Menston WW1 commemoration events – notes on meeting 14 April

Draft notes from 1914-18 WW1 Commemoration meeting held on 14th April 2014
Date of next meeting:- Wednesday 4th June.  Venue: High Royds Memorial Chapel – please park down side of St Mary’s School and enter through the Menston Cemetery.
19 in attendance. 6 apologies were received from people who wish to support and be involved but could not attend.
Church vigil, evensong, 3 August
Joyce Simpson stated that on Sunday 3rd August this year there will be a Service of Evensong at St.John’s Parish Church, Menston, followed on Monday 4th August with a vigil, music and possibly a reading of poems.
Performance ‘1914 – over by Christmas’. Fleece Music Theatre Company
Joyce also confirmed that on Saturday 11th October the ‘Follow The Fleece’ Music Theatre Company are bringing a new show to St. John’s entitled ‘1914-Over by Christmas’ with some references to Menston. The time of the production is yet to be confirmed.
Tidying of Wilfred Jennings’s memorial
David Machin and Joyce Simpson agreed to approach the St.John’s PCC in relation to the possibility of tidying and making more visible the Memorial to Wilfred Jennings and also for displaying his War Medal in the church.and maybe along with a commemoration Rose Bowl.
Butterfield family
Chris Hartley is trying to contact people with regard to tracing the Butterfield family.
When we decide upon a suitable time, Chris will hopefully arrange a talk by Neil Hanson on ‘The Unknown Soldier’ which Neil has previously given at Ilkley Manor House.
War Graves DVD
Alan Elsegood indicated that he is willing to compile a DVD of the War Graves on places of interest on the Western Front. i.e The Menin Gate, Ypres etc. He would like to know how long we wished the DVD to be.
Visit to War Graves
It was also put to the meeting by Alan, Tom Garbutt and Gareth Andrews that a village trip to the War Graves by Coach could be a possibility in the future – Alan said that he would check out prices from Dalesman Coaches at Guiseley and Kevin Jackson.
Themes village walk
Quentin MacKenzie is to prepare a themed walk around the village and surrounding area to take in particular references to the First World War.
Children to research relatives involved in WW1
Sandra and Bob Harder are willing to prepare a questionnaire, to be filled in by the school children, in order to ascertain whether they had any relatives involved in the First World War i.e.:
Great Grandfathers/Grandmothers, Great Uncles/Aunts etc.
German relatives
Bob Harder thought it would be a good idea to contact German relatives to see if there could be any contact with Menston village in Commemoration of all who died.
Commonwealth troops
Reference was then made of the huge number of Commonwealth troops who gave their lives in the conflict.
Map showing 381 who served
David Machin stated that he would like to be involved in pursuing the idea of producing a large map on which could be recorded the 381 people (363 men and 18 nurses) from the village who served during the conflict.
Flag at half mast on dates of deaths
Peter Finlay suggested that on the death date of each of the fifty men, the flag at Kirklands be lowered to half mast and a wooden poppy cross placed on the War Memorial.
Floodlighting of memorial
He also suggested that the Memorial should be floodlit [Nothing too elaborate]. Peter and and his son Robert are prepared to organise this concept. 
Cleaning of graves by Scouts/Guides
Jayne Finlay and Charlie Barnes would involve the scout and guides in maybe cleaning up the local graves of three of the men. Also tidying up the Wilfred Jennings dedication stone in St. John’s churchyard.
Involving young people
Jayne also has a number of other ideas to involve young people.
Film Show: Pathe News and Laurel & Hardy
Tom Garbutt confirmed that his friend is willing to give a film show involving Pathe News and Laurel & Hardy entertaining the troops. Date to be decided.
Involving Menston Primary School Care Club
Heather Searle is to get children at Menston School Care Club involved in various activities i.e.the girls are to make felt poppies, perhaps producing a 4″ patchwork. The boys were keen to build mock trenches etc!
John McCrae peom on Solo window
Gareth Edwards of Solo Deli is to have the John McCrae poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ inscribed on his shop door, together with poppy motifs.
Village shops window displays
Small Print and the Village Bakery have both offered to feature a window display relating to the First World War.
Cannon shells and other artefacts
Steve Ellams brought a cannon shell for us all to see at the meeting and maybe this could be used in any subsequent exhibition together with other artefacts.
Chris Hartley then reminded us of the very large shell (about 4ft tall) that stood for many years in Kirklands.
WW1 play
Judith Knaggs had contacted Barbara Hobson’s daughter, Sarah, who is a member of Menston Thespians concerning the possibility of them producing a First Word War play i.e. ‘Not About Heroes’ or ‘Journey’s End’. Sarah said she would try to inform us if this would be feasible by the end of May/June. Obviously cost is a major issue as was also pointed out by Peter Finlay.
Funding applications via MPC
Catriona, the Menston Parish Clerk, had offered to help with funding applications to the Heritage Lottery Fund earmarked to mark WW1. The Menston Parish Council had agreed that these meeting and plans could be held under their umbrella.
WW1 battlefield tour
Alan Elsegood and myself met Ken Hartshorne of Dalesman Coaches to discuss the possibility of a tour to the battlefields of Flanders and The Somme.
Ken suggested May or September 2015 as possible dates for the visits.
The coaches can accommodate either twenty-two or twenty-nine or alternatively forty-two or forty-nine people. [On the larger coach there is a toilet].
Price is approximately £499 per person with supplements for single rooms [£130] or an outside cabin on the ship [£16].
Meal package on the Ferry is £48 per person, which includes two buffet dinners and two buffet breakfasts. This is of course optional.
It is suggested that we travel overnight on the North Sea Ferries from Hull to Zeebrugge [usually a six day trip, but this can be altered as required].
Departure times are as follows:-
Depart Menston 2-00pm   Arrive Hull 4-30pm
Sail from Hull     6-30pm   Arrive Zeebrugge 9-00am.
There is just a one hour coach drive from Zeebrugge to Ypres.
The Novotel at Ypres is usually used by Dalesman and apparently is very good.
The full tour includes:-
Luxury Coach Travel with local pick up points.
Return Hull/Zeebrugge overnight Ferry crossing.
En Suite bedrooms with TV and tea/coffee making facilities.
Three nights bed & buffet breakfast.
Three buffet dinners in Hotel Restaurant.
Entrance to ‘Flanders Fields’ Museum.
Half-day guided tour of the 1914/18 route.
Full day guided tour of the Somme battlefield.
Visit to Vimy Ridge Memorial Park & Visitor Centre.
Visit to Arras including admission to Wellington Quarries.
Entrance to the Passchendaele Memorial 1917 Museum.
Visit to Talbot House (Excluding admission)
Ken did state that he would be very pleased to tailor make any of the tours to suit our interests in different locations/cemeteries etc..
A Passport, Insurance and European Healthcard are required.
Date of next meeting:- Wednesday 4th June.  Venue: High Royds Memorial Chapel – park down side of St Mary’s School and enter through the Menston Cemetery.

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