January-June 2018

Charity worker Edwin beats dyslexia to earn a British Empire Medal

WAKEFIELD-BORN charity worker and local businessman, Edwin Hirst, then aged 89, was awarded a British Empire Medal for his services to the community in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.  Edwin, was born in Wakefield and, until a move in 2018 to Chester to be near his daughter, had lived in the city all his life. Edwin is well-known for his contributions to the civic, business and charity life of the city.  He served on Wakefield City Council (1960-1974), was Deputy Mayor of Wakefield City Council (1967-68) and served on West Yorkshire County Council (1977-1980).  He was a magistrate for Wakefield (1972-1997) and Member of the Board of Visitors for Wakefield Prison. Edwin’s charity work includes: serving as chairman of St John’s and Northgate Aged Welfare Committee, chairman of the Wakefield & District Hospice Appeal, and committee member of the Wakefield and District Dyslexia Association. After retiring from business, he became a full-time fundraiser for Wakefield Hospice (1987-1993) and then for Macmillan Cancer Support (1993-97). “It was a lovely surprise to learn of the award of a British Empire Medal and I am honoured to have been recognised in this way,” said Edwin. “Although my name will be engraved on the medal it should really be inscribed to ‘Edwin and Kathleen Hirst’ for I could not have carried out any of my community service to the City of Wakefield without the support of my wife, Kathleen. “She knows of the life-long secret that I tried to keep from everyone, that of the disability of living with dyslexia and having severe difficulties with spelling and writing.  Kathleen has always helped and supported me with my dyslexia and I have done my best to overcome this challenge and make a worthwhile contribution to the life of our home town. “My main object has always been to try to help people and it has been a pleasure to help the Wakefield Hospice and the Macmillan Cancer Support in their local fundraising and to receive so much support from many caring people.  I have been fortunate to make very many friends in Wakefield through my involvement with Rotary, Probus, Wakefield U3A, the West Riding Operatic Society, the wonderful Sandal Art Group and other local organisations.” Edwin and Kathleen have also produced four books based on Edwin’s paintings of Wakefield landmarks, past and present.  The books, which are based on his own love of community and knowledge of local history are: Sandal Castle, Old Hall and Houses in and around Wakefield (2003), Some Interesting Buildings in and around Wakefield (2008), Churches, Chapels and Schools in and around Wakefield (2009), Some of Wakefield’s Public Houses (2010), A Walk around Sandal (2016). Edwin added: “I am so very grateful for the help and love of my wife Kathleen, our three children John, Judith and David and their partners, our grandchildren and all our wonderful friends. I can’t thank them enough - they all have a share in the pride, honour and gratitude that the award of the British Empire Medal brings me.” His son David told us: “Edwin’s family are absolutely delighted that his long and dedicated service to the community in Wakefield has been recognised with the award of a British Empire Medal. He's very thrilled with the recognition that the award brings and as you can imagine the family are very proud of him.” Edwin received his medal at a ceremony (pictured) hosted in November by the Lord Lieutenant.. Edwin and Kathleen were founder members of the SCA.

Bob Bailey is ordained deacon

BOB BAILEY, who served as parish administrator for ten years in the parish of Sandal Magna, has been ordained deacon by the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Rev Nick Baines, after two years of theological training in Durham. Members of St Helen's and St Paul's attended the service in Bradford Cathedral, along with others who have shared his faith journey, including leaders of the Hilfield Youth Camp. He will be serving as a curate at Barwick-in-Elmet, working alongside the Revd Andy Nicholson. Sandal vicar, the Rev Rupert Marin, said: "Our church and many parishioners have been blessed by his ministry among us. We wish him every blessing in his new calling, and him and his family every happiness in their new home." A delighted Bob is pictured here with Sally Martin after his ordination.

Knitters in action - getting ready for the garden re-opening

VOLUNTEERS were busy knitting flowers and other creations which were used to highlight the 2018 re-opening of the library's Memory Lane dementia-friendly garden in May. The library marked the occasion with tea and coffee on Friday and Saturday, May 4 and 5. The project folloeds the much admired Remembrance knitted poppy display at the library in Novembe 2017. They were not just yarn-bombing at the library. There was also a project in hand to knit forget-me-not badges which were sold for £1 each to support Dementia Action Week, May 21-27. When it re-opened after a lengthy refurbishment, Sandal Library was redesigned to be dementia-friendly, Since then, enthusiastic staff and volunteers have created a Memory Lane garden at the rear and sides of the library. Staff member Karen Portman is pictured (left) with the first batch of badges.

Another award for winning Sandal author

AWARD-WINNING Sandal author and SCA member John Irving Clarke (pictured) took first prize in a nationwide fiction-writing competition organised by South Tyneside Libraries. His story, ‘Visiting Time’, was awarded the Flash Fiction prize where submissions had to be only 100 words long. John also launched a book of short stories entitled ‘The Word for Moving Clouds’. This consists of 14 stories dealing with human relationships from writers associated with the Red Shed Readings and celebrates ten years of Wakefield’s famous spoken word event. The Yorkshire Post placed this book at number one in their list of top five books in June.

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