July-December 2009

Rotary’s first lady president  

In July teacher Sue Parkin, from Roger Drive, Sandal, became the first woman president of Wakefield Rotary Club, which she had joined five years earlier. Here she is taking over from her predecessor, David Pickover, who lives in Walton.

Litter pickers get ready    

In bright sunshine under a near cloudless sky, one of the groups involved in the Community Association’s September Sandal litter pick get ready to move off from the meeting point at West Yorkshire Sports and Social Club.


Blue plaque for highwayman’s pub

Wakefield Civic Society unveiled a blue plaque in September to commemorate The Three Houses pub on Barnsley Road as the place where highwayman John "Swift Nick" Nevison was captured in 1685.+ This is the first blue plaque from the society to be put up in Sandal.  Kevin Trickett, president of the society, said: "This is certainly the first time we have put up a plaque that refers to someone who operated on the wrong side of the law. However, I feel that John Nevison was a colourful character whose legend enriches the history of Wakefield. "The idea behind our blue plaques is to bring alive local history and, on this occasion, that includes one of the less savoury characters who had an association with Wakefield." Joint owners of The Three Houses Inn, Christian Hazell, Simon Jackson and Richard Saddler, said they were delighted that the dramatic history of the pub had been recognised. The wooden chair, in which it is said Nevison was found sleeping when he was caught, was on display. Lord St Oswald, of Nostell Priory, unveiled the plaque and the deputy leader of Wakefield Council, Denise Jeffrey, attended the event with about 50 members of the Civic Society and local residents. Our picture shows Kevin Trickett (centre) with Lord St Oswald and Coun Denise Jeffrey.

The cup that cheers... 

In September 2009 the Community Association organised a coffee morning at the Castle Inn in aid of Macmillan Cancer Care nurses. Here some of the visitors enjoy a cuppa and a chat while others seek out bargains on the bring and buy stall.

Uproar over Sandal library threat

Wakefield Council announced that a new location was being discussed for the popular Sandal library – at the castle visitors’ centre. Its possible move from Sparable Lane was part of a proposed city-wide shake up of libraries, but it was an unpopular choice with both book borrowers and councillors who have pledged to fight the move. Lisa Dodd, the council’s service director for culture and sport, said: “We understand the importance and value of libraries within our communities and are fully committed to finding the best possible location to serve the Sandal area into the future. “Having a library in a shared location with another facility is one of the options we are looking at because it offers a more sustainable opportunity.”

Coun David Hopkins said: “The three ward councillors are totally opposed to moving the library to Sandal Castle visitors’ centre. I think it’s ludicrous – it’s on the edge of the ward, not on a bus route, not near the shops and it’s just a ridiculous suggestion.” According to Coun Nadeem Ahmed, council statistics show Sandal library is better used by people than many other libraries around the city. In December Wakefield Council’s cabinet approved plans to review city-wide library services to improve facilities for readers. But this idea, as well as plans to close Flanshaw Library, caused outrage. Ms Dodd said: “One of the possibilities we are exploring at this stage is moving the service to Sandal Castle visitors’ centre. However, no decision has been made and we are working with local councillors to find out if there are more suitable locations that may better meet the needs of the local people.”

Boost for school chess team

AS PART of a national chess initiative, in December 2009 Wakefield Rotary Club presented a magnetic chess board for teaching the game to students at Sandal Magna Community School. Some of the youngsters are pictured here with Rotarian Roland Mold, from Attlee Crescent, Sandal. He is a volunteer who has been instructing youngsters and tutoring the school’s chess team. Helping with this session is Sandal Magna’s chess captain, Sam Liddicott (left). The club has given chessboards and sets to various schools in the area. Roland said: “I’ve been doing this work at the school for six years now and it’s a real pleasure to see the joy and interest the youngsters get from learning the game and taking part in it competitively.” 

Pupils entertain with carols  

Following the traditional Barnsley Road Christmas tree lights switch-on, pupils from Sandal Endowed Junior School sang carols at the family social at the school, where mince pies and refreshments were served to crowds of children and their parents. Santa arrived soon afterwards to deliver gifts to the youngsters.

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