Tag Archives: Wharfedale

Computers aren’t that clever when it comes to flooding

Emeritus Professor David Rhodes CBE FRS FREng

Emeritus Professor David Rhodes CBE FRS FREng

Professor David Rhodes told a packed house at the Kirklands Community Centre on Tuesday evening (more than 100 present) that Bradford MDC had given planning permission for housing developments on Derry Hill and Bingley Road on the basis of false information.

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The problem is that the computer model used by BMDC, and other local authorities, grossly underestimates the volume of water involved in the kind of weather events experienced in Menston recently. In the case of the January 2008 floods the volume of water was underestimated by an order of magnitude; in a later event the volume of water was about six times that predicted by the computer model. A member of the audience who seemed to have some knowledge of computer modelling seemed to confirm this, saying: “The computer model is inevitably wrong because it is working without sufficient data”.

WotWboxProfessor Rhodes said he had been able to estimate the approximate volume of water involved by estimating depth etc and speed of water coming down into Menston from video clips taken by members of the Menston Action Group. This made good sense from Prof Rhodes’s explanation.

100,000 cubic metres of water

Based on Prof Rhodes’s observation not only was diverting the water coming down the slopes into Menston impractical because of the volume and flow rates involved, but to store the water from the January 2008 event would have required a holding tank with a capacity of 100,000 cubic metres. Apart from cost, to have such a quantity stored above Menston would be extremely dangerous.

Prof Rhodes told the audience that the estimates used by flood risk authorities, like BMDC, were wrong because they accounted only for rain water falling on the ground, but the actual volume involved was far higher because of water coming out of the ground. In this situation, had the houses been built on the proposed sites in Menston, water would have been coming up under the houses causing a great deal of damage. It is no wonder that another expert, giving evidence to BMDC, when asked if he would buy a house on one of these sites, said absolutely not.

Victorian engineers had an answer

In earlier times, ground water had been pumped out into reservoirs. Victorian engineers did it to supply water to the former hospital at Highroyds; later a similar system was used to supply water to Menston residents. Both these systems were abandoned so now the ground water was available to flood Menston.

Prof Rhodes’s novel solution

Professor Rhodes said he had a solution. Basically this would involve horizontally boring deep in the ground where water accumulates and having permeable pipes there into which the water could drain, these flowing out into existing water courses which could handle the continuous flow involved. He suggested that this solution would cost only tens of thousands of pounds. What is more, he said that such a system of horizontal pipes could encircle Ilkley Moor to alleviate wider flooding problems, though this would cost tens of millions.

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Hunt for Menston & Burley young writers

The poster publicising the competitionThe hunt for young poets and short story writers in Menston and Burley begins on Monday 18 April when our local writers’ club, which celebrated its first year of existence recently by adopting the name ‘Writing on the Wharfe‘, opens a competition to find talented young writers living in the two neighbouring villages. The aim is to announce ‘Menston & Burley Young Poet of the Year‘ and ‘Menston and Burley Young Short Story Writer of the Year‘ at the Menston Summer Fair on Saturday 2 July.

Youngsters between 6 and 17 years old have until a closing date of 4 June to submit a poem of up to 30 lines, or a short story of up to 1,500 words (there are no minimum lengths). Names of the writers will be removed before submission to a panel of judges who will award first, second and third places in four age categories in each of two classes of writing – poetry and short stories. The four age categories are 6-8 years, 9-11 years, 12 – 15 years, 16-17 years. A ‘Young Writer of the Year’ will be chosen in each class – poetry and short stories – from the first places in each of the four age categories.

The names of the two young writers of the year will be announced at the Menston Summer Fair, when certificates for first, second and third places in each age category will be presented. Awarded entries in each of the eight categories will be displayed at the Fair and the two ‘Young Writers of the Year’ will be given the opportunity to read their submissions to visitors to the fair; if they do not wish to do so they will be read by a member of the writers’ club.

All the awarded submissions will be published on this website.

Details of the competition will be displayed on village notice boards and made available to schools attended by pupils living in Menston and Burley. Entry forms are available for downloading on this website – click the Writing on the Wharfe logo in the right column to go the the club page, then click the link to download the entry form. Printed entry forms will be available at libraries in the two villages, where entries typed on paper can be left. However, submission by email is preferred, the email address to which they should be sent being writingonthewharfe@gmail.com.

The Writing on the Wharfe club members meet fortnightly on Saturdays, usually at the Menstone Club in Menston (1pm) but occasionally at other venues (see under the ‘Events‘ menu), especially when the weather is good. Members at the moment include purely amateur writers from poets to singer songwriters but also professionals including working and retired journalists and a radio producer. Ages range from mid 20s to over 80.

New members are welcome; there are no membership fees. For more information contact founder of the club, Ruxandra Busoiu, email rbusoiu@yahoo.co.uk.

Competition to find Menston/Burley ‘Young Writers’; flooding solutions; High Royds memorial garden development; St John’s graveyard open afternoon

Samuel Moore playing flamenco at a recent meeting of Writing on the Wharfe

Samuel Moore playing flamenco at a recent meeting of Writing on the Wharfe

Now one year old, the writers’ club which meets regularly at the Menstone club has adopted a new name to reflect its local base – Writing on the Wharfe – and will, within the next week, announce a competition to name ‘Young Menston & Burley Poet of the Year‘ and ‘Young Menston & Burley Short Story Writer of the Year‘. The competition will be open to young writers – six to 17 years old in various age categories, living in either Menston or Burley in Wharfedale (ie, living in post codes LS29 6xx or LS29 7xx. The two chosen young writers of the year, and winners in each age category (6-8, 9-11, 12-15, 16-17), will be announced at the Menston Summer Fair on 2 July at Menston Primary School.

Full details will be published on this site, posters will be displayed in Menston and Burley and schools, primary and high, attended by students living in Menston and Burley  will receive information within the next week or so. Watch this site.

The competition will open for entries on Monday 18 April and close for entries on Saturday 4 June.

Members of the Writing on the Wharfe club were treated to a short recital of flamenco guitar music and brief explanations of some flamenco styles by local guitarist and tutor Samuel Moore at the most recent meeting and will be making a group visit to the forthcoming Leeds Flamenco Festival in May.

A way to reduce flooding in Menston and elsewhere?

Emeritus Prof David Rhodes

Emeritus Prof David Rhodes

A novel solution to reduce flooding will be presented at a public meeting, by local campaigner Emeritus Professor David Rhodes CBE, FRS, FR Eng, at the Kirklands Community Centre on Tuesday evening, 7.30pm, 26 April. The meeting, organised by Menston Parish Council, is open to all. Professor Rhodes has, of course, given expert evidence at local enquiries and meetings on housing development in Menston and at a court hearings instigated by the Menston Action Group.

Open day at St John’s Churchyard

There will be an open afternoon at St John’s Parish Church churchyard on 1 May, with lots of activities including some for children. See the entry under ‘Events’.

Poster for open afternoon at St John's churchyard

High Royds memorial garden meeting

Poster publicising meeting of High Royds Memorial Garden committee

Startup for eggs2iPads, dog walking, “hooligans”, support children with cancer – Candlelighters event, tree planting in the park

The weekly eggs2iPads sessions, at which our teenage team of ‘teachers’ introduce the older generation to the mysteries of iPads and other tablets, internet and anything else they would like to know, began again on 10th March after a winter break. See more below.
(Click any of the pictures below to see them larger as a slide show).

Young entrepreneur dog walker, support children with cancer, “hooligans” and tree planting

Another young Menston entrepreneur has set up a business – dog walking

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Kelly Shaw loves to be outside and says she doesn’t mind any weather if she’s dressed appropriately. In February she left Primary School teaching and set up her business, dog walking, from her home on Derry Hill. The business is called Over the Hills Dog Walking. As the business name suggests, Kelly uses the hills, fields and moors of the wonderful countryside around Menston to give her charges a full hour walk. Kelly also offers limited accommodation for dogs in her own home. You can contact her on Menston number 510782 or mobile 0788 405 3985.

Acrobatic scooter aces in the park; not “hooligans”

Miles6_3451_pc_gIt’s a pity so many teenagers are labelled ‘hooligans’ because of the behaviour of a small number. Protesting that it’s not so, Menston teenager Miles posted an excellent video on Facebook protesting that enjoying doing acrobatics on scooters did not make him and his friends hooligans. During a chat and photo session at the ‘skate park’ in Menston Park, with the idea of doing a story about him on this website, Miles said he was a keen photographer and has chosen to do GCSE in photography this year.

He’s hoping for some better Spring and Summer weather so he can visit the skate park rather more frequently as he finds it a welcome break from ‘swotting’ for GCSE. When the weather’s bad he has to go to inside parks in Leeds or Halifax. Miles makes a lot of videos, one a week as it seems to be his major hobby. You can see one showing some of his acrobatics in Menston park at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKxr65DEVO4

Tree planting in Menston park

The hard working team from Menston in Bloom, which keeps our village ‘blooming beautiful’ and gets us prizes, was out on Saturday morning planting trees in the park. The team have regular working sessions in gardens and planters which they maintain across the village and could always do with some more help. Some of the sessions are at times when some younger helpers could join them. If you can join in at some future sessions email Gemma Kelmanson at gem22min@icloud.com.

Support children with cancer at event at the Menstone club

Many charities are now finding the Menstone club in Farnley Road a great place to hold a charity event and an increasing number of village groups are using this wonderful community facility for meetings – among them the eggs2iPads sessions of the Menston Community Association, the Writers Club and the quarterly meetings of scout leaders. It’s a warm, comfortable, friendly place with free WiFi and, apart from meetings, it’s a great place to drop in for a tea or coffee at very reasonable prices, or something stronger from the bar including a good range of beers on draft. And it has some great events, including the monthly Fun Quiz and the Open Acoustic Mike nights, as well as things for children like an Easter egg hunt (coming up). You do not have to be a member to use it (though if you go regularly the member discount will probably make it worth the small membership fee). It’s open from 11.30 in the morning, is licensed to serve alcohol till 11pm (but licensed to 11.30pm for you to drink it).

The latest charity event to be arranged at the club is to support children with cancer, and their parents, through the wonderful charity Candlelighters. It’s on Friday 8 April and being organised by Michelle Pattison, whose eight year old son Owen was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia just before Christmas 2014. For over 18s only, the event will cater for 100 guests so give Michelle a call soon to get a ticket, on 0754 401 7433. It looks as though it’ll be a great night, see the poster above.

It’s a pity to hear that someone tried to have this event stopped. Fortunately they didn’t succeed.

Eggs2iPads

Following a winter break the eggs2iPads sessions at the Menstone club was off to a great start on 10 March with 16 “students”, including two new ‘enrollers’, and eight teenage ‘teachers’, including three new ones (see pictures above). Although this Menston Community Association project was begun to help tackle potentially elderly isolation by showing elderly people how to communicate with distant family and friends using internet on a tablet, it has now become much more and our elderly students say that they value one of its unique aspects, the weekly get together with the young people, just as much as what they learn about getting on internet (or all sorts of other possibilities on iPads and other tablets, including games, photography, etc).

Sessions are on Thursdays between 5pm and 6pm at the Menstone, except during school holidays. There are no charges, new ‘students’ (and new ‘teachers’) are welcome, and we can offer a lift to those who need it. Contact Roger by email – menston.village.wharfedale@gmail.com – or Jane Pratt of Menston Cares, tel 876945, for more information.

Dementia friendly Menston? eggs2iPads break. Light up Menston. Monthly magazine stops

Although the events listing on this site has been kept pretty much up to date, as far as possible when information has been sent in (or things heard on the village grapevine), posts have been erratic, due principally to health problems. Hopefully posts will now become a little more regular. Remember, to ensure your event is listed under the Events menu (and the ‘Imminent events‘ list in the right column – this can take a while to appear after updating Events) email title, date, start/finish times, contact info, and ticket price if any, to menston.village.wharfedale@gmail.com. This has become even more important due to the suspension of publication of ‘It’s the business‘ (see below).

How can we make Menston more dementia friendly?

Ideas for future activities to make Menston more dementia friendly were recorded on this Christmas tree

Dementia Friendly Menston ideas were recorded on this Christmas tree

About 35 people met at Kirklands on Tuesday afternoon to learn more about dementia and to begin a process of making Menston more ‘dementia friendly’. They learned a lot about dementia from specialist Dr Elizabeth Milwain (eg, symptoms which are just normal signs of old age and those which are early signs of a dementing condition) and then, in a couple of workshops, noted activities already found in the village then suggested what might be done in the future. If you could not get to the meeting but would like to be involved contact Jane Pratt at Menston Cares (876945) or Allyson Hargreaves (870528).

Let’s light up Menston for Christmas

Light up Menston posterThe paucity of Christmas lights in Menston, compared with neighbours Burley, has been a cause for complaint for years. However, such lights are extremely costly. Now there is a suggestion that our village could become much more festive if every householder lit up their own house in some way. To give even more incentive, estate agents Ribston Pippin and the Solo delicatessen have got together to offer a hamper for the best decorated house. There are now posters around the village giving more information. More information on some Christmas events under Events.

eggs2iPads project takes a winter break

Many of the elderly ‘students’ in the eggs2iPads project, which has been meeting weekly at the Menstone club with a team of teenage ‘teachers’ helping them to get on line using an iPad or other tablet, have said they do not like to leave home in the dark during winter months, even if they are accompanied or transport is provided. It has been decided that in this situation there will be a a winter break in the sessions after this week’s meeting, to be resumed in March next year. Some of the young ‘teachers’ are from St Mary’s high school, which has been recently been involved in a broadly similar project, but for school pupils, in South Africa (see below).

Bambisanani takes iPads to S Africa

iPads in use in Mnyakanya schoolThe Bambisanani Partnership, which links St. Mary’s School, Menston and Mnyakanya School in South Africa, has recently provided twelve hours of training for South African teachers to be able to use tablets to enhance teaching and learning across the curriculum at Mnyakanya High School.

The computer giant Intel contributed to the training costs and thirty more tablets, provided by the Bambisanani Partnership, will arrive or have arrived at the school for students to use in lessons.

Chairman of the Bambisanani Partnership, David Geldart, who recently retired as an Assistant Head at the school, said: “This initial training and the tablets are a starting point for us. More training and hardware will hopefully follow but our goal is to establish full internet connectivity at Mnyakanya”.

Publication of monthly magazine suspended

Editions of 'Ot's the business' published this yearThe free monthly magazine which has been delivered to most households in Menston for the past several months, ‘It’s the business‘, will not now be published “until at the earliest March 2016” we have been told. The magazine not only had a Menston events listing under the heading ‘Community News’, compiled by the author of this site, but also a specific Menston page. These for the December edition were already done but unfortunately will not now appear. This site cannot match the information reaching most houses in Menston but apart from trying to ensure the Events listing here is even more complete and up-to-date consideration will be given to how this information can now be more effectively made available to those who do not have access to internet.

 

History in the making as the Court of Appeal supports MAG on Derry Hill; St Mary’s Menston Bambisanani concert well worth a visit

Another historical milestone has been reached by the Menston Action Group (MAG), on behalf of all residents, in opposing inappropriate development in the village when the Court of Appeal allowed a MAG challenge concerning development on Derry Hill to go to Judicial Review. Full story below.

Concert at St Mary’s Menston on Friday well worth a visit

St Mary's Menston concert 9 May 2014St Mary’s Menston’s now annual concert to support its South African Bambisanani project is this coming Friday (24th April) and very well worth a visit. Last year’s concert was superb and many of the same artists, including the Leeds Youth Jazz & Rock Orchestra in which several St Mary’s students play, are featured. This orchestra will transport you back to the ‘big band’ era then take you on a journey to the rock & roll age. On the other hand, there will be some wonderful singing, both solo and choral, and the fun of a ukulele band.

Places can be reserved by calling in at St Mary’s, Pupils’ Reception, between 1.30pm and 2.00pm or turn up on the night. Tickets are £5 (£3 concessions).

Both MAG’s objections to Derry Hill development supported by Court of Appeal

Following Bradford Council’s approval of a scheme from Barratt Homes to develop 176 houses on fields off Derry Hill, Menston, the Menston Action Group challenged the decision in the Leeds Administrative Court and were given permission to go to Judicial Review on one of the two grounds on which they challenged the approval: the validity of the procedure adopted by Bradford Council when making their decision.

However, MAG were refused permission to proceed with their primary ground, which is based upon a much wider issue of whether the condition and sustainable drainage principles required Barratt to put forward a drainage scheme that addressed potential improvement of flooding issues around the Derry Hill site, including a nearby electricity substation that is prone to flooding.

Now, the Rt Hon Lord Justice Sullivan, sitting in the Court of Appeal, has decided  to allow the Judicial Review of the proposed development at the Derry Hill site in Menston to proceed on all grounds of challenge.

Alistair Kennedy, who is leading the team of solicitors from Schofield Sweeney, acting for MAG, said: “This is a fantastic result for MAG and the residents of Menston, who are desperately worried that the proposed development at Derry Hill will make flooding in Menston much worse. MAG also have very serious concerns about ongoing flooding of the electricity substation adjacent to the Derry Hill site and have raised health and safety concerns. For the Court of Appeal to acknowledge the wider importance of this challenge and give MAG the opportunity to bring all of their concerns before a full hearing of the Administrative Court is very encouraging”.

This is a historical decision which has far wider ramifications for other communities throughout the UK fighting inappropriate development.

Of course Barratt and Bradford Council have brought out the big guns to oppose MAG; it is a great pity that it is necessary to go to very costly litigation to oppose such development, especially when a referendum in the village produced such resounding opposition to the scheme but, although local residents raised over £100,000 to fight the Bradford Council decisions, now more money is required although Schofield Sweeney have done much work without charge.

Contributions to the fighting fund, payable to ‘Menston Action Group’, may be sent to or left at:

  • 3 Albany Row, Main Street
  • 4 West Winds (off Moor Lane)
  • 39 Hawksworth Drive
  • 2 Red House Gardens
  • Small Print, Main Street

More information and the Press Release issued by Schofield Sweeney on the Court of Appeal decision will be posted on the MAG website.

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.