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Christmas Services: are as follows: Holy Communion at 9am on Sunday, December 23/Christmas Day at St Mary’s, Ramsgill. A Christmas Carol Service will also be held at 6.30pm on Sunday, December 23 at St Chad’s, Middlesmoor.

Ramsgill Christmas Coffee Morning: report from Sarah Smith and Catherine Lamb: “We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who supported us at the Christmas Coffee Morning weekend and for all the generous donations given. The lucky winners were Sam Senturk, who correctly guessed the weight of the Christmas cake (4lb 7oz), Nicola Allen who won the gin and Jill Newbould who won the whisky. Nancy Murray won the £50 board with number 14. The total raised to date was a staggering £2,130 which will be divided equally between St Mary’s Church and Ramsgill Village Hall. Sincere and grateful thanks to everyone who supported and helped us. We hope to see you again next year on November 23/24, 2013.”

Friends of Lofthouse School: wish to thank everyone who helped, donated and supported Lofthouse School at their Christmas Fair held at the beginning of December. The event raised a total of £832 which will purchase material and equipment for the schoolchildren.

Ramsgill Domino Drive: will be held on Saturday, January 5 at 7.30pm in Ramsgill Village Hall, to which everyone is very welcome.

Brass Band Concert: held at Pateley Bridge Memorial Hall raised a magnificent sum of £1,663 for hall funds, according to hall Treasurer, Mabel Parker. She adds that “the concert was a breath of fresh air with a different twist on the usual Christmas music. The committee would like to thank Pateley Pharmacy for doing such a splendid job selling tickets, to Sue Marshall for baking 200 delicious mince pies and all those who helped in any way to make it such a successful evening. We will be holding a free concert on Sunday, April 14 at 3pm when the Reeth band will be playing.”

Happy Christmas: to everyone in the Upper Dale and thank you for all your reports of 2012. Hope you enjoy my annual Christmas ode:

The Effects of 2012!

2012 has been a brilliant year

As our nation has celebrated all we hold dear,

But its effect on my family this Xmas season

Seems to have no rhyme nor reason!

There’s been a radical shift in their Xmas list,

“No chocolates, booze or crisps!” they hissed,

“We’re setting a fitness regime for next year,

Even Dad’s going to stop drinking so much beer!”

Crikey! What a major change in attitude!

I’m usually surrounded by lassitude,

Even the dog has noticed it gets a longer walk

I’m sure it would mention it if it could talk!

Was it the visit t’Velodrome to watch Chris Hoy

That’s filled my spouse with this strange sort of joy?

Or his delight when Wiggo won the Tour de France

To which he responded with a weird manic dance!

“Oh, I want to be like Wiggo” he insanely said

“So could you buy me an ‘elmet for me ‘ead

And some cycling shorts made out of Lycra

And I’m going to sell t’Nissan Micra!”

I’d noticed his sideburns - thought it was just a phase

(Thought he’d reverted back to his Teddy Boy days!),

But he’s obviously got a new intention

To get super fit before drawing his pension!

He’s been in training now for the last few weeks

Although I think t’saddle’s affecting his bottom cheeks!

And a strange Max Wall gait he now possesses

And he’s bathing in Radox he also confesses!

But I’ll humour his rather unusual request

For a new yellow jersey and thermal vest

And won’t remind him of advancing years (sadly)

So he can follow his dream of being like Bradley!

It doesn’t stop there, my daughter gave me a shock

She no longer wants a Posh Spice frock

But wants to be an athlete like Jessica Ennis

And after t’Grand Slam victory she may take up tennis!

Nicola Adams got gold, so she might try to box

Or karate or rowing, perhaps even act as a cox,

She’d like to have a postbox painted gold

There’s one in Hebden so she’s been told!

So she’s requested a leotard, of course in pink,

“Well”, I said “that’ll make the boys wink!”

“They can wait!” she said “I want to build muscle,

I want a body like Darcey Bussell!”

Alarmingly Nan announed “She’d like a lacy peach frock

Just like the Queen’s - oh it was such a shock

When she jumped from t’parachute into t’Olympic arena!

I’d like to try that - I couldn’t be keener!”

“The Queen” said Nan “was such a good sport

I didn’t know she was the adventurous sort!

I’d like to meet that handsome James Bond

He looks such a nice man of which I’d be fond!”

“Blimey Nan” I gasped “you are very keen!

But why not see Skyfall on t’giant Imax screen?

A front seat should get you the desired sensation

But you’d need your pills to cope with all that elation!”

Mind, I’ve got to agree, Bond is the bees knees

I wouldn’t mind him rescuing me, if you please

He could take me on a boat ride down the Thames

Where I could always show him my valuable gems!

Mr Bean’s orchestral antics inspired our son

Who now wants to meet him to have some fun,

And he loves Mo Farrah and Usain Bolt

He’s even turned off his X-Box - that gave us a jolt!

So instead of IPad or other technological gift

He wants training sessions to give him a lift

So he can build up his six pack and manly physique

‘Cos he no longer wants to be a computer geek!

It’s been Charles Dickens’ 200th anniversary this year

‘N Agatha Christie’s Mousetrap 60th birthday I hear,

Both literary giants have inspired us all

To tell many stories short and tall!

My hubby’s gift suggestion of 50 Shades of Grey?

Though, has unnerved me for t’ rest of t’ holiday,

“Is that t’colour chart from Dulux?” I smugly replied

To which his face dropped and he deeply sighed!

Even the dog is not its usual norm

Jumping through hoops - it wants to perform

And it’s started dancing to the James Bond theme

To follow it’s Britain’s Got Talent dream!!

I think we’ve all gone mad I started to think

One step further and we’ll be over the brink!

This year’s given my family a wake-up call

But I’m fair worn out just watching them all!

2012 will be remembered, it’s been so amazing

An improvement 2013 will find hard raising,

But for myself TV’s Downton and a glass of sherry

Will just do nicely ... TO WISH YOU A XMAS THAT’S MERRY!