Community Group Newsletter Winter 2016

“’Tis the season to be jolly…” and we are pleased to be able to bring you up to date with some of the activities since our last (Summer 2015) newsletter. To say that the Bolsterstone Community Group (BCG) has been busy would be an understatement. The Christmas Fayre and the Wreath Making Evening, two of our regular seasonal activities, have once again, exceeded our expectations.
 
CHRISTMAS FAYRE: The Christmas Fayre was held on an unusually sunny day this year, in the Village Hall which had already been decorated with all the Christmas trimmings. It played host to a wide variety of exciting stalls. Some of the stall holders have been regular attenders at the fayre for years, whilst others were newcomers. The stalls included fabrics, puppets, cards, garden ornaments, glassware, jams and spices, health foods, children’s books, wooden crafts, plants, sweets, gifts, cakes and various jewellery stalls. Santa was busy and the BCG homemade cakes and refreshments were even more popular than ever. Many people commented on the friendly atmosphere of the fayre and for this we must thank the many volunteers who helped set up, take down, hold, fix, wash up, sing or play. You name it – they did it! We are particularly grateful to everyone who donated raffle prizes or brought delicious cakes, mince pies and buns. BCG’s cake stall was heaving but by the end of the day everything had been sold, or eaten in the cafe area. We would also like to thank the Art Society for their display and all the school children and their teachers who sang or played music in St Mary’s Church. Deepcar St John’s, Royd Nursery Infant, Stockbridge High School and Stockbridge Junior School delighted everyone listening to them in the Church. It is obvious that lots of people want to support whatever goes on in the village of Bolsterstone, both at the larger St Mary’s Summer Fayre, the Christmas Fayre, Art displays, wreath making, cream teas, and Bolsterstone Male Voice Choir events etc and we are very grateful to everyone who helped with the fayre in any way at all. With the proceeds from the Christmas Fayre we were able to donate to St Mary’s Church Bells appeal, Stockbridge Leisure Centre and Cavendish Cancer Care as well as to support other charities including Macmillan Nurses, the Shoe Box appeal, a Ugandan school and of course, The Village Hall Trust. All the rest of the money raised will be spent on maintaining or improving public spaces in the village, especially the plants and troughs.
 
WREATH MAKING EVENING: Some of you will recall that the Christmas Wreath Making evening started a few years ago with just a handful of attendees. It has now grown like Topsy and one hundred people signed up this year. We managed to fit everyone in (just!) and make room for all the mulled wine and mince pies as well! People walked away, after an hour or so, with the most wonderful, colourful and artistic creations. There were many appreciative comments, such as: “I’ve never done anything like this before” and “No-one will believe I’ve made this”. The wreath making evening has taken on its own momentum, to such an extent that we will have to ask for your help next year in gathering suitable greenery such as Leylandii, conifer strands or berry holly. Can you help? If so please let us know. We’ll help you with the cutting and gathering if necessary. We are also considering putting on another evening, similar to, but in addition to, the wreath making event. It would be held a bit nearer to Christmas to help people create their own table decorations. Please let us know if you would be interested in coming.
 
THE EWDEN VALLEY AT WAR PROJECT: This project is coming to an end in December. Over the past year we have been researching what Bolsterstone and Ewden Valley was like in the period 1914- 1918, who went to fight in the war from this area and what were their short lives like. We particularly wanted to find out more about the 48 men whose names are commemorated on the war memorial in Bolsterstone churchyard and appealed to anyone who had any information to get in touch. The project has now completed its work and produced a memorial book ‘Soldiers’ Stories’ presenting our findings, which is now on display and available to view in St Mary’s Church. It gives pen portraits of all the men listed on the memorial who fought in the First World War – their families, the jobs they did before enlisting and some of the battles they fought in. It also includes where they were buried or commemorated. We have also found WW1 soldiers and a nurse who are not mentioned on the memorial but buried in Bolsterstone churchyard. Just as a taster, we have included the information we have been able to find out about two men who came from this area whose relatives still live round here – Winfield Crawshaw and Horace Micklethwaite. If you would like to find out about any of the other people included, see the memorial book on display in the church or contact the community group who also hold a copy. There may well be others that we have not found yet – so please let us know if you are aware of others. Often they are listed on the memorials to other family members and so are quite difficult to find. There were also a few men whose stories remain lost as we have been able to find out very little about them – please contact us if you can shed any light on these or if we have made any errors.
 
THANKS ARE DUE TO: the Heritage Lottery Fund who supported the Ewden Valley at War Project and to all those who contributed to the project by loaning items, giving talks, mounting displays, providing information, helping with refreshments, giving technical assistance, or doing research. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank The Village Hall Trust, without which we would have no venue for events. Thanks too, to allotment plot holders for keeping a tidy, and productive allotment as in, “Where there’s muck there’s brass” (icas) and cabbages, leeks, potatoes, peppers, raspberries, plums etc. Thanks again to Amey, not only for their local road improvement programme but also for providing many bulbs to replenish stocks around the village. Thank you to the Bridge Shop, which has become a major support pillar for all BCG’s work.
 
TOUR de YORKSHIRE: Finally, next year’s Tour de Yorkshire promises to be a mega event and on Sunday 30 April 2017 the Tour de Yorkshire’s last stage will pass right through Bolsterstone Village! It is planned to go from Cockshutts/Folderings Lane, past the Castle Inn, Church and Village Hall, down Yew Trees Lane en route to Midhopestones, eventually finishing in Fox Valley. We would welcome your ideas and suggestions as to what we should do as a village to host the event, which will go on all day. Does anyone have an old bike we could decorate, for instance? Other activities will be happening in and around Bolsterstone, Stocksbridge and the lovely hills in our area whilst hundreds of amateur cyclists participate alongside the main professional event.
 
CONTACT US: BCG’s website contains details of events and minutes of meetings. It is kept up to date by an ex-resident who now lives and works in Iceland! It contains links to other organisations with which we work and which we support. To contact us just email us at mail@bolsterstone.info. Next year’s AGM will be held in the Village Hall on Tuesday 28 March 2017.
 
We wish everyone a “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”