Tag Archives: Yorkshire Dales

Menston WW1 commemorations take off in September; 39th Menston Village Show less than 3 weeks away

September sees a number of important events in Menston. The 39th Menston Village Show is on Saturday 6th of the month, with some interesting innovations being introduced by the recently formed Menston Business Association, and there are a number of events which are part of the village’s commemorations of the First World War.

WW1 commemorations

Poppy1Following the “very moving” vigil service at the Parish church on 4 August, which began Menston’s commemorations of the First World War, the next major activities will be on Saturday 6 September at the Menston Show, where youngsters between 7 and 14 are being asked to design and enter a poster for the commemorations. Also, in the new ‘Young people’s activity zone’ at the Show, which has various activities with prizes, sponsored by the Menston Business Association, one of the activities will be to compose a short poem (5 or 6 lines) with a WW1 theme against a background of a display of poems and extracts from well-known WW1 poets.

The first time the flag outside the Community Centre will be flown at half mast to mark a Menston resident being killed in the war will be on 12 September, remembering Bertram Stairmand. On 14 September at 4.00pm there will be a memorial service at the High Royds chapel on Buckle Lane, when a stone plaque naming the High Royds staff who died will be dedicated, in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Bradford and other dignitaries.

Neil Hanson talk ‘The Unknown Soldier’

A fascinating talk on the theme of ‘The Unknown Soldier’ will be given by Neil Hanson on Friday 19 September in the Methodist Church Hall at 7.30pm. The theme is the title of a critically acclaimed book by the Ilkley author, the book being described by the New York Times as “An unforgettable picture of life in the hottest sectors of the Western Front”. Entry will be free but donations will be very much welcomed.

The producers, the Fleece, of ‘1914 – Over by Christmas’ at the Parish Church on Saturday 11 October evening have been doing a lot of research into Menston’s WW1 history so what promises to be a fascinating production will have many references to Menston’s experiences. Tickets are £10.

Judith Knaggs and Dale Smith are still looking for people interested in making the visit to WW1 sites in 2015.  The organisation meeting on 19 August heard that so far 18 people have expressed an interest. For more details go to the previous post on this site. A decision has to be made by October this year. The next meeting of the organising group is at the very appropriate High Royds memorial chapel in Buckle Lane, on 14 October at 7.30pm. All are welcome and to give their ideas.

Menston Village Show

The Menston Show poster, designed by Anna Middleton

The Menston Show poster, designed by Anna Middleton

The 39th Menston Village Show is almost upon us – less than three weeks to go says the countdown in the right sidebar of this site. Activities for youngsters have been boosted with a ‘Young people’s activity zone’, with competitive activities – with prizes – for 7 to 11 years old and 12 to 17 years old. However, as always there are a lot of classes to enter in the general show for youngsters up to 14. Full details of all the classes and other details can be found by going to the Menston Village Show pages on this site.

The poster advertising the show has recently appeared around the village. It was entered for the usual competition at last year’s show and Anna Middleton came out top of the class. This year the traditional ‘Design the poster for next year’s show’ has been replaced by a challenge to design a poster for Menston’s WW1 commemorations.

Entries to the show have to be delivered to the Community Centre between 10.00 and 11.30am on 6 September. The Show is open to the public from 2.00 to 4.00pm.


MCA in crisis; your votes needed for important Menston community project; Menston Business Association prepares for more activities; Menston WW1 commemorations firming up

The Menston Community Association is in crisis with no one stepping up to take on the roles of Chair, Vice-Chair and Secretary. The project for Menston youngsters to teach elderly residents to use internet to easily communicate with relatives and friends afar –  ‘Teaching grandmother – from eggs to iPads’ – has been shortlisted from over 2,500 applications for funding by Lloyds Bank; now it needs your votes (in September/October). The recently formed Menston Business Association, now with a full committee, is preparing for more activities following the summer break. Arrangements for four years of activities in Menston commemorating the First World War, beginning on 4 August this year, continue to be firmed up. Click any of the links below for more information, or just scroll down.

MCA in crisis

No positive way forward came out of the meeting of the Menston Community Association on 2 July and, in particular, there were no offers to take on the roles vacated by Steve Ellams as Chair and Alan Elsegood as Vice-Chair and acting Secretary. A letter was received from Menston resident Roger Livesey saying that he had intended to offer to take on a temporary role until the AGM but a sudden health problem now prevented this. It is of course vital that the situation is communicated to all members, that is all Menston residents of voting age, calling for nominations for these and other committee roles for an election at the Annual General Meeting later this year. Currently the only communication medium which reaches all residents is the quarterly newsletter Menston News and at the moment the production and distribution of this is uncertain. Various options for the continuation of the MCA were discussed at the meeting and as one suggestion was merger of the MCA in some way into the Parish Council, these discussions will continue at the Parish Council meeting on Thursday 24 July (see Events).

Teaching grandmother

After several rebuffs from potential funders for the project for young people in the village to introduce elderly villagers to some aspects of internet, for example using Skype to talk to distant friends or relatives and perhaps shopping on-line, has been short-listed for funding by the Lloyds Bank Community Fund, from around 2,500 applications nationally. How much funding will now depend on a public vote in September/October so project lead Roger Livesey is asking all residents to vote for the project; details of how to do so will be communicated when voting opens. The project is intended to use iPads as most elderly people do not want to accommodate computer boxes, monitors, etc and to buy sufficient iPads we need to come out top, or near it, in the voting.

Menston Business Association

The Menston Business Association (MBA) now has a full committee with Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and other committee members. The committee proposed to the Menston Village Show organising group that MBA members might mount some activity around the village to coincide with the show and this was accepted by the show group. What this activity might be is due to be discussed at the next MBA committee meeting, scheduled for Friday 1 August; at the time of making this post venue could not be confirmed.

Bistro in Menston village for Tour de France Grand Depart and a big screen presentation; Menston Community Association future in balance

Hosts Audra and Gareth at Solo, their delicatessen/pavement cafe, which will become a 'bistro', open late, for the weekend of the Grand Depart

Hosts Audra and Gareth at Delicasolo, their delicatessen/pavement cafe on Main St, Menston, which will become a ‘bistro’, open late, for the weekend of the Grand Depart. Menston’s popular delicatessen and pavement cafe will be serving ‘bistro’ food and beers and wines to match on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Menston’s popular delicatessen and pavement cafe, Delicasolo,  will be serving ‘bistro’ food with beers and wines to match from Friday to Sunday over the Tour de France Grand Depart weekend. With a drinks licence until 9pm, the popular spot will be open until 9.30-10.00pm for those who want to escape a mile or so up the A65 from the Burley-in-Wharfedale bypass Tour route and the biggest crowds. On Saturday morning coffee etc will be served from 6.00am!

Pulled pork tacos with Goose Eye beer, or …

In addition to the usual snacks, from olives to Mediterranean breads, there will be a variety of ‘bistro’ type plates including Pulled Pork Tacos with Spicy Sauce, a Beef Ragout, Chicken Tandoori with Bombay Potatoes, and a locally-produced Burger. Prosecco and a variety of reds and whites will be available to wash them down, together with a choice of beers and cider including a Pale Ale from the Goose Eye brewery in Keighley, brought in just for the occasion.

It will be a busy weekend for hosts Gareth and Audra as the other side of the business, Solo Catering, will be supplying the food to a number of private Le Tour parties in the area.

Delicasolo is on Main Street, Menston, just a few hundred yards from the A65. Telephone 01943 879010.

Watch the Grand Depart on the Big Screen in Menston

Tour de France Grance Depart Yorkshire logoMenston Methodist Church will be presenting the Grand Depart of the Tour de France on the Big Screen, as it happens, from 9.00am till 2.00pm on Saturday 5 July. The Cornerstone will be open for refreshments with its usual fayre from 10.00 until noon, then light refreshments will be on sale in the main hall from noon until 2.00pm. So if you’d like to watch this great event with others but away from the heaving crowds this might be a good solution.

Crucial meeting of Menston Community Association – future in balance

The future of the Menston Community Association, the independent charity of which all Menston residents of voting age are members, will be the subject of discussions at the monthly meeting on Wednesday 2 July, at the Methodist Church Hall, Main Street, at 7.30pm. No formal agenda has been issued.

Following the recent resignation of the Chairman, and the announcement of impending resignation by the Acting Secretary and former Chairman, replacements for these key officer roles are needed.

At an earlier meeting of the MCA committee the possibility of the Parish Council taking on some of the activities of the Association was discussed. The MCA has, of course, played a key role in opposing the inappropriate housing developments proposed by Bradford Council on Bingley Road and Derry Hill. However, it has also been a key player in important and successful village events like the Jubilee celebrations in 2012 and the Menston Village Vehicle Show earlier this year.

All Menston residents are welcome to attend MCA meetings and maximum participation is vital for the future of this independent organisation which represents all Menston residents.

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?” 


Menston Vehicle Show; ‘Spanish Councillor’ to retire; new elderly tea parties coordinator

Vintage yellow Austin at the Jubilee show 2012The first Bi-annual Menston Village Vehicle Show is now only 24 days away (at the time of writing; see countdown on the right for days to go now). More details of the events, displays and venues have become available, the latest being that there will be Terrier racing in the paddock of the Malt Shovel pub.

As Menston’s “Spanish councillor”, Chris Greaves, announces his intention to ‘bow out’, we can welcome a newcomer taking over the Menston Group of Contact the Elderly, which arranges monthly Sunday afternoon teas for the elderly. Minutes of the April MCA meeting are now available. Click any of the links below to go directly to the story, or just scroll down.

Menston Vehicle Show

Not only vehicles – cars, motorbikes and even a Routemaster bus – will be on show at sites throughout Menston village on Bank Holiday Monday 5 May, but there’s a host of other activities too including Morris dancing, Terrier racing, a Black Forest fairground organ, a competition for the best decorated scooter, face painting, and more.

Classic Austin Healey. View of the engineIt will all be part of the first Bi-annual Menston Village Vehicle Show.
And, of course, pubs, shops and various other locations and stalls will be open with refreshments from ice creams to pie and peas. For a detailed run down of what’s on, with lots of photographs, click here or on the mini poster in the right side bar to go to the page with all the details.

Chris Greaves will not fight May election

Cllr Chris Greaves

Cllr Chris Greaves

Wharfedale councillor Chris Greaves, who lived in Menston, was a former chairman of Metro and was elected as a Tory but deserted to The Independents in 2011, has written a letter to the Press saying that he will not stand for election in May. Cllr Greaves now lives in Spain.
In his letter he says that he is “delighted to read that Steve Ellams has decided to stand as an Independent in the Wharfedale ward.  I have known Steve for some twenty years, and his work to try to save Menston’s green fields has been tireless”. For the full text of Cllr Greaves’s letter click here.

Young Jenna to organise Sunday tea parties for elderly in menston

New coordinator for the Menston Group of Contact the Elderly, which arranges Sunday afternoon tea parties in people’s homes for elderly residents in the village, has a new coordinator, who is looking for more volunteers to host the parties and to drive the guests to the parties.

Jenna Wood has recently returned to her home town of Otley and taken up the voluntary post of ‘Coordinator’ in Menston for the national charity. Parties for six guests are arranged in people’s homes once a month on Sunday afternoons from 3pm to 5pm and volunteer drivers take the guests to tea and home again. Jenna is looking for more volunteers in both roles. To be suitable for hosting a party there must be a downstairs toilet and very few steps to reach the tea table.

Prior to returning to Otley, Jenna was at university in Newcastle and while she was there set up and ran a Contact the Elderly group in the Geordie city.

If you would like to volunteer in either role, or just to know more, contact Jenna on 01943 467014 or 0783 798 5703 or email her at jennawood@outlook.com.

Menston liked Soul; Morris dancers, new Mini and more Pilates coming

With a very successful charity evening entertainment demonstrating how all ages in Menston enjoy getting together, we can now look forward to the next ‘big’ event at the beginning of May, the Menston ‘classic’ car show. You’ll be able to see some Morris side moves at the show but if you fancy trying some but worry about back pain then a new Pilates course may have an answer. Click on any of the following links to go direct to the story, or just scroll down.

Menston takes to Soul music and food

Kirklands Community Centre was full to capacity on the evening of Saturday 15 March when about 130 people of all ages, mostly from Menston and Otley, came to enjoy an evening of Soul music, dancing and food.

Soul Surgeons on stage at the Menston Kirklands Community Centre

Soul Surgeons on stage at the Menston Kirklands Community Centre

The event was staged to raise money to help rebuild schools in the Philippines which were devastated by typhoon Haiyan last November, and the evening raised over £1,400.

Music was provided by the ‘Soul Surgeons‘ band and Otley’s ‘Sally’s Army‘. “It was a fantastic evening, the band was really great and it was good to see people of all ages in the capacity crowd” said Chairman of the Menston Community Association, Steve Ellams.

If you couldn’t get to the evening but would like to donate something to this worthwhile cause, contact organiser Beth Street on 0771 978 5986 or email babeth70@sky.com.

Morris dancing and new MINI at car show

Wayzgoose Morris side in action

Wayzgoose Morris side in action

We can’t say Morris ‘men’ as the Wharfedale Morris ‘side’, Wayzgoose, is made up of women and men, but this renowned group of Morris dancers will be a star attraction at the first bi-annual Menston Village Vehicle Show on 5 May, the early Spring Bank holiday. Wayzgoose has particularly close associations with Otley as many of its members live in the town and the name Wayzgoose refers to a traditional printing industry ‘feast’ day; Otley was, of course, the home of the famous Wharfedale Printing Press.

New Mini Cooper S

New Mini Cooper S

Another attraction at the Car Show will be the recently launched new MINI. If you are a classic Morris or Austin Mini fan (there are sure to be one or two of these at the show too) you may not consider the MINI a ‘classic’ vehicle but for certain the new Coopers, with uprated power, are ‘performance’ vehicles, another of the promised categories at the show. Just which MINI will be at the show isn’t yet certain; watch this space.

Back ache target of new Pilates courses

Although based in Otley, Wharfedale Pilates also runs courses in Menston at The Studio in Cleasby Road, which was covered in the previous post about the courses for mothers-to-be (contact details in the business listings here).

Wharfedale Pilates, run by qualified modern Pilates instructor Jan Bryce, is starting a new class  specifically focusing on the prevention of back pain – so for anyone suffering from or wanting to avoid back pain. Jan says that the new exercise programme can provide back pain relief and help to prevent back pain in the future.  The classes will be held in Menston and Otley, both daytimes and evenings, and will cater for both beginners and people with experience of Pilates. For more information contact Jan on 0777 096 0739.

3 good reasons to keep up with the Menston Community Association

Three particularly interesting bits of news from the Menston Village Neighbourhood Forum on Tuesday 4 February evening; click on any of them to go directly to the story below or simply scroll down.

Other interesting items, though not ‘news’ within the Menston Community Association, were a project to produce new Menston Community Association ‘community’ notice boards for the village, the first to be sited outside Kirklands Community Centre (this project, which includes the aim of promoting local businesses, will be the subject of future posts on this site), and the intention of the Local Government Ombudsman to investigate the actions of Bradford Council (already reported on this site).

The full minutes of the meeting will be posted on this site when available.


Professor David Rhodes told the Forum that following repeated refusals by Bradford Council planning, flooding and drainage officers, and Councillors on planning panels, to take into account the “factual” report which he had prepared on the flooding situation in Menston and the inadequacy of measures said to alleviate it, “I am at the end of my tether”. He added, “What they are proposing is illegal under Common Law and they have left me with no alternative but to serve an injunction on them”. He had instructed his solicitor to do that this very lunchtime, he said.

Bid for Council seat

Steve Ellams, Chairman of the Menston Community Association and a tireless worker to not only prevent the inappropriate development in Menston village but also to

Dr Ellams pictured in front of local newspaper placards announcing campaigns against inappropriate development in Menston prevent loss of Greenbelt in the Wharfe valley, told the Forum that he would stand as an independent candidate for the Wharfedale Ward at the elections for Bradford Council on 22 May this year. He later made the announcement to the local Press as follows:

Dr Stephen David Ellams, current Chairman of Menston Community Association, announced at the Community Forum meeting last night that he would stand as an Independent Candidate at the next Wharfedale Ward Council elections to take place on May 22nd.

Dr Ellams is currently teaching at The University of Leeds having retired as examiner for the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh and from the N.H.S. as a Specialist Oral Surgeon.

He has been heavily involved in local matters for many years, particularly the issue of planning in and around Wharfedale. The potential for merging and therefore loss of identity of Burley in Wharfedale and Menston Villages are real and must be resisted.

He is a founder member of the Wharfedale and Airedale Reviews Developments Group (WARD) and as special projects manager was responsible for commissioning a major report on the A65 Trunk Road. He fronted the Village Green Application against the current Derry Hill planning application in 2012.

Most recently he presented a petition at Bradford Council Chambers and gave a speech on the ”Loss of Green Belt” and is currently pursuing an investigation with his local M.P. Philip Davies by the Local Government Ombudsman on the handling of the current planning applications in Menston.

Steve was elected Chairman of Menston Community Association in October last year and has participated in major activities in the village from the Diamond Jubilee commemorations and Vehicle Show to many deputations to Bradford MDC on planning.

Stephen stood for Parliament in the 1997 General Election for the Shipley Constituency under Sir James Goldsmith’s Referendum Party and even though Stephen does not have a Yorkshire accent his first school was in Thirsk. His family background in the forces has enabled him to travel the world.

Stephen stated ”I have now lived in Menston at four different addresses for nearly 30 years and see myself retiring finally in the Wharfe Valley. However before that time I would very much like to represent the Communities of Menston and Burley in Wharfedale as an Independent Local Councillor and hopefully rebalance local politics”.

Cllr Anne Hawkesworth (Ind Ilkley) commenting on Steve’s announcement said “ I welcome Steve’s decision. I know from my own experience that the only way our local communities can defend themselves from the predations of developers exploiting the shamefully lax attitude of the Conservative and Labour governments to planning matters is to return strong local Independent Councillors to stand up for them. Councillors subject to the party whip simply cannot do this.”

Enthusiasm for film shows in Menston

More than a third of people attending the Forum filled in a questionnaire about possible regular film shows in Menston, all welcoming them and ten indicating that they would be willing to assist in some way if films were shown. Altogether a possible regular audience of 48 adults from the Forum participants was indicated, about half the required number to make the project viable, so this bodes very well as the adult population of Menston is about 20 times the number attending the forum.

Menston resident Roger Livesey, who introduced the project, said that we have two residents in the village who knew a great deal about organising film shows – the Chairman of the British Federation of Film Societies, Alex Leggat, and the organiser of the first Ilkley Film Festival, Martin Pilkington, and thanked them for their advice and assistance. He also thanked the Otley Film Society for the advice they had given and the possibility of them organising a ‘pilot’ showing in Menston later this year, to gauge reaction.

A special email address has now been set up and those who have already expressed an interest and who have an email address have now been sent an email and will be kept informed of progress. If you were not at the meeting and want to express your interest, email menstonfilm@gmail.com and you will be added to the emailing list. (If you put your email address on the questionnaire but have not received an email then, sorry, it was ‘deciphered’ wrongly; a small number did ‘bounce’. Please email the address above).