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Barwick-in-Elmet Historical Society 

Today's News (Tomorrow's History)

Part 8. 2015-2018

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

December 2018

The Christmas lighting has been switched on in both Scholes and Barwick which gives a pleasant welcome as you enter the villages. The decoration is in the style which has been developed over the last few years. There are no flashing lights or garish displays - this is not Las Vegas. The decoration is achieved by draping trees in prominent position in both villages with strings of blue and white/silver bulbs. The one spread in the Coronation Tree at Scholes is particularly prominent to people approaching from Stanks. So we know it is time to write and post Christmas cards - the cost of which seems to shoot up every year. The weather is not too cold and there is some rainfall to replenish gardens which have had a long parched period last summer.

November 2018

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the 1st World War. To commemorate the century the Parish Council has arranged a ceremony and associated activities, "Beacon of Light", on the 11th day of the month. It will take place on Hall Tower Field, Barwick-in-Elmet from 5.30 p.m. to 7 p.m. At 7 p.m. the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire will light a beacon which will one of many across the country. Before the beacon is lit, there will be music from WW1 and a cameo theatrical entitled "WW1 - the life of a soldier". The Last Post followed by a minute's silence then "Reveille" and a piper will play a lament before the beacon is lit. There will be a firework display to conclude the evening. The Historical Society devoted its well-attended first meeting of the month to mark the centennial end of the First World War with contributions from society members talking about family ancestors who participated in that war.

October 2018
The first society meeting of this month was a Hugh Hawkins Lecture given by a member, David Teale. It was the first of an annual Hugh Hawkins Lecture to recognise the work and legacy of one of the founder members of the society. David had taken on the task of examining and recording all the documents and appertenances which Hugh had accumulated during his time with the society. The talk revealed that Hugh had made recordings of radio programmes, which through the passage of time and the archive policy of the BBC, were no longer available elsewhere. One in particular was a recording in 1965 of the Llangollen Eisteddfod at which the College Choir from Bakersfield, California, which was awarded the first position the day after Hugh's recording. There is no other recording of that event and the choir is delighted that it has been found.

Into the second week of October the annual visit to Barwick of a fair was starting to assemble on Jack Heap's Field. Fifty years ago the village children would be excitingly saying "The Feast". At some stage in the intervening years this name for the visit has gradually ceased to be used. Another mark of this season used to be children playing conkers. This too has died out. I have a large horse chestnut tree in my garden which this year has flourished and my lawn has been covered in fallen conkers. They are only of interest to day by grey squirrels who visit and take the conkers away to eat somewhere else. I noticed that the horse chestnut trees in Lotherton Hall gardens are not attracting young conker gatherers.

At the request of First Bus, Connexions are operating in partnership with them on the service 64 (Aberford to Leeds) from 29th October. They will be using First ticket machines, issuing First tickets and accepting contactless payments on this service. First Day tickets can be bought as normal ‐ all other fares will be the same as now. First will continue to operate the evening and Sunday services and all tickets are interavailable.

In the last few months there have been a few changes in Barwick. Aberford Road the former filling station has undergone some changes (see below). On the forecourt where the pumps used to be are a garden gardening shop, and a coffee bar. The garage repair shop is now occupied by a supplier of hydroponic equipment and spares.

Aberford Rd. Garage & Forecourt (west) Aberford Rd. & Forecourt (east)

On Main Street the ladies clothing shop has closed and the premises stand empty. It is an echo of what is happening to clothing department stores in town and city centres which is attributed to the marked increase in home shopping through the use of on-line shopping on the internet. Lastly, the New Inn has sprung to life again from lunchtime each day until late in the evening.

It is a pleasing to learn that the our web site has been used by the Library in the House of Commons in its research. Parliament Briefing paper published in April this year on "Private or ‘Unadopted’ Roads in England and Wales" (Number CBP 402, 10 April 2018) refered to an article written by Tony Cox in “The Parish Surveyor of the Highways”, The Barwicker No. 63, September 2001.

As the month closes, it has been announced that Nellie's Tree in Parlington has been voted as U.K. Tree of the Year. The history of the tree has been the subject of an article in the Barwicker No. 51 in March 2001 . There is expected to be a swell in the number of visitors to see the tree which, at the present, is in a pleasant location on a public footpath in Parlington on the disused railway line from Garforth to Aberford. A question now arises over the plans to spoil the setting with a large scale housing project. This project has ignored the fact that the only monument to commemorate America winning the War of Independence (Has anyone told President Trump about it?), so there is a chance that Nellies Tree will fail to stop the project.

All in all it has been a memorable month for the Historical Society as its research and subsequent publication of our local history has been of use outside the parish itself.
September 2018

As we slip into autumn there is one event which will bring many residents together. The 10th Barwick Beer Festival has been held on Saturday 15th September. It is a popular event which, as a byproduct, raises funds for the next Maypole Raising Festival. Beer festivals have become popular in the last 10 or so years through the increase in the number of micro breweries which have been set up over that period. The festivals offer a chance for the new breweries to bring their new output to the public and offer tasting opportunites.

As September draws to a close we are experiencing yet another short burst of warm weather. The clouds rolled back to reveal bright blue skies in the last few days. It is easy to forget how much air traffic passes over the area when the sky is so free from cloud. It seems that the number of planes crossing over leaving vapour trails has increased over the last few months. Every morning we see large numbers of planes heading for Europe (Amsterdam and Frankfurt)from North America. This is followed by internal flights between the south of England and N.E. England and Scotland. Later the flights from Central Europe to North America take their place. Until the introduction of computer programmes which keep track of the planes and show their flight details, such information was pure conjecture. Ah, the wonders of computers!

August 2018

August has been a quiet month with little change in the pattern of life. The ladies wear shop in Barwick is closing down. The "Farmers Wife" shop is now well established and can provide a range of fresh food which can obviate last minute unplanned trips to Garforth or Crossgates to re-stock the larder. The weather has been generally warm and there have been showers at times throughout the month.

During the Bank Holiday at the end of the month the Leeds Festival at Bramham Park causes the usual slight changes to village life. A small amount of extra traffic passes through the village during the festival but is not a major problem. Today (25th) I saw a double decker bus sweep round the corner towards me as I headed into Barwick from Aberford. Its destination was Whitby. In the last few months the bus route from Leeds to Whitby was named best scenic bus route It would be an even clearer winner if it came through the village as a routine service.
July 2018

After a stuttering start in June, July has started with a summer hotter and drier than we have experienced for many years. Over the last year or so the New Inn in Barwick has had spells when it was closed while management changed hands. In the hot evenings in last few weeks there have been large numbers of customers spilling out into the front of the pub saying clearly "Yes. We are open."
The heat has continued (18th) with a few cloudy spells which did not bring rain (except a few spots for less than an hour) one day recently. The water butts are empty or close to it. One consolation is that the lawn mowers have had a good rest. The heavens opened at last on 26th accompanied with rumbling thunder. By the following morning the 220 litre water butt was full.

June 2018

Has summer come at last? On the last day of May some house martins arrived (two weeks later than normal) and started to look for nesting sites. Surely this must be the arrival of the proper summer.

In the middle of this month, in what has recently been called "The Community Orchard", a spectacular carving of an owl has been created. The orchard, created by Barwick-in-Bloom in the last few years, is in the strip of land to the south of Parlington Meadow, which is on the north bank of the Longlane Beck east of Long Lane.

The potential of making a sculpture out of the stump of a tree which was left following some necessary tree surgery was suggested by a Barwick in Bloom volunteer (Janet Young). The rest of the Barwick in Bloom committee agreed and a carver was commissioned. Janet herself plus fellow volunteer Geoff Yapp sponsored the commission. The sculpture has been completed in time for this year's Open Gardens (24th June) when 3 of the houses in Parlington Meadow are opening their gardens.

May 2018

The Tour de Yorkshire swept to Barwick and Scholes on Friday 4th. It was a brief but quite an interesting spectacle as we saw not only the cyclists but also the entourage of race officials, support vehicles and about thirty police motor cyclists who were drawn from various constabularies around England. Both parties, the support staff and the police, were greeted with cheers and responded with horns and waves. The ladies came through in the morning and the men in the late afternoon. In Scholes the event was similar but in addition Station Road had a sprint section. The event was televised but there were only brief scenes from the two villages as the television helicopter was not in action for that part of the race and in addition the coverage was interrupted by advertising.

The Women's Race ascending Long Lane
Photo by Peter Styles

The Men's Race leaving Long Lane on towards Scholes
Photo by Peter Styles
Increasingly during the last ten years or so there has been a change in practice generally throughout the country about deliveries to the house. One has come about, following the widespread introduction of domestic based computers and other factors, is the decline in demand for newspapers to be delivered to each house every morning of the week. Deliveries have made by school boys and girls over 14 years old before going to school in order to make some useful packet money. Another household service which is declining is milk delivery. How soon before both these household services disappear? These declines have been replaced increasingly by the delivery of groceries and many other items as the result of online shopping. This week there has been the announcement nationally of the impending closure of some of many branches of Marks and Spencer and more town centre department stores as computer on-line shopping suits consumer choice rather than a trip to shopping centres. Views are expressed nationally on the possibility of both city centre and out of town shopping centres closing down. It will be interesting to read this paragraph in fifty years time.

April 2018

The beginning of the month coincided with Easter. The days free from paid employment were accompanied by grey, cloudy skies, rain and low temperatures. Fields and gardens were already saturated by the winter's heavy rain and the Easter rain have made the farmers' expectations for this year's harvest very low. However, the first day at work after Easter has been marked by sunshine and the thermometer is rising. Nationally, the prospects facing the country are uncertain as those who and support the idea of an exit from the E.E.C and those who do not are generally pessimistic about future prosperity. In the meantime, Barwick, Scholes and surrounding villages are generally pessimistic about the future of the green fields which we look out to. The applications for large scale development around Scholes and between Barwick and Aberford which are still unresolved. In summary, the mood in the locality is pessimistic.

In Barwick, the Hall Tower part of the iron age earthworks are in the process of being passed over to the Parish Council from a body of trustees formed by the Maypole Committee when Hall Tower was purchased from private ownership in the 1960's. Until the ownership transfer is complete Hall Tower is shut to the public.

The schedule for the TOUR de YORKSHIRE 2018 has just been published and it is coming from Garforth through Barwick and also Scholes on Friday 4th May en route from Barnsley to Ilkley. The women's race has been timed to pass through Barwick at about 11.07 - 11.21 and Scholes at about 11.10 - 11.27 on its way to Thorner. The men's race is timed for 16.44 - 16.57 in Barwick and 16.46 - 17.02 through Scholes. The route in the area passes from the entry from Garforth into Long Lane turning left at the junction with Main St./Leeds Road towards Scholes where it passes through the Coronation Tree junction to Main Street and then turns left onto the A64 and then right to Thorner. If we have visitors coming to see the two races they will be faced with traffic delays as roads will have to be closed before and some time after the two races. We hope that the drab, cool and wet weather will be gone before the race day.

On 17th April, summer suddenly. After along, dull and damp period when everyone felt depressed with the weather, the sun suddenly came out and shone for five days. The soil dried up, the trees blossomed and leaves started to burst open. People started to wear summer clothes. It has been a long time since we had this spell of gloom in the spring.

March 2018

The month began with a strong easterly wind which has brought snow accompanied by flocks of redwings and fieldfares from Siberia to eat the surviving holly berries. The centre of the village is quiet as the journey from the edge of the villages is uncomfortable and not without the hazard of ice on both the road and on foot. So far the snow has been with us for four days.

Barwick's Village Hall has been equipped with a defibrillator and community groups are being asked to provide several members to received training in its use.

Today, 12th March, the effect of last week's snow and a rainy start to the week was that the lane to Potterton from the bridge was a raging torrent caused by fields discharging large streams of rain water. The problem stretched as far as the road to York. The only relief to the morning was the call of the curlew from the fields south of Barwick, which heralded the sign that winter was about to give way to the spring. Today (18th March) we have snow back again falling over the last 24 hours.

February 2018

I am aware that the supply of local news which I have provided recently has not been as large as I hoped. There is a reason for this. In the last few months I have passed many an hour filling the gaps made by not publishing copies of articles in The Barwicker from the early editions. The first editions were typed on manual typewrites using duplicator skins. The output was difficult to read by copy scanners in the early days. However, the scanner software has been improved enough to read old duplicated pages to it lessens the need for re-typing. So, if you never read the early editions of The Barwicker you can now, or will soon, be able to read the early copies. In two months time it will be 20 years since the start of the society's web site.

There are signs of plans for filling our surrounding fields with houses. The plans for building in Scholes and in Parlington have been taken out from the pending trays of the city, dusted down and republished in amended form. The threat persists. At the same time Leeds is having to to take measures to reduce air pollution as the levels in the city are unacceptably high. How this will be achieved by increasing the number of people working in the centre of the city but living in new houses on the periphery by travelling to work without increased air pollution - we wait and see. In the meantime volunteers have been going door to ,door to get a petition signed objecting to the revised plans. It is understood that the Inspector who is considering the plans had pleaded for people to sign the petition rather than each objector writing a letter to him.

Another matter of concern has also risen its head in the last few weeks. The city plans to demolish the secondary school (Boston Spa) which serves Barwick and Scholes and replace it with more accommodation at the secondary school in Wetherby. This has started to ruffle feathers especially among former pupils of the school.

While we have avoided deep snow (so far) this winter, it has been - in summary - cold and damp. It was heartening to see the first flowering of a few daffodils on the open ground kept in good condition by Barwick in Bloom at the southern end of Long Lane.

January 2018

The New Year has begun with slightly warmer weather than before Christmas. A New Year task which is growing in recent years has begun already (2nd January) is the dismantling of the decoration lights erected outside houses. As each year passes the number and scale of the lights and illuminated Santas and reindeer installed in the front house facades and gardens is increasing in numbers and in complexity. I expect in coming years readers of this note will wonder why I wrote this; twenty years ago such decoration would be very rare. The practice has been encouraged by the supply of inexpensive of the lights supplied from the far east, which every year have increasingly become more sophisticated and widely available in the shops.
The snow returned for a day or so but it was very wet and it did not linger long. Another returning feature of local life has been the proposal to build houses on the Parlington Estate. It seems that Leeds City and the current owners are keen to push ahead with the project. There is to be a Drop-in Session at the John Rylie Centre on 1st February. Local objectors have the support of the M.P. (Alec Shelbrooke) and local councillors Ryan Stephenson and Matthew Robinson.

December 2017
November ended with a thin covering of wet snow which lasted a day or two. People seem to be starting their Christmas preparations much earlier than they used to. Some pubs who provide catering have been advertising for Christmas meal bookings for several months including one on the edge of Barwick. Last month the New Inn was closed and we all concluded that Barwick would become a village with only two pubs. However the New Inn has re-opened with a new Landlord.
We had two short, wet snowfalls either side of Christmas which quickly disappeared to the delight of most people except perhaps young children.

November 2017

Having started in the middle of October and stretching into this month, the gas supply in Barwick has been subjected to a modification which will lead to the gas supply being changed from North Sea natural gas to de-carbonated gas (basically hydrogen). Barwick was chosen to be a pilot modification, which will implemented throughout Leeds. before the gas supply is changed.

With the arrival of November, the Christmas decoration lighting is being installed in the trees in Main Street.

It is with regret that the Society has lost another of its early members. Anne Forshaw, who was the Society's first secretary, and has also been an archivist in the resource Centre since it first opened.

October 2017

The summer has slipped away and we feel as if we have been deprived of a summer as it has been wet and at times not too war. We have the Post Office back and we have two pubs as the Gascoigne Arms is open again.

Today (12th) there is an event which, as far as I know, has never happened in the parish before. There is a referendum which is asking voters to answer a question:

"Do you want Leeds City Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Barwick in Elmet & Scholes to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area? "

We will let you know the result of the referendum when it is published. The effect of the ballot will have to be judged some time in the future.

The official parish notice reported:

I am pleased to post the results of yesterday's referendum on the Barwick in Elmet and Scholes Neighbourhood Plan showing a resounding yes vote in favour of the Plan being used in the determination of planning applications in the Barwick in Elmet and Scholes Neighbourhood Area.

The Principal Authority (Leeds City Council) will now prepare a Decision Statement as stipulated by Regulation 19 "Decision on a plan proposal" of the Neighbourhood Planning (General) Regulations 2012 which will detail the formal making of the Plan.

Thank you to the 1400+ residents who turned out to vote and supported our plan.

On the day of the referendum it was announced that Leeds City was planning future housing numbers on a false estimate.

Today (24th October) a new shop opened in Barwick in the premises previously occupied by Anthony, the Baker. The new shop, "The Farmer's Wife", sells fruit and vegetables, meat including pies and pasties, cheese, bread and cakes. The newly refurbished Post Office has re-opened with longer hours than before except fot the postal counter.

Following hard on the heels of the referendum, the residents of the parish are being asked to submit a response form on current parish management structure. The form requires residents to say whether the current parish structure of Scholes and Barwick combined in one parish should continue or should the two split into seperate parishes. The document points out that the current structure has existed for seventy years and a seperate structure will raise costs.

September 2017

For the first time for a few years the society has participated in the national "Heritage Open Days" by organising walking tours in the village. In previous times we have held tours of the earthworks which seemed to have been taken up by all those who were interested in the topic. This year we have held tours of Main Street and the area around what we called laughingly "Barwick Green" after the signature tune of "The Archers". Visitors were surprised to hear of the village's connection with the radio programme. The first tour on Friday 8th was interrupted by a short sharp shower ten minutes into the tour. It did not improve for the rest of the weekend for we had more of the same. That has been typical of the weather so far this month (Day 9) and for much of the summer.

There have been two items in the last week (11th - 17th) which have brought about changed circumstances - beer and books.

For a few days there was only one pub open for business - the Black Swan. It happened because the Gascoigne Arms was closed for refurbishment and the New Inn was closed because of departure of the landlord and a failure to find a successor. Nor for the first time recently, the New Inn has a large sign on the outside saying "Can You Manage This Pub?" In common with many pubs throughout the country, pubs are struggling to make a living through a number of factors - the ban on smoking, the tight law on drink-driving and the large undercutting of alcohol prices by the supermarkets. How ever 16th brought the village's Beer Festival in the village Hall, which has become an annual event. It is well supported and does much to raise funds for the costs of the Maypole.

The book world drew attention to the kingdom of Elmet with a novel titled "Elmet". It has been nominated as a finalist in the annual Booker Prize. Elmet is written by Fiona Mozley Mozley, who grew up in York, works part-time in a small bookshop in York and where I am writing a PhD thesis in medieval studies on the concept of decay in the later Middle Ages. It will be interesting to read the novel which has just been published. It may well lead to a widespread interest in the kingdom. It may also make people more aware of the word Elmet. The name has brought about a number of variations in the address of places in Barwick including "Barwick in Velvet" and "Viking Helmet" both of which are personally known to have arisen in the last 50 years.

Other announcements in the last month have been the closure of the Post Office in Barwick for two weeks or so for refurbishment and the use of a referendum in the parish and in Rothwell in October on the Neighbourhood Plan for the two parishes.

Once more Barwick in Bloom has been awarded honours in various categories this year:-
Scholes in Bloom were also presented with a Gold Award in the Yorkshire in Bloom Large Village category. "This is a reflection of the continual hard work carried out by all members of the Scholes in Bloom Group throughout the year which keeps the village in an excellent condition and which is loved and appreciated by both the residents and visitors," said spokesperson Jean Bell.

August 2017

Anyone visiting Barwick this month will find the usual road pattern disturbed by traffic lights and road closures due to trenches being dug in the roads on the southern side of the village made to install new gas pipes. Otherwise the villages are quiet. In keeping with the months before August, this month's weather has been disappointing and unpredictable. We have hot days followed by cool cloudy and sometimes wet days.

The society is participating in the national Heritage Open Days 2017. In the past the society has taken part and offered tours of the Barwick iron age earthworks. This year we are holding a series of walking tours of the centre of Barwick each of which will last less than an hour and will avoid any arduous climbing of steps and stiles. The tours will cover the medieval Main Street, the 'easy' parts of the earthworks and the exterior of the church. The church is holding tours of the interior of All Sants church. The tours will be on 8th and 9th of September starting at 1100, 1400 & 1500.

July 2017

On 5th July the society's programmed visit was to Wakefield to the West Yorkshire Archive Service's new building. The visit was well supported and about 20 members saw the range of services which the new building can provide. We saw the document conservation's section which recently completed the restoration of the parish's second oldest Accounts Book which we commissioned with the help of a grant from the Barwick-in-Elmet and Scholes Community Fund.

Society members visiting the West Yorkshire Archive's new building 5th July 2017
Photograph by David Siviour

It was with sadness when members of the Historical Society heard of the death of Hugh Hawkins on 22nd of this month aged 90. Hugh had been ill for the last two months or so and been lacking his usual lustre for several years. Hugh was instrumental with several others in establishing the historical society in 1984. He was responsible for producing the layout and production of the society's publication "The Barwicker" from its first edition in March 1986. This involved typing the original onto duplicating skins, getting the copies duplicated and then he collated each copy by hand and out to the shops. He continued being responsible for the production for many years.

Hugh in about 1990

June 2017

The gloomy weather which marked Maypole Day continued into June for much of the first two weeks accompanied with strong winds. At the same time the President of the United States, Donald Trump, denied that there was any global warming. It was an amusing diversion to the general election which is to be held on June 8th. Today (7th June) I saw two house martins flying over the houses at the southern edge of the village. They are four weeks later than usual and two hardly make up the usual number.

On the 25th of June, Barwick in Bloom held an Open Gardens event in the village. This has become a regular feature of village life. The weather was fine, which is not always the case with this event, and 12 gardens were open for he event. All twelve gardens were within easy walking distance of the centre the village.

May 2017

The last month brought the closure of two shops on Main Street, Barwick. In addition to the closure of Anthony's Bakery we also lost the Flower shop Twigs. With the owner, a local born lady - Helen - having moved away and due to much of her trade being in the district than just the village - its closure was less of a shock. Like the trade of town and city shopping centres being affected by the spread of large shopping malls and the rapid expansion of internet shopping, villages - not just Barwick and Scholes - are also losing their shops.

The maypole is under cover being painted for the raising at the end of the month. While walking in the village this morning, Monday 1st May, I has a strange conversation with a relatively new inhabitant of Potterton Lane who thought he might not be able to drive through the vi;;age because of the may queen ceremony which he had heard about "in the pub". When told that it would not happen until the end of the month, he seemed relieved. The confusion had been brought about by the common use of the "May Queen Festival" instead of the "Maypole Raising Festival".

The society has produced a book in time for release at the Maypole Festival about the history of the village's maypole. Then book called ""The History of Our Maypole"" will be on sale on the raising day costing £2.

The month is ending with high temperatures. It is usual for the summer birds (particularly swallows,house martins and swifts) to turn up in the village on about 15th of May. This year I saw just one house martin on that date and within a day it had disappeared and none have shown up since. There is talk nationally of a decline in migratory birds in the country and that seems to be the case here. About twenty years ago, it was usual to see swifts flying in Main St. in Barwick. There are none now and it seems that house martins and swifts are disappearing likewise. Against this has been the reappearance locally of curlew, near the Garforth Golf Glub, and red kites all over the parish, in the last 20 to 30 years.

After a break of several years the society have made plans to run two walking tours of our historic sites in Barwick over the Heritage Weekend. The society's participation in the weekend has not taken place for several years following a marked decline in attendance. The participation this year will be slightly different in that the tours of the Iron Age hillfort will be less intensive and arduous and will be accompanied by a walking tour of the village centre pointing out historic features which are not immediately apparent. The tours will be held at the same time as the church is open for tours thereby giving the opportunity to attend three events each covering less than an hour. Details will be available online on the national Heritage Weekend web site shortly.

The month ended with the Maypole being raised once more. The event was well attended even though to weather was not at its best. Clouds covered the day and rain threatened yet held off until shortly before the actual pole climbing in the late afternoon. It was too wet to risk trying to climb the pole. The climber released the guide ropes and attached the garlands but it was too wet to risk a climb to the top of the pole.

Maypole day marked the opening of two of the recently closed shops in Main Street. The bread shop opened next to the Maypole Coffee Shop and a shop selling celebration cards and flower bunches opened in the former flower shop.

April 2017

With April comes a reminder that this year is Maypole Year. In a couple of weeks it will be Easter and the maypole is coming down to be stored, cleaned and refreshed ready for Maypole Raising Day on 29th May. Raising Day is a time when you see people who you have haven't seen for years and think "My goodness, isn't he (or she) getting old!" or you see a young man or woman and think "That must be Tony/Gillian, the Carter's son/daughter. It doesn't seem many years since they went to the village school. I wonder where they live now?"

Before the maypole comes down, Barwick-in-Bloom has what we know locally as "The Day of Judgement" which happens in the first week of this month. That is followed by the summer judging in July so there is no chance for the teams in both Barwick and Scholes to rest on their laurels.

March 2017

The village looks pleasant at this time of the year. The flowers and the well-tended hedging in this photograph show the hard work put in by the volunteers in "Barwick-in-Bloom".

Main St. 7th March 2017
Photo: Peter Styles

There is an active campaign in Barwick to oppose the proposal by the city to approve the construction of housing in Parlington. Parishioners have been urged to write to the city council to make it aware of the feeling in the parish.

The weekend of 18th March marks the retirement of Anthony, the baker, after baking for over 22 years in Main St., Barwick. Having been a consumer of his bread for all that time, I am left thinking what will replace him? He was sorely missed when he took his annual holiday. Our visitors often remarked "Where do you get fantastic bread like this?", followed by "Aren't you lucky!". Has our luck run out?

The month is ending with fine sunny weather. Today, 26th, the curlew's call was audible in the fields between the village and the Garforth Golf Club and the chiffchaff can be heard as well.

February 2017
We have slipped into a dull dampish days with cloud holding back the break of day.

The old year ended with a new owner of the Post Office in Barwick taking over. The new owner, Mr. Christopher Bolton, had lived in Barwick as a boy. He attended the village school when it was the Victorian school opposite the church in Aberford Road. In the last few years there have been several shops opening in the parade of the shops in Main Street. It now has a barber's shop and a ladies' fashion shop, a sports physiotherapist, a coffee shop, a flower shop and a baker, who unfortunately has announced that he is intending to retire this year. In the last few years there has also been changes in the ownership of the Gascoigne Arms and the New Inn.

This morning, 26th February, the first daffodils of the year bloomed at the lower end of Long Lane. Shortly after, at Lotherton, the arrival of spring was confirmed in my mind when I heard a Yellowhammer calling.

January 2017

The New Year has started with quite pleasant weather for the time of the year. However it was saddened by news that Mr. Charles Charlie as he preferred to be called) had died suddenly on December 29th at the age of 82. Charlie was a popular headmaster at the primary School in Barwick for a large part of the 1960's and 1970's. His funeral in York was attended by a very large number of mourners including a contingent from Barwick.

Charlie Naylor with all his staff including non-teaching staff in 1970

The Historical Society had a well attended meeting on 4th January at which we had an illustrated talk by Jacki and Bob Lawrence on the 19 men from Leeds who had been awarded the Victoria Cross since its inception during the Crimean War. While there was no holder of the cross associated with the parish of Barwick-in-Elmet, there was one holder Albert Mountain, who was the landlord of The Miners' Arms in Garforth until 1967.

The Historical Society has been successful in being awarded a grant of £1550 from the parish Community Fund to pay for the copying and restoration of the parish's Second Accounts Book. The book is kept in the Leeds Archive at Morley. It is in a delicate state and needs conservation. The book is a record of expenditure by parish office holders responsible for highways, poor relief, law and order and church expenditure in the mid-18th century.

The Society paid for the 1st Account Book to be conserved 20 years ago; unfortunately we did not ask for a photocopy to be made of the contents. Analysis of the contents of the First Book was impeded by the time spent in making many visits travelling to the Archives. Nevertheless the first Accounts Book did reveal a wide range of detail on items like the ducking stool, the stocks, new church bells, poverty and times of strife. Having a copy locally will give an impetus to members to carry out more research into the parish's past.

The 1st edition of Today's News was created in November 2001 some three and a half years after the society's web site started. In that period there was clearly a need to introduce this aspect of the web site for two reasons:

1. We were receiving emails from various parts of the world from people who has some connection with Barwick and Scholes. It was obvious that they were keen to know how things were in Barwick since they left. I have in mind ex-Barwickers who have made contact from Norway, Greece, Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada. Others, also in mind are for instance -
the Canadian Mountie from Barwick who stopped a speeding car in the prairies only to find two tourists from Barwick inside and
the Barwicker living in Australia who pitched his holiday tent this month at a place called Marlo in Victoria next to the tent of Duncan a fellow pom who is the son of my Oxfordshire brother in-law. I wonder if he will be identified as a result of this account.
2. The society was finding that there was no-one left alive who could clearly remember events some seventy years or so ago.

From this situation it seemed the best solution was to record events as they happen so that eventually history would be created. Therefore, the first item on Today's News was the record of what was thought to be the demolition of the last air raid shelter in Barwick in December 2002. If you were to read the minutes of the Parish Council in August 1914 you find that there was no mention of the start of the First World War or of its effect on the population.

In writing Today's News, I have in mind briefing those people whom I know or former Barwickers of whom I have heard. That briefing aims to mean that on returning here they would not find too many surprises. However this task is not easy as the start of change may not be considered as significant; an event of great significance which nearly slipped through unnoticed was the cessation of milking of animals on farms in the parish which was an activity that must have started in pre-recorded ancient times.

December 2016

The centenary of the explosion at the shell filling factory at Barnbow was remembered on 5th of this month. A ceremony was held on the centenary day to remember the 35 women who lost their lives because of the explosion. The ceremony was held at the memorial of the loss of life in the park in Crossgates. Among those attending were families of some of those who lost their lives.

The route for the 2017 Tour de Yorkshire has been published. While the parish is not involved in providing part of the route, the race is not too far away for those who enjoyed last year's event to see the race once more. The second stage of the event on 29th April will start at Tadcaster and continue to Wetherby via Boston Spa. The stage ends up on the route from Ripon to Harrogate. If you want to see more, the following (final) day starts in Bradford and passes through Ilkley and Bolton Abbey en route for Sheffield.

We've been working with a local production company to trial some new 3D mapping technology at the hill fort site on Hall Tower Field. Barwick-based Ascent Productions used one of their drones to fly a fixed automated pattern above the site. You can find out more about Ascent Productions and their 3D survey and modelling work on their website. Taking a series of 100+ still photographs at Hall Tower, the drone recorded the exact GPS position of where it was at at the time the photo was taken. These images were then loaded into special photogrammetry software which stitches them all together and produces the 3D model. Users can zoom, scroll and pan around the site in 3D and it gives a useful new perspective of the site. The web site provides a fascinating preview of the potential for using drones for analysing and illustrating historical features including 3D modelling. It shows Hall Tower in 3d in detail. You can even see the sheep who are fighting battle against the spread of brambles and other softwood undergrowth.

November 2016

One change which a visitor may see in Barwick is the siting of two historical information boards which have been erected in Main Street. One is near the maypole and and the other (see right) is near the entrance to Jack Heaps Field. The boards were funded by the parish council and were designed by the society. We hope that visitors will become more acquainted with the history of the village. It was a challenge to convey on two boards a great deal about the last two thousand plus years since the village was created.

On 2nd of this month the society had a presentation from Michael Turner of Tadcaster about the First World War airfield which operated on land at the side of the main road to York between Bramham crossroads and the turn off to Tadcaster. There is a hanger dating from then and visible from the main road which survive from that venture. The airfield was built to defend the area from Zepellin air raids but quickly became used for flying training. While we do not know when the first airplane flew across the parish, we do now know that the flying training circuits during the First World War flew over the two villages into the prevailing wind from the Tadcaster airfield just over a decade after man's first manned flight.

October 2016

Barwick has been awarded a gold standard in the large village section of the Britain in Bloom 2016 Awards. Once more the village has been successful in the competition at national as well as county level. Once you are at the top it is difficult to stay there and Barwick keeps persistently staying among the best. This reflects upon the effort put in by the many volunteers who devote their time to maintaining this high standard.

The leaves are turning, telling us that autumn has arrived. In my garden, the horse chestnut has shed a plentiful supply of conkers. Not having young grandsons around, it is difficult to tell whether the boys of today are still avid conker fighters as they were forty or more years ago. Having concluded that conker fights had been banned in school due to "Health and Safety" legislation, it was a surprise to see a father and son at Temple Newsam last weekend collecting conkers on such a large scale that a champion conker must be among the collection.

As the end of the month approaches we have seen Jack Heaps Field give up its space to host the fair which comes for a week every year at this time. Forty or more years ago, the fair used to be called the Barwick Feast but that rather appealing name has been dropped in recent years; the term evokes the time when the harvest was in and the hiring fairs were held to hire agricultural workers for the annual cycle beginning with ploughing and ending with the harvest.

The calm of the two villages of Barwick and Scholes which has prevailed in planning matters in the last year has been upset by the proposed plan to build 5,000 houses on the Parlington estate. This has been put forward by the city which sees it as a chance to build in lieu of the previous plans for building at Scholes and Headley Hall (the University of Leeds Agricultural Research site). For residents of the two villages this represents the persistent threat that Leeds City will not be satisfied until the built up city reaches the A1.

September 2016

The summer has lingered on into this month and has shown signs of ending in the middle of the month with an evening of intense lightening across the skies to the south of the parish with a few spots of rain while places a mile or so to the west and south had torrential rain. The month is passing quietly except for the 8th Beer Festival held in Barwick Village Hall on 17th of the month which attracted 700 people. Those who stayed at home could hear the serenading from the two groups who performed at the festival. Those who attended consumed 1,400 pints of cask ale, 800 bottles of cider and beer, 400 bottles of wine and over 300 pies. The main objective of the Barwick Beer Festivals is to raise funds for the triennial Maypole Festival.

The parish has an Olympic medal winner. Congratulations to Katy Marchant of Potterton who won a bronze medal in the cycle sprint at the Olympic Games in Rio this year. Prior to that Katy competed in the 2014 UEC Under-23 European Track Championships in Anadia, Portugal where she won bronze medals in both the keirin and team sprint. Katy Marchant was a heptathlete in track and field before her coach recommended she try cycling.

The weekend of 10th-11th of September was Heritage Open Days. All Saints Church in Barwick participated in the weekend.

August 2016

The month has begun with a burst of activity from the volunteers who devote their time to making "Barwick in Bloom" such a success. The activity is directed towards preparing the village for the judging on 3rd August when the village represents Yorkshire in the Large Village category in this year's "Britain in Bloom". At this stage (2nd August) the village is looking impressive.

The month ended with the Leeds Festival held at Bramham Park over the August Bank Holiday. The festival marked the arrival of heavy rain after a few dry weeks. Those who attended reported flooded tents, ankle deep mud and misery for those who were not adequately equipped with wellington boots.

July 2016

It was agreed that the visit of the family of Jack Heap's family to Barwick on 2nd July - the 30th anniversary of the death of Jack Heaps' son, Denis - was a success and was a suitable occasion through which the village could show to the family its gratitude for the generosity of Jack Heap which has provided the young of the village with a permanent source of enjoyment. The event was well attended including an impressive number of descendants of Jack Heaps. The family were presented with a presentation frame made from articles and photographs held by the historical society.

The Heaps family at their ancestor's field.
Photograph: D. Siviour

June 2016

Young Barwickers have enjoyed the benefit of the green space in the centre of the village, Jack Heaps Field. Jack Heap's granddaughter, Maggy Wade,has written to the Parish Council to make the village aware of of the 30th anniversary of the death of Jack Heap's son, Denis. She writes:

"Jack Heaps was my grandfather and this year it is 30 years since his only son Denis died. The Jack Heaps field as you know was given to the village by my grandfather in gratitude for Denis's safe return from the Second World War. Denis had 5 children including myself and between us we have 14 children and 2 grandchildren with another 2 on the way. The family, apart from myself, all live in Yorkshire ( I live in London) and we are getting together in Yorkshire the weekend of 2 and 3rd of July 2016."

For those villagers who remember the Heaps family, this will provide an opportunity to renew old acquaintances.

Sunday 26th June was "Open Gardens" day in Barwick. Attendance was very high and the weather was mainly sunny. Those who opened their gardens reported being busy throughout the afternoon. In addition to villagers' gardens, visitors were able to see two other large scale projects, the grounds of All Saints Church and the new orchard created at the southern of Parlington Meadows.

May 2016

It suddenly feels like summer on some days and yet on other days it slips back into a cool spring. At least the rain which saturated the land has eased off and it is pleasant to walk across the fields again. In retrospect, the Tour de Yorkshire cycle races remain in the mind as a pleasant experience and would be welcome back again. Shortly we all will be asked to vote in a referendum on whether we should remain in the European Economic Community. The choice has been presented by both sides in ways which are difficult examine analytically. It is a subject on which very few private individuals are expressing their views openly with conviction which makes the likely outcome far from clear.

April 2016

Both Barwick and Scholes are starting to make preparations to welcome the Tour de Yorkshire to their villages with banners and a display of the Yorkshire flag. On Saturday 23rd there will be two races, the Womens' race in the first part of the morning(probably at about 9 a.m. followed by the Mens' race in the afternoon at about 3 p.m. During the time in between the villages are providing entertainment and refreshments. For an account of the successful day see an illustrated article of the event.

The historical society has opened a Public Group Facebook site which may appeal to people who want a less formal way of getting to know about the parish's past and to promote a personal response from villagers on historical matters.

March 2016

Today (3rd) the curlew announced their return to the fields south of Barwick with a call to let us (and other curlews) know that it was time to do what all birds do in the spring. It is a privilege to live less than fifteen minutes drive from the centre of Leeds and share the environment with curlews. They have been breeding in the pastures north of the Garforth Golf Club for the last 30 or so years, having been disturbed by the open caste coal mining which started there just over 50 years ago. The land was returned to agriculture after the mining and had to be used as pasture rather than as arable land. The curlews moved in about five years after restoration.

This year marks the 85th anniversary of the opening of Scholes Village Hall, officially opened 17 January 1931. The trustees of the hall are planning to mark the occasion by putting together material about the hall and the events held in it in order to publish a commemorative book. To read more about the hall

The Parish Council have agreed to fund the installation of village history display boards in Barwick. The society has prepared the text and illustrations for the boards. It is hoped that two boards will be on display in time for the Britain in Bloom competition at the end of the summer. One board is planned for installation on the land adjacent to the old Coach House next to the old Rectory. The other is planned for erection on Main St. near Jack Heap's Field.

Historic changes can creep up on you. For a long time it was possible to envisage that the internet would eradicate the daily newspaper. As a regular reader of The Independent, the process for me has started. In a week's time I will no longer get a copy of the newspaper coming through the letter box. It is available on-line for a month's free trial and thence on subscription. So the experiment has begun. While it can be read on the the trustworthy desk top and also on my old lap top, which creaks, coughs and splutters a little, it is less comfortable than reading the paper. In time I suppose that it will be possible to find a comfortable way of reading it. Reading this in 30 years time may well bring a smile to your face. In the meantime, I have decided that a tablet computer will be more comfortable.

At some time in the future the historical society will decide that it will be somewhat bizarre for the society to have "The Barwicker" printed. This year we have taken the first step along this road by publishing The Barwicker three times a year instead of four times.

February 2016

Both Barwick and Scholes are starting to plan a series of events to coincide with the day the Tour de Yorkshire passes through the villages at the end of April. Scholes has been chosen for the location of one of the Tour's sprints. The wave of crimes committed in the villages continues with reports of two cars being stolen in Flats Lane (one of which was recovered), a car deliberately damaged in Potterton Lane. Two attempts to enter properties in Scholes were foiled because the "Europrofile" locks to the houses had been modified. Residents have been reminded to have "Europrofile" locks modified to make them more secure in.

Barwick has been selected to represent the large village section of Yorkshire in Britain in Bloom. The judging will be in August.

January 2016

Barwick ushers in the New Year 2016

A sample of the revellers encircling the maypole. Is this how traditions start?

Barwick had its first proper fall of snow of the winter over the weekend 16/17th of the month. A visitor on the Sunday who came from York via Sherburn-in-Elmet remarked that the snow started roughly on the line of the A1 at Aberford.

At the January meeting of the parish council, the police reported that that they had received 13 reports of crimes in the parish during December. Six of the crimes were of thefts from cars in Scholes on the same day. None of the cars appeared to have been locked; a suspect had been arrested for all of these thefts. In Barwick a hairdressing shop window had been smashed and property stolen. There was also a brawl in a pub car park in Barwick and the use of drugs was reported in Barwick's pub and village hall car parks. There was a report of damage in Chapel Lane to a car roof by the use of a grate. In addition there were thefts of a Land Rover in Lyndhurst Road and property from a shed elsewhere in Scholes and in Barwick property was stolen from a house in Potterton Lane.

December 2015

There was a surprise announcement on Wednesday 9th which has created some excitement in the parish. The route of the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire was published and we found out that the tour on its second day, Saturday 30th April 2016, passes through from Thorner to Scholes, then Barwick, on its way to Aberford and Sherburn before ending in Doncaster. The total route is from Otley to Doncaster, covering a distance of 135.5 kilometres. There will be two races in the day - one for ladies and one for men.

The staqte of Barwick Football Club is not good. The club has been fined £250 and suspended from playing in their league. The suspension arose from errors in recording who had played in the team and also from complaints about the players' bad language and behaviour. To cap it all the club have not paid the rent which it owes the Parish Council.

There are problems in Scholes arising from excessive traffic outside the school and peak times. Possible measures to alleviate the problem are under discussion. The police have raised concerns about the problem.

November 2015

November has turned into a wet and windy month with periods of warmth and cold. Life has ticked by until we received the news that the developers of the proposal to build 650 houses in Scholes have withdrawn their appeal against the decision of Leeds City not to accept the proposal. However, the developers, GMI Holdings and Barratt David Wilson Homes, have announced that they will replace the scheme with a smaller one.
Plans have been published for the proposed East Leeds Orbital Road which will form a bypass to the eastern section of the Leeds Ring Road. It brings the built up area of Leeds very close to Scholes. It is a slight improvement to the proposal made some 30 years ago which would have made the new route part of the M1.
There are plans for a Youth Council to be formed in Scholes to give younger people a stronger voice on matters which are of their concern. One item on which their views are sought is the provision of public transport to meet their needs.
There have been complaints from residents who live close to Jack Heap's Field that the bike ramps used for mountain bikers in the field are too close and need to be located further from the adjacent houses.
In Scholes consideration has being given to the open space formed following the Scholes Lodge Farm building scheme. There proposals for planting some trees and bulbs, installing an information board and improving under-foot conditions for users and for better access for the handicapped.

October 2015

It has been a busy weekend (17th/18th) in Barwick. The week before saw the arrival of the fairground to mark the Barwick Feast and by the weekend it was ready to entertain. On Saturday there was the added attraction of the Beer Festival which is a fund raising enterprise of the Maypole Committee.
Scholes in Bloom has been awarded a "Silver-Gilt" in the Britain in Bloom Competition 2015. Communities receive a Bronze, Silver, Silver-Gilt or Gold award, depending on their level of achievement. So Scholes can be congratulated for coming close to winning a top award at its first attempt.
The public inquiry appeal against Leeds City's decision to refuse the building of 650 houses in Scholes is to be held on 23rd February. There was a public consultation held in Scholes church on 24th on the possible sites in the parish for housing and other developments.
The monthly report by the police to the parish council, reveals that ten sheep were killed and others were injured when a dog owner allowed a dog off the lead in a field near Potterton Lane in September. The police are treating the incident as criminal damage. The report also included an item on an incident where mail was stolen from the external letter box of a resident and that this had lead to a fraudulent bank account being opened to exploit the stolen information.
Dog fouling is becoming a problem again in children’s' play areas and in sports fields. Dog owners have been asked to avoid these areas and to clear up after their dogs.
Christmas is coming! On 31st October a Charity Christmas Card sale is to be held in All Saints church. This event is becoming a recurring annual event.
The proposed shop development in Barwick for a Dog Grooming Salon will not take place. However two of the remaining empty shops have been re-opened this month - one providing a Barber's Shop and the other a clothing shop for ladies.

September 2015

The month started with a sound which we have not experienced in Barwick for at least 20 years. It was the familiar sound of a Vulcan Bomber flying northwards across the village on the flight path used by the V bombers of the sixties through to the end of the eighties. The Vulcan is the only one still flying. It is based at Robin Hood airport near Doncaster. It has been announced that 2015 will be its last year of flying.
While Scholes awaits the result of the Britain in Bloom competition, Barwick has heard that it has been received a Joint Category Gold Award in the large village category of this year's Yorkshire in Bloom. Not for the first time, in the Yorkshire Rose Community Champions Category, Frank Noble has received an acknowledgement for his individual work for Barwick. The comments of the judges can be read in full.
The cricket season has finished and Barwick came second in Division 1 of the Wetherby League. Their good fortune has not been shared with Scholes who have been relegated to Division 2.

August 2015

Over the last few years, there has been dissatisfaction in Scholes over the ecclesiastical parish structure. The congregation of St. Philip's, Scholes Church of England has been expressing a wish to sever links with the congregation of Barwick-in-Elmet and to become a separate body able to control its own funds and style of worship. Following protracted discussion, the proposal has now been sent to the Church Commissioners for a final decision. If the proposal is approved, the two churches will be members of a new body, the "Trinity of Elmete Benefice" , consisting of the church parishes of Barwick-in-Elmet, Scholes and Thorner under one vicar. Thus the Rectorship of Barwick-in-Elmet will disappear after some thousand years. The vicar will have the task of blending three culturally diverse forms of service.
Scholes, representing Yorkshire in the large village category of the Britain in Bloom Competition, were inspected on August 4th. Now the village has the tantalising wait for the results.
Scholes has a group of volunteers who operate "Schools Community care" to support the carers of older people in the village. It will benefit from funds raised from a coffee morning to be held on the 1st Saturday in September.
Barwick-in-Elmet Cricket club has won the Fred Fleetwood Cup for the last two years. It stands 5th with 62 points (13 points less than the leaders) on 10th August in the Division One Table of the Wetherby League.
The month draws to a close with the Leeds Festival at Bramham Park. The festival has been going so long now that the traffic and disturbance in general, which such an event could cause, is now cut to a minimum and the event runs smoothly. This morning, Sunday 30th, yours truly went for a walk along Potterton Lane as far as Morgan's Cross with hardly a vehicle using the route as the festival traffic arrangements mean that the road is closed to through traffic. There were several cars using it to collect and ferry local young festival attendees from the far end Potterton to come home no doubt for a shower, a change of clothes and probably a breakfast. Whilst walking on the lane near Potterton bridge at about 9 a.m. I experienced something new after living more than fifty years in Barwick. There was a light north-westerly wind and no traffic and I could hear the church bells from Thorner.
Some of the empty shops in Barwick's Main Street, which have served for much of the last decade as offices are in the process of change. One has opened at the end of this month called a "Barwick Barber's Shop" complete with a barber's pole. There is a planning application being considered for another shop to be re-opened as a Dog Grooming Salon.

July 2015

Another quiet month in the parish. July has brought activity for the "In Bloom" groups in both villages. Judging is taking place in the middle week of the month. Volunteers in day-glow tops can be seen planting, weeding, cutting and tidying public areas. This year, Scholes is representing Yorkshire in the Large Village category of the Britain in Bloom competition. In Scholes there are colourful banners celebrating the national event.
The day of the inspection has been followed by a wait for the Inspector's reports and verdicts. In the meantime the villages have been left with attractive floral displays and other items of attraction.
A group of Noble Figures to attract the inspectors' eyes.

June 2015

At last the weather is getting warmer. In the first few days there was squally wind and showers which had kept the summer away - it coincided with the test match at Headingley and the weather did no favours to England battling against New Zealand.

May 2015

May has passed by quietly. The Parish Council with newly elected members and some retirements has got down to work. In February, Scholes Dev. Co Ltd and Barratt David Wilson have lodged an appeal against Leeds City Council's decision not to grant them approval to develop the about 700 homes site to the east of Scholes. This will lead to a public enquiry which will occupy the attention of the council in the coming months. The council has elected Claire Hassell as Chairman in place of the recently retired Ben Hogan.
April 2015

The villages have been prepared for the inspection of the "in Bloom" presentations. If it is many years since you visited the villages you will note the extent to which they have been transformed by teams of volunteers. However, a problem arose at inspection time in All Saints Churchyard. The flowers which were planted in the raised bed last year to commemorate 100 years since the beginning of WW1 have been sprayed with weed killer on two occasions. The first time was at the end of November or the beginning of December last year. Soon after the original poppies had finished flowering, the care team replanted the bed with red primulas. At first they thought they were probably a poor stock that had just died. However, they replanted the bed in March with red polyanthus and up to Monday the 30th of March they were doing very well. By Thursday the 2nd of April most of them were dead. There was also a large area of grass to the left of the main entrance which appears to have been sprayed. Some of the plants were shown to staff at the Leeds Council gardens at Redhall and also to the Barwick in Bloom chairman, John Tinker. They all agree that the plants have been sprayed with some sort of weed killer. We cannot begin to imagine a reason why anyone would want to do such a thing but it is just possible that whoever is responsible will decide to damage other areas in the churchyard. The bed with has been replanted with pansies and a close eye will be kept on them. Colin Bond, the churchwarden has reported the latest incident to the Police and everyone is being asked to help keep a watchful eye on the churchyard when possible.
Over the last few months some of the street lights in the villages have been turned off after midnight to save energy and economise in the cost of lighting largely empty streets. For those living near a road junction, the effect is less apparent as some lights in vulnerable traffic areas have remained on for safety reasons.
Election time is looming at both national and local authority level. Membership of the Parish Council is changing. The chairman, Ben Hogan, is retiring after twenty years on the council including seven years continuous service as chairman.
On the 17th there was an unusual sight in Barwick when, mixed in with local traffic, scores of old cars entered the village from Garforth and headed north towards Newcastle. It was the Flying Scotsman Rally which is an endurance rally for cars, built up to World War Two, over three days. The rally started at Oulton Hall Hotel and, sticking more or less to back roads its goal on Day 1 was Newcastle, Day 2 ended at Edinburgh and Day 3 ended in Gleneagles.
The month has ended being quite cold causing many to bring out their winter clothes again.

March 2015

The worries about the plans to build on a large scale in Scholes continue. The developers have appealed about the rejection of earlier plane. It is not just the villagers who are not privy to proposed amendments. The Parish Council is not being closely made aware of the developers' amendment plans. We have heard that one part of the proposed housing development on land adjacent to the school in Scholes has been withdrawn and substituted with a proposal to expand the school on that land to cope with population increases planned elsewhere in the village.
Over the winter months there have been piecemeal changes underway at what was the last farm in the village at Barwick - Lime Tree Farm. It looks less like the farm which was active until recent years.
Change is also under way at what used to be Cullen's farm in Scholes. There are still farm buildings at the far end of the property which is to serve land which the developers wish to turn to housing.
On the 20th of this month there was a partial eclipse of the moon at about 8.30 a.m. There were fears that we would not see the event because of cloud cover. However, the clouds parted about an hour beforehand and the event was visible.
There has been a series of thefts of milk from doorsteps in Barwick in the early hours of the morning.

February 2015
As the days lengthen, it remains cold but very little snow has fallen - just a light sprinkling on two or three occasions and now the snowdrops are out in Potterton Lane as you enter the village from the north. The only positive change noticeable in the villages is the digging up of Main Street, Barwick to install fibre optic cables for high speed broadband. This will cover most of the village during the coming months.
The month ended with the appearance of the first of the daffodils flowering in sunlit parts of the locality.

January 2015
The new year has started warm - 12° - and light rain in the afternoon.
The parish Council has circulated its reply to Leeds City about the Neighborhood Development Plan and a response form to all houses. It is also holding meetings in both Scholes and Barwick to get the views of residents.
It has been decided that improvements should be made to the road markings and road signs at the Coronation Tree junction in order to reduce road accidents. Some aspects change gradually over the years to meet people’s needs. Since Leeds City has introduced charges for the disposal of unwanted goods such as washing machines and household fittings the practice has developed for householders to leave the items in prominent places at the front of the house so that the modern equivalent of the former "rag and bone" merchants to come pass in their pick-up trucks - which they seem to do on a daily basis. In the last year or so the council’s refuse sites have opened shops which accept reusable household items for sale; the income goes to charity. Between them the two services have reduced the problem of disposing of unwanted items.
The disquiet over plans for housing to be built in the parish rumbles on. Two more potential sites for houses have been identified in Barwick - land to the west of Flats Lane and another plot on "brownfield" land close to the Boyle.
In order to reduce energy consumption there are plans to switch street lighting from 23.59 to 05.30 in certain parts of the villages. This will return the situation in the villages before they were transferred from Tadcaster RDC into Leeds City.
Vehicles parked on land adjacent to the Methodist Church in Barwick have attracted parking tickets for the first time.
The Parish Council has agreed to provide more Christmas lights next year in the villages following comments that the current provision was "sparse".

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 
Today January 2013 to December 2014  
Today January 2019 onwards  

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