Your Committee

In keeping with tradition, the Maypole Trust committee members are elected every three years at a public meeting held in the village (a co-opted member is someone elected by the committee at a later date). The last election took place on Saturday 3rd December at the Triennial General Meeting (TGM) at Barwick Village Hall. Three members retired, two new members came forward, and the remainder of the committee was unanimously re-elected by those present. A full list of current members is given below.

During the triennial festival year, committee meetings are held fortnightly, with weekly meetings taking place in the run up to the festival itself. Meetings are held at least four times a year during none festival years, however the current committee plans to meet more frequently than this. The maypole festival is a community event, and we positively encourage the participation of local residents. Please get involved by letting us know your comments in the have your say page or by using the contact form. We welcome ideas and suggestions and will be happy to add these to the next committee meeting agenda where appropriate.

You can read more about the way in which the committee is organised and operated on our constitution page.

Committee members

Nigel Trotter

As well as being Chairman, Nigel is a highly experienced engineer and plays a crucial role in the physical lowering and raising of the pole. Nigel liaises with key contractors (such as the crane company) and is also responsible for Health & Safety and risk assessments (which can be both complex and time consuming). Outside of the maypole, Nigel is also Civil Engineer for the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and is author of a book on the subject.

Mark Vipond
Joint Secretary

Mark is a Barwicker since birth, and has participated in the Maypole Festival from a very early age. Mark was elected to the committee in 2005.

Shelly Vipond
Joint Secretary

Amongst other responsibilities, Shelly organises the festival Street Market, and the making of the garlands.

Jane Neale

Jane moved to the village 15 years ago and joined the committee in August 2010. Despite a relatively short tenure, Jane has been an active supporter… collecting money at the door at the Barwick Beer Festival, delivering leaflets around the village, and producing the year end accounts (no mean feat). This will be the first year that Jane has been involved with the organisation of the Maypole festival .

Favourite festival memory?
“I have only ever attended one Maypole Day – which was in 2005. I remember it being a gloriously sunny day with lots of friendly people, and all the kids having fun (I thought it was a great village event). Obviously it must have made some kind of impact on me, otherwise I wouldn’t have agreed to help!”.

Why did you get involved?
“Like a lot of other people I suppose… it wasn’t something I had planned. I was approached by a committee member to help out with the Trust’s Accounts (I am a qualified accountant). I like to do a bit for charity and felt I could genuinely help”.

John Fergusson

Like Mark, John was born and raised in the village. He too has particpated in the maypole festival from an early age. As a former Barwick Scout Group member, John helped to build the group’s float in 1984, and also helped to carry the garlands around the village in 1987. John also assisted with the Scout groups hot dog and ice cream stalls. John left Barwick to go to university in 1989 and has recently returned to the village after various jobs around the country. John is responsible for the design and build of this website, and will be helping to organise the 2011 procession.

Favourite festival memory?
“Probably as a child, eating ice cream on Hall Tower Hill under the blazing sun.”

Most amusing memory?
“As one of the maypole dancers… During rehearsals I kept getting my left and right mixed up… going the wrong way around my partner, resulting in the wrong pattern at the top of the pole. The dance had to be stopped mid way through, and everyone’s steps retraced to untangle the mess. It wasn’t funny at the time, and I still cringe looking back at it, but others seem to find the story amusing. To be fair, I would like to point out that I wasn’t the only child to make this mistake (I am sure there are many others over the years who will remember doing exactly the same thing). Credit to the school teachers who were very patient.”

Why did you get involved?
“When you live in Barwick, you tend to take the maypole for granted. Come back to the vaillage after 20 years or so however and you look at it with a fresh pair of eyes. I have lived in parts of country where a community spirit simply doesn’t exist, and I have thought to myself how lucky I have been to have been brought up in such a close knit village. I got involved partly because I want to keep up this fantastic tradition, and partly because I want to give other residents (especially children) their own memories of a great event too. It’s also a way for me to get to know new and old faces in the village, and for me to feel like I am doing my bit”.

Josie Ford

Josie was recently elected to the committee and responsibilities will include taking our meeting  minutes (no easy task!). Josie has also volunteered to help us compile our ‘modus operandi’ (operations manual). This will outline all of our key processes and tasks, and will be a working manual which can easily be passed on to future committee members.

David Moss

David was born and bred in Barwick and joined the committee in 2008. David works for Leeds City Council at both Temple Newsam and Lotherton Hall so is very much our logistics man. If there’s a job that needs doing (from organising crowd control barriers, to hiring portaloos) David (or Dave as he likes to be known) is the man to ask!

Most amusing memory?
“That’s from only a few days ago! We usually put sheep into Hall Tower Hill for grazing (to help control the grass). These have to be taken out before the festival, but this time some of them escaped and I had to run up and down Main Street and all around the village to capture them! It was hard work but must have looked really funny to anyone watching!”.

Why did you get involved?
“Someone asked me to help and it kind of went from there… before I knew it I ended up on the committee. I am very passionate about the maypole though, it’s a great tradition that I remember from school, and want to see continue”.

Ian Major

Ian is the most recent addition to the team, joining us in 2013.

Karl Whitehead

Many people will know Karl from The Gascoigne Arms where he is currently working as a chef. Karl is (in his own words) a ‘Barwicker through and through’. Like several other committee members, Karl was born in the village, and remembers participating in the Maypole Festival as a child.

Barwick Beer Festival

The next Barwick Beer Festival is on Saturday 17th October 2015.
Please click here for more details.

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