Community Group Newsletter Winter 2015

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” as the song goes, and once again we are pleased to be able to update members about BCG’s activities in the run up to Christmas.
After an unusually warm start to November, winter snow and icy cold weather arrived, as if to order, on the morning of Bolsterstone Community Group (BCG) Christmas fayre. The seasonal weather added to the Christmassy atmosphere and the numbers of people attending the fayre, the amount of money raised for the upkeep of the village and the large numbers of volunteers who baked cakes or came along to help, contributed to making the fayre a fantastic success. Residents and visitors alike seem to want the best for Bolsterstone and are more than willing to “do their bit” to support the village. There are too many volunteers to mention by name but we are extremely grateful to them all. Local school children and their parents filled the church, charities benefited from stalls and our donations. BCG’s new Ewden Valley and World War 1 project was on display, and the pub was “packed out”. The village hall looked lovely with its new Christmas decorations and we are pleased to record our thanks to the Village Hall Trust and to all the volunteers.
Since our last newsletter in summer, lots has happened. St Mary’s Church held their own Summer Fayre, which, as usual, was very well attended and a resounding success. At BCG’s Committee meetings it is always illuminating to hear from the other local groups represented, about their own events. Some of our members helped other volunteers from the Church and young people from the Bold Adventures Group, to clean up the church yard and re-paint the village benches prior to the visit of the Archbishop of York, which was a real highlight. We are grateful to Sheffield City Council for providing the money for another strimmer, which can be used by ourselves and also loaned to the Church or Trust etc for tidying up before events. Bolsterstone is only a small village but there is so much going on locally. The Castle Inn attracts increasing numbers of people as the new landlords look for ways to improve their service and ensure that people receive a warm welcome.
Bolsterstone Archaeology and Heritage Group (BAHG) has a new Chair – Susie Abrahams has taken over from Bryan Howard who has attended our BCG committee meetings for the last 3 years. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Bryan for his help and wisdom during his time on the committee and to welcome Susie to our meetings.
Stocksbridge Town Council has nominated Cllr Julie Grocutt as their representative on BCG’s committee. She is a vital link, bringing us up to date with issues relating to Bolsterstone, which promotes useful discussion – for instance, about the Link Bus Service, planning matters in the Green Belt, Unsliven Bridge, the work of Amey’s road improvement plan and street lamp replacement, Stockbridge Neighbourhood Plan, and the replacement of a bench which “disappeared” from the village one night!
The Bolsterstone Male Voice Choir (BMVC) made a superb contribution to the Remembrance Service on 11th November and their calendar is becoming increasingly interesting in the run up to Christmas. This includes them singing in December on 11th in Grenoside, on 12th in Wortley, on 16th at Balfour House, on 19th at Stockbridge Golf Club and on Sunday 20th December in St Mary’s Church, Bolsterstone.
Stocksbridge Walkers are Welcome is another group represented on BCG’s committee. Have you visited their website? We can recommend it, especially if you have visitors from Bolsterstone Community Group out of the area coming to stay with you at Christmas time. See the details of places to visit, walk and cycle and we all know that visitors to the area never cease to be impressed, and often surprised, by the beautiful scenery above Ewden and across to the Peak District.
BCG is delighted to have secured a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the “Ewden Valley at War” project, which will research and use memories and personal stories of the descendants of local people who fought, died or were wounded in the first world war, to demonstrate the impact of the first world war on the area around Bolsterstone. Starting with the names of soldiers listed on the war memorial in St Mary’s Church yard but using original records, letters, memorabilia and images as well, it is hoped to record the impact of the war on agricultural production and employment on local farms and estates and the construction of the reservoirs in the valley. Were there any conscientious objectors, or people who were exempt from service, perhaps because they were engaged in agricultural or industrial work? Local researchers and historians will be working with Y9 pupils from Stockbridge High School to give local young people the opportunity to research the family histories of those listed on the war memorial. We would love to hear from anyone who has information, letters or memorabilia etc to help with this project, so that there can be displays and exhibitions at a series of public events including one in Bolsterstone Village Hall in April 2016. Anyone interested in getting involved or providing information should contact us by emailing: or phoning/texting 07748187027.
The allotment plot holders have had a bumper year. We are grateful to Broomhead Estate for allowing them to erect a second green house on the allotment. There is now so much produce, that more greenhouse space was required. Plot holders are currently tidying up at the end of the season. The greenhouses are being cleared out and cleaned up and plot holders are reaping the rewards of their efforts by making numerous jars of chutney and stocking up their freezers with fruit and vegetables for the winter.
The next major BCG event will be the annual Christmas Wreath Making Evening on Tuesday 8 December in the Village Hall at 7pm. We have already taken several bookings (the first ones came in at the beginning of September!) but there are still some places left. Please see the publicity below and support Bolsterstone Village and its community group by reserving your places. We look forward to seeing you there and take this opportunity to thank you for all your support and to wish you all a “Very Happy Christmas”.

Christmas Wreath Making Evening
Tuesday 8 December 2015
Bolsterstone Village Hall, 7pm

You are invited to come along, have some fun, a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie and create your very own wreath in plenty of time for Christmas. You can use your wreath to decorate your own home or give it to someone as a special gift. You can bring some of your favourite greenery to wrap around your wreath base and any special trimmings you may want to add, to make your wreath unique. We’ll provide wreath “frames” some baubles, tuition, a mince pie, a glass of mulled wine, plus entry into a prize draw – all for £6.50.
Please reserve places by telephoning 01142830781, texting 07711706670 or emailing: