Tag Archives: grumpytyke

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).
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IPad project to support Menston elderly off to a good start, as is cheese club

Five of the 'teaching' team

The eggs2iPads project got off to a great start on Thursday evening at The Menstone club in Farnley Road; five enthusiastic, elderly ‘students’ turned up thanks to Menston Cares, which brought them, and the idea that this first session would be just a ‘get-to-know-you’ social occasion was quickly put aside. With the special welcome cake, from the Village Bakery of course, tea, coffee and other drinks consumed, iPads were quickly turned on and ‘teaching’ began.

The six strong teaching team, Adam (France), Hattie (Barnes), Joe (Woollin), Luke (Guzder), Sam (Craske) and Shaun (Street) were soon hard at work solving questions on the iPads and, sometimes, on other tablets brought by some of the students – Dorothy, Janet, Jean, John and Pat – and some supporters. The young team all attend local schools, St Mary’s Menston, Guiseley School and Bradford Grammar School. All are members of Menston’s Explorer Scouts.

Apart from the volunteer drivers who brought the elderly people, thanks are due to Menston Community Association members Sue Rix and Tony JointMenston Cares Chair and Officer Jane Pratt and Sue Lee, and Beth Street, who came to support, and Petronela Prisca who temporarily joined the ‘teaching team’ with her iPad 2 and iPad Mini 3.

Project 'logo' on T-shirts worn by the 'eggs2iPads' team, showing a photo of eggs on an iPad

Project ‘logo’ on T-shirts worn by the ‘eggs2iPads’ team

One question resolved was “Where do the eggs come in?”, the long project title being ‘Teaching grandmother, from eggs to iPads‘ (see below – surprisingly many had not heard the saying).

A fine evening of Yorkshire cheeses

First meeting of Wharfedale Fine Cheeses Cheese club at the Menstone. Jeremy Benn or the left of the table, Caroline Bell on the right

First meeting of Wharfedale Fine Cheeses Cheese Club at The Menstone. Jeremy Benn on the left of the table, Caroline Bell on the right. 10kg of Shepherd’s Purse cheeses behind.

The Menstone was also the venue later the same day for the first meeting of Wharfedale Fine Cheeses‘ Cheese Club, hosted by Jeremy Benn, founder of the local company. A packed downstairs at the club tucked in to about 10kg of cheese from Shepherd’s Purse cheeses of Thirsk following a great introduction from Caroline Bell, daughter of founder Judith Bell. Caroline gave a good explanation of the differences between the different blues, comparing them to well-known French creations like Roquefort.


For another approach to the above stories see the grumpytyke blog.


 

Don’t try to teach your Grandma to suck eggs (from www.phrases.org.uk)
Don’t offer advice to someone who has more experience than oneself.
These days this proverbial saying has little impact as few people have any direct experience of sucking eggs – grandmothers included (This may be true in the UK but is certainly not true in Romania where egg shells are decorated for Easter and many ‘suck eggs’- Editor).
It is quite an old phrase and is included in John Stevens’ translation of Quevedo’s Comical Works, 1707: “You would have me teach my Grandame to suck Eggs.”

Mother’s Day – Village Bakery treats; get your event/activity listed in new Menston community magazine – deadline now; nominate some remarkable Menston women

It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday (15th) so if you have not yet experienced the smiling welcome from new proprietor Patricia (Trish), and her delicious cakes, at the Village Bakery in the village centre, now’s your chance.

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Trish has made an enticing shop window display and has various gifts including a ‘Make your own – cookies in a jar’ kit, or there’s a ‘Cupcake in a cup and saucer’. Or just pick up a selection of cakes from those on display, or a pot of special jam.

If you want to order (drop in or phone 01943 874963) a special cake you can pick it up on the Sunday morning, up to 12.30 (or before Sunday of course), or maybe you’d like to take Mum for a sandwich, cake and a coffee.

You can even drop in and Trish will decorate a cake for you while you wait, though clearly it’s better to order in advance.

This entrepreneural mother (she’s recently added this, her first business, to caring for the family) was mentioned in yesterday’s post. As this was marking International Women’s Day, the bulk of that post is being reproduced below.

Deadline for April/May events

Another reminder, the deadline for getting events in the listing in the April edition of the new community magazine covering Menston is this coming Thursday – 12 March. Send details of events in April/May, and even further ahead, to roger.at.itb@gmail.com.

New Menston community magazine

The magazine was launched by two female entrepreneurs with two other women, all mothers and all from Haworth, so as last Sunday was International Women’s Day it’s a good reason to post a little more about the venture but also make some attempt in this post to acknowledge some of the remarkable women of Menston – volunteers and entrepreneurs. Let down by Royal Mail at the last minute, the March magazine was not distributed as widely in Menston as intended but the next edition should be delivered to every house in early April. For more about the Haworth team pictured below go to http://grumpytyke.com.

The team which has brought a new community magazine to Menston. Left to Right: Louise Atkinson, partner and graphic designer, Cathy Frobisher , Office Manager, Janet-Alison Arkwright , Partner and 'Sales Contributor', and Andrea Kerman, Sales Person, at the reception in their offices in Haworth, each holding the first edition of the new magazine.

The all-female team which has brought a new community magazine to Menston. Left to Right: Louise Atkinson, partner and graphic designer, Cathy Frobisher , Office Manager, Janet-Alison Arkwright , Partner and ‘Sales Contributor’; Andrea Kerman, Sales Person. In their office in Haworth.

The Menston community is nourished by a wide range of women residents, both volunteers and entrepreneureal business women. They are not all known to the webmaster of this site but if you know of any who have been overlooked in the list below (which is in no particular order) feel free to add them using the ‘Comment’ box at the bottom of this post.

Some Menston women

Sue Rix, Menston’s only woman Parish Councillor (maybe that can be rectified in the forthcoming PC elections: nominate someone) and involved in many village projects and activities

Sue Richmond, Chair of the Menston Village Show Committee, volunteer at Cornerstone and proprietor of the Bleach Mill B&B

Elizabeth Loy, former teacher at Prince Henry’s school, member of the Menston Village Show committee, teaches crafts and involved in other activities

Christine North, founder and Chairperson of the Menston Business Association, runs The Studio, Pilates and Fitness.

Charlotte Leeming, Menston’s own TV ‘celebrity’ and, in the opinion of many, one of the two best presenters on BBC Look North.

Charlotte Montague, Solicitor specialising in services to Menston’s elderly population who, with Jalna Jenkins, also helps to stage the occasional  film shows at the Methodist church. Jalna is also involved in other church activities, including those for young people.

Patricia (Trish) Heeney, new proprietor of the Village Bakery, added to her other job of caring for family, including two children.

Menston Cares female volunteers, too many to mention individually but ensuring Menston’s elderly are supported in many different ways.

Jenna Wood, who runs Sunday teas for the elderly as Menston Coordinator for Contact the Elderly.

Rachel Holder, runs her own Human Resources business in Menston, Purple Frog, and is Co-Chair of the Friends of Menston Primary School.

Rev Ruth Yeoman, vicar at the Menston Parish Church

Zandra Monroe-Cochrane, Secretary of the Menston Business Association who runs the new Railway Children children’s centre at Menston railway station; formerly ran Cleasby Kindercare.

Kalyani Dakini, who runs the Meditation Centre in Cleasby Road.

Beth Street, involved in several youth activities but very active raising money to rebuild a school destroyed by typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The latest is the Soul Night at the Kirklands Community Centre on 21 March. A repeat of the very popular similar event last year.

There are many more remarkable women living in or contributing to community life in Menston. Please add any more you know of using the comment box below (or click ‘Leave a comment’ if you’re on the home page).

Reminders: Neighbourhood Forum; new community magazine Menston events/activities listing deadline; celebrate Menston women

The Neighbourhood Forum, now run by the Parish Council, is this evening (Tuesday 10 March); a reminder, though it’s been in the Events listing here for while. Another reminder, the deadline for getting events in the listing in the April edition of the new community magazine covering Menston is this coming Thursday – 12 March. Send details of events in April/May, and further ahead, to roger.at.itb@gmail.com.

Start of the Menston section of the new community magazine 'It's the business', which covers LS29

Start of the Menston section of the new community magazine ‘It’s the business’, which covers LS29

The magazine was launched by two female entrepreneurs with two other women, all mothers and all from Haworth, so as last Sunday was International Women’s Day it’s a good reason to post a little more about the venture but also make some attempt in this post to acknowledge some of the remarkable women of Menston – volunteers and entrepreneurs. Let down by Royal Mail at the last minute, the March magazine was not distributed as widely in Menston as intended but the next edition should be delivered to every house in early April. For more about the Haworth team go to http://grumpytyke.com.

The team which has brought a new community magazine to Menston. Left to Right: Louise Atkinson, partner and graphic designer, Cathy Frobisher , Office Manager, Janet-Alison Arkwright , Partner and 'Sales Contributor', and Andrea Kerman, Sales Person, at the reception in their offices in Haworth, each holding the first edition of the new magazine.

The all-female team which has brought a new community magazine to Menston. Left to Right: Louise Atkinson, partner and graphic designer, Cathy Frobisher , Office Manager, Janet-Alison Arkwright , Partner and ‘Sales Contributor’; Andrea Kerman, Sales Person. In their office in Haworth.

The Menston community is nourished by a wide range of women residents, both volunteers and entrepreneureal business women. They are not all known to the webmaster of this site but if you know of any who have been overlooked in the list below (which is in no particular order) feel free to add them using the ‘Comment’ box at the bottom of this post.

Some Menston women

Sue Rix, Menston’s only woman Parish Councillor (maybe that can be rectified in the forthcoming PC elections: nominate someone) and involved in many village projects and activities

Sue Richmond, Chair of the Menston Village Show Committee, volunteer at Cornerstone and proprietor of the Bleach Mill B&B

Elizabeth Loy, former teacher at Prince Henry’s school, member of the Menston Village Show committee, teaches crafts and involved in other activities

Christine North, founder and Chairperson of the Menston Business Association, runs The Studio, Pilates and Fitness.

Charlotte Leeming, Menston’s own TV ‘celebrity’ and, in the opinion of many, one of the two best presenters on BBC Look North.

Charlotte Montague, Solicitor specialising in services to Menston’s elderly population who, with Jalna Jenkins, also helps to stage the occasional  film shows at the Methodist church. Jalna is also involved in other church activities, including those for young people.

Patricia (Trish) Heeney, new proprietor of the Village Bakery, added to her other job of caring for family, including two children.

Menston Cares female volunteers, too many to mention individually but ensuring Menston’s elderly are supported in many different ways.

Jenna Wood, who runs Sunday teas for the elderly as Menston Coordinator for Contact the Elderly.

Rachel Holder, runs her own Human Resources business in Menston, Purple Frog, and is Co-Chair of the Friends of Menston Primary School.

Rev Ruth Yeoman, vicar at the Menston Parish Church

Zandra Monroe-Cochrane, Secretary of the Menston Business Association who runs the new Railway Children children’s centre at Menston railway station; formerly ran Cleasby Kindercare.

Kalyani Dakini, who runs the Meditation Centre in Cleasby Road.

Beth Street, involved in several youth activities but very active raising money to rebuild a school destroyed by typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The latest is the Soul Night at the Kirklands Community Centre on 21 March. A repeat of the very popular similar event last year.

There are many more remarkable women living in or contributing to community life in Menston. Please add any more you know of using the comment box below.

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 .

Chairman of Community Association resigns

SteveEllamsSteve Ellams, Chairman of the Menston Community Association (MCA), has tendered his resignation from the post with immediate effect in a letter to the committee circulated by email yesterday evening. You can see the text of the letter in full, published on the Menston Community Association section of this website, by clicking HERE (or click the MCA ‘button’ in the right sidebar).

grumpytyke says:

Steve has been a loud and effective voice in the battle to preserve for the Menston community what makes this village what the recently-formed Menston Business Association has said is ‘The best village in Yorkshire’.

It is no wonder that he is “exhausted mentally and physically” and it is time for someone else to step up to the plate.

Earlier this year I commented on the dearth of women and people from younger generations in both the committee running the MCA and in the Menston Parish Council (MPC). The Chairman and other officers of the MPC just last week re-elected themselves to their current positions.

With the high proportion of elderly people in the village it is certainly right that they are well represented in both the MCA and MPC, but the balance is not right: more younger people are needed. A higher proportion of women is also needed in the running of both these organisations, especially as they are largely responsible for the success of so many groups and charitable organisations in the village.

During the next few months there will be the opportunity to bring this about. The AGM of the MCA, with election of officers, is due in November this year, and there should be an election of the Parish Council in 2015. There will of course be objections to the latter – there is a financial cost and people have said that there is no-one willing to step up. But were they ever given the opportunity? Not as far as I can ascertain. It requires only 10 residents to request an election, and of course some people willing to be nominated. I find it difficult to believe that neither of these requirements can be met.

To add to the thought left by Steve at the end of his letter:

If the Menston community do nothing or always vote for what they’ve always voted for, they’ll always get what they’ve always had.

Unfortunately this is only true in some respects. Bradford Council is intent on taking away some of the things they’ve always had – their green fields for a start. 

 

A voting dilemma? Tory, Labour, LD or ‘dustpan’ not options for Menston says grumpytyke

In the week of the local and European elections, our columnist ‘grumpytyke’ faces a dilemma:

“In my opinion Menston has an excellent local MP in Philip Davies, the current Wharfedale Ward Councillor Dale Smith seems to have worked for the people of Menston, and the candidate Gerry Barker says he will do so if elected. So what is the over-riding reason that I cannot vote for the last named this week and the first named next year?

“It’s very simple: a vote for them is effectively a vote for David Cameron and ‘Concrete’ Boles. These two (ironically assisted by Labour Councillors in Bradford), despite their protestations to the contrary, are clearly intent on destroying for ever – for short-term gain – much of not only what makes the Yorkshire Dales loved by all of us who are fortunate enough to live here but many areas of beauty elsewhere in this green and pleasant land.

“Of course we need more houses; of course we need more affordable housing. However, building on our green fields and merging our unique individual communities is not necessary to achieve this. It is only necessary to maximise the profits of the developers, who have Cameron and Boles in their pockets as the two take the easiest option to recover the economy – maximise construction – and bow to the blackmail of ‘we won’t build if we’re forced to use brownfield sites’; of course they will but profits will be lower and the rich will get less richer.

“The thought of the UK economy managed by Ed Balls horrifies me, but any damage he could do would be temporary, repairable (as recovery, albeit painful, from the disaster created by his predecessors is demonstrating at the moment). Destruction of our green spaces will inevitably be permanent and future generations will rightly hold us here now to be guilty. As a resident of God’s own county I don’t want to have to answer to my celestial landlord. But the Labour party would clearly allow the planning nightmares to continue, and in Menston’s case are responsible for them, so representatives of this party are not an option.

“As for the Liberal Democrats, I did vote in their favour at the last general election but only because this was the best chance of unseating the sitting Labour Councillor in the Ward where I then lived; it worked. In general I do not like their general approach, which seems to me aimed at bringing everyone down to the lowest common denominator rather than striving to raise everyone to the best. So they are not an option.

“All the major political parties argue that we should vote for them at the local elections as the ‘team’ can be more effective than an individual (click the following link to see candidates’ Questions&Answers’). This has not been borne out by Menston’s experiences at the hands of BMDC.”

UKIP and the dustpan

“It’s tempting to vote UKIP this week in the European election to give Cameron a deserved boot up the backside but how can any sensible person vote for a party led by someone who demonstrates such gross ignorance by comments such as those last week about living next door to Romanians. The majority of Romanians who have come to this country are highly qualified, skilled professionals whose children are often at or near the top of their classes in their UK schools. Their English is usually excellent, often far better than that of their British colleagues (as is their numeracy). The exceptions, a very small minority, are usually Romanian gypsies (and let’s not go along with the idiocy of calling them ‘roma’ – even they do not like the term). But we shouldn’t tar all the gypsies with the same brush; there are skilled, hard-working, English-speaking contributors to our economy among them too and many who are not do not come, as claimed by Farage, to get benefits, but to work, often doing jobs which the complaining white British will not do.

“Another good reason to welcome the Romanians is their sense of humour which accords very well with the dry humour of us tykes. A reader of an article in the Romanian newspaper ‘Realitatea’ earlier this week comments “Nici eu n-asi vrea sa-l am vecin pe faras asta” which translates as “Nor would I want to have as a neighbour that dustpan” (faras, pronounciation in Romanian close to Farage = dustpan).

So this week I face a dilemma: who to vote for in the two elections as a resident of a village, county and country I love if I want what makes them great preserved for future generations. Any suggestions?

Whether you agree or disagree, feel free to comment on this post; comments are not censored in any way unless obscene or illegal.

– grumpytyke

PS. Did you see the letter from Steve Ellams in the Yorkshire Post last Saturday? In case not, I’m reproducing it here:

“You do not need to be a rocket scientist to understand why developers want more aid to develop contaminated brownfield sites (The Yorkshire Post, May 13). The only qualification necessary is good old fashioned comment sense.

“As a member of Menston Action Group and chairman of the Menston Community Association, along with the Wharfedale and Airedale Review Group, I have tirelessly campaigned to reiterate statements made by your Political Correspondent James Reed. One of the simplest ways to encourage regeneration, particularly inner cities like Bradford, would be to remove VAT on brownfield sites.

“The land banking currently demonstrated by developers should be banned and any planning consent, if not followed through within a short time limit should expire. The developer, under the current national planning guidelines, has now become the equivalent of the Mafia. We are still fighting the inappropriate planning consent on Bingley Road and Derry Hill after five years and over £140,000 of cost to the community. When will it end?”