Tag Archives: Bradford Theatre Arts

It’s Wembley for Menston dance class; free concert at Kirklands

Wish luck to this wonderful team of youngsters who are students in the weekly ballet/dance classes at Menston’s Kirklands Community Centre with ‘Miss Stephanie’ (Stephanie Clements) of Bradford Theatre Arts (BTA).

Set for Wembley, the Menston class team, left to right: back row; Kenix Lee, Emma Oxford, Ketie Quinn, Victoria Pickles, Sam Foster, Niamh Cater, Caitlin Brister; front row: Josephine Gibbs, Madeleine Wolfenden, Mollie Foster, Emma Townsend, April Lever, Megan Dobbin.

Set for Wembley, the Menston class team. Left to right – back row: Kenix Lee, Emma Oxford, Katie Quinn, Victoria Pickles, Sam Foster, Niamh Cater, Caitlin Brister – front row: Josephine Gibbs, Madeleine Wolfenden, Mollie Foster, Emma Townsend, April Lever, Megan Dobbin.

This weekend they have completed 16 hours of rehearsal for an appearance at the Wembley Stadium on 16th April and did the same a couple of weeks ago. They will be dancing to the voice of Grammy Award winner Foxes in what is set to be the biggest ever mass movement dance with a singer. They have been rehearsing with another 27 or so dancers from other BTA classes and 20 from the Emma Pilling Dance Academy in Swinton to make a Yorkshire contingent of 60. They will join well over 1000 dancers from all corners of the UK on April 16th. The Guinness book record for this type of event currently stands at 546 dancers. The mass dance will be before a capacity crowd at Wembley Stadium for the big annual Saracens ‘derby’ rugby match.

The 60 strong Yorkshire contingent going to Wembley, rehearsing with a dance coach from Proex, which currently holds the Guiness book record for mass dance, in the Kirklands Community Centre on Sunday morning.

The 60 strong Yorkshire contingent going to Wembley, rehearsing with a dance coach from Proex, which currently holds the Guiness book record for mass dance, in the Kirklands Community Centre on Sunday morning.

The Menston class is this year celebrating 20 years in the village, run by ballet examiner Stephanie Clements who founded BTA. Other than in school holidays there are classes every Saturday morning for beginners and lower grades and Tuesday evening classes for more advanced, Grade 4 and above. The classes are usually listed under Events on this site. Many youngsters come to the Menston classes from elsewhere in the Bradford area and asked why they say: “It’s fun but we work to get our grades”; “We get opportunities like this dancing at Wembley which we would not get anywhere else”; “We make friends outside of where we live”; “There is great camaraderie in this class and always support from the others”.

Free ‘thank you’ concert

Not to be missed is a concert with the Harrogate Male Voice Choir on Saturday 16th April, 7.30pm, at the Methodist Church Hall on Main Street. It has been arranged by the Menston Action Group as, the group says, a thank you to the people of Menston for their support. It’s free, including refreshments.

Menston Show, Menston ballet students in Giselle, strawberry tea with Menston in Bloom and still places for the Summer Ball or for elderly to enjoy iPads with youngsters

Run up to the 40th Menston Village Show has begun; all the details are now on this website, with a few new classes for entry. The Show box in the right hand column, clicking it will take you to all the details, will be a permanent feature on the site from now until Show day, 12 September.

The second session of the ‘eggs2iPads‘ project is at The Menstone club on Thursday tea-time. If you know an elderly, potentially isolated villager who would enjoy this weekly meeting with some great teenagers, get in touch either by email to menston.village.wharfedale@gmail.com or phone Jane Pratt of Menston Cares on 876945

Menston ballet students in Giselle

Niamh ? and April ? who will be dancing in Giselle on Friday and Saturday evenings

Niamh Cater and April Lever who will be dancing in Giselle on Friday and Saturday evenings

Three superb events on Saturday this week. First, Menston ballet class students Niamh Cater, 13, and April Lever, 11, will be dancing in Giselle with the English Youth Ballet at St George’s Hall on both Friday and Saturday evenings. Niamh is also  Ballet Scholar with the British Ballet Organization. Unfortunately another two Menston students invited to dance in the production had to pull out because of GCSE exams. For more information on the ballet weekly sessions at the Kirklands Community Centre email Stephanie at menston@btapacademy.co.uk.

Strawberry tea and plant sale

Saturday afternoon is an occasion to go for a strawberry tea with Menston in Bloom and pick up a few plants for the garden; let’s hope the weather is kinder than last year for this annual fund-raising event. Tea will be served between 2pm and 4pm at 23 Park Road. Entry, which includes the strawberry tea, is £2.50. Children are free and there will be creative table activities for them.

Summer Ball

Hattie Barnes

Hattie Barnes

A good way to round off Saturday will be to don the gladrags and go to the Summer Ball  on 6th June evening at the Craiglands Hotel, Ilkley. There are still some tickets for this grand black tie event, staged by Menston charity Angels for Children, which raises money to help rebuild schools in the Philippines destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan. From 7.30pm till late, the ticket price of £25 includes a two course dinner, there’s a live band for dancing and the evening will be opened by talented Menston musician Hattie Barnes. For tickets call Beth Street on 0771 978 5986 or for more information on the charity go to  http://www.angelsforchildren.org.uk.

Cooking fun for kids – English picnic theme

Planning a picnic? Let the kids do the work after a session with Mighty Chefs at Menston Cricket Club from 10.00am to 12.00 noon. This coming Saturday’s session has an English picnic theme. Contact http://www.mightychefs.co.uk

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.

Business Association meeting postponed; still time for Menston pantomime; WW1 battlefields tour

The meeting of the Menston Business Association, scheduled for 26 February, has been postponed – new date to be confirmed – until Chair Christine North has recovered sufficiently from recent surgery.

We all wish Christine a rapid recovery.

Troupe of dancers from Menston ballet/dancing classes at Kirklands. Details of classes under 'Events'

Troupe of dancers from the regular Menston ballet/dancing classes at Kirklands, performing for the first time in the Menston pantomime. Details of classes under ‘Events’

Still time to see the panto

Opening night for this year’s panto was last night – Thursday – but there are still three opportunities to take in this Menston tradition. Staged by Menston Thespians, there are performances at 7.15pm on Friday and Saturday and a 2.00pm matinee on Saturday.

It’s at the Kirklands Community Centre. Tickets are £8, children £6, available by phoning 01943 872016 or 01943874855

Poppy picture with annotation 'Lest we forget'WW1 battlefields tour

There are still a few places left on the Menston tour of the WW1 battlefields in September. For six days from 13 to 18 September, there will be specialist guides and participants will be staying at the Novotel Ypres, a few minutes walk from the Menin Gate. The cost of the tour is £499, a £50 deposit being required at booking. To book or for more information contact either Judith Knaggs (david@timewarpband.co.uk) or Dale Smith (dale.smith@bradford.gov.uk).

Pantomime; Dr Who visits Menston; Queen at St Mary’s; another community site for Menston; Philip Davies joins Leeds MPs in housing protest

Poster advertising Menston Aladdin pantomime 19-21 FebruaryPanto week  – Aladdin – this week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and an afternoon matinee on Saturday. More details, including how to get tickets, under Events. For the first time this year there will be dancers from the ballet classes held in Kirklands on Tuesday afternoon/evenings and Saturday mornings; more details of these classes too in ‘Events‘, where they are listed. For the classes, contact menston@btapacademy.co.uk.

Apologies for the confusing times/dates for the panto in the ‘Imminent events’ on the right. It’s a Google thing. When Menston organisations do not send in details an event might be put in without a time; Google then decides it’s midnight. When the actual time is subsequently known, no way of deleting the ‘midnight performance’ has yet been found.

Another useful community site for Menston?

Have you seen the new Streetlife community site which has a page for the area “local to Menston” (www.streetlife.com)? It seems to aim to serve the same purpose as the ‘Menston village group’ on Facebook but it could be very useful for people who dislike Facebook intensely so do not go on it. You just sign up and say what area you are interested in. It doesn’t seem to understand that Menston and Guiseley are quite different so you get some Guiseley stuff when looking for Menston, but it’s a small price to pay. Recent items included someone looking for a lost cat, someone wanting to know where they could get tickets for the panto, some give-aways, and objections to the new proposal for a wind turbine.

Preserve us from even larger local authorities!

We are aware of course that the battle to preserve a way of life in Menston is not unique and the problems with large local authorities are not confined to Bradford. Aireborough MPs took up the issue recently in the House of Commons, among them our own MP Philip Davies: http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?id=2015-02-03a.49.1 The complaints about Leeds City Council – from ignored to ignorance – sound only too familiar.

Grumpytyke says: Do we believe that creating even larger regional authorities, as proposed for ‘the north’ or Yorkshire, will bring more “local decision making”. Of course it will not; it will just mean more jobs for would-be politicians. What we need is real local decision making, ie, when the people of Menston vote overwhelmingly against a proposal which they know very well will destroy their village, it should not be over-ruled by some regional authority like Bradford, let alone one for ‘Yorkshire’. What we need is more power for the Parish Council; if it had power then capable people would stand for election to it, people would vote for them, and we would have true ‘local decision making’. As it is, I suspect that the forthcoming Parish Council elections will be ignored by most residents, as past ones have so the PC just re-elects itself.

Menston schools in pre-holiday energy

Pictures at the end; click any one to see them larger as a slide show

Menston schools pulled the stops out in the period leading up to half term. On the back of excellent GCSE etc results St. Mary’s rightly proclaimed their success with a “We are outstanding” banner across the front of the school. However, it’s not only about excellent results in the classroom or producing the right ticks for Ofsted, but the excellence carried through into another of the school’s superb shows ‘ ‘We will rock you’, based on the songs of Queen.

Meanwhile, Menston Primary was busy hosting an important guest, none other than Dr Who, who arrived to a red and orange goo-spattered playground in Tardis. Ominously, a Dalek arrived too (but the school is still there!). Dr Who was interested to hear what was ‘interesting’ about Menston, and the pupils were keen to tell him, having considered the question as part of their lessons. The parents have not been idle either, backing Menston in Bloom and Wharfedale Naturalists to create a willow tunnel in the school field.

10th anniversary for Menston in Bloom

Over the past ten years Menston in Bloom’s dedicated volunteers have planted bulbs, trees, shrubs and flowers throughout the village and been rewarded with awards in Yorkshire in Bloom and we have all benefitted from a beautiful village. The Yorkshire in Bloom judges will be visiting early in April so preparations must begin. The group’s first work party session is on Saturday, 21 February and you can meet up with them at 9.30am outside of Kirklands. If you cannot make that you can contact the group by email at menstoninbloom@gmail.com .

No Menston housing development decision yet; young dancers working hard for Menston panto; Menston ladies choir looking for singers

A large mural at Menston Primary Schoolwith some of the pupils who helped to create it

Children at Menston Primary School have been enjoying the mural they created before Christmas with Justin Leeming from Menston graphic design company JGL Design

No decision yet following the Leeds High Court hearing on 19 January at which Menston Action Group were asking for a Judicial Review for what the organisation claims are illegal actions by Bradford Council in granting permission for new housing development on Derry Hill in Menston. The hearing lasted all day and the judge indicated that he needed more time to study the submissions before making a judgement.

Some of the MAG members and other Menston residents at Menston Station on their way to the Leeds High Court where MAG is seeking a Judicial Review. They are displaying the poster warning potential house purchasers of the flood risk should houses be built on the proposed Derry Hill and Bingley Road sites

Some of the MAG members and other Menston residents at Menston Station on their way to the Leeds High Court where MAG was seeking a Judicial Review. They are displaying the poster warning potential house purchasers of the flood risk should houses be built on the proposed Derry Hill and Bingley Road sites. Click the picture to read the warning from Lord Smith, Chairman of the Environment Agency.

Dance treat promised at Menston panto

Youngsters from the Menston ballet/dance classes held weekly at the Kirklands Community Centre have been working hard for their appearance for the first time in the annual Menston pantomime (Aladdin, 19-21 February, see Events listing).

A tuesday evening class; older dancers with teacher Stephanie Clements who has choreographed the pantomime dance sequences

A tuesday evening class; older dancers with teacher Stephanie Clements who has choreographed the pantomime dance sequences. Lessons for little ones are on Saturday mornings

There were not enough youngsters from the Menston classes to make up both an older group and a group of ‘sunbeams’ so Stephanie Clements, who runs Bradford Theatre Arts (BTA) classes in other locations as well as Menston, is bringing some of the best dancers from these other classes too to take part. Beautiful dancing in the pre-Christmas BTA Show at the Bradford Playhouse (for some video clips click here) indicated the Menston audience is in for a treat. For more information on the classes go to http://bradfordtheatrearts.webs.com/  or phone Stephanie on 0798 671 3203.

Menston choir seeking altos and sopranos

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, Menston ladies choir, Ladies Please, is looking for more singers to join them, specifically they are seeking two altos and two sopranos. The choir would welcome any lady who loves to sing; the ability to read music is not an absolute criterion although it would help; the choir does have some ladies who sing ‘by ear’.

Some of the Ladies Please members with the musical director, reader for a concert

Some of the Ladies Please members with the musical director, Arnold Boddy, ready for a concert

The choir meets weekly on Thursday evenings to rehearse in the Fairfax Club, Main Street, Menston from 7.30pm. Musical Director is Arnold Boddy, who formed the choir, and the choir is supported at some rehearsals and at all concerts by accompanist, Mike Nicholas.

Performances are mainly to support the raising of funds for a charity or to bring entertainment to those who can no longer get out and about; although the choir meets private requests from time to time such as singing at weddings. They mainly perform in the Wharfedale and Bradford area. Charities are encouraged to get in touch if they would like the choir to come and support your event. There is no charge and over the years Ladies Please has helped raise about £10,000 for a number of different charities, most recently The Children’s Society.

As this year is the choir’s 10th anniversary it is hoping to have a special Gala Concert. Watch this site for details when available.

Any ladies possibly interested in joining the choir can contact the secretary via the website: www.ladiespleasechoir.org

A taster for the Menston panto – Aladdin. Ballet by Menston youngsters

A foretaste of what is to come in the Menston panto (at the Kirklands Community Centre in March), which this year is Aladdin. Dancing in the 2015 show is to be choreographed by the teacher who has been turning Menston youngsters into superb dancers for the past 20 years at Kirklands – Stephanie Clements of Bradford Theatre Arts. Make sure you get your tickets early – it’s always a sell out.

Chorus in performance of 'A Christmas Carol' by  Bradford Theatre Arts at the Bradford Playhouse, December 2014

The picture and short video clips here are a little bit of Christmas from some talented Menston pupils who, along with other Bradford Theatre Arts dance pupils from other parts of Bradford, presented a wonderful show based on the Charles Dickens favourite A Christmas Carol at the New Bradford Playhouse at the end of last week. Here’s a taster.

A joyful Christmas dance

Talented Menston dance pupils

More clips and pictures from the show will be posted on grumpytyke’s personal blog sometime over the holiday period.

Another Christmas present?

Front cover of Menston history booklet 'The Laundry Whites'Another late Menston Christmas present idea to add to the list in the previous post, suggested by Cllr Dale Smith.

A reprint of a booklet by Michael Ayrton recalling the days of White’s Laundry, another valuable part of Menston history. It’s available from Village News at £15.