January-June 2019

Peter earns BEM for services to tennis

SCA member Peter Wilkes was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to tennis in the 2019 New Year's honours list.  He was nominated by the Yorkshire Lawn Tennis Association in recognition of the 48 years he has dedicated to the organisation. Peter, 72, said he was 'thrilled' to receive the award: "Tennis has been my lifelong passion and I have enjoyed every minute that I've spent supporting British tennis." Four years earlier Peter was handed another top tennis honour – the Lawn Tennis Association’s Meritorious Service award – for a 55-year commitment to the sport as both a player and volunteer administrator. Peter, who lives at Woodthorpe Hall, received the award at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre in London. He has also been presented with the organisation’s award for Outstanding Service to Yorkshire Tennis. His many achievements in the sport include representing his county at the 1963 Junior Wimbledon tournament, winning the Yorkshire mixed under-18 doubles championship and both the Yorkshire men’s and mixed doubles. He was the Wakefield club’s champion no fewer than 20 times between 1963 and 1985. To add to this he was chairman of the British Davis Cup and British Fed Cup in 2006-08 and the Aegon-Classic women’s event for several years from 2011. Peter also served for 44 years as the Wakefield representative on the LTA’s executive council.

Sandal post office changes hands after nearly 17 years

AFTER nearly 17 years as Sandal’s sub-postmistress, Kathryn Bramley handed over the keys of the busy Barnsley Road post office on March 12. Her successor is Sandal resident Umeshkumar (Umesh) Ahir.  Kathryn, who was a nurse in Wakefield for nearly 25 years before taking over the post office, has retired but will continue to live in Sandal with husband Ian who had been helping out in the background since his own retirement. She said: “We’ve had a very happy time and over all those years lots of customers have become friends. And I’ve sold sweets to youngsters who’ve seen grow into adult customers. I hope that everyone who has supported us will do the same for Umesh.” Umesh, his wife Jigna and their two young sons live in Normans Way, Sandal. He has played an active part in his father's business at Portobello Newsagents since he was very young. He has worked in the financial services industry for the banking sector and for several years as a science and mathematics teacher at Leeds City College. He said: “We will continue to have the same staff at Sandal post office and ensure continuity of everyday services. My wife may be joining me in the everyday running of the business at a later stage, once my youngest son is a little older. “Jigna and I feel that Sandal post office is an important hub in the community and without it, vital everyday local services would be lost. We therefore decided to buy the post office and keep it open. But for us to continue operating, we need the help and support of local residents. Firstly we ask for the people of Sandal and surrounding areas, such as Walton, to continue to use the post office and its full range of services. “Secondly, we would appreciate feedback from the community about extra services and products that the post office might offer. We are considering extending the post office and the retail space inside and feedback about what additional products customers would like to see in the store would be very helpful. For example, would residents like to see a greater selection of greeting cards or a wider choice of confectionery products? Or even a coffee machine?”

Popular visit to Wakefield's archives centre

SIXTY SCA members paid a fascinating visit to the West Yorkshire History Centre at its new premises in Kirkgate, Wakefield, in March. The event, organised by the Association, attracted such a response it had to be divided into morning and afternoon groups. The parties were shown round by archivist Helen Walker who explained the centre's holdings, how they were stored and how they could be accessed by visitors. The centre is home to one of the largest collections of records in the country covering the old West Riding of Yorkshire, the current county of West Yorkshire and the Wakefield district. The SCA visitors were shown a range of documents specific to Sandal.

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