July-December 2015

Wakefield Rotary Club member Dr Neale Clark at the launch of the club's city-wide charity Christmas post at The Spring Community Shop and Cafe in November.

Four generations at Christmas event

THERE was plenty of support for the Christmas coffee morning organised by the  Fundraising Group when there was a profit of nearly £900, about £100 more than in 2014. Visitors at the Walnut Tree pub on November 25 included  four generations of the King family, seen above left at the tombola where 89-year-old Eva King is trying her luck. With her are daughter-in-law Kathleen King, granddaughter Joanne King and great granddaughter Isla King. The tombola was manned by Elsie Taylor (left) and Mavis Easter. The Sandal fundraising team is pictured (above right) with joint chairs Alison Sharp (back row, left) and Margaret Smith (back row, third from left). They also organised a bucket collection at Asda's in December which raised another £766.90. For more photos of the coffee morning, click HERE

'Daredevil pensioner' makes £2,000 for cathedral fund

DESCRIBED by the Wakefield Express as a ‘daredevil pensioner’, 71-year-old Marta Smith abseiled down Wakefield Cathedral in September to raise about £2,000 for Project 2015, which aims to refurbish the east end of the building. About 24 people made the 105ft drop, including The Ridings shopping centre marketing manager Sara Hassan, Wakefield Council’s retail and night time economy lead officer Elizabeth Kay, and staff from Marks & Spencers. Italian-born Marta, an SCA member who belongs to the cathedral’s congregation, said: “I’d never done anything like this before but I have always looked at others doing it and thought why not? It was a bit scary when I got my feet on the parapet but I knew I was in safe hands.” She explained why she took up the challenge: “The cathedral is a beautiful building and important to the people of Wakefield. I wanted to do my part in helping to clean up the east end.” Terry Rigg, the cathedral’s community fundraiser, said people who had taken part in abseils down the cathedral in the past had really enjoyed it: “People always come along and watch. It creates a great atmosphere. People who have done it said it was a great experience and it gives them a fantastic view of the city. Everyone at the cathedral really appreciates the fundraising to help renew the east end of the building.” The abseil was organised by Wakefield’s 299 Parachute Squadron Royal Engineers. To donate search for Marta Smith on www.virginmoneygiving.com.

PHOTOS: Above, a delighted Marta abseils down the cathedral (Photos from Harriet Evans via Facebook). Right, Marta has her palm read the day before the abseil. Professor Mysto (aka Stuart Wilde) was one of the attractions at a Macmillan coffee morning organised in Milnthorpe Drive by Marjorie Wilde, one of Marta's close nighbours. The Professor told her that the lines on her palm showed she was not a worrier, which was perhaps just as well in view of the challenge she was about to face!

And finally brave teddy bear Scallywag was auctioned for children's hospice

CUDDLY Scallywag volunteered to represent the SCA and take part in Wakefield Rotary Club’s Teddy Bears’ Parachute Jump in Clarence Park on Sunday, September 20. His sponsored jump helped us raise £430 for the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, which cares for sick children from the Wakefield area. Later Scallywag was auctioned online, together with the Certificate of Bravery that he was awarded for his jump, resulting in a further £20 for the hospice. Seventy teddies jumped from a 100ft high 'cherry picker' with the help of Green Watch, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Wakefield. Scallywag was in good company because ‘celebrity’ bears taking part included Smitty, given by Jane McDonald, and Eliza, donated by YTV Calendar’s Christine Talbot.

Handbag Ladies take tea with Geoff

EACH year the Sandal Handbag Ladies and their supporters organise an auction of pre-loved handbags in aid of Yorkshire Air Ambulance. They've raised thousands of pounds and as a 'thank you' the YAA invited them and other fundraisers to a special afternoon tea in July at Geoff Boycott's home at Boston Spa.Pictured here with Geoff are (from left) Ian and Madge Flint, Lesley Bartlett and John and Jill Coney. Madge described Geoff as 'the perfect host and most gracious'.

Ex-pupil opens new school

FORMER pupil Leon Boyle performed the official opening of the extended and renamed Sandal Castle Primary School on a beautiful sunny day in July. The school was then blessed (pictured right) by the Rt Rev Tony Robinson, Area Bishop of Wakefield, who lives just across the road.Leon told the crowds who came to the event: “My learning was supported by committed teachers and adults in school who all wanted each child in school to achieve their best. I often see the children walking to and from school here and they are always smiling. I know that this is because they attend a school where they are celebrated, nurtured and supported to be the best people they can be.”The Vicar, the Rev Rupert Martin, posted on Facebook: “His (Leon’s) thoughts about the school have recently been confirmed by an Ofsted report which rates the school as ‘good’. The headteacher Mrs Nichola Russell (pictured left) , deputy head Mrs Sally Howley and all the staff have worked extremely hard, along with all the children, to enable the school to move up two categories in just one year. The new school can go forward with confidence into a bright future, all together on one site in spacious and beautiful buildings, with the support of parents, parish church and community. It is amazing to think that the school which was founded in 1686 by Richard Taylor for six children, now 329 years later has nearly 600 children.”The opening was followed by the annual summer fair. The school was renamed after Sandal Endowed and Castle Grove schools amalgamated on the Barnsley Road site.

Rotary club supports Sandal school chess

AS PART of a European initiative to encourage young people to take up chess, for several years Wakefield Rotary Club has been involved in promoting the game in schools. This effort has been led by Rotarian Roland Mold and it has seen the club providing prizes for special competitions in the Wakefield Junior Chess Championships. Roland, who is also an SCA member, has been involved in a volunteer reading programme at Sandal Magna Community Academy since 2003 and in 2005 he started up a school chess club, teaching pupils to a level that led to success at local competition level. Now he is helping the recently-launched chess club at Sandal Castle Primary School and he is pictured here (at the back on the right) with teacher Jonathan Dore and five club members (from left) Max Brzezicki, Daniel Spiers, Willow Pindar, Oliver Spiers and Leon Drzewicz. Roland is a member of the Rotary club’s vocational committee whose chairman, Martin Perry, is a governor at Sandal Castle school and it was at his invitation that Roland joined in the chess activities at the school.

Christmas tree lights switch-on 2015

THE Sandal Christmas tree lights switch-on on Barnsley Road on November 27 was a wet affair undertaken with great assurance in steady rain by brothers Jack (8) and Paul Gregory (6), both pupils at Sandal Castle Primary School. After the switch-on everyone moved across the road to the school where a children's choir sang carols and festive songs in the warmth of the new school hall. Then it was to the old hall for refreshments served by Sandal Community Association volunteers who also ran very popular tombolas for both adults and children. Back in the new hall Santa called in to distribute small gifts to children who, with their parents, formed an excited but very orderly queue. The SCA committee would like to say a big 'thank you' to headteacher Nichola Russell for allowing us the use of the school facilities and to her staff and pupils for ensuring it was such a successful event. For an album of photos from the evening click HERE. You'll find a photo of some of the SCA volunteers on the tombola HERE. The Christmas tree is donated each year by the SCA. If you feel you can make a contribution to help defray the cost (about £1,800 to include VAT and maintenance over the festive period) please email info@sandal.org.uk.              

Horbury band returns for another great night

TOM GREATOREX, former music teacher at Kettlethorpe High School, nowadays concentrates on his work as musical director of Horbury Victoria Youth Brass Band, which he brought for a second time to the SCA's annual Christmas Mice Pies and Wine evening at West Yorkshire Sports and Social Club. The band was back on December 11 by popular demand after last year's event was rated by guests as one of the Association's most successful nights at the club. The young musicians' performance - in which the audience joined on numerous occasions under some enthusiastic direction by Tom - was followed by a quiz.rolex replica watches Our photo shows Tom and the band taking a final bow after a vote of thanks by SCA chairman Les Goddard (standing, left).

Enthusiastic followers for Sandal 'Virtual History Trail'

NEARLY 90 people followed 'A Virtual History Trail Around Sandal Magna' at October's cheese and wine evening organised by the SCA at West Yorkshire Sports and Social Club. ith a computer slideshow and map, Kathleen and Edwin Hirst (pictured) took everyone on a tour of Sandal, based on their latest book which have they adapted from a trail compiled by local historian, the late Peter Wood. The book is proving very popular and there is now a waiting list for a reprint, price £7.50 per copy. If you would like your name placed on that list, call Edwin on 01924 255782. Members of Sandal Art Group, of which Edwin is chairman, staged an exhibition at the event, the first joint venture since the group came under the wing of the SCA. The Art Group has its own page on the SCA's website at where you'll find examples of members' work. A raffle at last night's event was in aid of Sandal's Christmas tree fund. The tree, which is provided by the SCA each year, costs £1,800 for erection and maintenance by Wakefield Council. If you can help by making a contribution, call 256644.

Fourth handbag auction raises nearly £2,800 for air ambulance

THE fourth auction of pre-loved bags organised by the Sandal Handbag Ladies made £2,766 to add to the £7,000 raised in previous years for Yorkshire Air Ambulance. The function room at Sandal Rugby Club was packed  as bidding began at 8pm after an hour's viewing time. One Mulberry bag went for £95 and a Burberry fetched £55. The Mayor of Wakefield, Coun June Cliffe, a keen supporter of YAA, was among the bidders.This year's event was once again supported by Peter Jones, who gave a new Radley bag for auction.

Above left: Some of the handbag ladies with (on the right) Lisa Blezard, the YAA's West Yorkshire fundraiser. They are Jill Coney, Kim Marshall, Lesley Bartlett and Madge Flint. Right: The Mayor with auctioneer Ian Flint (left) and his assistant, John Coney.

Two members take over the helm from Denise after 17 years

TWO members of the Sandal hospice fundraising committee took over the leadership of the group when Denise Armstrong stepped down after 17 years as chairperson. They are Alison Sharp (left) and Margaret Smith, pictured here with Denise (centre) at the July coffee morning at the Walnut Tree pub when Denise announced the names of her successors. She said how delighted she was that Alison and Margaret had volunteered to take over the reins. Denise told April’s annual general meeting that she would continue until after the fashion show and then leave the group completely. She said: “We have had some great events over the 17 years whilst I have been chair. But my time is up and I am passing on the role and hope that the group continues to flourish and raises lots of money for what I believe is our favourite local charity.”  On the announcement that Denise was to stand down, hospice chief executive Karen Crawshaw said: "Wakefield Hospice would like to give a huge thank you to Denise.  She has been instrumental in organising a plethora of events including coffee mornings, flower arranging demonstrations, concerts, pamper evenings, fashion shows and bucket collections. Denise has been a major driving force in the Sandal Group and has worked tirelessly alongside the members of the group to raise thousands of pounds for the Hospice which has been an important source of regular income over the years. It is easy to underestimate the hard work and commitment that is required to plan and organise such community events, but thanks to Denise’s efforts, the Hospice's profile in Sandal is strong and local people have felt connected to the charity."

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