Jim Shipman

01423 772735

A Very English Sound: a lot of people if asked what sound typifies England, more than likely they would answer “The sound of church bells” - ringing out across the countryside or meandering between all the buildings in our towns and cities. We in Birstwith are particularly fortunate in having a very fine peal of eight bells at St James’ Church. We are also very fortunate that most of the village lies below the church on the hill, which enhances the sound of the bells as their sound drifts down towards us. However bells need people to ring them, and here in Birstwith we are very short of ringers, hence this reason one does not hear very often all the eight bells ringing. In order to try and correct this situation, we are starting a training programme for new volunteers this coming autumn. A qualified tutor from Harrogate will be running this training course. Would you dear reader be one to consider coming forward to volunteer to learn this very ancient skill of bellringing? Once having managed this art of handling the bell, you would then be able to ring on a Sunday as well as for special occasions such as weddings. No! One does not have to be super strong. Skill, knack, concentration and the ability to work in a team are the main requirements. Am I too old or too young? Why not have a word with Maurice Worsnop on 01423 770654 in the first instance. The bells will in the near future be silent for a short while. This is to enable the whole bell frame to be painted (much needed), as well as some minor maintenance to the bell frame workings. This as can be imagined will be a very costly job, due to the fact that each bell will have to be lifted clear of the frame to enable the painters to get at the frame. Once completed the bells will be in good condition for many years to come. Are you going to be one of those who will make sure that our bells will be rung regularly and heard in our beautiful dale? Norman Castle.

Luncheon Club: the next lunch will be on Tuesday, October 15. This will be an anniversary of our first lunch on October 17 1991. It was good to see so many people back in September, 38 in all, looking fit and well. Seven members were away, hopfully, enjoying holidays in various parts of the world. As I have mentioned many times in the past, with so many people on the books, it is very important to let me know as soon as possible if you are unable to attend so we can accept visitors. The optimum number for serving and ambiance is 40 to 48. This number also allows us to break even financially and be able to give some money to charities. Unless our costs increase substantially during the course of the year, we can maintain the price of £4. As usual, please let either Brenda (01423 770409), Thelma (01423 770891) or me know if you are unable to attend. Elaine Burge (01423 770274).

Birstwith Walks: the walk on Saturday, October 19 will start from the village shop at 10am and go via Cinder Hills, Fringill and Darley to Dacre Banks, a distance of about six miles. There will be a lunch stop at Dacre Banks. Last year we visited the Royal Oak but you may prefer to bring a packed lunch. The return route will leave Dacre Banks at 2pm and go via Summerbridge and Hartwith Hill to finish at The Station, again around six miles. The walk will be at a pace to suit those taking part. If you bring dogs you must keep them under control. You will need clothing and footwear appropriate to the weather and possibly something to drink and eat along the way. Those wanting a shorter walk might wish to arrange to be picked up or dropped off at Dacre Banks or to catch the bus. For more details please contact Adrian Dixon on 01423 770116 or 0771 618 7621 or e-mail

Nidderdale Messiah: come and sing Handel’s Messiah - bookings now open for the tenth Nidderdale Messiah event, to be held on November 24 at 1pm, Holy trinity Church, Knaresborough. Booking essential for singers and audiance - to raise funds for Yorkshire Air Ambulance. Booking form or tel 01423 206535.

The Nidderdale Society: we welcome new members with open arms. The Nidderdale Society is a charity concerned with preserving the natural character of the Dale. It organises monthly speaker meetings and walks as well as concerning itself with community issues which may affect Nidderdale. Membership is only £7, why not join now and pay nothing more until 2015. For full details of all our talks, walks and current topics of interest go to or call Kevin on 01423 781203, or Anita on 01423 865991.