Jim Shipman

01423 772735

The Children’s Society: there will be a coffee morning/box opening event held on Saturday, November 2 from 10am-noon in St James’s Church, Birstwith. Please bring your collecting box along to be emptied and counted, or if you are unable to attend, please let us have it before the end of next month. You may leave your box in church for Hilary or Ruth, or if it is easier for you, drop it into the surgery. Last year we collected £1,200 (mostly in small change), so even the smallest amounts help. Nationally, there are over 180,000 boxess sitting in people’s homes and together they raise over £2m annually. As usual, there will be a cake stall and we would be grateful for any donations. Once again, on behalf of the children, thank you for your continued support. The Society helps over 40,000 distressed children every year and your help really can make a difference to their lives. If you don’t have a collecting box and would like one, do call in to the coffee morning, where you may collect one, or contact Ruth Bush or Hilary Trickey (

The Poppy Appeal: the total collection by Birstwith for last year’s Poppy Appeal was £1,800.29 including gift aid. If you would like to gift aid your donation this year please ask for a gift aid form or envelope. As in previous years house to house collections will take place throughout the village and the outlying areas of the parish. If you are able to help with this collecting please contact Adrian Dixon on 01423 770116 or e-mail Poppies will also be on sale at Birstwith Post Office, The Station, Birstwith Primary School and Belmont Grosvenor School. In addition to standard poppies, wrist bands, bracelets and enamel pins a limited number of car poppies, large double poppies and small wooden crosses and wreaths will also be available. You might be interested to know that the Poppy Appeal works in partnership with Help for Heroes on a number of initiatives to support and assist injured and disabled service personnel. For example Help for Heroes will fund the cost of building new facilities while Poppy Appeal will fund the on-going costs of running and staffing the facilities. In addition to the annual Poppy Appeal collection which will run until Remembrance Sunday, November 10 there is also an online Poppy Shop at that sells a range of year-round commemorative items and gifts.

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 country-side 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’s Church. We are also very fortunate that most of the village lies below our 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 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 frame to be painted (much needed), as well as some minor maintenance to the bell 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.

Embroiderer’s Guild: the next meeting of the Nidderdale branch will be held on Saturday, November 16 when there will be a talk entitled African Blues by Maggie Relph. As usual there will be workshop from 10am entitled Strip Cloth before the talk which will be held in Birstwith Church Hall, and visitors and new members will be most welcome. For further information please contact Mrs Maureen Robinson on 01423 880597 or visit our web site at