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 Your email will not be published.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.

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Farewell Rev Ruth. The last post

Hristosainviat1_5038_pcIt is, I think, appropriate that this may be the final post on this site (but an attempt will be made to maintain the Events and Imminent Events listings 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). Some major village events may be covered in a post but it’s not certain.

Rev Ruth Yeoman is leaving Menston Parish, after about 14 years, to take up a part time post not too far away, in Baildon. A feature of Ruth’s time in Menston has been her support of so many village organisations and individuals, whether of the Anglican faith, another, or none. Her final Sunday service at St John’s will be on the 15th January.

However, you can pop in to say goodbye to her at the Menstone Club in Farnley Road on Monday 9 Jan, from 5.30 to 7.30pm. So let’s give her a good send-off.

Whether you are of the Anglican faith or not, even if you have no interest in religion at all, you might like to fill in a survey, prepared by Church Warden Roger Banister, which aims to find out how the church might better serve the community. You will find the survey by clicking on:

short survey

It is aimed at all Menston residents whether interested in “religion” or not. It won’t take long and can be anonymous.

Merry Christmas Menston! Carols in the park, Christmas church services, Menston Christmas lights, writers’ club event in Ilkley library, St Mary’s Menston help bring internet to S African school

Wishing all Menston Villagers and other readers of this blog/site around the world the merriest of christmases and a peaceful and successful 2017.

This will be the last post of 2016 on the site, and possibly the final post on the site, for the reasons given in the post of 1 November (To be or not – continuing this site blog?), although the static information will remain.

Thank you to those people who did supply regular information of forthcoming events, other news and changes at village organisations and groups. Some amendments, from information received recently, may still to be made .

Changes to the static information will still be received and amendments made when possible. The author will in future be concentrating efforts on his personal ‘grumpytyke’ blog, where news about Menston is occasionally published when of interest to a wider audience (eg activities of the writers’ club ‘Writing on the Wharfe’ – see below).


Carols in the park

Villagers are invited to join in carol singing with Otley Brass Band in Menston Park from 10.30am on Saturday morning (17th Dec). There will be seasonal refreshments in the Scout hut (Low Hall Road) after the singing. The event, which is sponsored by Menston Parish Church, aims to help raise funds for a new Scout hut.

Light up Menston

Following a successful event last year householders are being invited to light up their houses with a prize for the best donated by Ribston Pippin. No details have been received but further information can no doubt be obtained from the village estate agent.

Writers’ club performs again in Ilkley

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In the wonderful setting of Ilkley library, following performance of ‘Winter Tales’, left to right: back row – Bob, Roger, Ruxandra, David, Catherine, Rich; front row – Alina, Emma, Dan, Becky. Sadly two valued members, Kelly and Marjorie, couldn’t make it. Photo by Adam Nabarro-Steel.

Following successful debut event at this year’s Ilkley Literature Festival Fringe,  Menston based writers’ club ‘Writing on the Wharfe‘ (usually meets fortnightly on Saturday afternoons at the Menstone club in Farnley Road) had another very successful ‘performance’ of short stories, poems and music in Ilkley library on 10 December, the theme being ‘Winter Tales’. Further information about the club from the club’s founder, email rbusoiu@yahoo.co.uk

St Mary’s Menston helps to bring internet to South African school

bambisananiinternetFollowing three year’s work and fundraising, internet has been brought to Mnyakanya School in South Africa, with which St Mary’s Menston high school works through the Menston based charity, the Bambisanani Partnership.  This is the latest phase of development to use computers and the internet to enhance teaching and learning in this remote rural school, which has large class sizes and relatively few resources.

Over the past two years, the St. Mary’s and the Bambisanani Partnership, has worked closely with South African officials to develop a comprehensive plan to utilise information technology to raise standards at the school and provide students with the necessary skills for the modern world. The plan initially involved providing training for teachers on integrating technology into their classroom teaching and introducing tablets to the school. Access to the internet now provides teachers and students with teaching and learning opportunities that would be taken for granted in the UK and indeed many schools in South Africa. The foundations have been laid for a more comprehensive ICT rollout at the school so that the entire school and, hopefully, the surrounding community begins to benefit.

Christmas church services

Details of Christmas services at Menston churches will be found under the ‘Events’ menu and should appear in the ‘Imminent events’ listing to the right.

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? 

Derry Hill & Bingley Rd developments abandoned; Art exhibition & other news

BattleThanks to the untiring efforts of many Menstonites, and donations from many more, Menston Action Group (MAG) is celebrating that former plans to develop on Derry Hill and Bingley Road are not going ahead. The developers have ‘given up’ and planning permissions have expired. As I said in the previous post, since the MAG website became more active this site has not generally covered village housing development in such detail as in the past but, as this is written, a Press statement issued yesterday is not on the MAG site so it is published in full HERE. Let’s hope that now proposals for more sensible development, eg housing for older people to downsize without leaving the village, in more sensible locations, come forward.

Art and crafts exhibition

Christine Thomas with her painting 'Rwo glasses of red'The next exhibition of the Menston Arts Club is on Saturday and Sunday 19th and 20th November at the Kirklands Community Centre, 10.30 till 5.00 on Saturday and 10.30 till 4.00 on Sunday. There is always an astounding display of art from local artists at the club’s twice a year exhibitions and the November one is a great opportunity to look for Christmas presents among the painting and crafts.

Entry is free but there are great cakes and drinks on sale and you can vote for your favourite picture; at the exhibition earlier this year the most popular picture was ‘Two glasses of red’ by Christine Thomas (pictured).

Events to be updated later

Following the previous post saying that closure of this site is being considered unless more information about forthcoming events is emailed to menston.village.wharfedale@gmail.com and there is more reaction to posts in the way of ‘likes’ and ‘comments’ some information has been received though the information has come from organisations which have always kept us informed. The Events listings and Imminent Events will be updated a little later than this post, hopefully today (Wednesday 9th).

 

To be or not – continuing this site/blog?

Picture of tin can and string for communication

Acknowledgement to ITworld

Postings on this site/blog have become somewhat irregular for some time, mainly due to the health of the author. Even the event listings are not and have not been as complete or as up to date as in the past, much of this due to not receiving news of events directly by email (see below – incomplete information particularly affects the ‘Imminent events‘ listing in the right column) in a situation where the author has not been able to trawl notice boards etc or chase village organisations as in the past (apologies to those who have sent information but it has not appeared; sometimes this is health interfering, sometimes lack of space, sometimes it is judged not be be of wide enough interest). In this situation stopping publication of this site is being considered but, having mentioned the dilemma – it is obviously a lot of work, all voluntary of course – to many village friends, many in positions of influence in some village organisations and groups, there have been strong requests to keep it going.

Discussions

The deterioration in health coincided with the Menston Action Group site becoming more active and in this situation it was decided to generally leave the battle against inappropriate development to them so, when mentioned, the mention was brief and a link was usually given to the MAG site. This immediately cut the discussion on this site, which used to be quite lively, to very little.

One unique feature of the site was this discussion, often prompted by posts which advanced an opinion, not necessarily on inappropriate development. In theory the opinion was usually anonymous, being signed ‘grumpytyke’, the name of the author’s personal blog, though most people knew who the author was. More recently the real name has been added in ‘About’.

Facebook

Another factor has been the increased popularity of the Menston Village Facebook group. Many people in the village seem to understand Facebook and favour it; few seem to understand how to interact with a blog.

With all the above in mind it has been decided to continue this site/blog for the time being but to attempt to return to having regular opinion to which readers can react, either by adding a ‘like’ or a comment.

Decision

A decision will be made over the next two or three months whether to continue publishing the site, this depending on:

  • The number of followers who register (or who are already registered) with the site
  • The number of ‘likes‘ given to posts on the site
  • The number of ‘comments‘ made on posts on the site (they are not edited, other than for style, or censored, unless obscene, illegal, potentially libellous or a personal ‘attack’ on someone).
  • The emails received (to menston.village.wharfedale@gmail.com) containing info on forthcoming events (date, start time and estimated finish time, location, who or which organisation/group is organising, costs if any, and contact for more info, tickets, etc, are vital, together with brief details of the event). For events, the info must be emailed at least one week before the event but to be sure it appears in time to be useful much more in advance than that. For post event or other news it should be received immediately following the event, ie it should be ‘news’.
  • The number of visits to the site and to particular posts (before the health problems and resulting irregular posting the site averaged about 5,000 visits a month and over its lifetime so far has had about 35,000 visitors from all over the globe).