Community Group Newsletter Winter 2018

Introduction

It is encouraging that a small village the size of Bolsterstone seems to be “the small village with a big heart”, so we make no apology for starting this winter’s newsletter in the same way as previously – that is, with a big THANK YOU to volunteers. We are pleased to report that this group of volunteers continues to grow in number, whether it be to paint, bake, plant, wash, pack, post, act as guides and comperes, decorate or donate.

Christmas Fayre

Held in mid November at the same time as many other local attractions, Bolsterstone’s annual Christmas Fayre once again turned out to be a huge success. The sheer volume of people who came through the Village Hall, many of them supporting their children singing in St Mary’s Church, together with the many businesses and individuals who donated over £400 of raffle prizes, helped make it such a happy event. Many of the enthusiastic stall holders book their tables year in and year out and we’ve already taken bookings for several stalls for next year! We were so pleased to welcome Santa, who met lots of children in his grotto and who never lets us down and we thank the teachers who trained and brought the children to sing in their choirs. Also theArt Society for their exhibition in Church and the Shoe Box appeal, which raised a record sum. We supported Macmillan nurses and donated funds to Stocksbridge Community Leisure Centre, Cavendish Cancer Care and St Mary’s Church who, like the Village Hall Trust (VHT) extend their facilities to us throughout the day, providing the perfect environment for our event.

Wreath Making Evening

The annual appeal for greenery once again saw the hordes of wreath makers well supplied with conifer cuttings, holly, ivy, variegated leaves and pine cones. Set against an array of baubles, sparkling lights, carols and good old fashioned mulled wine and mince pies, the event proved hugely successful again and raised sufficient funds for us to increase our donations to charities, especially the Village Hall itself. Moving around the Bolsterstone area many of the wreaths decorated by attendees can be seen on various front doors.

Christmas Table Decorations Evening

After the embryonic event last year with just five enthusiastic attendees, this year saw a group of 15, which also looks set to grow much bigger in the future. With expert tuition and volunteers’ help, this year’s group went away with home produced displays, which were a credit to themselves and to the volunteers/organisers.

Bolsterstone and its groups

In the last few years the Bolsterstone Community Group (BCG) has tried to act as an additional conduit to the numerous groups who meet in and around the village itself. Briefly, Bolsterstone Male Voice Choir, had a busy run up to Christmas in Wortley, Bradfield, Stocksbridge Golf Club and of course St Mary’s Church, which was packed out for their Christmas concert with Deepcar Brass Band. We wish the choir a successful trip to Northern Ireland in April. The Bolsterstone Quilters, are an enthusiastic group who produce the most exquisite fabrics, yet still find time to attend BCG committee meetings and wreath making events etc. The representative from Bolsterstone Archaeology and Heritage Group also keeps us informed of their monthly events. The Walkers are Welcome representative on BCG committee updates us about interesting local walks, many of which feature in the newspapers, as well as conservation work on footpaths and access issues. All these groups can be contacted through their websites via our own Bolsterstone web address. Similarly, a local resident offering French conversation practice can also be contacted through mail@bolsterstone.info.

The Village Defibrillator

Thanks to the group of 14 volunteers who carry out weekly checks on the defibrillator, kept on the external wall of the Village hall, everyone can be sure that, whilst we hope it is never needed, the defibrillator is certainly kept in good working order, just in case.

Planning and highways

We do our best to keep abreast of planning and highways issues that occur in and around the village. Nowhere was this more apparent than last year’s extended closure of Manchester Road and diversions down Sunny Bank Road to More Hall Lane – where there were a number of scrapes and near misses. Thanks to the 2 local Town Councillors, who are also reps on our committee, we were able to minimise the negative effects of some of the closures with speed limitations, improved signage etc. Thankfully the work seems to be now complete, apart from resurfacing of the lower section of More Hall lane, which is due to take place later in 2019. Unfortunately, there has been no progress on decisions relating to the proposed developments at Hollin Busk and the Porter’s Lodge. We are concerned about the delays and continue to monitor the applications.

Village maintenance

Our “in bloom” programme is funded by Christmas events, whilst being brought to fruition totally by volunteers.The troughs, hanging baskets, flower beds, the grass verges and areas around the boundary stones continue to be cleared, strimmed, weeded, watered and stocked with plants as appropriate. This year all of the village benches were given a good rub down and painted up and we have purchased, painted and installed a lovely new gate to replace the broken one at the entrance to the village field. We have agreed to spend most of those funds from our Christmas events, which are not already earmarked as donations to charity, on projects required by the Village Hall Trust. The treasurers of both the BCG and the VHT will work together to prioritise what these specific projects should be and we will let you know in due course.

2019 dates for your diary

• Annual General Meeting – Tuesday March 19th 2019
• Christmas Fayre – Saturday 16th November 2019
• Christmas Decorations’ Evening – Tuesday 17th December 2019

It has been another busy year but we thank you all for the help you give in whatever way and take this opportunity to wish everyone a…
VERY HAPPY AND HEALTHY NEW YEAR FOR 2019