Return to main page
Today's News (Tomorrow's History)
2011 - 2012
This information is provided by the Barwick-in-Elmet Historical Society.
We have slipped early into winter with very cold spells and much rain. Fortunately, snow has been avoided as the rainy spells brought warmer weather. The planning issues and the move to split the churches in Barwick and Scholes have not been resolved one way or another. There is still dissatisfaction in the parish, particularly in Scholes, about the provision of bus services. The local Leeds City Councillor, Councillor Matthew Robinson, has sent a questionnaire to all house in Scholes, Barwick and also in Aberford, seeking views from the whole area served by the Leeds-bound bus services. The review does not cover the service operated through Barwick and Aberford which connects the area with Boston Spa and Wetherby in the north with Garforth then Wakefield and Castleford in the south.
If the proposals are acceptable, they will be implemented in July 2013. The proposals are:
64 Gildersome - Morley - White Rose Centre - Beeston - Holbeck - Leeds - York Road - Cross Gates - Barwick in Elmet - Aberford
The timetable will be revised to improve reliability and to improve coordination with Services 55 and 74 between Holbeck and Leeds City Centre.
Service 64 will now operate half hourly during the daytime.
64A Gildersome - Morley - White Rose Centre - Beeston - Holbeck - Leeds - York Road - Cross Gates - Scholes - Barwick in Elmet - Aberford
All journeys will be renumbered 64 and will operate via service 64 route and will not serve Scholes.
Service 11 will provide a through service from Scholes to Leeds.
63 (Current) Cross Gates - Scholes - Seacroft This service will be withdrawn and replaced by service 11 which will be extended
from Seacroft to Cross Gates via Scholes on the existing service 63 route. Service 11 will operate hourly during the day
and provide a through service to Leeds City Centre.
11 Seacroft - Gipton - Leeds This service will be extended to operate between Leeds Infirmary Street and Cross Gates
via Gipton, Seacroft and Scholes. Between Seacroft, Scholes and Cross Gates it will operate via the existing Service 63 route.
Service 63 will be withdrawn. The service will operate via the existing Service 11 route between Leeds and Seacroft
and the hourly frequency will be maintained. During the evening and Sundays, new Service 11A will operate hourly between
Leeds Infirmary Street and Cross Gates via Cross Green, Gipton, Seacroft and Scholes. Service 11A will operate via the new Service 11 route
but will be diverted to serve Cross Green. It will replace existing services 63A and 63B which will be withdrawn. The Service to Temple Newsam will be withdrawn.
There has also been a survey of the views and needs of young people in the parish. Its aim is to aid the development of the parish's Neighbourhood Development Plan.
Among the new appointees to the Parish Council is Tom Crosfill of the Belle Vue Estate, Scholes who, at the age of 18, must be the youngest person to be a member of the council.
The society has bid for funding from the Community Fund, which has been set up by the organisers of the Leeds Festival. It is hoped that the grant would cover the cost of restoring a copy of the first Ordnance Service map of the district (1846) which is in the Society's possession but is in a poor condition. It is intended that the grant would also pay for the map to be scanned onto a CD. If successful with the bid, the society intends to give copies of the CD to all schools in the district to assist in the study of local history.
Friday 21st December has been a special day for several reasons. It marked the end of the Mayan Calendar and some people thought that it would herald the end of the world (nobody in Barwick or Scholes as far as I know). In some parts of the world, groups gathered to mark its end and in the USA a few people purchased survival capsules. Of course, nothing happened. Some pessimists had humble pie to eat or capsules surplus to requirements. In the midst of the period when the end was expected, there was a gathering of a totally different nature in Barwick. It was the day that the head teacher of the Primary School, Mr. Peter Doherty retired. In the latter part of the morning, the school hall was filled by pupils, staff, former pupils and numerous parents and villagers who have had contact with the school during Mr Doherty's time at the school. Mr. Doherty has been the Deputy Head and then later the Head since September 1986. The gathering was there to say farewell and celebrate the effect of Mr. Doherty's 26 years at the school. He leaves it a happy and thriving school and will be sorely missed.
October has been a quiet month. The current concerns over planned expansion and the possible division of the ecclesiastical parish into two have still not been resolved. The annual visit of the fun fair (which used to be called the Barwick Feast) has arrived and departed. Shakespeare's season of mists and mellow fruitfulness has arrived on time. The autumn colours have been good. The last weekend of the month brought a very cold Saturday and a slight trace of snow.
In the last two years a small number of properties in the parish have had photovoltaic panels installed to generate electricity. Once installed one becomes aware of how much sunshine we are getting. This year has been quite different from what we would imagine. The Kilowatt hours produced in each month has been:
It shows how the summer started early in March and peaked in May. There has been a revival in September although there have been showers on many days which have delayed the harvest. The cereal harvest is generally good, particularly barley. Other crops have been variable because some matured early and were set back by late frosts and low sunshine totals.
Once more this month the Heritage Open Days, a nation-wide event, was marked in Barwick. The iron age earthworks and All Saints Church were both open for two days. For the first time, both tours started at the church from which both events benefited. Numbers attending were not high. 56 people took the earthworks tour; probably even more toured the Church. Those who came were interested and appreciative.
Visitors on Hall Tower during Heritage Open Days 2012Photograph by Geoff Thornton
The Parish Council agreed to pay £550 for a detailed archaeological survey of the earthworks at Scholes Lodge Farm.
There has been dissatisfaction in Scholes over the part of the development plan design statement affecting Scholes. This dissatisfaction was expressed at a parish forum.
For many years there have been no elections for choosing a candidate for the parish Council. Ten Scholes residents have called for an election for the appointment of someone to fill one vacancy. A recent meeting of the PC there was concern at the need to have an election which will cost a total of more than £7,000, but it could not be avoided.
Over the years, things gradually change in the villages through what we sometimes call progress. For former residents now living elsewhere in the world we should note these changes. As a result of the common practice for all but a few to possess a mobile phone. A result of this is that some years ago the telephone kiosk outside the Post Office in Barwick was taken away and just one public phone survives at the village near of Long Lane. Even this has no coin operating facility and looks very underused.
Another recent change is the opening of a coffee shop in Main Street, Barwick next to Anthony's breadshop.
The two villages have done well once more in the Yorkshire in Bloom Competition. The detail given below is an extract from the Judges' report.
Yorkshire in Bloom
Extracts from the Judges' report on 2012
Barwick Gold Rose Award
Spring Medal Position – Gold
Summer Medal Position - Gold
This village shouts "In Bloom" at every corner. The enjoyment and dedication of this group of volunteers from every organisation and business within the village is there for everyone to see and admire. Both church grounds, three public houses and the sports grounds are so well cared for by this band of workers. The organisation of all these groups is a credit to all concerned.
Areas of Achievement
Thanks to Frank every bird in Barwick has a home - so many bird boxes everywhere! The Boyle and Franks Patch is a wonderful haven for all wildlife as is Jubilee Gardens Fantastic 5 star insect houses!
The Slip and old farm implements help to show heritage. Liked the field of oats around the old plough. Street furniture, lighting and signage all of high standard of maintenance
Barwick Church Gold Rose Award - Joint Category Winner
A delight to see such well maintained and colourful church grounds. Such a dedicated group who not only work so hard but are also raising their own funds - they deserve their Gold award!
Areas of Achievement
Such a great variety of planting - cleverly worked out for each area. A lot of planning in the design. Grass maintenance of an extremely high standard. New wall and ramp are well executed, attractive and functional. The scrap metal recycling project is clever idea and helps with funds.
Barwick Methodist Chapel Silver Rose Award
Wow! what a splash of colour - especially on a wet morning. The area was very well cared for - a credit to George and his helpers!
Areas of Achievement
The quality of the Begonia Semps. was exceptional and so well cared for! Over 700 plants we were told!
The Gascoigne Arms, Barwick in Elmet Silver Rose Award
Standing at the main junction in Barwick this pub had great impact-a joy to see! Good to see that in a small village there are two public houses that are keen to enter the Yorkshire in Bloom competition and thus enhance the village centre.
Areas of Achievement
A very large display of baskets and planters with a mix of plants which should sustain the impact and colour throughout the season. Maintenance looked good. Pavements outside clean and tidy.
The New Inn, Barwick in Elmet Silver Rose Award
A colourful frontage and a friendly welcome from Annette -a pub you would want to go in to! A floral public house does make a difference to a village and Barwick are lucky to have such a good one -in fact one of three! They are obviously pleased to enter the Yorkshire in Bloom competition too.
Areas of Achievement
Very colourful with good impact. Loved the little cacti in the pots! To attempt such a big display with no knowledge of plants is very brave!
Scholes Gold Rose Award
Spring Medal Position - Gold Summer Medal Position - Gold
The group continue to impress, the whole village is a credit to everyone involved, from businesses and residents sponsoring floral displays, individuals maintaining their own small areas, to the school and the great things happening there. Scholes in Bloom should be proud of the standard they are helping to maintain across the village.
Areas of Achievement
The quality of plants and high standard of maintenance at the War Memorial is a credit to Peter. The Coronation Tree junction is also of a similar standard and is ideally situated to make an instant impression on visitors entering the village, whilst leaving a benchmark standard ingrained on the memories of those leaving. The quality of the shrubs and the design of the Japanese garden - minimalist but gives such an impact. The sports field and bowling green are a credit to those involved.
Scholes County Primary School, Leeds Gold Rose Award
With the support from the Head and encouragement from Paul and the staff, the children have helped to create numerous spaces around the school to brighten and enhance the area both in terms of colour and wildlife. The work being carried out in the school allotment is encouraging; the children are able to grow and taste new things.
Areas of Achievement
The knowledge of the children when asked about the vegetables in the allotment and the wildlife in the pond area. Their enthusiasm to explain what happens in each of the garden areas. The inclusion of fruit and vegetable growing in the nursery area linked to play. The collection of fruit waste in the playground for the compost bins and the water recycling from the shed roofs. The continued links with the Scholes in Bloom group, and the competition to design the flower bed outside the school, well done to Parris.
This month is more like summer. The harvest has started but it is somewhat late and there are interruptions from showers. One effect of this summer has been that we have hardly seen swallows or house martins until the warmer weather came and now, in mid August, they are here and starting to nest. It must be too late for any young to be raised in time to be able to migrate in a month or two. Another ornithological item of interest is the more frequent sighting of buzzards wheeling over the villages. Ten years ago we would not have believed that buzzards and red kites are seen daily in the district.
Concerns over expansion in both villages (particularly Scholes) still dominate thinking in the parish. There is now a movement called "SOS Save our Scholes" which is organising opposition to housing proposals.
We have just had the wettest June since records began and the rain has continued into July. On most days we get some rain. It comes in all forms - a whole day of drizzle, sunny periods and very heavy showers or long periods of heavy rain. Most days are grey and sunless. On top of all this poor weather we are being told that there is little change in prospect. The weather has been affected by a shift in the jet stream which is usually further south than it normally is. The jet stream is caused by the coolness of the arctic and the heat of the tropics. It is thought that the warming of the arctic which has taken place in the last few years may mean that the jet stream has permanently changed its position and that this will be the pattern of our future summers. It is to be hoped that this will not be the case. It is difficult to predict what this year's harvest will be like. At present the cereal crop looks good but will it ripen in time?
Besides the weather, there is the gloom of proposed building developments to blacken the future. Most residents, especially of Scholes, are pessimistic of the future facing us in the parish. On top of this there is the turmoil in the parish's two Church of England churches as part of the Scholes's church want to split from Barwick's church, reflecting the different style of worship which the two congregations follow.
On Maypole Day it is the custom for some houses and shops on Main St.Barwick to display bunting, albeit these days less than fifty or more years ago. This summer's celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in June, followed by the presence of England in the European Cup and then the Olympic Games in London has brought out the bunting locally. The three public houses in Barwick, in particular, and some shops have been decked with bunting to celebrate the three events. Presumably, when the games have ended, the decorations will be put away until Mayople Day 2014.
The appalling wet gloomy summer continued into July. It was not until the last week or so of the month that the sun and the rain became less persistent. The grain harvest seems abundant at this early stage and, with the arrival of the sun, it is rapidly turning golden. Let us hope that this trend continues over the next month or so.
What a month June was going to be. The prominent events were to be based on the celebration of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. The celebratory lunch was organised for the 3rd of June. On the morning of that day we awoke to steady heavy rain. It continued all day until the evening. Understandably the lunch was cancelled so we eat our party food at home. The weather cleared the following day, Sunday, which enabled the lighting of the beacon to proceed at 10 o'clock that evening. A crown crammed onto the top of the motte and in the field below to witness the lighting and to hear speeches and music provided by a sousaphone and various other instruments.
In common with most of the rest of the country, June has been considerably wetter than usual. However a village event which has frequently been spoiled by rain showers, the Open Gardens event in Barwick, passed off without rain and was well attended by visitors from various parts of Yorkshire. One notable change this year has been the opening of the churchyard as a garden, recognising the hard work put in by a small body of volunteers to keep the area in good trim. Some parts of the churchyard have been left to nature to encourage wild life.
It was asking too much that the heavy showers at the end of April would stop as May started. 1st May was a dampish start to the month. The grass has started to grow vigorously and the summer slavery of lawn mowing is now in full swing.
Meanwhile the two villages are exercised in how to respond to plans from on high which have identified fields surrounding both villages on which developers want to build up to 3,500 houses in Scholes and 500 in Barwick. In the case of Scholes the gap between the present village and the start of built-up Leeds will practically disappear and the development will stretch towards Barwick. The plans are based on the wishes of developers who have mostly acquired the land with development in mind. In a few cases the land is owned by local residents.
It looked in March that there would be no celebrations of the Jubilee in Barwick other than the lighting of the beacon. However, plans are under way to organise a Jubilee Lunch in Hall Tower Field on Sunday 3rd June. Villagers are asked to bring a lunch item sufficient to share with others. Various events are being planned.
Possibly for the first time, Barwick is to have a circus. The National Festival Circus is coming to the Primary School on May 13th.
All Saints Church in Barwick has leafleted every house in the village to make villagers aware of the financial problems of the church and to appeal for regular donations to save the church from closure. The leaflet points out that the church costs £1000 per week to run and it has an income of £700 per week. On top of this problem the church has had another shock this month with the sudden death of one of the All Saints’ Church Wardens, Elaine Pickard. Although not a member of our Society Elaine had many friends in the village and she always gave everyone a lovely welcome when they arrived at the church. She opened up, put the heat on and stayed to lock up on numerous occasions when we took groups from our Society to view the church and always made them a welcome cup of tea plus biscuits even when we said it was not necessary. She was indeed a lovely Christian lady and will be sadly missed by all of us.
A proposal has been made to erect a 27.2m (88 feet) high 20 kw wind turbine at Kiddal Quarry Farm, which is opposite Kiddal Hall on the A64 (York Road). The parish council has objected to the proposal. For those of us who remember the protests about the A1/M1 link road in the early 1980's, there is some irony. At the time one proposed route would have taken the road right through the area now under threat from the turbine. Held in May 1982 a Public Inquiry lasting some 12 months resulted in the Inspector deciding that the link road between the M1 and A1 should not proceed because of concerns over its environmental impact. Ministers accepted this decision. On top of the current concerns about house building plans, the parish feels its rural existence is under threat.
The villages are looking at their best at present due to the efforts of the volunteers in both villages who plant and weed in many parts of their village including the approach roads to both. Both being successful in recent years in the Yorkshire in Bloom competitions, they are about to undergo a further visit from the competition judges. Those who knew the area in past years but have not been here for some time will note the difference which the volunteers have made.
Questions were raised at a recent meeting of the Parish Council about what areas were available in Scholes for young people to play now that Primary School has fenced off its playing field because of dog fouling. It was pointed out that the Open space reserved as part of the Scholes Lodge farm development is available for use as play area.
Scholes Primary School is holding a celebratory event with a 1950's theme on May 28th and a beacon is to be lit on the mound at Hall Tower Field to mark the Diamond Jubilee.
The area around the Buffers pub in Scholes has been cleared up by contractors as it was looking run-down. Marstons brewery, who own The Buffers hope to reopen the pub in the near future.
We stopped the on-line Guest Book some years ago because it was open to abuse. We did however invite guests to email their comments. In three years we have only received two entries including one received this week from Texas. It is from Cleo Holden who traces an ancestor back to the parish who left England during the Commonwealth period to settle in America. Cleo has a web site which describes a markedly different place from Barwick-in-Elmet.
Replacements for the stolen church gates have been installed at All Saints Church in Barwick. They are more safely fixed than the previous ones.
The society and All Saints Church are co-operating to open the church and the earthworks to the public in September for several days as part of the National Heritage Open Days. Details are yet to be decided but one change from previous years is that both tours will start from the church.
Today (12th) the curlew could be heard in the fields on the edge of Barwick to the west of Long Lane. What with that and almond and forsythia blossom along with warm weather. spring has arrived for certain.
There have been plenty of ideas about how the two villages should celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee but there has been a marked lack of enthusiasm of villagers volunteering to put the ideas into effect. Therefore it seems that the only way in which the jubilee will be celebrated in the parish is by the installation of a temporary beacon on the motte in hall Tower. At least the five hundred or so children at the two primary schools in the villages will each receive a celebratory mug which are being funded by the newly-established funds from the Leeds Festival.
Before March 31st, residents can apply for the discounted tickets made available from the organisers of the Leeds festival. The proceeds will be paid to the new local funds which enables the parish to benefit in various ways which could not be provided from parish public funds.
In many ways life in the two villages goes on quietly. Both villages now have upgraded children's' playground facilities. The local council has received its monthly report from the police and it noted that crime in the parish has declined further and no serious crimes were among those listed.
It is almost 14 years since this web site has been active. In that time we have received many responses including donations of illustrations, articles for The Barwicker and much useful information about the history of the parish from people from many parts of the world who have connections with the parish. The site has also brought many people to visit the area either privately or in organised groups. With this in mind the society has produced two sets of guide notes for members to use when taking groups around the parish, one for the earthworks in Barwick and the other for a walking tour around the streets of Barwick. All Saints church has recently published a new version of the guide to the church, written by a society member, Martin Tarpey.
Winter arrived at last in the opening week of this month. It started with cold nights, down to -6C, and was followed by about 5 inches of snow during the day on Saturday 4th. It was slow to clear but by the middle of the month we experienced warm sunny days.
The local traffic plans announced recently are now beginning to get a reaction. The double yellow lines proposed to be near the New Inn in Barwick is leading to worries that it will affect the trade of the pub and will also lead to parking further down Main St. outside properties which have no parking facilities of their own. Residents of Scholes have had a number of consultation meetings about proposed conservation areas including the Coronation Tree junction. There are also displays of the proposed development off the A64 near Scholes in the area where the road crosses the Cock Beck. The development will cover much of the field to the north of the A64 which was used in between the wars to hold flying circuses.
As life settles down into its normal daily rhythm after the Christmas holiday period, the weather at the start of the New Year has been warm, showery and very windy all in good measure. While there is little sign of the wind causes damage the parish is preparing to invest in its future by planting 420 saplings donated by the Woodland Trust. Some of the trees are to be planted in the field which was part of Scholes Lodge Farm and some in the allotments in Chapel Lane, Barwick. Some of the larger trees such as oak and birch are to be planted in places yet to be decided and some saplings will be used to renew hedging where it is needed. In addition an oak sapling has been received which was grown from a seed collected at one of the royal household estates.
Some of the money generated from the sale of Leeds Festival tickets donated to the parish, has been put to use locally. Among the recipients have been the Barwick Rainbow Group, Scholes Primary School for cycle sheds, Scholes Methodist Church for dry rot repairs, new goal posts for Scholes Football Club.
Plans are being drawn up by the Parish Council to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this summer. There has not been a Royal Diamond Jubilee for 115 years. It is planned to have a temporary gas-lit beacon on the top of the motte in Hall Tower Field and also to have some other celebratory events on June 4th.
It has been announced that following discussions between the parish council and the organisers of the Bramham Park three day musical event, Festival Republic, that the parish will receive an annual grant from the organisers and 250 weekend festival tickets. The grant will be Â£7,500 p.a. and the proceeds of the sale of the ticket allocation will also make a useful income to the parish. In the past the parish has received 50 tickets and were made sold to residents by ballot at Ã‚Â£40 each; this which raised Â£2000. The sale of five times that number would possibly not fetch Â£40 a ticket, but the total income to the parish should be at least Â£10,000. The new fund will be administered independently of the parish council and the administering body will be chaired by Melvyn Benn, the Chief Executive of Festival Republic. The funds will be used for making parish improvements.
It will be interesting to see the outcome of expenditure on this scale. At present there is no fund, free from the restraints of local government public funding, which can provide resources without the holding of coffee mornings, jumble sales and the like. At times there has been a struggle to raise funds for public facilities, accompanied by worry on the part of organisers of how the necessary funds can be acquired. The one saving grace of the current situation is that it brings like-minded people in the parish to come together to raise the funds. It will be interesting to see how social cohesion is affected by the existence of funding.
The start of the month has been marked by the lighting of Christmas illuminations for the third time. We have not experienced snow like we did last year and the temperature has been relatively high for the time of the year.
Development planning is taking place in the parish at present. The government has decided that planning regulations are too complex and need to be streamlined because too many proposed developments are being stalled or defeated by the current planning rules. The parish has been required to produce a neighbour development plan against a stated aim to build 3,500 houses in Scholes and 500 in Barwick. With such a massive increase in the size of Scholes and a large one in Barwick, the neighbourhood plans need to demonstrate the difficulties which such proposed wide-scale expansion will create.
Along-side this Scholes, in particular, and Barwick are currently involved in getting traffic measures implemented to cope with increasing traffic on our roads. The problems in Scholes are mainly associated with two problems, parents taking children to school by car and buses trying to use side roads to avoid the need to reverse at the terminus near the former railway station. In problems in Barwick are near the New Inn which has to cope with rush hour traffic from/to Garforth, traffic taking/collecting children from school and the shortage of parking space in that part of the village. With the proposed expansion of both villages the current proposals for traffic improvement will not be adequate to cope with in the enlargements. The new houses will be further from the village centres than current houses and will necessarily increase local traffic. The passage of time will tell whether the current fears will be realised. Read this article in twenty years time (2031).
The warm weather of October has carried over into November and has produced an exceptionally colourful autumn. Because of last year's experience with the early heavy snowfall, people are bracing themselves to a similar event this year. At this stage of the month (3rd), this seems impossible.
Consideration is being given to making parts of Scholes a conservation area. A public meeting is to be held on 7th November to hear the views of residents on the proposal.
A curious habit has developed in Barwick over the last year which, though trivial in many ways, it still a mystery. The newsagents in the village have been facing a large demand for Walnut Whips far in excess of any other confectionery items. Demand is such that they frequently run out of supplies. Why should this be and how long will it last? Time (history) will tell.
We got to the end of November without snow and temperatures were higher than the norm for November until nearly the end of the month.
Barwick in Bloom has received a Royal Award from The Duke of York's Community Initiative. The award was presented by the Duke himself at a ceremony at the Army Foundation College in Harrogate on October 13th. Barwick was one of 31 awards made this year by the Initiative. The initiative's aim is to give recognition to groups who have demonstrated what a real difference could be achieved by the community working together, identifying their own needs, and deciding for themselves the actions needed to find the answers to such needs.
The citation says :
|The initial remit of Barwick in Bloom, to smarten up a village which was a bit drab, has blossomed over the last 15 years. Local pubs and businesses, the school, church, chapel, scouts and guides and many individuals all join in the regular fund raising efforts and work around the village. The difference is visible and palpable, a beautiful village achieved through communal pride and effort.
Barwick was represented at the ceremony by Peter Williams, Frank Noble, Mrs Greta Pierce and Mrs Lesley Clark. Peter Williams received the award on behalf of the village.
Peter Williams receiving the award from the Duke of York
|© Jake Sugden
Both Barwick-in-Elmet and Scholes have achieved Gold awards from this year's Yorkshire in Bloom competition. Where can the parish go from here? The important outcome from these competitions is not the winning but the effect which the associated effort which has been expended has been clear for all to see.
Various new events are being held in the parish this month. The Barwick-in-Elmet Flower Club, which meets in Scholes, has held a workshop for anyone to learn the art of flower arranging or to enhance existing skills. There is to be a Holiday Club for children during the half-term week. It has been arranged by the members of the Methodist Church in Barwick.
There has been a surge in crime reported the past month. There 17 reported incidents in Barwick and five in Scholes. Most cases were of theft from garden sheds and garages.
Both primary schools have been given Â£1,500 to purchase musical instruments from the organisers of the Leeds Festival at Bramham Park. The donations were in response for the tolerance of residents during the festival.
Complaints about road safety issues and bus services continue to be aired.
Along with the start of autumn, Barwick was visited by the fair on Jack Heap's Field. The event no longer seems to be called The Barwick Feast as it was forty or so years ago.
From time to time it becomes known to society that there is a document of interest to us. Over the last couple of months we heard from Mrs Casburn, who lives in Cambridge, that she had in her possession a document which she inherited from her late father. It records the Potterton estate details in the 1820's. Apparently her father worked as a gardener at Potterton in the early 1950's and it has been in his possession ever since, only being found when they cleared his house after his death. Mrs Casburn felt that the document should be in the possession of a body which could make use of it. She was willing to donate the document to us and it is now in our possession. We are grateful to
Steve Burt of the Royal Armouries, who put Mrs Casburn in touch with us.
The document contains records and plans of many farms and other properties in the north of the parish and will enable to add to the work done previously in that part of the parish by Arthur Bantoft and Tony Cox. In lieu of a purchase price the society has made a donation to a cancer charity. The society is extremely grateful to Mrs. Casburn for her gift. The document was collected by the Mrs. Moore, the daughter of society members (Martin and Nesta Tarpey) and her family who delivered it to the society.
Jack and Grace Moore present the Potterton Estate Record book
from Mr and Mrs Casburn of Cambridge to Pauline Robson, Editor of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“The Barwicker'
The document is already revealing details of the parish which were unknown to us.
The society held an Earthworks Tours weekend as part of the nationwide Heritage Open Days scheme. While not receiving good local support, we had 102 visitors over the day and a half for which we were open. The visitors, who came from many parts of West Yorkshire, appeared to have found the earthworks of great interest.
At the society's meeting on Wednesday 21st, we witnessed the award of the Personal Achievement Award for 2011 by the British Association for Local History to our member Arthur Bantoft.
|Arthur Bantoft's citation
The citation scroll was presented by Helen Good, the Chairman of the British Association for Local History as Arthur had not been able to travel to London to receive it. It was fortuitous for the society. We were able to witness the award of the scroll by the Chairman of the Association who came from the University of Hull to present it in the society's presence.
|Arthur receiving the award from Helen Good the Chairman of the B.A.L.H
The last week of the month has been unusually warm. As we enter October the temperature maximum has been 28 ° C. It has made up for a dull August. This is little consolation to those sweltering at school.
Walkers leaving Barwick northwards on the Leeds Country Way may pause to see what must be one of the most decorative footpath signs, the work of Frank Noble, which he has named H.M.S. Pathfinder. Frank is becoming known in the village for his imaginative creations. In 2009, he received a Britain in Bloom Community Champion Award for his achievements.
August has been quiet in the parish. The music festival in Bramham Park is now well established and passed by without too much of a problem. The traffic arrangements are now well worked out and coped with a larger than previously audience. The wind must have been from a northerly direction because the concert was heard more than previously on the southern extreme of Barwick-in-Elmet.
The weather this month has been disappointingly cloudy. In the past year a few houses in Barwick have installed photovoltaic solar panels. Besides enabling householders to generate some of their own electricity and sell what they don't use to the national grid, the setup records daily patterns of production thereby giving a strong indication of how much sunshine or brightness we are getting. This shows that in the parish in August the weather was duller than April and almost as dull as in March.
A quiet two months with the routine annual round of Galas, Open Gardens and Yorkshire in Bloom inspections in both Barwick and Scholes. As the months have progressed, the weather has become sunny with rainy intervals.
The plan to build houses in the land between the built-up parts of Seacroft and Scholes and Thorner has been approved in spite of opposition expressed at the planning enquiry by local residents. There are signs of the open space on Leeds Road, Scholes - which is now in the care of the parish council - being made into the public area for the use of local villagers. An access point has been made from Leeds Road so that maintenance equipment can be brought to the field.
The maypole regalia is being featured in an exhibition in the Leeds City Museum entitled "Dancing in the Street" celebrating the diversity of street festivals in Leeds. The exhibition is on from July 22nd until 8th January 2012.
On the night of Tuesday/Wednesday 26th/27th July someone stole the newly installed gates to the church in Barwick. The gates which are made of solid oak and the metalwork has been used on many sets of gates dating back further than anyone here can remember. The gates cost nearly Â£2,000. If anyone sees the gates (see the photograph below) on sale - probably some distance from Barwick, please contact the police.
The new gates to the church which were stolen on 26/27 July.
Barwick's Maypole Queen for 2011 was elected today (3rd May) in the traditional way at the Primary School. The children of the village elected Lucia Harker of Aberford Road. Lucia is twelve years old. Volunteers have started to take garlands around the parish in the evenings for people to see them at close quarters.
There are to be discussions at the Parish Council about the possibility of providing some form of meeting place for young people in both villages which will not be an inconvenience to people living nearby. The parish council also has held a consultative meeting in Scholes about the newly-provided public open space at Scholes Lodge Farm. The mood of the meeting was in favour of pathways, seating an area for walking dogs, nature trails and display boards about the area's history; the meeting expressed reservations about using it for games, youth shelters, car parking and any building which would impair the view of local homes.
Barwick in Bloom works quietly away practically once every week and sometimes a lot more is done by individuals. In the last month or so Frank Noble, a member of the group has constructed two bug houses in the Jubilee Gardens. He has named one "Fawlty Towers" and the other "Insect Hotel" with a vacancies notice on it.
It is sad for us to hear of the death of one of the society's most valuable former member, Tony Cox. Born in Scholes, Tony joined the society in its early years and contributed greatly to the society's research. He was a member of the Editorial Committee and was author of many of the articles published in The Barwicker and reproduced on this site. Tony moved to Aberdeenshire several years ago to be near to one of his daughters and her family. Only several months ago he phoned me and told me how he had settled and was beginning to immerse himself in the area's local history. Tony was 86 years old.
Insect Hotel with vacancies
Glancing quickly at the church yesterday (16th) something looked wrong. As part of the repair and maintenance of the church, the bell tower louvres have been removed showing the bells from outside the church.
An unusual view of the All Saints Church, Barwick-in-Elmet
It has been a quiet month in the parish so far (23rd). The most remarkable feature has been the scorching hot weather. It is more like high summer than spring. April showers have been almost absent and watering has become the gardener's main occupation.
Whilst nationally the press and enterprising merchants have made much of the forthcoming wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton , there is no conspicuous activity in the parish to commemorate the event even though the bride is the great-great granddaughter of a Lupton "born of the parish" (Roundhay).
There is activity, however, associated with the maypole festivities in Barwick. The pole comes down on Easter Monday (24th). In the meantime the Maypole Trust's newly activated web site is full of information and requests for helpers. Beside the web pages there are Facebook and Twitter connections to suit all tastes in communication. At this stage of planning there are the usual anxieties about having enough income to pay for all the overheads and for the very first time it is possible to support the event by sending a contribution on line.
The pole was taken down without mishap on Monday 25th. On initial examination, it looks in good shape and can go up again in just over a month's time. This year the gap between Easter and the Spring Bank Holiday is short so the volunteer painters, Carl and Kath Whitfield, will have little social time to spare.
A rare chance to see what the fox on the top of the maypole looks like.
With longer days, spring seems close at hand but not fully arrived. For some inexplicable reason, the parish is carpeted with a marvellous display of snowdrops which I cannot recall before. In my garden which I have turned from a meadow into a garden in the last 47 years, I have a marvellous display of snowdrops, yet I have never bought or planted a single bulb. I am not complaining for the effect is splendid - much better than naturally planted dandelions.
By the middle of the month, spring has arrived. The curlews are back, there is a large number (I can't call it a swarm) of ladybirds and also bumble bees are around in plenty. The villages continue there quiet existence getting ready for the judging day for Yorkshire in Bloom. Meanwhile in Japan and Libya, to name just two countries, there is chaos and much to worry about.
As part of the cost reduction programme being carried out by Leeds City Council in order to meet the loss of income from the government, there is a proposal to close Scholes Library one of a number of smaller libraries across the city and to replace it with a mobile service. On Wednesday 2nd of February a public meeting was held in Scholes to discuss the proposal. It was well attended by villagers who were able to question central library staff and put their points of view across to the staff and the local councillors, who were also in attendance.
As if the threat of library closures was not enough, Scholes experienced an armed robbery at its local convenience store on Sunday 6th. A 34 year old man was arrested in possession of an imitation firearm. The man made off in a dark coloured car in the direction of Swarcliffe and abandoned the car on the A64 nearby.
There are plans being considered to cure the parking problems near the primary school and the convenience store in Scholes. The plan is likely to involve the use of double yellow lines near both road junctions and the school.
The parish strong winds at the beginning of the month and as a result, the roof of the church in Barwick was damaged near the tower on Friday 4th. Tiles were ripped off the roof leaving a hole about four feet (1.3 metres) wide. There was a Mothers and Toddlers group meeting in the church at the time but no-one was hurt.
We heard today, 22nd, that Arthur Bantoft, our long serving former Society Chairman and former Editor of The Barwicker has been awarded the Personal Achievement Award for 2011 by the British Association for Local History. The award is made to "local historians who have made significant voluntary contributions to the subject in their own areas". The award to Arthur is well deserved as can be witnessed by the many articles by him on this site.
There was news this month of a serious earthquake in Christchurch which killed over 200 and created much damage in the city centre. On occasions such as this, my mind goes over who I might know who lives in the place affected. This time I thought of Mark Coulthard who works in Christchurch and lives out in the suburbs. He was born in Barwick and emigrated some years ago. Not having way contacting him, I wondered if he and his family were safe or not. It was a pleasant surprise and relief when, that evening, I turned on the television local news and there he was. He had contacted the BBC in Leeds using his laptop and was describing what happened. Anyway, he was clearly safe.
The point of saying this is to point out, what is now obvious, what tremendous strides in communications we have made in the last fifteen years. As this site completes twelve years on line, it is interesting to reflect on the contacts we have had with former residents from overseas in places like Norway, Greece, Spain, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and South Africa. This news page is written with former residents, wondering what if anything is happening in Sleepy Barwick and Scholes, and readers in thirty or more years time, wondering how the Barwick and Scholes of their day compares with 2011 or before. For those of you overseas who would like the chance to make contact (on-line, of course) with contemporaries elsewhere, the opportunity exists. Starting this week, the newly revised Maypole Trust web site (see links) updated by John Fergusson, who has recently returned from his exile in the south of England. The Trust also has started Facebook and Twitter pages, which can be accessed via the web site.
January has begun quietly with mostly dull weather but, thankfully with temperatures during the day above freezing. The arrival of temperatures of as high as 6ºC. made it feel almost spring-like after the experience of last month. We have also had quite sunny weather which has helped to lift spirits.
On Tuesday 18th, the community display cabinet in the Leeds City Museum featured a display presented by the society. Being Maypole Raising Year, we chose the maypole ceremony as the main theme for the display. There is an array of items associated with the maypole including regalia, a former May Queen's dress, a piece of an old maypole, the society's model of the pole, as well as many photographs and illustrations. We have also been fortunate to have a completed garland which is ready for this year's ceremony on display in the cabinet. The display also has a collection of other items featuring other aspects of the parish's history including items from the church.
The Society's display in Leeds City Museum
18th January - Mid-March 2011
Today January 2001 to December 2002
Today January 2003 to December 2004
Today January 2005 to December 2005
Today January 2006 to December 2007
Today January 2008 to December 2008
Today January 2009 to December 2010
Today January 2011 to December 2012
Today January 2013 to December 2014
Back to Barwick-in-Elmet Historical Society