Town and Country

The mallard with 12 ducklings nesting in a Lancaster city centre back garden
The mallard with 12 ducklings nesting in a Lancaster city centre back garden

This week’s Town and Country news.


Wendy Dowbiggin

015242 61573

Members of Age Concern met at the masonic hall last Friday where they enjoyed a delicious lunch served by Sue Pilkington and Betty Lund. The lucky raffle winner was Mary Lawson.

During the afternoon the group enjoyed listening to member Martha Bainbridge talk about her life when at one time she was a milk recorder (in the days before all mod cons).

Springfield Bowling Club’s A team was away to Kirkby Lonsdale where they lost 6-2. The B team, at home to Subscription B, won 6-2.

On Saturday members enjoyed a friendly match away at Austwick which they won 7-6.

At the Trash and Treasure Sale in the Victoria Institute on May 18, £658 was raised for institute funds.

There was something for everyone to buy from a keep fit machine to a good book.

The refreshments were excellent and buyers were able to sit in the beautiful garden. The committee would like to thank all involved and those who attended.

At the coffee morning held on Saturday, the Conservative Association made £294 for funds. The committee thanks all who helped and donated.

Items from the Town Council meeting held in the town hall on May 7.

Planning – Proposed refurbishment and conversion of existing barn to a two bed holiday cottage at Robert Taylor and Sons, Grees Smithy, Bentham. The council had no objection.

Proposed construction of new sports pavilion at Burton-in-Lonsdale playing field. The council had no objections.

Change of use from eight residential rooms and one warden flat to two (C3) four bed dwellings. Reinstatement of original entrance doorway on to Main street.

Creation of separate parking and garden areas for each dwelling with boundary fences from existing car park at Abbeyfield House, 30 Main Street, High Bentham.

Conversion of garage and extension over to form disabled annexe accommodation at Beckside, Mewith, Bentham. The council had no objections.

New extension to side and rear and internal alterations at Lane Foot Cottages, High Bentham. The council had no objections. It was agreed to contact the dog warden for a meeting in Bentham about the Green Dog Walkers Scheme and the possibility of more signage around the town.

Coun Marshall thanked the councillors for their support over the last four years while he has been chair and for all their hard work in the community.

He offered special thanks to Councillors Armstrong, Handford and Hurtley who are not standing for re-election and particularly to Coun Hurtley who had been a councillor for Bentham for more than 20 years.

Fourteen ladies from High Bentham WI enjoyed a meal at the Eagle’s Head, Over Kellet. Thanks to the organiser, member Chris Lewis.

Forthcoming local events include the following:

This Friday, May 23, Bentham Footpath Group’s walk will be at Brock Bottom for 10 miles. Members to meet at Lairgill at 9.30am.

On Tuesday, May 27, the group’s walk will be at Feizor five miles, meet at Lairgill at 1pm.

The coffee morning this Saturday, May 24, in the town hall from 10am, is in aid of Bentham Beagles.

Wendy Dowbiggin, is retiring as Bentham correspondent for the Lancaster Guardian after 25 years.

She said: “A warm thank you to all the Bentham folk who have provided me with news over the last 25 years. The time has come to retire (a word which is not really in my vocabulary).

“Bentham is such a wonderful community – diverse, challenging and, of course, so friendly. I know my friends and others must get tired of hearing me say I am a local, but I am, and proud of it.

“Born at Melling I came back to Pinewood (after a week) and have lived here since, loved it, been happy, and reporting for the local papers has been a joy, but all good things must come to an end.

“You may or may not know, but I first had a go at the reporting game when I was about 20, did it for a few years and then my father, Jim Dowbiggin, took over, and after his demise my mother Nellie took on the role.

“I have a wonderful scrapbook of their reporting days, photographs by the score of local celebrities.

“I took over again a few years after my mother’s death. Jane Preston was the reporter in the interim period. I feel nostalgic – it brings back thoughts of my parents and also how things have changed, mostly for the better in Bentham, but I can’t help missing some things, especially characters from the community (a sign of age perhaps).

“Thank you everyone for reading my column. I will miss Mondays at the computer. Good luck to my successor.”

If anyone is interested in taking on the role of Bentham correspondent please contact the Lancaster Guardian Editor via


Patricia Bradley

On May 13, Bolton-le-Sands WI met in the community centre and before the meeting proper members were introduced to Debra Huckle from the Volunteer Police Cadets who works with troubled teenagers.

The meeting then got underway with lots of birthdays wishes and a Golden Wedding Anniversary for Kath and Derek Ion.

The feedback from the group meeting was good and a competition hat decorated by Jane Pullen and Myra Weir was on display for all to admire. Shirley Thornton sent thanks for the invitation to the craft day, which was a great success.

Secretary Jean Dennis read out the resolution which calls for more organ donations and encourages families and friends to talk openly about the subject. Following a short debate the vote was taken and the resolution passed.

Gala Day will be held on Saturday, June 7, and bakers are needed for the WI cake stall.

The interest groups gave reports starting with Patience Cooper, from the new Nature and Wildlife Group, who stated a further outing is planned for June in Williamson Park, more details at the next meeting.

Joan Baker asked for more names if the proposed trip to Townley Hall and Boundary Mills is to go ahead.

Judith Spotswood thanked everybody for their support for craft day, which had been splendid.

A further craft day is planned for Tuesday, October 21, with a Christmas theme. The next priority is contributors to the WI Show at Garstang on September 24/26.

Jean Bayliss gave her usual amusing report on the Walking Group which goes from strength to strength. All walks are on a Saturday following the WI meeting.

The WI is planning a First World War Centenary Quilt, made up of patches embroidered with the name of any family member or loved one who gave their life in the Great War.

The various patches will then be sown together by a WI member in Lutterworth.

Speaker, Stephen Watson, described himself as an origami nerd, and gave a highly amusing and entertaining talk and through his expert help all members successfully made a box – no glue, no scissors, just folding.

The vote of thanks was given by Pauline Sterritt and the competition, for a hand-made card, was won by Jane Pullen.

Kitty Brown Boutique will be hosting a fashion show in aid of Holy Trinity Church on Tuesday, May 27, 7.30pm, at St Mary’s Church Hall. Tickets £5 include refreshments. Funds raised will go towards the Raise the Roof – Open the Door Appeal. Everyone welcome.


Claire Helme

Members of the WI celebrated the group’s 93rd birthday by visiting the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester where they viewed the special exhibition entitled From Street to Trench to commemorate the beginning of World War One.

It was a moving tribute not only to the men who went to fight for king and country but to the women who stayed behind to work in factories, as land girls, nurses and many other occupations that had been previously occupied by men.

On the way home the group visited Bents Garden Centre at Leigh.

Thank you to everyone who supported the coffee morning/bring and buy Sale on May 10 held by Borwick and Priest Hutton Gardeners’ Club.

The total raised was £314.55. Everyone who attended enjoyed the event and the hall was full of chatter as people sampled the refreshments.

The next indoor meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 23, when Sheila Todd will talk on The Garden in September.

Meetings are held in the memorial hall at 7.30pm. New members always welcome.


Jay Barkley

At the Annual Parish Council Meeting, Mike Taylor was re-elected chairman and Alan Wren re-elected as vice-chairman. Following the earlier resignation of Ian Hunt, the council minuted its thanks for the work he had done during his years as a parish councillor and wished him well for the future.

Fewer than 10 residents had requested that an election be held to fill the vacancy on the council, therefore a new councillor will be co-opted by the council.

Any resident who is interested in serving the community in this role is requested to apply in writing to the parish clerk.

Further details will be posted around the village and interested residents may contact the clerk or any of the councillors for more information. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, June 17.

The police have reported several traffic incidents on the main road between Church Bank and Clawthorpe.

A member of the public, who lives there, attended the meeting to express his grave concern at the dangerous driving by a minority of drivers on that stretch of road.

He believed that some vehicles were driving through this 30mph restricted road at speeds up to 50mph.

He suggested that the parish council should consider obtaining a hand held speed detector for use by trained residents similar to the scheme set up by the parish council in 

As a short term measure the council will ask the police to concentrate their future speed checks in this area.

Some happier news – approval was given for the purchase and erection of a historic county of Westmorland sign at the original county boundary; Neil and Ann at the Kings Arms have obtained sponsorship from Thwaites to reprint the very popular Jubilee Walks leaflets; and the cuckoo can once again be seen and heard on Dalton Crags.

Despite early torrential rain Westmorland and North Lancs District Association of the National Vegetable Society attracted a large crowd to its coffee morning and sale of vegetable and flower plants.

Welcomed by Mo and Jim Robinson, business was brisk as visitors filled baskets and bags with a variety of plants and queues formed to consult Kevin Preston, known locally as the expert sweet pea man, and prolific gardening author who has appeared on 
TV alongside Rachel du Thame.

Led by Keith and Kay Butterworth, 12 fell walkers set off in light rain from Hartsop along the gentle rise of Pasture Bottom.

As the path steepened, the cloud cleared allowing a fine view back to Ullswater from Threshwaite Mouth.

It was a challenging climb to The Beacons and the long march along High Street, with Hayeswater to the left and Haweswater to the right.

Between the Knott and Angle Tarn out came the sun; the tarn sparkled and across the valleys snow patches could be seen on Helvellyn.

Unfortunately, Kath,the intended leader, languished at home with her leg in plaster.

Burton WI enjoyed an interesting presentation by Ruth Taylor of Age UK South Lakeland (SL).

Ruth, one of 11 village agents, detailed the wide-ranging services available for older residents from the 40 local lunch clubs, to assistance with claims for benefits.

There are 189 volunteers supporting Age UK SL and during 2012/2013, £2.94 million in unclaimed benefits was secured for clients.

The raffle was won by Glenys Smith and the competition by Joan Barkley.

The next meeting will be held on Thursday, June 12, at 7.30pm, at the hall, with speaker John Hawley on Making the Most of a Small Garden. Visitors welcome.


Alan Sandham

Members of three parishes united for a service at St Michael’s Church, Cockerham, on May 14 to welcome the new Vicar of Cockerham with Winmarleigh and Glasson, Rev Gary Lewis. A party from St Luke’s Church, Skerton, where Mr Lewis was previously Vicar, joined the large congregation.

The patron, Coun Susie Charles, of Ellel Grange, also Mayor of Lancaster, presented Mr Lewis, who was instituted by the Bishop of Lancaster, the Rt Rev Geoff Pearson, and inducted by the Archdeacon of Lancaster, the Ven Michael Everitt.

The service was followed by refreshments in Cockerham Parish Hall where the Area Dean of Lancaster and Morecambe, Rev Linda Macluskie, thanked clergy for covering the parishes recently and church representatives for organising the occasion.


Paul Woodruff

Lancaster City Council is preparing the Local Plan for Lancaster District. When completed the document will cover many aspects including planning matters, areas for development and for protection. It is important to have your say. Information is and will be available in local venues or online at policy.

A public consultation event will be held at the Community Centre, Halton, on Thursday, June 19, 3.15pm to 6.45pm. It is suggested around 12,000 homes are needed in the district over the next 20 years.

Any problems in finding the information contact Coun Paul Woodruff 01524 811770 or email

There has been good progress on the Halton Mills site with lots of properties nearing completion and many occupied. Two new areas are heading towards action with less density planned.

Sounds from the Hound with Room Full Of Mirrors on Friday, May 30. Good entertainment, food, ale and company.

The scouts will be collecting paper on Saturday, May 31, 9am. Please support this great work.


John Bateman

The recent car boot sale at Holme Sports and Community Centre made a profit of £273 for the maintenance and running costs on the sports field. Thank you to all who donated items to sell and to everyone who gave their support

An early notice for Holme Community School PTA’s adults only Camel Racing Evening in Holme Parish Hall on Saturday, June 28, at 7.30pm.

Entry tickets priced at £5 each are available from school, the Post Office or Lime Tree Stores and a limited supply of exclusive jockey tickets at 
£8 each are available from school. The evening will include a licenced bar and disco.


Chris Kynch

Hornby District Ramblers walked for about four miles in the area of the two Kellets, parking at the Eagle’s Head in Over Kellet.

The weather was very wet when they set off from Hornby but cleared up by the time the ramble started and improved further through the day.

The wild flowers, especially celandines and beautiful bluebells, were much admired while the party walked through the woods to Nether Kellet.

They went on to Crag Bank, and along the canal banks for about a mile, then off round the back of Carnforth High School, and on to the road back to Over Kellet.

The group of about a dozen stopped for lunch just above Thwaite Gate House, where there were wonderful views of the sea, Grange, the Lake District and Warton Crag. On their return to the Eagle’s Head they enjoyed tea and scones.

A coffee morning with a bring and buy stall will be held by Hornby Pensioners this Saturday, May 24, in Hornby Institute from 10.30am. The group will meet again for whist and dominoes at 7pm at Hornby Institute.

This Saturday and Sunday, May 24 and 25, Hornby Castle will hold a Garden Open weekend between 10.30am and 4.30pm.

Attractions will include rhododendrons and azaleas in bloom; herbaceous border 
and Sharpe and Paley rockeries; and river and woodland walks.

A selection of plants will be on sale in the walled garden with Mary Green, and Ken Green will give informal garden talks in the 

Sue Bull will talk informally about the castle in the morning and Wyn Abbott will exhibit ceramics and pottery.

Refreshments will be available in the walled garden. Admission is £3, children under five free. Hornby Institute will also offer refreshments all day.

Hornby Art Group is exhibiting Ruins on the first floor gallery of Hornby Institute until the end of May.


Caroline Thompson

The sixth Sunday of Eastertide and the beginning of Rogationtide will be celebrated this Sunday, May 25, at 10.30am when a service will be held at St Oswald’s Church.

A special event will be held on Bank Holiday Monday, May 26, at St Oswald’s Church. Bells will be rung at some churches throughout the county at allotted times throughout the day.

The bell tower at St Oswald’s will be open from noon to 12.30pm and a donation of £1.50 will allow everyone the opportunity of ringing a church bell. Proceeds will go toward church funds. A buffet lunch will be served afterwards.

A car boot sale will be held at Helwith Bridge Pub on Bank Holiday Sunday, May 25, from 8.30am onwards, spaces cost £5.

Please contact Carol at Helwith Bridge Pub for further details. Proceeds from the event will go towards the Air Ambulance and St Oswald’s Church funds.

Afternoon teas will be served at Langcliffe Institute on Sunday, June 8, proceeds for St Oswald’s Church.

Fifteen-year-old Derek Palmer continued his winning ways at the monthly whist drive when he took first place playing as a sub in the ladies’ section.

This was Derek’s second time of playing at the whist drive and his second win. Runner-up was M Wellock, followed by J Welch and A Humphrey.

Derek’s Mum, Avril, was the winner of the men’s section and also played as a sub. Runner-up was M Wright (sub), followed by V Jones (sub) and H Jackson.

The next whist drive will be held on Tuesday, June 10, at 7.30pm at the Golden Lion.

Members of Penyghent Gun Club have been busy competing in their annual team shoots versus Arncliffe Gun Club.

The first shoot was held in Ring Pot Pasture, Horton, by kind invitation of Mr and Mrs M Wilson and family. Horton were the winners with an aggregate score of 18.11 points per gun to Arncliffe’s 16.05 points per gun.

The top gun for Horton was R Carr with 27 kills, second was S Bamber with 26 and third was P Fox with 24. Arncliffe’s top guns were J Towler with 23 kills and J Lund and S Lund with 20 each.

A two man flush followed which resulted in a draw with K Humphrey and R Carr scoring 16 points and J Lund and C Rennison also scoring 16.

A return match shoot was held at Arncliffe and the Penyghent Club were again the victors with an aggregate score of 19.6 points per gun to Arncliffe’s 18.6 points per gun.

Top guns for Horton were P Fox with 24 points and R Carr with 23. Top guns for Arncliffe were J Metcalfe and J Lund, both with 25 points. Horton were also the winners of the two man flush competition.

The next members’ shoot will be held at Jop Ridding Farm on Sunday, June 8, starting at 2pm.


Sue Brown

President Sue Brown welcomed guests and members to the Ingleborough WI’s May meeting. The speaker was Trish Bugeja from Catterall who had everyone enthralled by her display of beautifully decorated eggs.

She explained the many processes of delicate work to produce a pram, a pair of drums, a working clock, a ballerina, and much more from a variety of eggs from budgerigar, pigeon, mostly goose and up to ostrich eggs.

Pat Garner gave the vote of thanks. The competition for an egg cup was won by Sue Brown, Grace McGonnigal was second and Catherine Palmer third.

Sue Ellis spoke about organ donation which is the resolution which will go to the annual meeting to be held in Leeds on Saturday, June 7.

Members heard that three people die every day while waiting for an organ transplant. The vote to support the resolution was unanimous.

Link Institute, Hellifield, has invited members to their meeting on Thursday, August 21. Marilyn Shaw was thanked for organising a very successful outing to the Harrogate Spring Flower Show.

A Competitive Social Evening is to be held at Burton-in-Lonsdale on Thursday, June 19.

Everyone who attended the group rally at Horton had enjoyed the live music and hot meal with delicious sweets.


Janet Purvis

Middleton Parish Council will present Happy Jack, performed by the Travelling Theatre Company, at Middleton Village Hall this Friday, May 23.

The performance begins at 7.30pm with entry of £5 payable at the door. Everybody welcome for a very enjoyable evening

Everyone is cordially invited to St Helen’s Church, Overton, this Sunday, May 25, at 10.45am, to celebrate the Patronal Festival.

There will be a bring and share lunch after the service and Fairtrade goods will be on sale. Friends of St Helen’s please note that the 
May meeting has been cancelled.

A free cycle coding event will take place when PCSO Dennis Nelson and PCSO Andrew Blayden-Burns from the Neighbourhood Policing Team for Heysham South will be at Middleton Parish Hall this Saturday, May 24, from 1pm to 3pm. An ideal opportunity for residents not just in the Middleton area but Overton and Heysham to dust of their bikes, take in the views and enjoy the countryside and also get their bikes security coded for free.


John Leach

This Sunday, May 25, at 2pm, there will be a public meeting at the Christadelphian Meeting Room, Main Road, A6, Slyne, when Andy Bradshaw will speak on the subject The Bible Teaching about Death and Hell. All welcome with refreshments at the conclusion of the meeting,

The Little Lambs group will not meet on Monday, May 26. Further information from Kate on 07739 031739.

People walking along the towpath have seen the swans and the moorhens nesting in close proximity. The moorhens hatched their brood of two chicks some weeks ago. On the third Saturday of May the family of swans, with 10 cygnets, were seen between Hatlex Lane bridge and the A6 bridge. This is the largest brood of swans seen on this section of canal for the last five or even 10 years.

At the meeting of the Over 60s Club on the second Monday of May, Ruth Staveley won the games of whist with Eva Steel second. Joan Hunter won the games of dominoes with Sheila Makenson second and Audrey Eaton third. The next meeting will be held on Monday, June 2, at 2pm, in the memorial hall.

At the second meeting of the Equipment Fund in May, Audrey Eaton won the games of dominoes.

At the same meeting Mavis Goth gained first place in the games of whist, George Metcalfe made second whilst new players Tony and Sylvia Strandrell strode into joint third place. The next meeting will be held on Friday, June 6, starting at 7.15pm, though the doors will be open from 6.45pm.


Joan Halstead

At the Wennington and District WI meeting held on May 14, the president thanked members for their wonderful support at the WI refreshments day during the Scarecrow Week in Wray.

The recent theatre trips have been very successful and another is planned for September.

The speaker for the evening was Eileen Miller, the chief executive of the charity Empowerment, gave a very informative talk on Women’s Aid and was very pleased to accept a cheque for £1,000 presented to her by the president Sue O’Brien.

The money was raised in February when members held a cheese and wine evening.

The next meeting of the WI will be held on Wednesday, June 11.