January-June 2016

Final handover in Rotary's £10,000 programme of defib installations

THREE SCA members are pictured here as Wakefield Rotary Club’s programme of installing life-saving defibrillators across the city came to an end in June  with the handing over of the last of the machines by the club’s community service chairman, Dr Neale Clark.This state-of-the-art defibrillator, which can be accessed by the public when someone needs swift help following a cardiac arrest, is mounted on a wall near the east entrance to Newmillerdam country park. Dr Clark said: “Rotary has now invested £10,000 in this project with six machines at key points from Eastmoor to Newmillerdam. We hope they are never used but if they save even only one life they will have been worth it.”  Members of the Friends of Newmillerdam Country Park have been trained to use the machine. Their chairman, Jeff Stimpson (left), was at the handover with another of the Friends’ committee, Dennis Edwards (far right), watched by Wakefield Council’s policy and countryside manager, Ian Rowland.

Volunteers 'incensed' after vandals destroy woodland walk

VANDALS deliberately laid waste to the viewing platform and about 30 metres of boardwalk at Newmillerdam’s Lawns Dike Trail in a fire that also severely damaged surrounding trees. The Civic Award winning trail was opened by Wakefield MP Mary Creagh (right) in the summer of 2013 and took volunteers 18 months to complete at a cost of around £50,000. The chairman of the Friends of Newmillerdam Country Park, Jeff Stimpson, from Sandal, said that restoration of the damaged section would take many months to complete and could cost around £5,000. The fire service attended the incident and reported that some form of accelerant had been used to start the fire.The viewing platform was constructed of recycled hard plastic and was reduced to a pile of ash by the intensity of the blaze.  Jeff said:  "Acts of mindless vandalism in the country park have been increasing in both intensity and frequency over the last few years Today the total destruction of the viewing platform at the Lawns Dike Trail is particularly disappointing as it hits specifically people with a disability, who relish the quiet and much-needed intimacy with the natural environment that this feature provides."The volunteers, who spent many months creating the trail, are incensed, yet determined to rectify the situation. The precise way this will be achieved will depend on many factors but will be determined by the group over the next few days. The support shown by local groups and the general public is much appreciated.” Comments have piled up on the Friends’ Facebook page where there is outright condemnation of the culprits, with a flurry of fundraising suggestions and offers to help with the work of restoring the walk.Stephanie Armstrong wrote: “What kind of world are we living in? My children were upset to learn that idiots as yet unknown have decided to trash a place that is very special to both of them. They cannot comprehend why someone has chosen to do such an awful thing and I am finding it very difficult to explain it to them. What possible reason could they have?” Emma Trei added: “Such a beautiful place, should be treasured not ruined by complete mindless destruction by selfish idiots! Feel for all those who gave their time building it.” Retired architect and planning officer Peter Spawforth commented: “Wanton mindless vandalism. We are lucky that a forest fire did not ensue. Thanks to all the volunteers who made this previously overgrown valley into a walking destination. Let's hope the culprits are caught and for their conviction they are made to do many hundreds of hours of community work supervised to  reinstate or do other work in this park.” The team of volunteers from the Friends gathers every Tuesday at 9am at East Lodge, near the Dam Inn, and the group extends a warm welcome to newcomers. Contact Jeff Stimpson on 07855 946177 for further information.

Cheque helps stage June fundraising Gilbert & Sullivan night

SCA chairman Les Goddard was at the group's monthly committee meeting  at the New Brookhouse Club in March to hand over with a cheque for £100.The money was the proceeds of the raffle at the SCA's cheese and wine evening earlier that month and went towards helping the group stage its fundraising Gilbert and Sullivan night at Sandal Methodist Church in June.Les is pictured here presenting the cheque to the group's joint chairs Alison Sharp (left) and Margaret Smith.

Neighbours band together to set up cold-call control zone

A second Cold Calling Control Zone has been set up in Sandal to help combat the recent spate of burglaries in the area. More than 130 households on Chevet Lane, Walton Station Lane, Chevet Croft, Chevet Grove, Chevet Gardens, Chevet Mews have banded together and the scheme was officially launched in March.Several residents were present and two of them are pictured here with Coun Monica Graham (second from left), Trading Standards assistant Sammy Rockett and PCSO Kate Edwards. A spokeswoman for the residents said: "Cold callers have been coming in gangs from Teeside by minibus and we believe that there is a link between these gangs and crime in this area. They will now be arrested instantly should they attempt to visit any properties here." In recent years West Yorkshire Trading Standards and partner organisations such as the Neighbourhood Policing Teams, Neighbourhood Watch, area committees and local housing associations, have worked together to establish these zones.Inspector Chamberlain from the local Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “Protecting the safety of the community is of critical importance and that’s why this Cold Calling Control Zone is being introduced. By working with residents, and our partners to enforce this zone we can ensure that cold callers as well as doorstep criminals get the message that they are not welcome.”For further information on Cold Calling Control Zones visit http://www.ts.wyjs.org.uk and click on Doorstep Crime or telephone the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 04 05 06.

Happy Tennis Eggstravaganza for youngsters

Sandal Tennis Club served an Easter Tennis Eggstravaganza for young players, providing high-energy instruction, games and team competition. The youngsters are pictured here with coaches Nigel Glover (left) and Euan Barrett. The club has a busy programme aimed at encouraging players of all ages.

Volunteers collect 60 bags of rubbish for Queen's birthday!

ABOUT 25 volunteers, most of whom are pictured here, set out on Saturday morning, March 5, on a 'Clean for the Queen' litter-pick, organised by Sandal Community Association. By lunchtime they had collected about 60 bags of rubbish. The SCA's annual litter-pick, which started from West Yorkshire Sports and Social Club's car park, was timed to coincide with the special weekend during which an estimated 185k people across the country joined the campaign to clear up Britain in time for the Queen's 90th birthday, which will be celebrated officially in June.SCA committee member Roger Holmes, who organised the Sandal effort, said: "We were delighted that so many people turned out this year, more than we've had at any of our annual litter-picks, which we've now run for about eight years. Our thanks go to all the volunteers and to the council's StreetScene department for lending us the litter picks."

Highwayman tells stories of his life of crime

IT WAS a case of ‘stand and deliver’ when highwayman John 'Swift Nicks' Nevison galloped into the SCA cheese and wine evening at West Yorkshire Sports and Social Club in March. Nevison (aka Paul Mackintosh) regaled members and visitors with stories of his 17th century life of crime in Yorkshire, including plenty of narrow escapes. He also gave people a close-up of the weapons he carried – flintlock pistols and mortuary sword.


Coffee morning at Methodist church raises cash for Belarus Fund

COFFEE mornings at Sandal Methodist Church have made thousands of pounds for the Belarus Fund, thanks to the hard work of organisers Jack and Elaine Cooper and their helpers. January's event was again very well supported and made a further £1,023. There was plenty of time to chat over a cup of coffee and a scone after exploring a variety of stalls ranging from bric-a-brac and books to soft toys and cakes. There was a strong presence from a team from the Stockport-based Belarus Fund, including its founders, Alan and Janet Bridgewater and Carol Hartley. They first visited the country in 2002 to work at a summer camp for young people affected by the Chernobyl radiation. Their website explains that the Fund was formalised in 2006 and gained charity status in November that year. It is a small charity and all the money raised goes into the project; there are no administration charges or salaries. Jack first went to Belarus in 2002 and he and Elaine have been running the annual coffee morning ever since. Our picture shows painted dolls and other crafts on sale at the Belarus Fund's own stall at the coffee morning. manned by Brenda Stopford, the Fund's founders Alan and Janet Bridgewater, Jack and Elaine Cooper, and Carol Hartley.

Former chairman Marc is off to the Caribbean

TRIBUTES were paid to Marc Callaghan who stepped down as chairman of the Friends of Sandal Castle. He was succeeded at the AGM in March 2016 by former vice-chair Sue Riley, who thanked him for all the work he had done for the Friends during his years in the chair. A retired chief superintendent who commanded the Wakefield police division before leading the West Yorkshire force’s professional standards and anti-corruption unit, Marc has now been appointed deputy commissioner of the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force in the Caribbean. He leaves to take up his post on April 2.Sue reported on a successful series of events in 2015. Following the AGM, her committee for the coming year consists of Keith Souter (vice-chairman), Janine Heseltine (secretary), Alan Dale (treasurer), Monica Graham, Liz Hellewell, David Hopkins, Robert Wood, Susan Wood and Richard Taylor.Marc is pictured here recently (third from right) with some Friends committee members.

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