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Barwick-in-Elmet Historical Society 

Today's News (Tomorrow's History)

Part 8. 2013 - 2014

This information is provided by the Barwick-in-Elmet Historical Society. 

December 2014

Barwick's church held an unusual event on the second weekend of the month - a Christmas Tree Festival. A mulitude of societies and businesses in the village brought christmas trees into the church and decorated them in styles which reflected the interests of the contributors. The event raised funds which were divided between support for children in Malawi and a smaller amount for the church.

Christmas Day went by without snow. However the night of Boxing Day did bring a light covering of snow. New Year's Eve saw a rise in temperature.

November 2014

This year's Remembrance Sunday was more poignant than has been the case for some years as it marked 100 years since the outbreak of war in 1914. Ceremonies were held at the war memorials in each village.

Following a collision at the Coronation Tree which resulted in a Barwick man being seriously injured, there has been a call for action to be taken to introduce better safety measures. This comes at a time when there has been a marked increase in traffic between Garforth and the centre of Leeds and the outer Ring Road due to the Wakefield Road in Garforth being closed for road and footpath work. As this has now finished it will be interesting to see how many prefer coming via Barwick and Scholes from Garforth to the north and centre of Leeds.

October 2014

History is being kept in the public eye in a new way this month. Harrogate is holding a Festival of History which will focus attention on various aspects of history.

Scholes has been entered into the large village category of the Britain in Bloom following its success in the Yorkshire competition this year.

For avid followers of Facebook there is now an interest group called "Memories of Scholes and Barwick ". It has a number of photographs which you seldom, if ever, see elsewhere.

Autumn has cone again! The annual Feast at Barwick has been and gone leaving a patch of very mild weather.

On Saturday 18th October, the society held an open morning at their archives in the John Rylie House. A variety of documents, maps and photographs were available for the public to see. The event was well attended and visitors appeared pleased with what they saw.

September 2014

The worry in Scholes about planned large scale housing development on land to the east of the village has reduced but not gone away. The planned houses are due to built on a strip of land to the east of Main Street, stretching from Rakehill Road to Barwick Road near to the Coronation Tree. The Leeds City Planning Committee rejected the plan. However the developers may well object to the decision.

Both villages did well in the Yorkshire in Bloom's summer judging. Barwick was the winner of the Large Village section with a gold award. Scholes won a gold award in the same group. In the Public, Private and Charitable Estates section All Saints Barwick and Barwick Methodist Chapel were awarded silver gilt.

Among the headaches confronting the Parish Council at present are the proposed demolition and replacement of the bus stop at Jack Heap's Field, the location of Barwick's bottle recycling container, what to do or not do in the open space adjacent to Scholes Lodge Farm.

The Barwick Horticultural Society Show was held and attracted 273 entries in its competitive classes. There were 14 adult awards and 4 classes of award for children.

At its meeting on 16th September, the society celebrated its 30th anniversary with a cake, some wine and a photographic presentation of events which have occurred since its foundation.

Some of the members from the early dats at the cake cutting.
(l-r)Harold Smith, Barbara Duckett, Anne Foreshaw, Jane Deacon (a founding member)
General view of members present at the celebration.
Photos by David Siviour

August 2014

In the parish minutes 100 years ago this month, there is no mention of the outbreak of the Great War on 3rd of the month. Its scale may not have been realised by council members ("It will be over by Christmas"). However 100 years later, the event has been remembered in both Barwick and Scholes. In both villages large numbers of residents attended the re-dedications of the war memorials. There were parades in which the Leeds City Pipe Band took part and there were church services in both villages The events were attended by a Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, representing the Queen, by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, city and parish councillors and armed forces veterans and the local MP, Alec Shelbrooke, attended the Barwick ceremony.

On the 7th of the month, temporary traffic signs started to appear saying road closed in various of the parish, including one in front of the maypole, yet when the details under the main sign are read, it is clear that they refer to the Leeds Festival which, once more, is to be held at Bramham Park towards the end of the month.

There is news on the proposed developments of housing in Scholes. The Leeds City Planning officer has released a report which states that the proposed development of 700 houses is premature and would adversely impact the character of the village. The report will be considered by the city plan panel on August 28th.

July 2014

Even though the parish is not involved in the Tour de France, this year's tour starts in Leeds on 5th July, finishing in Harrogate and continues on 6th July in York, finishing in Sheffield. This brings the event into disruption range for anyone leaving home on the two days as main routes in North Leeds, Harrogate and west from York will be subject to closure or delays caused by diversions. However, disruption is too strong a word as there is considerable pleasure in the locality that Yorkshire is host to the event. It is most unlikely that this will ever happen again. Places directly affected by the tour are decked with bunting, used bikes (repainted in yellow and in some cases "ridden" by stuffed models wearing yellow or King of the Mountain polka red dot shirts). As we have no experience of the event in the north of England, it is difficult to know what to expect.

On the 7th of this month the tour's appearance in Yorkshire was acknowledged a success. Large crowds lined to route to see the cavalcade of supporting cars as well as the cyclists. It was amazing to see dozens of French gendarmes escorting the tour as well as British Police motorcyclists from all parts of the country. The Gendarmes provided "savoir faire" for what was clearly a non-British affair. The event was also accompanied by sunny weather which followed a twelve hour deluge leading up to the start.

Even though Barwick and Scholes were some way from the route which the Tour de France took, both villages incorporated the tour into their floral displays for Yorkshire in Bloom.

Display at the Coronation Tree, Scholes
Photo: Ian Mann

Display at the Womens' Institute Mapel Tree, Scholes
Photo: Ian Mann

Display at the Slip, Barwick-in-Elmet
Photo: Geoff Thornton

June 2014

Summer has arrived along with overcast skies for much of the month. It has been "I should take your umbrella" weather. So far this month there has been nothing of great import to divulge. The worries about expansion at Scholes are still there and important meetings are awaited. The soccer World Cup has arrived complete with St George flags flying from pubs, cars and the occasional house and finished with the early exit by the below-par England team. The end of the month has "Open Gardens" in Barwick followed early in July by Scholes.

May 2014

The maypole raising season is upon us. The maypole will be raised on 26th of this month. Elections have been held in the Primary School in Barwick to choose the May Queen and her two Maids of Honour. The Maypole Queen is to be Lily Hawkhead and for the first time two Maids of Honour, Isabelle Jackson and Katie Waterhouse, have been chosen.

More than 1600 people responded to developer's plan to build 745 new homes in Scholes mostly by writing to object to the proposal. planning officers were surprised by the number of letters which they have received to the proposal which would lead to a significant spread eastwards to the village and also lead to a smaller development of buildings close to the school in the village.

There have been changes of a notable historic kind. The ecclesiastical parish of Barwick-in Elmet, which dates from Norman times is to be no more. It is to be merged with Thorner into a new benefice. The new title of the Benefice proposed to the Diocese will be ″Elmete Trinity″.

Other aspects of daily life do not change. Swallows and house martins have arrived on about 14th May as they do most years. The cuckoo's call has not been heard locally again this year. Perhaps this will always be a song of the past.

Maypole Day arrived after a spell of three days of showers and torrential rain. We awoke to cloudless sunny skies and all was well with the day. The maypole went up, the queen was crowned and a large crowd attended all day. As the climber started to climb the pole, the first drops of rain began. It was not enough to affect the climb but as we went home the rain became more persistent and we ended the day with light rain. However, it would be fair to say that we had a pleasant day.

Starting the climb
Spinning the fox
Chris Brown climbing the maypole
Photos: Ian Richardson

See the whole climb on video

April 2014

This month marks the start of the sixteenth year since the society's web site started on the World Wide Web. At that time there were just a handful of historical societies on-line across the world. Sixteen years ago few people had computers in their homes and even fewer had access to the world wide web. The position today now is quite different with the majority of households in the United Kingdom having at least one computer (desktop, laptop, notebooks, tablets, i-phones) with which to communicate. The basic layout designed over fifteen years ago has withstood the development over extra improvements to web design. We have used the capabilities of mobile devices to enable the web site to provide an audio tour of the earthworks. We also have video imagery which was not possible in the opening years of the internet. Within the historical society, most people have access to the internet. However, we have not yet reached the stage when we can assume that everyone can be contacted on-line or can read the society's publications electronically.

Therefore the society is still producing its publication, the Barwicker, on paper. The time will arrive when we will send The Barwicker by email to members but not yet. The Barwicker is becoming more costly to produce but it still provides some income to help towards the costs of running the society. In the last few months we have produced our first electronic publication the 1940's map of the area, and it may in time be followed by other electronic publications to replace the role of The Barwicker in supporting society running costs.

This month sees the end of the parish being in the Diocese of Ripon. The diocese was formed in October 1836 and before that date the parish was in the Diocese of York. Since the early nineteenth century as the population has expand and resettled in new cities, the Church of England has made changes to the diocesan boundaries. The dioceses of covering much of North and West Yorkshire have needed to be altered to reflect changes. The new diocese for this parish will be known as "The Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales". The Rt Revd Nick Baines will become the first Bishop of Leeds for the Diocese of West Yorkshire and the Dales. At 2,425 square miles, the largest diocese in England by area, the new diocese stretches from Huddersfield and Holmfirth in the south-west to Richmond and the River Tees in the north-east and from Barnsley in the south-east to Bainbridge in the north west. With a population of 2.3 million people served by 656 Anglican churches, it includes the cities of Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield as well as North Yorkshire towns such as Skipton, Catterick, Harrogate and Settle. A new feature of the new diocese will be its five smaller areas known as Episcopal Areas,each with its own Area Bishop and Archdeacon, responsible for local decision making. The new diocese will also retain its three cathedrals – Bradford, Wakefield and Ripon.

March 2014

As the month began the first daffodils appeared and there was a touch of spring in the air.

Over the last year two changes came about without announcement. The first happened at Aberford. The Swan at Aberford, which was a coaching inn up until the middle of the nineteenth century, closed for a while to undergo a major refurbishment and also a change in ownership. On re-opening in the latter part of last year, it was noticed by those of us who like a touch of conservation, that the unusual board from the nineteenth century which advertised "J Heaton - Post horses to let" was missing. Having waited three months to see if it was going to be replaced following conservation, it is still missing. What has happened to it?

We have no record of when the first organ was installed in All Saints church to lead choral aspects of worship. However since the death over a year ago of Bernard Davidsworth, who was the organist at the church, the church has been unable to replace him. As a result, the congregation has relied upon a piano in its services. The church is now seeking a replacement piano, presumably a second hand one. It suggests that there is little chance of finding a regular organist for the church.

Following disappointing attendances at last year's Heritage Open Days at the earthworks, it has been decided that the society will not participate in the event in 2014. All Saints church will be open under the scheme for part of the weekend. The society is willing to arrange tours of the earthworks for groups who wish to see them at any reasonable time. It does and will also share its knowledge of the local history of the parish by giving tours to groups.

A dilemma has been presented to the parish council. There is a vacancy for a membership from Scholes on the council. At least ten registered voters in Scholes have formally requested an election to fill the vacancy. There will have to be an election conducted at the same time of the Leeds Council and Europe elections which will bring a charge of £2,000 top be paid by the parish. An election for the council held without conjunction with other elections will cost £8000 which would cause an increase in the local rate precept. The sudden increase in prospective council members must reflect the concern of villagers about the future developments. Democracy is being balanced against taxation.

February 2014

Half way through the month and we are still experiencing a relatively mild and not too wet winter. In Somerset, in the Thames Valley and on south western coasts, there has been heavy rain with its associated floods and fierce coastal winds which have caused immense damage, such as the collapse of the railway, built by Brunel well over a century ago, near to Dawlish. In the meantime we are saying how well the weather has treated us in West Yorkshire.

Locally, none of the worries about new housing, local public transport or parish council organisation have been settled. One pleasing development has been the award of a grant by the Yorkshire Young Achievers Foundation to Barwick School. The award will be used to refurbish an area in the school to provide a new library and improved facilities for IT. The work is being supported by parents under the aegis of FOBS, which is the Friends of Barwick School. The project will cost about £32,000 of which FOBS has so far raised more than £6,000. The grant will make a big difference.

January 2014

The New Year has started favourably in this part of the world in comparison with many other parts of the country. It has not been too wet, windy or cold and we have had no snow. In many other parts of the country, particularly in the south and west of England and Wales, there has been heavy rain and high winds particularly which have affected river valleys and exposed stretches of the coast. This had caused flooding and damage, particularly on the coast. It is Maypole Year again and those involved in planning the lowering and raising the maypole are starting to meet up to make the necessary arrangements. In the meantime, Hall Tower Field is being slowly prepared by the flock of sheep which are occupied vegetation which has been allowed to threaten to take over the field. Unfortunately the sheep are not partial to the briars which dominate the south side of the motte.

Sheep helping to prepare Hall Tower field for this year's Maypole Festival

December 2013

Before the end of November we saw the first installations and illuminations off Christmas decorations. They appear earlier and earlier than used to be the case.

The group in Scholes who want to separate Scholes from Barwick-in-Elmet to form a new parish council of Scholes have had their approach rejected by Leeds City Council. The group is not satisfied and now wish to take the matter to appeal.

Following the conservation and photographing of the mid-1840's Ordnance Survey map of a large area from Armley to Thorp Arch and from near Micklefield to Huby, the society has produced a CD of the map which gives great magnification and enables you to study the area in a way which a paper map would not allow. The application for a grant to enable this was made in 2012 (see Today's News for Nov/December 2012 for more detail). Over 10 local schools have been sent copies to support studies of local history in the parish. The society is also selling copies of the CD for £7. Copies can be purchased from the Leeds Civic Trust in their shop or on-line.

There is a new book 'Roman Yorkshire' by Patrick Ottaway. which can shed more light on the area after the end of the Iron Age.

Members of the society attended the funeral of Alan Senior a member of the society on 6th December. Alan had been a member for nearly 20 years, having joined on retirement. Living in Scholes all his life, Alan had been a member of the parish council, an active member of the local and district scout movement, knew the parish footpaths in detail and wrote a book on them, and became active in the historical society. He was the prime mover in the society getting its Resources Centre built and open. He was the person who advised the owners of the Ordnance Survey map (see above) that the society had the facilities to take on responsibility for the map. At last meeting he attended in November 2011 he was a member of the panel of members who had served in the forces for National Service. During that meeting he was taken ill and had to leave before the end. After that meeting he was too ill to attend.

The group in Scholes, which studied the history of their village, has closed. The documents which it had collected have been handed onto the society and are now held in our Resource Centre.

November 2013

We are having a very pleasant, relatively dry autumn. The same planning issues remain unresolved and the bus service in Scholes is still giving dissatisfaction. There has been quite a lot of activity on the housing market in the last few months. By activity, one should perhaps say a lot of houses have been put on the market for some houses sell quickly and others remain for sale for long periods. Overall, the price of houses has not risen like they have in the south-east of the country.

This month has seen the introduction of a new set of arrangements for refuse collections from domestic properties. Recycling bins (green in colour) will now be collected every 14 days instead of every 28 days, and general refuse bins (black in colour) will also be collected every 14 days instead of every 7 days. Under this arrangement there will be one bin collected each week as green and black will alternate.

With readers 30 years in the future looking at the month's news in mind, it seems useful to say about a change in habit which has been taking place in the country in the last year or so. It seems that gone are the days when people at work attending other business premises or even such as the Old Bailey, no longer carry a document case with them. Its place is increasingly being taken by a backpack which was designed originally for country hiking or mountaineering. It will be interesting to review this habit in five years or so. Long gone are the days of brief cases for such uses. The only reason which may have brought this change about is the increasing need for business people to carry laptops and, or, ipads with them. In a case this would make an easier target for thieves.

The parish council is concerned that the lack of a faster broadband service to the parish is putting local businesses and residents at a disadvantage. It is urging residents and businesses to register their concerns about not having a faster broadband service on a web site They wish for the parish to be included in the plan, which has funding of £24 million, to increase broadband speeds to 24mb. in rural areas of West Yorkshire. For those no longer living in the parish but with family or friends living in the parish, your help in urging your contacts here to sign up can lead to you receiving better communication with the parish. At present, Skype is not giving the standard which we would like because of slow and broken down connections from and to the parish.

The society has just started to distribute digital copies of the newly restored Ordnance Survey map of the area in the 1840's. The digitisation has enabled us to examine an area of about 10x6 miles in greater detail than we could even using a magnifying glass. The CD containing the map and notes about its origin is being distributed to local schools. It is also on sale. We are in the process in finding a bookshop or other outlet which can provide an online ordering, dispatching and charging service to those wishing to purchase the disc. It is expected that it will cost something in the region of £10 or less plus postage and packing.

October 2013

As October started so did clear signs of autumn. The trees have started to change colour. The cereal harvest is in and the potato harvest is just beginning. There is a magnificent display of berries on the bushes and holly trees. Starting quite mild for the first week or so, the temperature has dropped and warmer clothing is needed. The fair, which used to be called the Barwick Feast, arrived in Jack Heap's Field on time.

It is an appropriate time to record some changes which have developed gradually over the last few years or so. On the 19th of this month there will be a Barwick Beer Festival in the village hall in aid of the Maypole Trust. These events have become popular over the last six or so years. Their popularity has grown popular not just in this village and give an opportunity for the growing numbers of micro-breweries to acquaint the public with their products.

Forty years or so ago it was normal for children, particularly boys, to play conkers at this time of the year. Being a good year for berries and seeds, it is noticeable that conkers are no longer being played. Is it a result of the references in the press to schools banning the game on the grounds of "health and safety"? How has it come about that a game which was centuries old is suddenly unsafe? The result of the drop in the practice, parks such as Lotherton have the ground under horse chestnut trees covered in conkers - which would never be the case in years past.

Coming back to Barwick by car today (13th) there were 49 cyclists in twos and threes heading east. Some were no doubt making their way to Lotherton to a cycling event where at least another 100 cyclists had already gathered. It transpired that what we witnessed was over 900 cyclists gathering to take part in a fund raising memorial cycle ride called Spadger's Memorial Ride. It was a 48 mile circular ride. The big surprise was that it was joined by Sir Bradley Higgins.

There is a marked increase in the popularity of cycling in the last few years (particularly by men) following in the path laid by the national success of cyclists in the Olympic Games and in the Tour de France. It must make a significant contribution to the nation's health that so many men of all ages have taken this activity up. Long may it continue.

Traffic hazards on country roads have been affected by the presence of more cyclists but there is another hazard which has increased in the last decade or two. There was a time when the only major obstruction by agricultural vehicles was at harvest time when combine harvesters were being moved from field to field. It is noticeable now that the combine has been joined by large tractors linked, for instance, to very large tilling and setting equipment. This equipment has a larger extended reach over its predecessors to enable more of the land to be covered in one pass. To move on the roads the equipment is folded in to enable it to move between fields. Such equipment is expensive and is only needed for a limited period of the year. As a result farmers are more inclined to put the tasks such as tilling and setting to contractors, which increases the volume of such equipment on rural roads far more than used to be the case. In the eighteenth century the growth of the size and weight of carts and carriages led to the introduction of toll roads. Will some changes be introduced to rural roads in coming years?

Barwick, which represented Yorkshire in the Large Village Category of the Britain-in-Bloom competition, have been awarded a gold category for the second time. In addition, a RHS Britain in Bloom Community Champion Award, which is presented to an individual or individuals who demonstrated exceptional commitment and dedication to the Britain in Bloom cause in their community, was given to John Tinker.

September 2013

The schools are back, the weather is somewhat cooler and we had a day of heavy rain on the day scheduled for England to play Australia at Headingley. The villages continue to have worries about housing developments and Scholes residents are dissatisfied with the new bus schedules. The general frustration in Scholes has caused one resident to call for a review which may lead to a separation between Scholes and Barwick.

The society participated in the national Heritage Open Days scheme once again this year by giving conducted tours to the public of the Iron Age earthworks in the centre of Barwick. In spite of quite reasonable weather, the attendance was disappointing.

The harvest this year has been late and even now (25th) it is not complete. First indications are that yields are quite good. It has been a good year for those with fruit trees. There are plums and apples a plenty.

News arrived that Scholes in Bloom won the Yorkshire in Bloom Gold award for the second time. Anyone visiting Scholes after five or more years can see the difference which the hard work and creativity of the "in Bloom" team has made to the village.

August 2013

Being August the villages are quiet and somewhat inactive. The weather has been largely fine and the harvest is under way. The birds are breeding later than normal and there are now more swallows and house martins around. Both villages are awaiting the results of the "in Bloom" competitions. They are also waiting for the planning decisions about long term housing developments. The new bus timetables have been implemented in spite of dissatisfaction strongly expressed in Scholes.

The Leeds Festival takes place in Bramham Park at the end of the month and road signs about temporary traffic arrangements for the event are already in place (12th August) so road users will not be able to argue that they had not been warned.

The Leeds Festival was larger than ever and followed what has now become a routine event (in administration terms). The artists performing appear to be the latest favourites with the young public which make up most of the people attending the event. The event was accompanied by heavy showers which was followed by heavy mud, tales of wellingtons being purchased and then abandoned. There were accounts of the mud being taken from the site and being spread on the pavements of Leeds near the railway and bus stations. Certainly the roads leading from the event were heavily covered by mud, which was removed by contract road sweepers. During the festival there was a north-easterly breeze which wafted the deep thud of the performers' music.

July 2013

It is 5th July, the temperature this afternoon has reached 26c., they are cutting the hay in the fields off Long Lane and I have worn shorts for the first time this year! I think we can claim that summer has arrived at last. One of the effects not thought of when global warming was first described was that the summers may become cooler in our latitude. It will be interesting in years to come to see what evolves as new weather patterns establish themselves and to prove (or disprove) the advent of global warming.

Both villages are busy getting ready for the judging in Yorkshire in Bloom (Scholes) and Britain in Bloom (Barwick). Judging will take place towards the end of the month. The roads entering Barwick have had long banners erected from lamp posts announcing "Britain in Bloom".

June 2013

June has been a quiet month - so far. Summer has arrived late. The house martins, which normally arrive in mid-may turned up on 17th June and there were very few of them, possibly following a very poor breeding season last summer. Nationally, there are meetings being held by the Meteorological Office to establish whether global warming has given rise to a change in the climate. Farmers are worried by the poor prospects for the grain harvest this year.

Meanwhile, locally in both Barwick and Scholes there is much activity by the "In Bloom" organisations to get the villages in shape for the arrival of the judges. In Barwick's case it has the National Britain in Bloom competition which is has to await. The villages also have Open Gardens events to organise. Due to growth being so late this year, gardens will be at an unusual stage of the seasonal growth.

Planning matters still are unresolved and weigh on villagers' minds. It looks as if the bus service proposals are going to be implemented in spite of much dissatisfaction in Scholes. It looks as if the dire proposals for a large increase in the sizes of the two villages may be less stringent than at first proposed.

May 2013

Life continues quietly without much in the way of change, except the weather which has suddenly woken up to summer in the first week of May. Everyone has been complaining about a long winter and now there is a distinct joie-de-vivre in everyone's step. Ever since the success of Bradley Wiggins in the Tour de France and in the Olympics last summer, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of men (in the main part) taking to exercising on racing cycles on the roads passing through the two villages at weekends or, at this time of the year in the evenings. They are nearly all dressed in proper cycling clothing and helmets and many are in clusters of ten or so, possible in clubs or nascent clubs. This is an encouraging sight for, being in such numbers, car drivers have to drive with more attention to other road users. Let us hope that in future years we can still report that cycling is a well established habit.

April 2013

The last week in March had brought a substantial snowfall and cold weather. On the 3rd April some of the snow still remained in north facing places and in areas where the snow had been the heaviest, such as the lane at Potterton leading up to the York Road. However the Easter weekend had sunshine and slightly warmer weather. However, spring did not begin until the middle of the month. At least, the land has dried out enough to enable farmers to get onto the land and start to catch up with late planting.

The city has been spending some of its new year budget in painting double yellow lines in Barwick and marking out parking bays on Main Street outside the Gascoigne and the Post Office, a place which is scarcely ever empty of cars and can cause problems for buses discharging passengers.

March 2013

The double yellow lines have appeared in Scholes on the first Tuesday of the month. They were installed just before a few days of light falls of snow, sleet or hail stones. The villages await the announcement of how many new houses will be given approval under the new planning scheme. There is conjecture that the number of houses approved will be considerably less than the total numbers under consideration.

For those who have not been to Barwick in recent years, there is now a coffee shop and delicatessen open in Main Street, next door to Anthony's bread shop.

Yellow lines were installed at the end of the week ending 22nd of the month Main St./Leeds Road/Long Lane junction near The New Inn, just before a heavy snowfall which lasted nearly two days. It started to thaw but the temperature was only just over 0°C. which no doubt pleases children on the first few days of the Easter holidays.

The new bus timetables as outlined in the November 2012 entries have been approved and will begin in late July 2013. While a new transport development has been announcement. As part of the national plan to build a high speed link from London to the north via Birmingham (known as HS2), it is planned that the spur to Leeds should continue north-easterly to link up with the main east coast line at York. It is planned that this extension will bring a high speed line between Barwick and Garforth. It will run south of the M1 which will absorb some of the sound from the railway so that the sound in Barwick and Scholes will be similar to that experienced by the current railway line. It is planned to complete the new line by 2033.

Those people who used to live in the parish in the 60's and early 70's will recall that the parish was on a military flight path which kept military aircraft away from the Leeds conurbation. Well, if you were to return today, you would find that there are now extremely few fighter or bomber planes using that flight path but there are frequently military helicopters, including Chinook helicopters, in the corridor. There are also far more civilian helicopters using the airspace above the villages. Over and above that on clear mornings there are many airliners leaving their vapour traces in the sky. They are mostly airliners approaching Europe from North America on overnight crossings. Later in the morning the reverse flow of airline traffic can be seen under the right conditions.

February 2013

Transport issues dominate the news at the beginning of the month. The parish council has discussed parking arrangements in both Barwick and Scholes. In Barwick it was announced that parking restrictions will come around the Main St./Leeds Road/Long Lane junction very shortly. More limiting parking restrictions are being proposed for parts of Scholes; residents of Belle Vue Road and Morwick Grove may soon need permits to park outside their own homes; visitors to residents in those roads and visitors to the primary school will not be able to park in those roads. There are also proposals for parking, waiting and speed restrictions in Scholes. A 20 mph speed limit will apply on roads near the school as will waiting near the school at arrival and leaving times. The parish council also has received a complaint from a resident in Barwick that parking near the post office in Barwick precludes buses from stopping in a safe place. With the very large increase in the size of Scholes and to a lesser extent in Barwick, there are worries that the current difficulties in parking in the two villages will become worse.

The society has been given a map surrounding the parish which is the first edition made by the Ordnance Survey in the 1850's. It had been fixed to the back of a cupboard for many years and was in a delicate condition. It is elephant size and needed carefully handling. The society applied for funding from the Barwick-in-Elmet and Scholes Community Fund to have the map conserved, placed in a suitable carton for protection and to have the map scanned. The award has been granted and is being conserved by the West Yorkshire Archive Service. With the scan,the society will produce copies on DVD's for distribution to schools in or serving the area covered by the map. The society feels that local students should have the opportunity to gain knowledge of the history of their locality.

January 2013

The new year has begun with mild weather and not too much rain. In addition a letter has been received by all households in Barwick from the Vicar, Andy Nicholson. It has two aims. One conveys strongly that the church is the villagers' church, not just for worship on Wednesday and Sunday mornings. It also outlines thinking which is taking place to make the church a more open, welcoming social as well as a spiritual place.

The Barwick-in-Bloom team will not have time to rest on their laurels this year as it the village has been chosen to represent Yorkshire in the large village category of Britain in Bloom 2013.

Earlier editions of Today can be found at :

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 
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