Today 2003  

Barwick-in-Elmet Historical Society 

Today's News (Tomorrow's History)

Part 2. 2003 - 2004

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


November/December 2004


The parish Council, in common with other parishes, has started to develop a Parish Plan. The object of the plan is to have a stated list of objectives which the parish feels it wants to achieve in order to make improvements. The council has written to all households to ask residents to state three matters which most concern them so that the council can build into the plan those items which residents feel should be improved.


October 2004


The promised date for the start of broadband computing in the village (1st September) came and went. At the time of writing (10th October) the promised date has slipped to October 29th.

Barriers have need erected in Main Street to guard the holes which have been dug to connect the new street lamps up to the electricity supply. It makes the street look like a 400 metre hurdle course. Apart from that the village appears calm and unchanged.

As the month has progressed, the weather has been quite good although the Saturday night (23rd), when the Barwick Feast was ready to receive its most visitors, was spoiled by a day of constant rain. By the end of the month the new street lamps were working and the old ones had been removed.

Two items about sport should not go unrecorded. On Saturday, 16th October at about 11 a.m., anyone passing the Post Office would have seen a colourful splash
 
of blues and yellows. It was caused by a dozen or so supporters of the Leeds Rhinos (the Leeds Rugby League team), gathering before going to the Grand final of Super League. The final score was Leeds Rhino's 16 v Bradford Bulls 8. Leeds Rhino's were Super League Champions for the first time in 32 years. Some of the colour was provided by the be-wigged supporters (see photograph). I am grateful to Neil Beaumont for this items of news.

The other sport item refers to our neighbours, Garforth Town. The national newpapers and television reported that Garforth Town Football Club has signed Socrates, the former Brazilian national football team's captain, to play for them for one month and also to coach the team. This turned out to be a publicity hoax. He will come to Garforth but not to play as his playing days are long over. He no doubt will impart some of his knowledge to the club.

The last weekend in October has been a busy one for the church in Barwick. On Friday 29th there was a concert given by Simon Lindley the Leeds Parish Church organist & Kathryn Woodruff mezzo soprano given to a practically full church. On Saturday 30th there was a special day to mark 400th anniversary of the oldest bell in the church. The tower was open to the public and demand to undertake the climb to see the bells was greater than expected. In the afternoon a full peal was rung lasting some three hours. The event was recorded for you to hear a brief part of the peal. This was the first time that a full peal has been rung for over 30 years. During the service on Sunday morning the church received a bound volume of a complete systematic survey made over the last five years of the interior fittings of the church carried out by a local group of NADFAS recorders, the Leeds Decorative & Fine Arts Society.


September 2004




Barwick's new lamp posts replacing the old concrete ones 7 September 2004


In the middle of August the look of Main Street in Barwick started to change subtly. The old concrete lamp posts are being replaced by new metal ones which have more of an "old world" look about them. The photograph shows the two posts together. It also shows that the new post has purpose built arms to hold hanging baskets. The posts will be used throughout the centre of the village.

As the photograph shows, the beginning of September has brought a welcome change to the weather. It came just in time to enable the harvest to be gathered. What a change a week can make!


August 2004


At the start of the month the countryside around the parish was busy with hay-making and the harvest. This year the two events have come together due to the poor summer. However as the month progressed the rain has fallen nearly every day in short, very heavy showers. At the same time it has been quite warm and humid. As a result the harvest has been delayed and the wheat looks in very poor condition, being both wet and over-ripe.

There has been an example of the effect of what is commonly called these days "global warming". Alerted by an unusual bird call in my garden, I saw a bee-eater fly from my rowan tree in the direction of Leeds. Until a pair started nesting in County Durham last year, bee-eaters were just not seen in this part of the world. They are generally only found in the south of France at the nearest point to here. As far as I know I must be the first to see one in Barwick-in-Elmet. If anyone has seen one here, let me know.


The month ended with what is becoming an annual event - the Leeds Carling Festival at Bramham Park. While exciting for the youth of the area, the traffic on the A64 was chaotic at times. There were queues of traffic reaching back into Leeds affecting the Ring Road and the York Road as far as Foundry Lane. On one night of the festival it was possible to hear the music at the southern edge of Barwick.

July 2004

It is hard to call July a summer month this year. There have been frequent squally wet days and it has not been too warm.

Barwick has been stirred by recent planning developments which are not meeting with general approval. For the last year, one bungalow with substantial land on Leeds Road has been purchased by a property developer and approval has just been given for the site to be developed after a year of protest, modified plans and re-submission of plans.
Hard on its heels has come a proposal for two adjacent properties in Elmwood Lane to be demolished and replaces with 20 dwellings which will be three stories high. The plan will certainly change the character of the area and many villagers have recorded their objections to the plan. The principal of buying a property with substantial land and replacing it with ten dwellings is a result of the recent rise in market values of housing in the village. The average price for a dwelling is about 200,000. A simple multiplication of average prices by ten tells the market forces behind the current situation. Barwick has become a desirable village in which to live. Will the current developments ruin its charm in the long run?

The historical society has always regarded a mid-Victorian novel written by Edward Burlend called Amy Thornton as a valuable historical document as it is clearly been set in the village. Copies of the novel are hard to find and it took the society three years of advertising on the WWW to find a copy. Recently the society has been contacted by a member of the English Department at the University of Sydney whose neighbour was on the point of throwing out a copy and gave the academic a chance of looking at the novel. In short, he considers it has literary merit as an example of the Victorian novel and would like to re-publish the novel. The society would be interested in hearing from readers of the bulletin as to whether a reprint will be of interest to them (without obligation of course).

For the last two years the society has been involved in showing the village's earthworks to the Year 4 children of the village's primary school. The children could see all too clearly how the earthworks are currently endangered through neglect, vandalism and the filling of the iron age ditches with garden rubbish. This year the children have produced posters about the dangers, which the society exhibited at the village hall during the Open Gardens Day, and wrote letters to our M.P. and to English Heritage. They have also helped curtail nearly all of the rubbish dumping in the ditch on the NE side of the earthworks.

June 2004


Both villages now have striking displays of floral baskets hanging from lamp-posts and other suitable places. This is in readiness for the Yorkshire in Bloom judging which will take place in mid-July. On Sunday 20th June Scholes had its "Open Gardens" day and on the following Sunday, 27th June, Barwick had its own "Open Gardens" day. The gardens were open from 1pm to 5pm. Both villages had well attended days.

At the Barwick Open Garden Day there was a display of the posters and letters which Year 4 of the primary school had produced following an earlier visit which they had made to the village's Iron Age and Norman earthworks. They had learned their lesson well for they showed concern at the state of the earthworks and were urging their M.P., English Heritage and local residents to stop the deterioration in the earthworks which they had witnessed.

This month has seen the opening of sales of Dolls Houses and Dolls Furniture in Barwick. Tillotson's TV/Electrical shop has extended its activity to sell the dolls houses. As far as we know this is a new venture for Barwick.

May 2004


Both villages entered the 2004 Yorkshire in Bloom Spring competition. Barwick came first once more scoring 187 points out of a maximum 200. Scholes, which was entering for the first time came 10th with 158 points.

The details of the Judge's report are:

YORKSHIRE IN BLOOM

Spring Judging Results 2004

  1. Community involvement/is YIB apparent (40)
  2. Planting in public areas (60)
  3. Residential gardens & commercial frontages (60)
  4. Upkeep of public areas (20)
  5. General tidiness & upkeep/absence of litter and weeds (20) TOTAL 200

 

LARGE VILLAGE (POPULATION 1001-2500)

ENTRY

1

2

3

4

5

SPRING TOTAL

POS.N

Barwick in Elmet

38

58

57

18

16

187

1

Hutton Cranswick

37

55

56

18

17

183

2

Harthill with Woodall

30

58

57

18

19

182

3

Pateley Bridge with Bewerley

33

58

53

18

18

180

4

Cayton

37

54

55

16

17

179

5

Cawood

30

55

50

18

15

168

6

Nafferton

33

50

53

16

16

168

6

Shadwell

29

56

46

18

17

166

8

Ripponden

31

49

50

16

16

162

9

Scholes

32

49

50

14

13

158

10

Helmsley

29

40

53

16

17

155

11

Micklefield

38

55

35

15

10

153

12

Great & Little Preston

32

48

45

14

13

152

13

 

 

 

Judges' Remarks

Barwick in Elmet

A profusion of daffodils and spring flowers greet you at every entrance to the village. This well-organized and enthusiastic committee with the help of many volunteers work hard to maintain the high standards set. Support from residents and local business is evident throughout.

Areas of note are the "two churches", in total contrast, both wonderfully maintained, and the "Boyle" – a picture and a credit to its keeper. The "Millenium" bed makes a colourful entrance to the sheltered housing and Long Lane Beck a tranquil natural area for wildlife.


April 2004


On Easter Monday, 12th April the first swallow was seen flying at Manor Farm on the southern edge of the parish. There is no sign of the cuckoo arriving yet.

After being empty for a number of years, Bramley Grange (see the article on how a farm was transformed into Bramley Grange), north west of Scholes near the Thorner boundary, is available for letting as offices. It is looking far more attractive after its restoration. For a number of years it had been used by Leeds City as a teachers' training centre until the introduction of decentralised budgets for schools which cut demand for training places. Now, the north-west corner of the parish has two former "grand" houses, Morwick Hall and Bramley Grange, converted into office complexes.


March 2004


Over the month spring has slowly taken over from winter. Strong winds have blown a few trees across the footpaths around the village. As the end of the month approaches, there is evidence of a healthy number of curlews in the fields between the golf course and the south of the village.



The view towards Barwick taken on the Leeds Country Way at Kiddal. The church tower can be seen outlined on the horizon. 30 March 2004



February 2004


Today (11th February), a curlew has returned to its summer breeding ground in the fields to the north of the Garforth Golf Club. Spring is in the air!

In the Parish Council Newsletter just issued is the news that both Barwick-in-Elmet and Scholes have been reunited along with other villages in a new ward called Harewood. The Ward will have 3 concillors who will serve Aberford, Bardsey, Collingham, East Keswick, Lotherton, Parlington, Scarcroft, Shadwell, Thorner, Wothersome and the proposed Wike Parish Ward of Harewood Parish. Elections will be held on 10th June 2004.

In addition the parish newsletter contains the following:
A number of allotments are available in Barwick, 
the council considered 130 planning applications in 2002/3 and forwarded its comments to the Planning Authority, 
Scholes in Bloom is now well established and 30,000 bulbs have been planted following a door-to-door collection which raised 2,200. 
Barwick in Bloom for the first time achieved first place in the Yorkshire in Bloom Large village category in both the spring and summer judging. In june the Open gardens event will be held for the fourth time and Scholes will also hold a similar event. 
Parishioners from both villages were successful in the Leeds City Council Gardens Competition. They were Mr John Moreland of Scholes, (1st floral plant category), Mrs Lilla Womack, Mr Peter & Mrs Janet Spencer of Scholes of Scholes (1st & 2nd small gardens category respectively), Mrs Fox of Barwick (3rd small gardens category) and Mrs Ann Smedley of Scholes (1st large gardens category and also the Premium Award). 
The parish council has also drawn attention of parishioners to the ancient monuments in the parish, pointing out that in addition to Barwick's iron age and norman earthworks there are the remains of a medieval Manor House and moat in Scholes.  

January 2004


The Old Year ended and the New Year began with a snowfall. As it is a relatively rare thing in recent years the event has been recorded in the following photographs taken at 10.00 a.m. on 1st January 2004.

The centre in the snow 10.00 a.m. January 1st 2004

The village centre.



Hall tower

Hall Tower




Two village lads making the most of the snow on Jack Heap's Field




December 2003


On Sunday 28th December, Barwick AFC, the local football club held a match to raise funds for The Maypole and for the Candlelighters a Yorkshire based charity which supports children with cancer. The current players played the "over 35" former players. The rules of football were somewhat stretched at times as some of the over-35's were replaced with fresher pairs of legs and seemed slow in leaving the pitch. The over 35's started well but the current players scored in the last few minutes to win 4-3. A crowd of about 100 urged the players on. The event raised 750. The 50 lucky draw (still to be claimed) was won by No. 206.

In the last few months, Barwick-in-Elmet has lost three of its older members who had lived in the village all their life. Of the three, Tony Shinn, in his eighties, was the first to go followed by Geoff Hartley, in his nineties, and this month by Bob Hewitt at the age of 78. All three had made significant contributions to the society's recording of the village's history. They keenly contributed to the process of recording and publishing our history and made it accurate, interesting and meaningful. All three contributed articles.

Geoff Hartley, although not a member of the society, wrote accounts of the housing constructed in the village in his life time and "Stepping out to the Trains" about catching the Leeds train from Scholes, "Bells and Bugles" about camping on the edge of the village between the wars and contributed to items on The Barwick Players. All of these were published in The Barwicker. Tony Shinn and Bob Hewitt both served in the Home Guard in the village in the Second World War and wrote up their experiences for inclusion in "The Maypole Stayed Up". Tony Shinn contributed a number of articles to The Barwicker on the earthworks, the wheelwright's trade and on the community life based on the yards shared throughout the village and spoke to the society on these matters. Bob Hewitt was a regular contributor to the meetings of the society with his captivating and amusing recollections; his last contribution was on 5th November, a month before he died. He also made the recordings which can be heard on this web site.

Tony Shinn, a wheelwright and latterly a coach builder, worked in the village all his working life. Geoff Hartley, the son of a local builder, worked locally until the Second World War. Bob Hewitt worked in engineering in Leeds throughout his working life. All three men had one unusual thing in common. They all built their own houses in which they lived in the village. They will be missed.


November 2003


On 22nd November, the Barwick Art Club held its annual exhibition in the Miners' Welfare Institute. The event was well attended and it was well worth a visit. The club has some very talented members and more than one visitor was heard to exclaim that they didn't realise that 'so and so' was an artist let alone a talented one. About twenty members of the club meet together in the Institute every Wednesday evening. Thier subscriptions are sufficient for the club to pay for tuition in a certain aspect of art from time to time.

We have had a marvelous autumn. There has been a little rain but for the most part October into the beginning of November has been warm and sunny. The most remarkable thing to record is the wonderful colours which have experienced as the trees have changed from summer to autumn - not quite New England splendour, but exceptional for us. Farmers have been blessed this year with the dry soil which has enabled to gather in their potato harvest quickly and cleanly. The dampness which is slowly taking over will enable the rest of the winter sown crops to germinate.

November 5th was celebrated in fine weather. It seemed this year that even more and larger fireworks were being used. The sound of celebrations in Garforth, Crossgates and Seacroft was louder than it has been in the past.


October 2003


Today the 21st, marked the departure of the fun fair "Barwick Feast" from Jack Heap's Field. The rides seem to become larger and more 'hi-tec' as the years go by. Its departure co-incided with a cold snap in the weather. In several days we have gone from shirt sleeve weather to wearing fleeces.

There is a new place name in Barwick, "Martindale Fold". It is the name given to a block of two-storey flats in Elmwood Lane at the rear of the Pizza Parlour on Main Street. The flats caused quite a shock when they came on the market at a price which sent everyone scurrying away to re-evaluate their own property's value.

We have had very little rain for weeks and now in mid-October we are experiencing a pleasant, mild and colourful autumn. The latest change in Main Street, Barwick is the construction of a pair of flats built in the garden of what was known as Gascoigne Farm (now the Pizza Parlour) next door to the parade of shops.

One small but valued change has been the construction of kerb ramps on the land in front of the church gates which now enables easier wheel chair access to the church.

September 2003


After a glorious summer, September has started pleasantly cooler but still sunny. The harvest is in except for late root crops and the little quantity of maize which is grown in the parish.

Yorkshire in Bloom
Barwick has been successful once again in the Yorkshire in Bloom competition. see the FULL RESULTS (in Word format) The village came 1st in the small country town summer class and thus were overall winners for the year. Pear Tree gardens (a new estate off Richmondfield Lane) won 1st prize once again with Elmwood Court (in Elmwood Lane) was 2nd. The war memorial floral decoration was 3rd in the war memorial category while the New Inn won a certificate of merit. Congratulations to all those who devoted time and attention to the floral displays of the village.

August 2003


Pop concert at Bramham Park
At the northernmost tip of the parish in Bramham Park there has been a pop festival, the Carling Leeds 2003 Festival, for three days from 22nd August until the 24th. A large part of the estate was taken over by the event which attracted 50,000 plus young people a day. A large ferris wheel was erected as one of the attractions in addition to an array of the currently most popular artists. Predictions of chaotic traffic problems helped to achieve the opposite effect on the A64, which was the main entrance to the park for the festival.

The sound of the bands could be heard from time to time in Barwick although it was not intrusive. From all reports the event passed off successfully. It has brought much needed income to the estate which will help to maintain it at a high standard.

Aerial Photographs of the parish 30-40 years ago.
With the help of grants from Leeds City Community Involvement Team and from Councillors Parker and Wakefield, the society has been able to purchase a collection of aerial photographs of the parish taken in the 1960/1970 period when there was significant growth in the size of both Barwick and Scholes. The collection is a from Skyviews Aerial archives which has photographs from most of the U.K. Our collection will provide the society with a visual record of the largest changes which the parish has ever experienced. It will enable us to illustrate articles in The Barwicker, aid our research of topics and enable us to expand our ability to mount exhibitions of our history. The collection will be housed in our resource centre.

Other items
August has begun with the harvest well ahead. An application to demolish a bungalow and build a number of three storey houses in its place on Leeds Road, Barwick has been withdrawn. It had encountered much opposition locally as being out of character in the village.

July 2003

Scholes in Bloom
Visitors to Scholes will see a difference this year. March this year saw the establishment of "Scholes in Bloom" which has recruited volunteers who have set to and made the village a more attractive and cleaner place transforming former untidy areas with displays of beautiful flowers. Hanging baskets adorn the street lamps. Sponsors have been recruited to finance some of the displays. Ben Hogan, the organiser of the project, would still like to recruit anyone who has an hour or two to spare a week.

Tennis and Football clubs in Scholes amalgamate
After a period of decline, the Scholes Tennis Club has been re-launched following its amalgamation with Scholes Football Club. The joint clubs are now part of the Scholes Sports Association. The results of the amalgamation have been described as "spectacular".

Maypole News
The society has received a press release issued the Maypole Committee this month. It is set out in full as follows:

Barwick in Maypole Makeover

The famous maypole in Barwick-in-Elmet, thought to be the tallest in the country, has been given a much needed make-over. Members of the Maypole Committee ensured that the pole received a thorough clean, a fresh lick of paint and new garlands in time for the judging of the village for this year’s Yorkshire in Bloom competition.
Passing villagers were treated to the sight of Maypole Committee members, armed with paint pots and brushes, rising over 60 feet into the air on an elevated platform to brighten up the white, red and blue livery of the pole. They also replaced the rather faded, four year old garlands with new ones, crafted by local residents and comprising of hundreds of hand-stitched cloth flowers.(see photograph below)

Maypole Committee member, Michelle Horkan, said, “As judging for Yorkshire in Bloom is due to take place this week we felt it was the perfect opportunity to clean up the Maypole and hang the new garlands so that we can help to show the village off at its best”. And Miss Horkan pointed out that safety remained an equally important issue for the Committee adding, “This has also allowed us to continue our programme of checking the fabric of the pole. We’re happy to report that it’s still in a very solid state. So far we’ve checked up to the splice above the garlands, which, at around 60 feet, is as high as we’ve managed to get with the elevated platform. We’ll be checking the remainder of the pole again with a taller platform in the next few weeks”.

Traditionally, the Maypole has been lowered and raised for redecoration every three years using only ropes, ladders and the energies of a considerable number of village residents. The raising of the pole culminates in a gala, with floats, maypole dancing, and the crowning of a May Queen. Unfortunately, the traditional lowering and raising was abandoned last year amidst health and safety fears; although the gala still went ahead, the pole itself missed out on re-painting and the fitting of new garlands.

The current Maypole Committee are presently tackling any outstanding health and safety issues and are confident that they will soon be in a position to reinstate the triennial lowering and raising of the maypole, retaining many traditional elements whilst ensuring the safety, and enjoyment, of all those involved.

The Committee are also appealing for help in a wide range of activities surrounding the maypole, including fundraising and general maintenance, and would be happy to hear from anyone who would like to get involved. They can be contacted by ‘phoning Michelle Horkan on 0113 2811078 or by e-mailing barwickmaypolecommittee@hotmail.com.

16 July 2003





The Chairman of the Maypole Committee, Nigel Trotter, holds one of the new garlands which have now replaced the ones which have been hanging since 1999. 

June 2003



Barwick-in-Elmet Open Gardens

On Sunday 29th June from 1.00pm to 5.00pm eleven gardens were open in the village for visitors. Parking was available at Jack Heap's Field and refreshments were available from 1.30pm in the Village Hall. Admission was by programme on sale at 2 per person. The funds raised support the cost of running "Barwick in Bloom". The event was well attended and the weather was warm and sunny. Owners of the gardens welcomed visitors and were busy answering a multitude of questions. One unscheduled diversion was a demonstration on a lawn in Wendel Avenue of a robotic lawn mower which was a "first" for many visitors and attracted a great deal of attention.


May 2003


Barwick in Bloom success

If you are out and about in Barwick on any Wednesday morning, irrespective of the weather, you are likely to see (mostly) men digging, planting or weeding the flower beds which are found in most open spaces of the village. They are the volunteers who maintain the appearance of the village under the "Barwick in Bloom" scheme. This hard work pays off for, once more, the village has come top of the Yorkshire in Bloom Competition's 2003 Spring Judging for the Large Village category with 190 points out of a maximum of 200.

The judges commented:

Barwick in Elmet over the years has developed into a first class entry. The enthusiastic committee has organised volunteers to carry out work to a very high standard. Sponsorship from individuals and businesses from all over the village provides money for the work to be carried out. The daffodils and spring flowers in the village centre and all four entrances provide a very colourful display. The Post Office store window dedicated to "Barwick in Bloom" keeps the village residents up to date with forthcoming events organised by the committee.
The new wild flower area at the back of the Methodist Chapel has started to make good progress and will be in full flower for the summer.
The entire community can be proud of Barwick in Elmet.  

Potterton Bridge - Farewell to walks in a quiet country lane.

The bridge was reopened ahead of schedule on Friday 2nd May.

April 2003

Maypole Meeting
The meeting to discuss the future of the maypole was attended by about 100 villagers. There was a presentation given by the chairman, Mr. Nigel Trotter, which evaluated the condition of the present pole, alternative types of material, the safety hazards of the present method and the current method of managing the event. The committee proposed keeping the pole until 2004, changing the garlands with the unused ones from last year. The committee put forward a strong case for using a wooden pole in a single piece thus avoiding the problems with splicing. Plans were outlined for modifying the method of carrying and raising the pole to eliminate practices which current health and safety considered unsafe. A steam traction engine was being considered to raise the pole into an upright position.

The meeting was made aware that new methods of funding would be needed to support the project. The importance of Hall Tower Field as a scheduled monument was also raised. A new committee structure was also proposed. It is hoped that a full outline of the proposals will be put on-line shortly.

March 2003

Maypole Meeting
The Maypole Committee is holding a Special Presentation Evening in the Village Hall on Monday 31st March at 7.15 p.m.

Road closure
Since 24th March, Potterton Bridge has been closed to vehicles for strengthening, re-surfacing and waterproofing. Pedestrians are able to use the bridge so the walk from Barwick to Potterton along the road is a real (almost) traffic-free joy. If you are coming to Barwick-in-Elmet by car during the twelve weeks or so beginning 24th March, you should note that you cannot get to the village via Potterton. Access to properties served by Potterton Lane will continue from Kiddal Lane for those north of the bridge and from Potterton Lane for properties in the village itself.

Another sign of spring
Today 12th March, the call of the curlews was heard again in the fields at the southern edge of the village.

Phone mast on Long Lane
The application to build a mast which was 25 metres high (see August 2002) was rejected but approval was given for a 12.5 metre mast. It was erected on 3/4th March but is not yet (6th) in use.

Changes at Potterton
During the last few months the builders have been busy at Potterton. The old barns and the original farmyard at Brickpond Farm have been transformed into a residential development.

The Brickpond Farm Development.
Photographed on 2nd March 2003 
 
Brickpond Farm from the west 
 
The old farmyard has been transformed. The farmhouse remains untouched at the rear of the development. 
 
The view from near the entrance to Potterton Hall 

Meanwhile, there are large-scale renovations taking place at Rose Cottage which stands at the start of Miry Lane. The surface rendering has been partially removed which reveals that the original house was built of stone and was then considerably enlarged in brick. The two stages of development can be seen in the photograph.




February 2003

Following concern expressed by the Inspectorate of Monuments about the state of the Iron Age and Norman earthworks in Barwick, the parish Council, the Maypole Committee and the Historical Society are about to embark on a collaborative venture to make villagers more aware of the earthworks and to treat them with greater care.


The iron age ditch is a dump for garden waste and is being damaged by trees.


Has spring arrived? Today (15th February), I noticed the first daffodils of the year blooming in a front garden in Main Street, Barwick-in-Elmet.

For people who have not visited Barwick in the last ten years the village has changed in subtle ways. Today (25th February), while walking to the village at 8.30 a.m., picking my way through the emptied, haphazardly strewn 'wheelie bins', there was a southerly breeze. The noise from the M1, a mile to the south, was very noticeable. Ten years ago you heard the far-off rush hour traffic, depending on the wind direction, but it was less intrusive.
There have also been changes in village over the last year or two, mainly in Elmwood Lane. The rear of property in Main Street which backs onto Elmwood Lane has led to almost all the plots of land on the east side of the road being built upon. In the last winter, a three story house has been erected near the Leeds Road end of the lane while aat the rear of what was Gascoigne Farm, a block of flats are being built. Meanwhile, a bungalow on Leeds Road occupying a large piece of land nearly opposite Flats Lane, has suddenly lost all its trees and shrubs in what looks like stage one of redevelopment.

Maypole Inspection 2002

Maypole Update

The maypole still stands awaiting its fate. A camera caught the only activity associated with the maypole in September 2002 (see left). The maypole was inspected to ensure that it was still sound. In the picture, the new chairman of the Maypole Committee, Mr. Nigel Trotter, can be seen with Neville Gardner examining the condition of the pole.

The committee has spent the winter considering the range of options which are available to the village. It is planned that there will be a public meeting before Easter at which the alternatives will be put before the village.




January 2003

The new Year has started with a small snowfall and cold weather.



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