Sunday, 17 July 2016


This was the Annual Meeting of the Yorkshire Local Councils Associations - I suppose there should be an apostrophe somewhere in that title! An opportunity to meet fellow councillors, and discuss four resolutions from local branches on some relevant issues.  I think all the action is not with YLCA itself but in the local branch - clearly a group we should support.  Only meeting junkies need apply ...

Nidd Gorge Conservation Group

Image result for nidd gorge conservation groupA very energetic couple of hours with the Group.  I plan to fundraise on their behalf during this year.  Ironically, in the Summer months, 'conservation' involves a lot of slashing and cutting back. Very satisfying. I'm really pleased to be supporting this venture. Alternate Saturday mornings, from nine. Time well spent. Contact them here

Henshaws Graduation

We often take the grandchildren to the Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre at Bond End but, until last Thursday, had never visited the main College campus in Bogs Lane.  The occasion was the celebration of the achievements of the students leaving this term.  I'm already running out of superlatives in this blog, but more are needed to recognise the fighting spirit and achievement of students and staff.  The prizes were awarded by Rosie King, a person with autism, who has transformed people's understanding of the condition.  Her TED Talk has had nearly two million views. 

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Cinderella Rockerfella

the Year 6 pupils at St John's C E Primary invited me to their blockbuster show, with a HUGE cast, singing and dancing, and lots of jokes.  Staff, pupils and parents have every right to be proud of this performance.  It will remain long in my memory.

Calcutt Gala

A lovely day for this traditional event. The Mayor won a lolly for batting the rat.  The Mayoress rode in the steeplechase. Warm congratulations to the organisers.  A full afternoon of amusement and entertainment.

Aspin Park Primary - Rescue me! I'm on a Talent Show!!

we were invited to the Summer event at Aspin Park Primary.  There was lots going on, and the Mayor was called to revive the plastic dummy using an example of one of the defibrillators we see in different places in the Town.  The volunteer Community Response Team were on hand to show how to do it properly.  This very important service needs all our support.  The instructions for their use are clearly written on the kit - I'd recommend you use one if you see a person collapsed nearby, and no-one else is near to help.

But the Mayor and Mayoress really needed help to judge the Aspin's Got Talent show at the end of the afternoon.  Twenty highly talented - very different - acts, and we had to choose just three for prizes.  All really should have been awarded a prize!  We were so nervous at making a mistake, we forgot our umbrellas.

Standards Training

Local councillors have regular opportunities to improve their knowledge and skills.  In this case 'going back to school' involved a meeting in the Council Chamber - a rather splendid setting.  One hopes the replacement will have a similar dignified feel.  Andrew Willoughby and I were reminded of our obligation to declare whenever our formal deliberations include issues about which we may have prior knowledge or opinions, called 'an interest'.  Some amusing tales were shared, but the importance of the topic was clear to us all.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Busy Sunday, 3 July

First to Helen Watkinson's fundraiser - she is soon off to Malawi for three months.

Then to Littlethorpe Manor for a fundraiser for an army charity hosted by the Chair of NYCC, Val Arnold. Items for auction included a signed portrait of Geoffrey Boycott.

Monday, 4 July 2016

Knaresborough Choral Society Concert

What a splendid Saturday night out! The Choral Society teamed up with King James's School to celebrate their 30th anniversary.  The School (some 400 years old) combined with the Choir to perform Carl Orff's Carmina Burana.  The first half of the programme comprised contributions from students and the professional soloists, an entertaining precursor to the main piece.  A very enjoyable event.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

7.30 am 1 June. Battle of the Somme Anniversary

A very poignant commemoration of this tragic event.  Two minutes silence, followed by three blasts of the whistle; the signal to go "over the top", heralding the beginning of the battle.

Wednesday - Poppy Supper at the WMC

A very enjoyable evening, sponsored by the British Legion.  Failed to win on the Bingo, but scored in the raffle.  Adam Press, the singer/entertainer, was excellent; finishing has act with an impressive rendering of Nessun Dorma.