July-December 2007

Wakefield Outward Bound Association’s youth team, front from left, Peter Arnott, Emma Chivers, Richard Green and Mark Gough, with, back row from left, OBA treasurer Dennis Edwards, from Sandal, Rotary president Peter Gallivan and OBA chairman Colin Moran


Group’s first ambassadors

A TEAM of teenage outdoor enthusiasts became the first youth ambassadors for Wakefield’s Outward Bound Association. The quartet of former Kettlethorpe High School students embarked on a series of challenging Outward Bound adventures funded by Wakefield Rotary Club and one of its honorary members, Sir Rodney Walker. The four youngster, Emma Chivers and Peter, both 17 from Sandal, Richard Green, 16, from Walton, and Matt Gough, 17, from Durkar, were so successful they were given special roles in promoting outdoor pursuits for other groups and youngsters across Wakefield. Colin Moran, chairman of Wakefield OBA, said: “As well as helping raise funds for  Outward Association projects, they will go into schools where they will describe their experiences and the benefits they gained from the courses in which they took part.”

Weekend marks bloody battle

A BLOODY battle that changed the course of British history was celebrated at Sandal Castle on December 30. The weekend marked the 547th anniversary of the Battle of Wakefield, one of the most famous of the War of the Roses. More than 500 people flocked to the castle to witness battle re-enactors from the Towton Battlefield Society, Frei Compagnie and the Richard III Society, Yorkshire Branch, tell stories of the famous battle and about medieval life.

On December 30, 1460, the disputed King of England, Richard Duke of York, and his 500-strong army left the safety of Sandal Castle to come face to face with King Henry VI’s estimated 15,000-strong Lancastrian force. The Yorkists were overwhelmed during the battle and it is believed the lack of military skills shown by Richard on that day were the inspiration for the nursery rhyme The Grand Old Duke of York. Richard and his 17-year-old son Edmund, Earl of Rutland, were killed in battle and their heads were mounted on poles at Micklegate Bar, York. A memorial was unveiled on Manygates Lane in 1897, where Richard was believed to have fallen. And on the same site this year, a wreath was laid in remembrance of all of those who fell in the battle. David Stockdale, Wakefield Council’s principal cultural officer for heritage, said: “We’re very lucky in Wakefield to have such a strong connection to the War of the Roses and the battle was very important locally, regionally and nationally.”

Power cut hits 1,800 homes

MOREthan 1,000 homes and a supermarket were temporarily plunged into darkness when an underground power cable broke in December. Yorkshire Electricity Distribution said the power was cut to some homes in Sandal for almost four hours, but was restored to the majority of customers within one hour. The cut also affected Asda in Sandal. A spokeswoman said: “The fault on the cable was reported at 8pm and affected about 1,816 customers in Sandal. The majority of customers had a power cut for about an hour. By changing to an alternative source, power was restored to Asda at 9.36pm and the last few customers were reconnected at 11.59pm.”

Sandal doctor’s son leads New York choir

ONE of Wakefield Cathedral's 'old boys' returned in auspicious circumstances on July 13 when John Scott led the choir of St Thomas Church, New York, in a special appearance as part of its UK tour. Wakefield was on the world-renowned choir's short itinerary, sandwiched between concerts in Durham Cathedral and York Minster, with St Paul's Cathedral and St George's Chapel, Windsor, among the other dates. John was born in Wakefield, the son of Dr Douglas Scott at Maybush Surgery, Sandal, who sang bass in the cathedral choir and occasionally played the organ. Consequently it was no surprise to find John following his father's footsteps, becoming a chorister in 1970 and one of the first pupils of director of music, Jonathan Bielby. 

Award for former Sandal scout leader

FORMER leader at Kettlethorpe and Sandal Methodist scout groups, Mal Ayers, was among scout leaders honoured for their services to Wakefield units at an awards ceremony in July. County commissioner Ian Chappell made the presentations at the district annual general meeting at West Wakefield Methodist Church. Currently deputy district commissioner, Mr Ayers joined as a cub scout leader in 1989.  District Commissioner Simon Tate said: "These awards are yet another example of the many hours of generous support our volunteer adults give to the young people of Wakefield. These people have made a huge difference to the lives of so many people across Wakefield. We are extremely proud of them all." 

Sandal mental health worker retires

TWO NHS workers who together clocked up 56 years supporting people with mental health problems in Wakefield have retired. Ian Wilson, 59, from Sandal, and his colleague Ann Clarke, also 59, from Ossett, both worked at Wakefield’s Garden Street Centre, a day centre for people with mental health problems. Mr Wilson said: “I’ve enjoyed being able to help clients re-learn old skills as well as new ones, introducing clients to old and new activities and hobbies within the community and helping them to live life to their highest level possible and take their rightful place in the community.”

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