. This website will be doing what it can to ensure full advantage is taken of this opportunity.

 

 

 

 

Menston still considering options to fight inappropriate housing; more attention to youth in coming year; Remembrance

LATE NEWS

Click this para to see Menston Community Association Chairman’s comment on Bradford Council announcement (11 Nov) on future housing development

Click on any of the following titles to go direct to the story below Continuing fight against inappropriate housing
Youth project
Menston Car Show 2014
Menston Remembering WW1
Menston Remembrance Service 11 Nov
MCA section on this site

Fighting inappropriate housing developments

Menston village, still smarting from the latest ill treatment at the hands of Bradford Council, is considering a number of options to stop the building of houses on Derry Hill and Bingley Road, which all the evidence suggests will result in increased flooding in the village. The Parish Council has very diplomatically asked for “advice” on how they should “respond to residents, current or potential, who are contemplating the purchase of property on a site affected by seasonal springs”, given that the Parish Council has a Duty of Care  to its residents. Click to see Duty of Care letter

As might have been expected, much of the first meeting of the Menston Community Association (MCA) under recently elected Chairman Steve Ellams was given over to discussions about the proposed housing developments, but a suggestion from the floor that the MCA should put projects to involve youth as a top priority during Steve’s four year term of office was greeted with some enthusiasm by those attending.

Youth project to introduce older residents to the wonders of computers and internet?

A specific project, to involve youngsters in ‘teaching’ older members of the community how to use a computer and internet, is being investigated as a beginning. It is known that when older people who are averse to computers see the wonders of communicating with family far away, on Skype or email, they are often converted and eager to learn how to use the technology. Youngsters are surely the people to show them.

The project idea was prompted when it was learned that some funding might be available for such a project. In fact the deadline to make an application is this week – too little time – so an extension is being sought. In any case, if enough young people are interested in it then a way will be found to make it happen.

If any youngster between 11 and 19 years would be interested to become involved in this project get in touch with the MCA Chairman Steve Ellams, email s.ellams1@btinternet.com.

Menston Car Show scope broadened to engage the 20 to 40 year olds

There is another generation which is not so well catered for in Menston – the 20 to 40 year olds. A start might be made to engage with them with the proposed bi-annual Menston Car Show, the first of which is scheduled for 5 May, the first Bank Holiday,  next year. Super cars, rally cars and other high performance vehicles are being added to the classic vehicles we saw at the Jubilee celebrations last year to broaden the appeal.

Poppy1

Menston remembering WW1

Cllr Dale Smith told the meeting that plans were underway for Menston to mark the 100 years since the start of the First World War. Many different events are proposed throughout the year. We will endeavour to cover each of them as information is made available.

Poppy1

Remembrance Service 11th Nov 2013

There will be a Remembrance Service outside the Kirklands Community Centre, Main Street, on Monday 11 November. It will begin at about 10.45am.

Poppy1

Helping Menston Community Association to communicate with residents

Although the ‘official’ Menston website is now working, in a way, it is understood that the possibilities are limited. In this situation a section of this website is being made available to the MCA. So, although the site will generally remain completely independent of any organisations in the village, items appearing under the menu heading ‘Menston Community Assocation’ will in future be supplied by the MCA and be published unaltered. Maybe the first thing to appear with this new arrangement will be the minutes of the meeting of Wednesday of this week.

PS. 10 Nov 2013. The MCA section is now ‘active’ and you will find the minutes of last week’s meeting under the MCA menu heading. Click this para to go immediately to it.

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

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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!

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

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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 menston.village.wharfedale@gmail.com – 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’.