Category Archives: Wharfedale

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

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.

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’.

Events listings and static info to be maintained; blog posts suspended

As advised earlier, blog posts on this site are suspended for the time being, though major village events may be covered as in the past.

If you would like to know when there is a new post on the site you can ‘follow’ by clicking the follow button at top right and receive a notification by email. Your email will not be published.

Events and Imminent Events listings will be maintained if information is received in time and in a suitable format – email menstonvillagewharfedale@gmail.com – along with static information like contact details for organisations, village businesses and the like. These will be updated over the near future, beginning with the Events listings.

Further details on contributing information will be found by clicking the ‘Contribute‘ menu.

The ability to comment on and/or ‘like’ postings and pages will continue.

Neighbourhood Forum – new Chair for MCA? 1st MCA village film show. 10 years of Bambisanani

Photo of St Mary's student reading with two South African pupils during a Bambisanani project visit to South Africa

Bambisanani, see below

If you are interested in our village and it’s future, it’s a good idea to attend the Neighbourhood Forum in the Kirklands Community Centre this (Tuesday) evening. More details under the Events menu.

An announcement expected at the forum is that following years of service in several village groups and the Parish Council, Quentin Mackenzie is standing down as Chair of the Menston Community Association. It is understood that Steve Ellams has offered to take on the role.

Also on the agenda will be a further announcement of the village film show (the wonderful Dame Maggie Smith in ‘The Lady in the Van‘) on 21 October, under the MCA umbrella, following sterling work by Tony Joint (who has also taken on leadership of the eggs2iPads project). Apart from selling tickets to the film show, Tony will be asking for more help with this pilot, and possible future, shows.

Bambisani – 10 years of an amazing project

In its tenth anniversary year, the astounding project begun at St Mary’s Menston, the Bambisanani Partnership, working with Mnyakanya School in South Africa, has ambitious plans to extend its work and influence. In addition to the annual exchanges reported on this site in the past, supporting students in need and the provision of a wide range of new learning activities in both schools, the charity is working with the University of Leeds and Leeds Trinity University to develop leadership programmes with its own students in South Africa. At Mnyakanya the charity is currently working on the installation of Wi-Fi and computers to enhance teaching and learning in this remote rural area. It is also the aim to create a football pitch for the school and wider community on land nearby. The partnership’s long term relationship with Zulufadder Orphanage will be developed through the building of a new hostel for the most vulnerable of  children who need immediate care and accommodation.

It was in 2006 that David Geldart, then Director of Physical Education and Sport at St. Mary’s, visited South Africa as part of a British Council and Youth Sport Trust initiative to promote sport in the country’s most deprived areas. As a direct result of that visit, St. Marys and Mnyakanya High School in Kwa Zulu Natal developed a unique partnership using sport to inspire young people in both countries. The two schools named their collaboration the ‘Bambisanani Partnership’ – Bambisanani being the Zulu word meaning ‘working hand in hand’. The partnership has subsequently gained international acclaim for its pioneering and inspirational work using the power of sport to promote education, health, global citizenship, enterprise in one of South Africa’s poorest rural regions. Ten years on, the partnership has become a multi award winning charity chaired by David Geldart, now retired from St Mary’s, and led by Mrs Catherine Chattoe at St. Marys and Mrs P K Zondi in South Africa.

Mnyakanya High School, situated in the rural remote Nkandla region of Kwa Zulu Natal, is in one of the most deprived areas of South Africa with high rates of HIV/AIDS, unemployment and adult illiteracy. The area has one of highest rates of AIDS orphans in the world. Class sizes are in excess of 60 and the school has very limited resources. Despite all this ,Mnyakanya provides an oasis of hope in the area and many students walk two hours, each way, for the opportunity to receive an education.

https://menstonvillagewharfedale.com/menston-parish-church-report

It is not usual to publish information as received on this site. News received or of which we become aware, if reported, is published at the editor’s discretion in the style of the site. However, we are happy to make an exception with this report which was inadvertently omitted from the recently distributed Menston News. Click the link above to read it.

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.