Tag Archives: village shops

Car Show with terriers, a Menston teashop, charity concert at St Mary’s, and a Tiger tank

Rockyracing2There’ll not only be four and two wheeled speed machines at the first Biennial Menston Vehicle Show on Bank Holiday Monday, 5 May, but some four-legged speedsters too as Terrier Racing comes to the village.

Anyone with a terrier, of any shape or size, is invited to come along and take part in the fun at 1.30pm at the Malt Shovel in the village centre. There will be rosettes and doggy toys and treats to be won.

The one to beat is Rocky, who lives in Menston, shown in the picture racing at the Nidderdale Show. It is understood that he has not been beaten in four years!

Tea shop in Menston

Tickled teapot cafeThe show will also be an opportunity to sample something else new, the new tea shop (now how right for Menston is that?). Named ‘The tickled teapot’, it will be open on the day serving not only tea (in teapots!) but lovely cakes, even things like panninis with salad, and it has a proper Italian espresso machine if you prefer coffee. If the weather’s good you can sit outside. It’s just off Main Street in Croft Park, where the greengrocer used to be until recently.

Plenty of other places will be open for refreshments of all kinds, including Solo at the top of the village, the Village Bakery right in the centre and, of course, the pubs and clubs.

Fab concert at St Mary’s

The Leeds Youth Jazz and Rock Orchestra, choir and musicians from St. Mary’s Menston and Benton Park high schools, should make for a great evening at 7.00pm on Friday 9 May at the Menston high school. Paying homage to Nelson Mandela in the ‘Spirit of Madiba’, the concert is to raise money for the school’s great Bambisanani project in South Africa. Details on how to get tickets are in the Events listing for 9 May.

Tiger tank

Menston’s Victorian drains meant ruling out a full-size tank at the Vehicle Show, though one was offered, but there’s a fascinating alternative: a 1/10th scale fully working model of a German Tiger tank. It doesn’t fire shells from its turret-mounted gun, just puffs of smoke, so there’s no need for St John’s Ambulance, though they will be at the show. The tank will most likely be outside the Menston Arms, together with the small classic cars and the Black Forest fairground organ.

All the details

For more details of the show, which takes place at various locations around the village from 11.00am, click the special Vehicle Show page here or the Show poster in the right sidebar.


Menston businesses buy local campaign backed by Philip Davies MP

Menston’s member of Parliament, Philip Davies MP, has offered support for the ‘buy local’ campaign to be launched by the recently constituted group of Menston local businesses (see minutes of the first meeting of the group in a newly created section on this site: click the ‘Menston Shop Local Campaign’ button at the top of the right sidebar).

Christine in her businesses woman role; at her desk at the The Studio, Menston

Christine in her businesses woman role; at her desk at the The Studio, Menston

Christine Minchella, who runs The Studio, Menston Pilates and fitness business and who called the first meeting of the group, met the MP on Friday 25 April at his invitation to discuss how he might help. This followed publicity about the group on this site and in the three local papers – the Wharfedale Observer, the Wharfe Valley Times and the Telegraph & Argus.

Christine said after the meeting: “Philip Davies was very supportive and told me of the local business survey he had carried out in Menston as part of a wider survey across his constituency. The major problems identified by Menston businesses in this survey were parking and the high level of rates“.

Among the offers of help was the possible use of the MP’s volunteers to distribute Menston businesses publicity material when they were distributing his information leaflets etc in Menston.

Christine also discussed with the MP the possibility of opening up the direct road from the High Royds development to Bingley Road, Menston, to better integrate the High Royds community with Menston village. At the moment the necessity for them to go via the A65 inevitably diverts them to Guiseley.

Philip Davies supporting local business in Bingley - a new look shop opening in January this year (T&A photo)

Philip Davies supporting local business in Bingley – a new look shop opening in January this year (T&A photo)

Following the meeting, Philip Davies told this ‘blog’: “I warmly welcome this new Shop Local campaign in Menston.  Local shops are a key part of the local community, and it is therefore essential for local people to use them to allow them to survive and flourish.  I hope this campaign will help people appreciate and support the wide range of local businesses that are available in Menston.”

The next meeting of the group, at which it is hoped a name for the group and next actions will be decided, is at 6.30pm on Wednesday 14 May in the upstairs room of the The Fox pub on Bradford Road. The campaign is not just about shops but about raising awareness and support for all the 70 or so businesses based in Menston (see lists under the ‘Businesses’ menu) so representatives of any Menston business are very welcome to attend and give their views (contact details for more information in the ‘Events’ listing for 14 May).

What do you think, as either a Menston business or a resident, of the campaign? Any comments on or suggestions for the local businesses group will be welcome. Use the comment box below.


Four immediate actions as Menston businesses come together; outcomes of Menston Community Association 2 April meeting

Menston local business representatives came together on Friday evening to explore ways of encouraging support by the village community. With representatives of the Menston Community Association (MCA) and two Councillors present, the meeting agreed on some immediate measures, learned of the proposed MCA ‘Village Information Centre’ project and agreed another meeting on Wednesday 30 April to take things forward and to agree on a name for the grouping.

A rough idea of the kind of community information board envisaged in the MCA Village Information Centre project, incorporating areas for a village map showing places of interest, walks and local businesses, an area to publicise community organisations and their activities, and an area for official MCA communications.

A rough idea of the kind of community information board envisaged in the MCA Village Information Centre project, incorporating areas for a village map showing places of interest, walks and local businesses, an area to publicise community organisations and their activities, and an area for official MCA communications.

Use it or lose it

Ideas from a bag carrying a stark ‘Use it or lose it’ message to local business ‘fayres’ were proposed and discussed at the initial ‘exploratory’ meeting of local business representatives on Friday evening. Coordinated by local business woman Christine Minchella, the meeting – which attracted 18 people – was held at her premises, The Studio, in Cleasby Road. Snacks were provided by Solo delicatessen and catering.

Introductions. The meeting began with each business introducing itself, this demonstrating the range of business activities in the village, from tradesmen like plumbers and electricians to graphic artists, an estate agent, printers and, of course, shops and pubs.

By the end of the evening four short-term concrete actions had been agreed:

  • a simple listing of local businesses in the forthcoming MCA ‘Menston News’ publication (due in May). Roger Livesey agreed to make the listing he had compiled for the business listings on this web site available in an accessible form
  • another meeting, to take things forward, on Wednesday 30 April (venue etc will be posted on this site when known)
  • production of some kind of flyer promoting support of local businesses. Investigation of how to distribute such a flyer effectively
  • to seek ideas for a name for the loose ‘confederation’ of local Menston businesses proposed, for discussion at the next meeting

MCA ‘Village Information Centre’: Sue Rix explained the intention of the MCA ‘Village Information Centre’ on which she and Roger Livesey had been working in a small MCA working group with other ad hoc members. We were very fortunate in having a skilled cartographer in the village, Alison Manson, who was working on production of a detailed village map, Sue said. Sue was currently seeking permission from the landlords, Bradford Council, to erect the board outside the library, alongside the Parish Council notice board. It was hoped that eventually this central information point would be supplemented by other information boards around the village.

Would local business people be willing to pay to appear on the Village Information Centre board(s)? Representatives of local businesses are invited to say by making a ‘comment’ below (anonymously if you wish).

The meeting discussed the success of the Burley and District Chamber of Trade, which had some Menston business members. However, it was felt that Menston needed its own grouping on a similar basis although this could perhaps become affiliated with the Burley group in some way suggested Cllr Dale Smith. MCA Chairman Steve Ellams said that the MCA was now a member of the Burley organisation.

Ombudsman enquiry into Bingley Road development – MCA meeting

The Local Authority Ombudsman seems to be having further thoughts following the initial dismissive response. The Ombudsman now says that  the material about the flooding and drainage evidence and witness statement from  Prof Rhodes had never been received from MCA Chairman Steve Ellams. This prompted an intervention from Philip Davies MP.

It had been pointed out that the planning panel had never seen the evidence statement by Prof Rhodes yet in the Ombudsman report so far it is stated they had seen all they required to make an informed judgement!

Bradford Core Strategy draft. The April MCA meeting was told that the Parish Council had produced their Bradford representation, 22 statements which, says Steve Ellams, is good. Alan Elsegood sent others and Dr Ellams sent a representation on behalf of the MCA. There have also be submissions from WARD and Phil Moore sent one for the Menston Action Group.

Cllr Dale Smith introduced some suggestions for the commemoration of the First World War and a meeting has been arranged for Monday 14th April at the Methodist church, 7.30pm, to discuss.

Car Show. A full update on the Menston Vehicle Show is expected in the very near future and will be featured here when available.

Menston village: battle won, Bradford MDC war continues; call to support local shops; save the Children’s Centre; St Mary’s pupils continue to inspire

Chloe Tindale, one of two St Mary's Menston pupils who met Prince William at a Diana Award 'Inspire Day, with Zulu children in South Africa earlier this year

Chloe Tindale, one of two St Mary’s Menston pupils who met Prince William at a Diana Award ‘Inspire Day’, with Zulu children in South Africa earlier this year. Follow the link at the bottom of this post for the full story.

Menston villagers have been celebrating one important battle won to keep the character of our lovely Wharfedale village and its surrounding countryside: the plan to erect a gigantic wind turbine behind High Royds, twice the height of the iconic clock tower there, was refused permission. The fight against development on the Derry Hill and Bingley Road sites, which apart from destroying the character of our village would lead to more flooding and increased sewerage flowing down the street, according to the best expert evidence, continues.

Steve Ellams, Roger Livesey and Alan Elsegood make the case with banners and T-shirts outside City Hall before Steve's presentation

Chairman of the Menston Community Association Steve Ellams, left, with Secretary Alan Elsegood and Menston resident Roger Livesey (centre) outside City Hall before Steve’s presentation of a petition signed by members of communities in Wharfedale whose representatives joined the Menston team inside the Council Chamber for the presentation

It is understood that the Parish Council intends to reply to the dreadful letter received from Cllr Warburton, the letter being greeted with disgust and disbelief at the Menston Community Association meeting on Wednesday 4 December.

Poster for 'Save our Greenbelt'


Click here to read the presentation ‘Save our Greenbelt’ given to the full Bradford Council on Tuesday 10 December by Steve Ellams, Chairman of the Menston Community Association.


Support local shops

The need to support local shops and businesses was an important topic at the meeting and a suggestion of the need for some kind of campaign was greeted with approval. Parish Cllr Sue Rix said that there was an urgent need for more, and more suitable, notice boards around the village, promoting local business being one function of them; this suggestion was greeted with approval. Among comments from the floor was “Why people pay more for inferior produce when our local greengrocer brings fresh from the market every morning is beyond me”. Another said they were glad to buy meat there, supplied from Burley.

A Menston Christmas celebration next year?

A suggestion from the floor was that there was a need to set up small working groups to move forward this and other projects proposed, among them a village Christmas celebration event based around better Christmas lights next year. Comments from villagers that “It is really upsetting that I have to go to another village for such an event when we used to have one in Menston” were related from the floor.

MCA Chairman Steve Ellams said that there would be a ‘bucket collection’ at next year’s Menston Car Show (note the countdown to it on the right has now reached 4 months!) and funds raised would go towards the Christmas event.

Fighting children’s centre closure

Another important battle being mounted is against the closure of the Menston and Burley Children’s Centre, with its magnificent ‘new’ facility behind Menston library. A petition is circulating and available to sign in shops around the village.

St Mary’s inspire

More inspiring news continues to come out of the excellent high school in the village, St Mary’s, from excellence in sport to meetings with Prince William. Read about it on a page giving more details.

Menston businesses back James Bond night for Callum; house builders ignore planning conditions elsewhere in Bradford

The James Bond Casino Night, to support former St Mary’s Menston pupil Callum Hall in his fight to overcome the paralysis caused by stepping on a sea urchin, is now only two weeks away. It’s at the High Royds Social Club on 30 November.

James Bond silhouette

Menston businesses have given support, as have some in Guiseley, among them so far being:

  • Diva Hair Design,
  • Menston Fruit & Veg
  • Beauty Boutique
  • Peppermint Studio
  • Small Print
  • Sotheby Swim School
  • Rococo Boutique Spa
  • Outside the Box Personal Training
  • Charlotte Montague Solicitor
  • Wiseman’s Bakery Ltd
  • Nuffield Health
  • The Fox
  • Morrisons

Organiser Kate Sotheby says it’s still not too late to make a donation and she’s still looking for a main event sponsor to maximise the money which will go to Callum. Drop her an email at  kate_events@aol.co.uk .

Tickets, £10, can also be reserved by emailing Kate or bought from the Menston Post Office. Dress is ‘formal’; there will be a ‘Fizz’ reception, red carpet, pay to play casino, live music, DJ, bar and prize for the ‘Most glamorous guest’.

Builder not stopped from building despite contravening planning conditions

Picture of Menston Action Group supporter wearing his MAG campaigning T-shirt on the way up to Mt Everest

Derry Hill when the developers get at it? No, not enough water around! Menston Action Group supporter making his case on the way up to Mt Everest two years ago.

According to a report in Friday’s Telegraph & Argus, Bradford Council said that since receiving an ‘enforcement notice’ a building company which had started construction in Wilsden, in contravention of planning conditions, had “agreed to resolve the issues”. So, the council said, it would not stop construction. 

Harron Homes was given planning permission to build 82 houses on a greenfield site in April, despite strong local opposition from residents, ward councillors and MP Philip Davies. Sounds familiar?

Click to see the Telegraph & Argus report

So, it seems that Bradford Council do not require developers to meet planning conditions, but only to say that they will. The planning conditions for the Wilsden site were – you’ve guessed it – about drainage and flooding!

‘Buy Local’ for Menston?

The first of occasional contributions from grumpytyke

Is Menston following the trend and seeing more and more people buying at local independent shops and buying less at the big supermarkets? I know of one or two Menston residents who are.

The Ilkley Business Forum is organising a ‘Buy Local’ event in November, recently inviting shops in Ilkley to back it by joining the forum. Chair of the forum, Vera Woodhead, says that the same initiative may be repeated in other areas within the LS29 postal area, including Menston.

However, good though this initiative is, going to shop in Ilkley – which has the benefit of a large number of ‘tourist’ visitors – isn’t going to keep the shops in Menston viable. Couldn’t the shops in our village get together and drum up a similar initiative? Maybe the ones which are part of large organisations – the Coop and Londis – could put some money into it.

As far as food is concerned, we have an independent bakery, greengrocer and delicatessen, but for how much longer if they are not sufficiently patronised?

Menston viilage delicatessen Solo

Menston village Fruit and Vegetable shopMenston village bakery shopWouldn’t it be good to add a butcher? Only a couple of weeks ago I was suggesting to Binns in Bradford market, who have a shop in Saltaire which sells the same excellent quality meat at a much, much higher price, that they open a butcher shop in Menston. If they did it would have to be more expensive than in Bradford city, I was told.

Of course! To some extent pricing is a matter of turnover so local independent shops have to charge more. But if they are well patronised then the prices can be pitched  a little lower. Having said that, avoiding the inconvenience of going into Bradford or Leeds (and the unpleasantness of the former), or even Guiseley, is worth a premium. And don’t forget the three excellent Menston free-range egg producers, whose prices compare very favourably with ‘similar’ (but nowhere near as tasty!) eggs from the supermarkets.

While on the subject of ‘shopping local’ I am wondering whether the long-promised new ‘official’ website for the village is being developed by a company in Exeter – just about as ‘unlocal’ as you could get. I could be wrong as the situation seems very confusing. Googling Menston brings up two sites – menston.org and menstonvillage.org. Is the menstonvillage, which looks very similar to the ‘old’ one, the new one? There’s no explanation on either site. However, if the new site is being developed way down south, much as I like Devon I’m not sure they can really cotton on to a Yorkshire culture.

I’m not suggesting that the authors of menstonvillagewharfedale.com should have done it – I know they wouldn’t have wanted to – but there are many excellent fairly local web development companies; I’m not aware of any in Menston (send info for this site’s business list if there are!) but there are certainly many within Yorkshire.

Although I’m concerned about the truly independent village shops, the Coop and Londis should be patronised too, of course, but it’s the independents who have to rely totally on their own efforts, do not benefit from any bulk buying and couldn’t invest the close on half  a million the Coop spent on its recent refit which really need our support.

So, let’s patronise our local shop keepers, especially the independent ones, and other local businesses; they are part of what makes Menston, Menston.