Thursday, 15 December 2016

The Mayor's Quiz Night Fundraiser - 12 December

This event's preparation has been a bit of a preoccupation in our spare moments during recent weeks.  Will anyone come? Will we make any money? Will people enjoy themselves?
Now it's over, we can say 'yes' on all counts.
Over 90 people came, with the Chair of N Yorkshire Council, The Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Harrogate and the Mayor of Ripon,  all in attendance with their partners.
We made a net figure for the charities of at least £1240
The contest was hard fought, with the 'chain gang' graciously winning the booby prize. 
Many, many thanks to those who contributed to the fun!

A week of seasonal activity

There as been quite a lot going on in recent days.  Here are the diary entries:
  • Saturday 3 December:  Manor House Care Home open day
  • Phantom of the Opera, Rotary Fundraiser at  Queen Ethelburga's
  • Tuesday 6 December:  Advent Service with the Guides
  • Wednesday 7 December: Shanties, Songs and Teas at the Friendship and Leisure Club
  • Thursday 8 December: Advent service, Henshaw's Style
  • Saturday 9 December 8 am Packing and distributing gifts with Knaresborough Lions and Rotary
  • Knaresborough Choral Society Concert
  • Sunday 11 December: Studio 3 Dancers - Christmas Lunch and performance

Christmas Tree Festival - Sustainabilly-tree!

St John's Church has hosted the Christmas Tree Festival for three years now. It was suggested that the Mayor put in a tree this year.  Not wanting to flinch at the challenge, we prepared a version of the sort of 'tree' we normally have.  A bit bigger than our usual effort
 Each tree was given a name - in our case, we chose Sustaina-Billy-tree. Well, we thought it was funny!
The 'tree' was a pruning Shan found on a skip; all the decorations were home made or re-cycled in some way, and the gifts at the bottom, either Fair Trade or charity shop purchases

Ripon follow suit

Bright Friday 25 November in Knaresborough was followed by the Ripon Lights switch on the next day.  A different style of occasion, marked by the celebrity appearance of Jack Laugher, a local Olympian.  Jack generously posed for photos and selfies, and signed autographs to everyone’s delight.
Our evening was marked by being driven back to Knaresborough in the brand new TransDev bus, on display at the event and named after Jack

Bright Friday! Lights Switch On

Bright Friday, a gesture to combat the gloomy values in the idea of Black Friday, was Knaresborough's way of framing the beginning of the Festive Season
Image may contain: textChildren, each carrying a candle, processed from the Castle grounds to the Market Square, and led the count down to the big switch on.  The careful planning by Hannah Gostlow's team was rewarded by the excitement of the packed Market Square, and the whole proceedings working without a hitch!

20 November - Leeds Minster Oak Leaf Service

This day was a global day of recognition for the victims and families affected by road traffic accidents.  The ceremony in Leeds was one of many throughout the Region, bringing together victims and their families in a common expression of grief and concern.  A very moving occasion.

Memorial Service for George Moore - 18 November

A great character and generous benefactor was commemorated at a dignified and moving occasion.  Although living away, in the Isle of Man, George had maintained strong links in the Town, both personal and through the Foundation.  Generous tribute was paid to this larger than life figure.

16 November - Local Action

An evening meeting at the Mitre Inn, called by residents and traders on Waterside, expressing concern about the Town's 'direction' (my word).  A very helpful discussion, which demonstrated that not only were people concerned, but that also work was going forward - in the Neighbourhood Development Plan, for instance - aimed to sort out issues.  Memo to the Mayor: keep plugging away at improving communication between the Town Council and the community.

Friday, 2 December 2016

15 November - Thanksgiving at Menwith

Generous hospitality at our local branch of the NSA. Still a bit subdued, absorbing the implications of the recent presidential election.

Week of Remembrance

This rather self satisfied image does not do justice to the experience of the days of the time of remembrance., Friday 11 November: a well attended ceremony at the war memorial in the Castle grounds
9.30 am, Sunday 13 November,  at St John's Church, formal procession to the war memorial, including the Deputy Lord Lieutenant and the MP.

Knaresborough Horticultural Society - Prizegiving

KHS flower show was the star attraction at the Yorkshire Showground.  Mike Prest was our host.

Diary of a week in October

Friday 14 October: Harrogate College Prizegiving
Monday 17 October: Memorial service for Maurice Bardon.  His sudden death was a real shock to our community.
Town council Meeting
Tuesday 18 October: Harrogate and Ripon Council for Voluntary Services AGM
Wednesday 19 October:  Yorkshire Wildlife Trust AGM, Staveley Nature Reserve
Thursday 20 October:  Visit of the Duke of Gloucester to Knaresborough, and King James's School
Friday 21 October: Rotary Charter Dinner

!2 October - King James's School 400 celebration

Pupils of King James's School displaying the original charter establishing the school in 1616.  Drama students performed an amusing and brilliant review of these last 400 years.

Resume normal service - Remember Bebra?

This is one of Bebra's links with Knaresborough - a call box being used ias a free book exchange.  It is located in Knaresborough Square.
some of the Knaresborough contingent at the Kermes celebrations.
Saying goodbye to our hosts. We experienced a wonderful kaleidoscope of events, and returned with a resolve to maintain and enhance the link with our friends in Germany.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Visit to Bebra - how can I do it justice?

Bebra ("place of the beavers") is in one sense remote - a distant heavily forested place, and a quiet rural community of eleven small settlements, set in fabulous rolling countryside. But, it is just round the corner from Wartburg Castle, where Martin Luther took refuge, following the fallout from his excommunication.  Also the scene of more recent events, including the execution by the Gestapo of Adam von Trott for his involvement in the assassination attempt on Hitler in 1944, and the deportation and killing of many Jews from within the community itself, as recorded on a simple plaque in the square by the Town Hall.

So the half century of Twinning of the two communities, a post world war II gesture of conciliation, is more than the jollifications of Kermes, the harvest festival which brought us here.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

23 September - take 2. Yorkshire Air Ambulance presentation

A small ceremony where Yorkshire Air Ambulance received a cheque from Doreen and Amy, proprietors of the Station Cafe.   In total, £1600 had been raised from the cafe, and other donations.  Two heart warming events in the same morning!

23 September: Forest School presentation from the Variety Club of Great Britain

The gift of the new bus was possible because of the generous support of Core Telecom, whose CEO Mahmood Mazhar attended, with his son, who cut the ribbon. 

18 September: Henshaws celebration and BBQ

Around 200 artists and supporters gathered on a lovely sunny afternoon to witness the presentations to Henshaws students who had made a big impact on the College community.  elegant trophies, designed and made at the Centre were presented by the Chair of the Henshaws Board, assisted (feebly) by the Mayor of Knaresborough.  Great fun!  And a joy to be there to share the experience.

17 September Knaresborough's Place in the World

'Knaresborough's Place in the World' was an event where all organisations in Knaresborough were invited to share their successes and explore the future.  Over ninety people attended to hear the keynote speaker, Professor Andrew Gouldson of Leeds University.  He described the challenges to be faced over the next few years, looking realistically at the impact of reductions in government spending, but showed a way forward, using practical examples.
Questions and discussion followed, and despite the grim warnings, the feeling after the meeting was positive, and there were many requests for similar events in the future.  This event is the equivalent of the traditional civic service, with a Professor of Environmental Policy exhorting the flock.  In conclusion, I promised to give a full report of the proceedings to the Town Council and other bodies and incorporate the findings in the Neighbourhood Development Plan, now in its final stages of preparation.
The staff and students of King James's School offered warm hospitality and excellent food for the lunch at the conclusion of the event.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Knaresborough in Bloom Awards - 16 September

A really special event marking the culmination of another successful year for Knaresborough in Bloom (KIB to its friends). Each one of the photos on the display representing the hard work and creativity of Knaresborians.  HBC have provided valuable back-up throughout the year.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Knaresborough's Place in the World - Preview

All our efforts in the next ten days will be in promoting this event -  17 September, Saturday morning, King James's School Main Hall.

Yet another Picnic in the Park

A nice occasion, taking advantage of the continuing pleasant weather.  Knaresborough House was the ideal setting for a fund raiser for Orb, The Nidd Gorge Conservation Trust, and the Knaresborough Community Centre.  Netted over £300 - better than a slap in the face!  Congratulations to Lions and Orb for assistance, Caramba for lovely Music, Tim Ellis for poems, and Jeff for facilities management.

Bilton Hall Nursing Home - Dementia Garden

Image result for bilton hall jenny bondA very pleasant occasion with Staff, Clients and Families opening the new garden.  The space was designed by a project team from Askham Bryan College
A very sensitively conceived space.  BBC's Jenny Bond made the opening speech.

Railway (mini) Madness

Saturday and Sunday saw the display at Knaresborough House of our railway station and environs in miniature, together with the Goode family Meccano collection (in part).  If you missed it, you missed a treat!

full FEVA day - 17 August

A whole whirligig of events, at the Castle, in the Orb Arts Centre, and at Henshaws.  Lovely day!

Do we need a Cliff Lift? YES WE DO!

This little vehicle is not what it seems.  It is an old VW Combi converted to electricity.  We borrowed it for the whole of Saturday, offering free lifts from Waterside to Castle Yard.  At the same time we distributed flyers with a simple survey question, "Would you use a cliff lift if one was installed?"  Out of over 400 responses, all but half a dozen said, "Yes".

Monday, 15 August 2016

FEVA day three - Town Crier Competition

The most nerve-wracking experience by far as Mayor is being the judge in competitions.  This was no exception.  They were ALL winners, but we had to choose ...

FEVA day two - Medieval Day

There are over ninety events in the 12 days of Feva, and this was just one!

The start of FEVA frenzy

Friday, 12 August. Knaresborough's Festival of Entertainment and Visual Arts (FEVA) gets under way.

Here is the view from the ribbon