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Archive of Club Activities 2015-2016

AGM – April 23rd

The 72nd AGM was held at Dewsbury Golf Club. After presenting £3,200 to Kirkwood Hospice (see Archive of Club Activities 2014-15) President Sue inaugurated Honorary Membership status on Freda Pickard who has served the Club for 40 years and is particularly acknowledged for the ways in which she has raised and continues to raise funds. She was surprised but pleased and thanked the Club.

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Reports were read by President Sue, Secretary and Treasurer. Following the Election of Officers for the forthcoming year Hazel Lofthouse was installed as President by outgoing President Sue West.  After the meeting everyone enjoyed a celebratory supper and slice of president’s cake

Hot Dates!

The first official SI Dewsbury Curry Club met at Bangla Lounge in Birstall on Thursday 30th April 2015.  16 members partook and a good time was had by all. The next venue is The Cinnamon Lounge, Horbury Bridge on June 18th, 7.15 for 7.30

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Speaker meeting – May 21st

May spkr DSCF2159 web cropPat Osborne entertained members with her talk about ‘Georgina, Duchess of Devonshire’, describing the very varied lifestyle of an early Chatsworth Duchess.





Birthday Girls


Birthday girls DSCF2162 web cropMembers Marjorie and Margaret were surprised with a bouquet of flowers each and a Cake and Drinks Celebration in honour of their ‘big’ birthdays





Garden Party and Plant Sale – May 31st

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A group of brave souls of members and friends huddled against the cold elements at the annual Garden Party held at the home of June and Roy. An excellent lunch revived spirits and along with a raffle £726.70 was raised for local charities. Grateful thanks to the team of helpers who ensured everything ran smoothly.

Tea with friends – June 15th

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Twenty members met with friendship club SI Preston in Skipton for afternoon tea at Walkers Bakers and Chocolatiers.  By the noise levels a very good time was had by all.

Second Helpings – June 18th

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The Curry Club went to the Cinnamon Lounge in Horbury Bridge.  There were 15 of us, and a very good time was had by all.

Speaker Meeting June 25th

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Eve Dickenson, the Yorkshire representative of SIGBI Benevolent Fund gave us information with the aid of a quiz type exercise to explain the formation and work of the fund for members.






Annual Charter Lunch – June 28th

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The 73rd Annual Charter Lunch was held at Healds Hall, Liversedge. President Elect of SI Yorkshire Liz Lyle was amongst the guests. The speaker was Norma Dobney, a friend of President Hazel who recollected her experiences as a flower arranger/floral designer with her highlight being responsible for the flowers in Westminster Abbey for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton.


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Long Service Awards were presented by President Elect of SI Yorkshire Liz Lyle to 6 members with a total of 230 years service between them, one more award will be presented at the next club meeting

Supporting Howlands

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President Hazel and members Marjorie, Linda, Margaret and Pat (taking photo) went to the opening of the new era for Howlands on Friday July 3rd. Hazel introduced herself to the Mayor Cllr Paul Kane to form her personal Chain Gang!.

Fun in the park – July 11th

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Fun day in Crow Nest Park, Dewsbury…the weather was very kind to S.I D & D on Saturday July11 for the annual fun day and it was well attended.
It started with a fun run, and there was several organisations promoting their own interests, along with jewellery, plants and cake decoration and a very popular teddy bear tombola….with both children and their parents coming back several times until every toy had been claimed.
There is a beautiful walled garden in Crow Nest Park, part of which is cared for by very ardent members of our club, so if you are blessed with green fingers why don’t you come along and find out more about SI D & D and our gardening project.

Anyone for Croquet? July 13th

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Tuesday morning..the morning after the night before when the brave souls among us visited S.I. Huddersfield for an evening of croquet!!! A fun evening ..especially for those of us who had never played croquet. Sadly rain stopped play before we really got the hang of it, but after a very hearty supper of meat and potato pie and peas we all recovered and agreed that it had been fun, until next morning when there were a few sore wrists among us, wielding the mallets I think.

Day in Saltaire – July 14th

Saltaire 063 webTuesday was another day and off we trooped to spend the day in Saltaire.
The morning started with a gathering in the Church which Titus Salt had built and an introduction to life as it had been for people who lived and worked within the village. We had a conducted tour round the village and learned just what a philanthropist Titus Salt had been even though he was a hard taskmaster especially regarding the timekeeping of his employees, even building an underground tunnel from the dining room back to the mill to save them time; and his legacy is very evident as his entwined initials are everywhere.
Some time was spent in the David Hockney art gallery, the book store and the home store before we left for home.
A day enjoyed by all, and a village well worth a visit.

Speaker meeting – July 23rd

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The last speaker meeting before the ‘summer’ break. The speaker was Mrs Ann Withers who talked about her experience as a prison visitor, being involved with prison reform and the care and welfare of prisoners’ families. Over many years of doing this work Ann had many anecdotes, some amusing and some quite sad. Many involved the housing of families with no homes, and the follow up, as many marriages fall apart if a man is imprisoned for a long sentence. Ann gave a brief history of Wakefield prison and the famous ‘mulberry bush’, and how it has evolved over the years to become the high security prison it is today. A lively question time followed, and altogether it was a very interesting evening.

Curry night – August 13th

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The Spiced Mango, Middlestown was the venue for our third curry adventure, we are really getting to know where the best curries are in the West Riding.

Good Day at the Races – You bet! August 20th

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Ladies Day at York Ebor Races saw the annual invasion by a bus load of SI Dewsbury members and friends ready for a day of fun, friendship and maybe even frivolity. Not to mention enjoying a wonderful picnic accompanied by lashings of Prosecco or Pimms. Fortunes were neither made nor lost but all were in agreement it was a wonderful day and roll on next year. Many thanks to Eileen, Kathleen and Carol for organising everything.
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Curry Club – Sept 17th

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 The 4th episode of the SIDAD Curry Club found us at Gandhi Spice in Ossett.  Another jolly evening.

Oakwell Picnic

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Sunday 20th September was our annual picnic and walk and this year dog walking was also on the menu.  We met at Oakwell Hall in Birstall and decided we would try to raise our profile, we put up the banner and took along our display board to show off what we do.  Quite a number of women stopped to have a chat.

Speaker Meeting – September 25th

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Thelma from Guide Dogs for the Blind brought along Alma and Rhoda, both dogs were retired.  Guide Dogs for the Blind have over 12,000 volunteers, but, are always looking for puppy walkers.  It costs £50,000 per dog to train.







 Macmillan Coffee Morning – September 26th

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Macmillan Coffee Morning at Tentercroft Court Dewsbury.  Roger Ram opened proceedings and there was a surprise visit from Paula Sheriff MP for Dewsbury.  Over £600 was raised for Macmillan.

Fish and Chips with friends – October 16th

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A fish and chip supper at St Ignatius Church Hall was enjoyed by members and friends from SI Wakefield. The club was also pleased to welcome a visit by SI Yorkshire President Angela Edwards – pictured above with SI Dewsbury President Hazel. The excellent evening was rounded off with a Yorkshire quiz and light hearted members contributions. Who says gin and tonic doesn’t go with fish and chips!

Speaker Meeting – October 22nd

Oct Spkr DSCF2495 web cropJohn Gilligan entertained members with an interesting talk ‘Yorkshire Talks’ where he explained about his life growing up in Leeds and the history and development of the city.





Painting Ossett Pink – October 23rd

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Soroptimists from Dewsbury and Wakefield help with the annual event to ‘Paint Ossett Pink’, collection boxes are delivered to shops who are also invited to ‘get in the pink’ and decorate their shops and windows with a pink theme. A market stall helps to raise awareness and funds by selling cakes, a teddy tombola etc. Over £300 has been raised so far from the market day, collection boxes have yet to be collected and counted.

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Hot stuff in Huddersfield! – October 28th

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The fifth course of the Curry Club travels saw them visit Mumbai Spice in Huddersfield. Anna Geraud from SI Huddersfield joined everyone for an excellent night out.

Speaker Meeting – November 12th

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The speaker at the November meeting was Ann Crompton, a lady whose passion is ‘Miniature Embroidery’, but equally dear to her is making almost anything miniature. She brought a large collection of her work which consisted of numerous items of
furniture suitable for a doll house, including dining suites, bathrooms, and lounges complete with a tv set. She also showed us several set pieces, mainly kept under cover as she does exhibit them, especially a scale model of Queen Elizabeth 1st, done to scale from a picture.The skill and patience needed to do such detailed work is unimaginable, and fascinated everyone.
President Elect Julie stepped in for this meeting to deputise for President Hazel who had cruised away to the Carribean – lucky lady!

Silent Auction – November 20th

A Silent Auction and cheese and wine supper was held at St Ignatius Parish Hall to raise funds for the club’s PAC activities. Everyone had a good clear out and went home with new possessions they never knew they needed after an enjoyable evening.

The organisers and many helpers are pictured with some of the goods on offer.

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Story Sacks

At the November Business meeting the Three Little Pigs group presented their story sack to members, the story was read out and the supporting items demonstarted.

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December Activities

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As Christmas approaches S.I.D.& D. have rounded off the year with plenty of activities.
Saturday 5th saw Santa Claus, Snow White and the seven dwarfs and from ‘La Pigalle’ in Dewsbury.
the Can-Can dancers all assemble at Tentercroft for the annual Christmas party, which was enjoyed by everyone.
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Sunday, on a more sober note, was the annual carol service, held at St Paul’s Church, Hanging Heaton.
As usual this was well attended and provided some very lusty singing from everyone there.
Refreshments were later served in the church hall.

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Last, but by no means least was our trip, on Monday, to Castle Howard. Although the weather was quite foggy it did  not cloud the enthusiasm of our members as we gathered to await our coach. On arrival we began our tour of the house, which was very lavishly decorated with many, many trees and beautiful arrangements. Through the many rooms we went, learning along the way that the bedrooms we passed through would actually be used at Christmas by visiting guests.
Then to the serious business…the shopping. Plenty of shops and market stalls to help empty the purses, and cafes to indulge in the homemade soups, pies, and wonderful cakes.
And so with parcels, and packages we left for our trip back to Dewsbury, for the last event of the year, the Christmas meeting when cards, greetings, and good wishes are exchanged.
Snow White and the dwarfs made an appearance and entertained everyone before drinksa nd mince pies were served. The Pinocchio story sack group presented their story and sack contents to members. The following week President Hazel. Elaine and Eileen took the first three completed story sacks to Ravenshall School were they were well received by the school who “were over the moon” with them and can’t wait for the rest!
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Winter Warmer

The first 2016 ‘Curry night’ was held at the Grameen Spice restaurant at Grange Moor. Not so many attended as on previous occasions, perhaps because of the weather, but a good night was had by all.
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Speaker Meeting – January 28th

Jan 2016 Spkr mtg DSCF2776 web cropThe first speaker meeting in 2016 was presented by Mr and Mrs David and Judith Wood, both MBE and founders of Dewsbury Arts Group in 1963. From a very inauspicious start playing and rehearsing in various venues such as pubs etc the group has flourished and grown to be the wonderful association it is today, no small thanks to both Judith and David. Giving both their time and talent; David writing many of the plays which they have produced over the years, even having some published in America.

Together they performed a sketch which could have been entitled ‘Mr & Mrs Malaprop’..hilarious! On a more serious note they went on to tell us what wonderful work the group is now involved with such as drama festivals, art exhibitions, social events, special Christmas presentations, and very importantly the opportunities afforded to young people to become involved with every aspect of their work. A wonderful evening; many thanks to both.

Old Bags raise cash!

At the February business meeting members held a sale of handbags and scarves to raise funds for the local floods appeal. The table was so full of inviting goodies that President Hazel declared everyone must have empty wardrobes. When most of the items had found a new home it was announced that a staggering amount of over £140 had been raised.

Story Sacks continue

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The group for Joseph and his Coat of many colours presented their completed sack to the group, demonstrating the varied books, games and other activities in the contents.

Speaker Meeting – February 25th

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The speaker was Pat Kilbane, SI Yorkshire’s Extension and Membership officer who gave a very interesting talk about the way forward for clubs by adopting new stragegies for the running of the club and roles members can take on.

After the meeting members eagerly pounced on the Easter bunnies and chickens who had arrived for the annual (edible) livestock sale. These are made every year by Freda who knits and fills every animal with a creme egg ready to be sold in aid of the charity funds.


Water Aid efforts – March 10th

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At the March Business meeting members joined in a range of activities to celebrate the forthcoming World Water Day on March 22nd. Members had fun taking photos through a giant photo frame. A water themed quiz set by Eileen tackled the brains followed by ‘water in to wine’, donations made £45 for Water Aid.

Past Presidents’ Dinner – March 16th

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This years Past Presidents’ Dinner was arranged by IPP Sue West on Wednesday March 16th at Healds
Hall.16 attended and enjoyed a lovely evening.

Encore Entertain – March 19th

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An evening of entertainment presented by a group by name of ‘Encore’.For 45 minutes they took us, musically, through the whole spectrum, from Al Jolson through to Elvis and almost every other type of music over the last 40, 50, 60 years and maybe more. After a well earned supper, and a fantastic change of costume,  they took to the stage again and once more wowed us with songs from the shows including of course ‘Les Miserables’, Lion King, Wicked and many more.
They had everyone in stitches when 2 of their members did the classic ‘Lets do it’ as made famous by Victoria Wood…how could they follow that? But follow that they did with a  grand finale, and of course an ‘Encore’ .’A light at the end of the tunnel’ from Starlight Express..which nearly brought the house down.A very memorable evening from a very talented group of entertainers.
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Visit to SI Preston Lunch – March 20th



A group of SI Dewsbury members ventured across the Pennines by taxi into Lancashire for the annual visit to friendship club SI Preston’s Charter Lunch. A good catch up, food and friendship was enjoyed by all

Speaker meeting – March 24th

March Spkr web crop DSCF2941The last speaker of the year was Trevor Moody and his topic was Nostell Priory.  Nostell Priory originated as an Augustinian Priory, built in the 12th century.  After various owners, the Winn family bought it in 1654 and they still own it today.  Over the generations the Winn family have added to and maintained the house.  Nostell Priory houses over 100 pieces of Chippendale furniture and the library is home to more than 4,000 books. The main part of the building was given to the National Trust in 1954.

Soroptimists at Work – April 2nd & 3rd

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A weekend of action was planned for work in the garden the club maintains at Crow Nest Park. The site is quite large and had become overgrown and unmanageable in some areas populated by grass, moss, several weeds along with overgrown perennials. A brave team of six (including a Soroptimister) on the Saturday dodged the raindrops to make a good start in cutting back and finding the soil. Sunday was much better sunny weather and another assault by seven gardeners saw ribbons of newly emerging soil meeting up.

Story Sacks ‘Last instalment’ – April 14th

The last business meeting of the 2015-16 year saw the presentation by the  ‘Rosie’s Walk’ group of of the final story sack. This will be presented to the school very soon.

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Reports were also given from the club officers in conclusion of the year’s events.

AGM – April 28th

Thursday 28th April was the culmination of the club’s year, the AGM held at Dewsbury Golf Club, as usual, and was attended by all but a couple of our members.
The evening began with the presentation of a cheque for £2000.00 to Mr R Parry on behalf of the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, which cares for children with life threatening or terminal illness.
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The second item on our agenda was the induction of our new member, Joan introduced by membership convenor Margaret and sponsor Sue (Photo: Margaret, President Hazel, Joan & Sue)
The club business then began with a report of the year’s activities from President Hazel, and how successful our fund raising and social events had been.
The secretary and treasurer both gave their reports followed by the election of new officers.
All business being completed, came the very important part of the evening, the meal this was enjoyed by everyone. This is the time when we relax, socialise and perhaps have a glass of something to toast what we hope will be another successful year for S.I.D & D.
A very happy evening had by all.

Gawthorpe Maypole – May 7th

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Members are on cloud 9 this week, at the first attempt, the club’s float came second, one of the members came first in the individual fancy dress and four came third in the group fancy dress.  The float highlighted the work the club do from Story Sacks for Ravenshall School, Water Aid, Macmillan Coffee morning at Tentercroft Court, Kirklees Women’s Refuge & the Wildflower Garden at Crow Nest Park. Wilby’s Transport loaned  a truck and they were supporting Rotary and Luke & Marcus Trust. Thank you to all involved and well done to the Maypole Committee for all their hard work.

Repeat performance – May 11th

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For the 7th Curry Club outing the diners were visiting old haunts, a return to Bangla Lounge in Birstall proved very popular with 16 members and a good friend of Kathleen’s enjoying a spicy night out.

Speaker Meeting – May 26th

SIDD potter 003 web cropThe first speaker of the new club year was John Hudson a local potter, who taught in Dewsbury, before he become a full time potter. John spoke about the many projects he has worked on and the slipware he produces based on medieval ware which is on display in many historic houses in the UK.

John brought many examples of his work which were eagerly snapped up by members. A thoroughly enjoyable evening, which kept everyone entertained and informed.






Business meeting – June 9th

May 2016 Spkr Mtg DSCF3341 web cropAt the business meeting a charming young 14 year old Libby Ballance came to ask for  help in raising funds to go to Tanzania next year.  The project will entail her working on projects to improve educational standards, taking part in various conservation and environmental projects and living within the community.  She spoke about the different ways she has already raised part of the £3940 needed for the trip and her future fund raising ideas. The club gave her £100 towards her goal.
The Garden Party at June and Roy’s on June 5th had great weather, food and atmosphere in contrast to last years which was chilly to say the least. Over £900 was raised for local charities.

Afternoon Tea with SI Preston friends

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SI Dewsbury members enjoyed a day out in Skipton on Monday June 20th. Some arrived early and explored the market and shops before meeting up with members from SI Preston at Walker’s Bakers and Choclatiers. A splendid afternnon tea of sandwiches and cakes was heartily tucked in to by all.

Speaker Meeting – June 23rd

June 2016 spkr DSCF3349 webThe speakers were Malcolm, Geoff and Jim avid bee keepers all. They kept us entertained for quite some time with demonstrations of their work, the very busy activities of the bees, all under glass we’re happy to say, but also a potted history of bees and bee keeping and how it has evolved down the centuries and of how essential they are in the production of not just honey, but more importantly bees wax. A very informative evening.


Another fine curry on

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The curry club outing on June 30th revisited Mims in Dewsbury for an evening of excellent food.

Annual Charter Luncheon – July 3rd

Sunday 3rd of July was a rare beautiful day for the 74th annual luncheon of S.I. Dewsbury & District, held at Healds Hall in Heckmondwike.SI Dewsbury members and many of the guests and friends come from far and near to enjoy good food, good company, and good speakers, all of which were in plentiful supply on Sunday. As everyone began to arrive there was the buzz of anticipation that this would be another very successful S.I.D.& D event and it did not disappoint.The delicious 3 course meal, served by a very efficient young staff, and enjoyed by all, was followed by toasts to the Queen, Soroptimist International and guests.
Annual Lunch DSCF3390 web cropThe guest speaker was Maria Glot, a young lady whom we had met when she gave us a guided tour of Saltaire on a visit there last year. Maria’s subject was ‘my part in promoting Saltaire World Heritage Site’ and she kept the whole audience entertained as she regaled us with, how, from humble beginnings in Earlsheaton, and speaking only Polish, due to her Polish mother, she managed to get to university and get her degree, thanks in no small measure to the people in the library in Saltaire who helped her to read, and consequently speak English fluently.
Maria went on to tell us in great detail about the curse of the house on Milners Field and how so many of its occupants met premature and rather suspicious deaths. The audience, could only sit back and marvel at the fund of knowledge she possesses, and could have listened to her for much longer.
After thanking Maria for her wonderful presentation, President Hazel thanked everyone for making today such a happy occasion and wished everyone a safe journey home.

Trip to Newby Hall – July 12th

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A bus load of members headed to Newby Hall on a lovely sunny day in July. Two guided tours were available with free time to explore the beautiful gardens and famous long herbaceous borders, also to grab a bite to eat in the cafe. A good day was had by all.

Business & Speaker Meetings – July 14th & 28th

S Tong Award 20160714_205640 web cropPresident Hazel presented member Shirley Tong with her Long Service Award for 25 years membership before the business meeting.




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President Elect Julie chaired the speaker meeting and introduced speaker Diane Hughes who told members about the work of the Street Angels in Huddersfield. Diane along with two fellow volunteers explained how the group had started out and  described the many nights out with a difference they experience in patrolling the town centre and assisting many damsels in distress, with pink flip flops playing a major role for a safe journey home.

August Activities

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Members visited the Ruby Lounge at Mirfield for the Curry Club’s outing in August. A fabulous evening with excellent food and great company.

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Members and friends had a grand day at the races for the annual trip to Ladies Day at York Ebor.  The sun shone and some even managed to  pick winners. We drank Champagne and had a most delicious lunch.

September Activities

Sept Mtg 2016 DSCF3502 web cropAfter the summer recess members got off to a flying start at the business meeting by celebrating recent ‘big birthdays’ for members Barbara and Maureen. Everyone enjoyed sharing the birthday cake and bubbly.


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The curry club met at Table 27 on Wednesday 21st September, were veiled threats being issued????
At the first speaker meeting after the Summer break we welcomed Rosemary Robertshaw, who founded Lindhill Nurseries HORTICARE. of Kirkhamgate, Wakefield.Spkr mtg Sept 2016 P1020383 web crop
Horticare is a local charity giving training in horticulture to people with learning difficulties , and which opened in 1994.
Rosemary has a son with learning difficulties, out of full time education and very keen to work, and when she heard of a project called Blue Coat Wood Nursery in Harrogate,  off she went to investigate. What  she found was a large horticultural nursery, with poly tunnels, and lots of outside space, teaching adults with learning difficulties. She decided that if they could do this in Harrogate, then so could she in Wakefield and set about doing just that.
After many set backs, but also very much help coming from sponsors and grants the project is now a  thriving centre giving this special knowledge to a very enthusiastic body of people. They run a very successful nursery selling plants, and a range of crafts, produced by the trainees and available to buy in the shop.
It Is in no small measure thanks to the tenacity and foresight of this lady Rosemary Robertshaw, that ‘Horticare’ in spite of all the setbacks she had,  is the thriving business that it is today; It is worth a visit, if only to see how these people work so enthusiastically, and fully deserve the help which Horticare gives them.
Green Flag 2016 DSCF3516 webMembers went along to Crow Nest Park on September 29th to see the presentation of a sixth successive Green flag for the park. The club supports the work of the Friends of Crow Nest Park in the Wildflower Garden by regular work visits  to maintain their area of the garden. A gardening weekend is scheduled for the 15th and 16th October to tidy up and ‘put the garden to bed’.
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This years joint event for the Macmillan Coffee Morning with Tentercroft Court celebrated 20 years of the partnership which has seen ever increasing excellent amounts raised for this worthy cause.
The usual combination of bric a brac, white elephant, name the bear, raffle, cake stall and tombola of epic proportions raised over £515.

Speaker Meeting – October 13th

This was the final speaker of President Hazel’s year was Donald Woolley and entitled ‘Grandad rediscovered’.
Oct Spkr 2016 20161013_204118 web cropMr Woolley introduced his presentation with slides of a holiday which he and his wife had just returned from in Canada.
But this was no ordinary holiday; it was a mission to find a grandfather he had never known, and whose very existence seemed to be shrouded in secrecy. His mother would never explain letters received from Canada, a visit from a mysterious lady from Canada and eventually a book from Canada which he discovered later contained a reference to his grandfather.
Although his mother would not allow him to see this book, she promised to leave it to him on her passing.
By doggedly pursuing many and varied pathways his trail took him to Canada where he eventually found much information about his grandfather, and met people who had known him.
The sad story was that Grandad had gone to Canada when Donald’s mother was a little girl to make a better life for his wife and family. He was unable to read or write and the ‘friend’ entrusted to send money home to his wife, had in fact never carried out this task, so his wife and child, Donald’s mother and grandmother, had believed that he had in fact deserted them, and never forgiven him.
A sad, but very interesting story which did at least end happily for Donald.

Antiques Evening – October 14th

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John Walsh, the Auctioneer and Valuer (pictured above with Jane and President Hazel), came along to assess the value of items brought along by members and guests.
Although nobody became a potential millionaire, the evening was very informative and, with a very substantial supper, was an evening enjoyed by everyone.

Change of Presidents – October 27th

DSCF3626This meeting was held at Dewsbury Golf Club, President Hazel gave a resume of her eighteen months term as president for the second time. she outlined various highlights of the term and thanked members for their support especially through the transistion towards new structures within the running of the club.

Hazel presented Julie Thompson with the chain of office to start her term as president, and then received her past President’s badge from Julie.