Ron Miller

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Biggest ever’ Scholes Gala: Saturday’s spectacular village gala in Scholes could be the biggest in the event’s long history, according to Graham Harker, chairman of the village hall committee, who organise it to help maintain and improve the hall’s facilities. Graham told the Wetherby News:“We need local people to give the gala as much support as possible as we still have to raise £10,000 of the £60,000 required to complete the refurbishment of the village hall, which is a vital community resource.” A new boiler and heating system has already been installed and the hall will be closed for the whole of August to allow contractors to make further improvements, which include installing energy-saving insulation. Most of the funding has come from grants, including £4,000 from the parish council to enable the committee to obtain a Landfill Tax grant of more than £35,000 from waste disposal group Biffa. Saturday’s gala will begin with a parade through the village, including a float carrying the Gala Queen, Alexandra Turner, her attendants Felicity Herrington and Gracie Howarth and beefeaters Fraser Douglas and Luke Neary. The parade, with a 1940s theme suggested by Year 6 pupils, leaves Scholes Primary School at 12.15pm and the gates to the field will be opened at 1pm. Admission will cost £1, with children aged under 16 admitted free of charge. The Gala Queen will be crowned at 1.30pm by well known Scholes residents Alan and Evelyn Senior.Young musicians of Boston Spa School’s Soul Band will play and dancers and majorettes will entertain during the afternoon. Donkey rides will be provided by the Friends of Scholes Primary School, who will also offer a wide range of refreshments. A wide variety of more than 20 stalls will be available, along with funfair rides.

Barwick Art Club: a demonstration of painting ‘a seascape in oils’ will be given by professional artist Jeremy Taylor at next Wednesday’s meeting of Barwick Art Club. This will be held at the Miner’s Institute, Chapel Lane, at 7pm; admission will cost £3. Visitors and prospective members are always welcome, whether beginners or experienced painters.

Barwick open gardens: programmes which will allow entry to all 14 Barwick gardens being opened to the public during Barwick in Bloom’s Open Gardens event on Sunday, June 23, from 1-5pm, are now on sale at £3 each. They can be obtained by calling Geoff Yapp, secretary of Barwick in Bloom, telephone (0113) 281-2561. This is another big year for the group’s volunteers, who have accepted an invitation from Yorkshire in Bloom for Barwick to represent the whole of Yorkshire in the Large Village category of Britain in Bloom, supported by the Royal Horticultural Society. Money raised from the open gardens will go towards meeting the substantial cost of creating spectacular planting displays to impress the top national gardening experts who judge Britain in Bloom.

Great result: a recent, well attended coffee and cake morning in Barwick raised £2,010 to help fund the research programme of the Multiple Sclerosis Society. Describing this as “an amazing amount,” event organisers David and Margaret Clough have thanked everyone for their support.

Bus service gloom: Scholes villagers have expressed anger and disappointment that their numerous objections to proposed changes in bus routes and services appear to have fallen on deaf ears. West Yorkshire transport authority Metro has told residents that, despite their protests, the changes due to come into force on July 20 have now been formally submitted for approval by the traffic commissioners. Several residents expressed their indignation at this month’s parish forum, at which the parish council was criticised for not doing more to make Metro officers take notice of villagers’ views. Coun Ben Hogan, chairman, insisted that the council had robustly objected to the changes but it was difficult to challenge Metro’s assertion that passenger numbers on existing bus services were simply not high enough to justify them being retained. “People don’t use the buses because they are so unreliable,” a resident commented. Another said: “I have been living in Scholes for 50 years and the bus service has always been inadequate.” Other residents took issue with some Barwick villagers saying in a questionnaire that they would welcome faster links with Leeds city centre, avoiding the need to travel through Scholes. “They are stabbing us in the back,” a Scholes resident claimed. But Coun Claire Hassell, a Barwick councillor, said that was nonsense. “They are simply expressing their point of view,” she said, adding that going through Scholes currently added up to ten minutes to journey times to or from Leeds. Coun Hogan’s offer to write a second time to the chairman of Metro, seeking a meeting to discuss the issue of services to Scholes, was accepted.

benefice plan for parish: despite opposition from some church members in both Barwick and Scholes, the parochial church council has agreed to seek independent deanery advice on controversial plans which could lead to each village becoming an independent parish. The churches of All Saints, Barwick and St Philip’s, Scholes would continue to work together within a benefice structure incorporating St Peter’s Church in Thorner. Each church would seek to meet the needs of its own village, though broad initiatives such as youth work would span all three. Outlining the proposal at the recent annual parish Meeting the Vicar of Barwick and Scholes, Rev Andy Nicholson, acknowledged that what he termed ‘a nightmare scenario’ would be a breakdown in relationships between members of the Barwick and Scholes churches which could lead to a dysfunctional benefice council. Another concern is that individual churches may not have adequate resources. He recognised the depth of feeling among those church members who strongly oppose the idea of separate parishes and are disappointed at the fractured relationship between the two churches. Many are also concerned at the potential loss of historical connections within the parish which date back well over 800 years. The vicar said both churches continued to be successful but each has its individual style of worship and of working within its village community. As the next step the parochial church council has agreed to seek advice from deanery pastoral care, a group within the diocese which can take an independent view of the relationship problems which have arisen between Barwick and Scholes churches and of the solution the vicar proposes.