Preparations for 2014 already underway!

It may be well over a year until the next Maypole Festival… but preparations are already well underway! Those familiar with our historic maypole will know that it is adorned with 4 colourful garlands. The following extract from the Barwick in Elmet Historical Society website (written by Jane Deacon) explains their significance.

“In the past, young people would go to the woods on the night before May Day or early in the morning and bring back a tree decorated with flowers and garlands. The tree would be set up in a central place as a Maypole and would be the focal point of the day’s celebrations. Garlands have always played an important part in the proceedings and they are described in the Literary Gazette in 1847 as being “firmed from a hoop for a rim with two half hoops attached to it, crossed above, much in the shape of a crown; each member is beautifully adorned with flowers.” (Our own garlands are still very similar to this in shape). The garlands were suspended on a pole and taken round from house to house, just as we still do today.”

You can read the full article here.

So why are we writing about the garlands now? Well the answer is quite simple! They take a long time to make! Each garland is comprised of approximately 1,500 individual rosettes. Everyone of these has to be individually created from fabric, a procedure which involves measuring, cutting, gathering, sewing, and finally stitching on to a large frame. All of this is traditionally done by hand, and it’s a process which takes many, many hours!

As the expression goes, ‘many hands make light work’ and the making of the garlands is a job that is best shared. Traditionally, this task has been undertaken by the ladies of the village, but nowadays absolutely anyone can get involved (it’s great fun for the kids’ too, provided they are supervised by a responsible adult of course!).

To give us time to parade them around the village, we need to have the garlands completed several weeks in advance of the Maypole Festival. Every house is visited by a hardy crew of garland carriers… a tradition dating back over 100 years (although it was probably a lot easier back then, with far fewer houses to cover!). This sounds like an easy job, but with finished garlands weighing in at several kilos, it can be quite challenging knocking on hundreds of doors.

So once again, here we are with 6,000 rosettes required… and just 12 months to make them. That might sound a long time, but at the time of writing it means we need to make 100 rosettes every single week, without a break! And with every individual rosette taking a few minutes to make, that’s a lot of hours!

So how can you get involved? Well it’s quite easy… simply visit our dedicated Barwick Garlanders facebook page which gives further information on how to make the rosettes… we’ve even created a handy instructional video that demonstrates the process! There are some considerations when making the rosettes (such as the best fabric and thread to use) so even if you’ve made them before, we recommend you take a look at this to refresh your memory. Once you’ve done that, gather up some old fabric and thread and get sewing!

Finally, please do let us know how many rosettes you will be willing to make, which will help us to manage the process. Finished rosettes can be dropped off at the address shown on our contact page.

Happy sewing everyone!

For more statistics on the maypole and its garlands, please visit our FAQ page.

Christmas Fayre preparations underway

Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls… don’t forget that we will be holding our Christmas Fayre at the Village Hall on Saturday 1st December! (we’ll be open 10-30am until 1.00pm). We’ve a wide range of stalls on offer, and will be selling hot food and drink, including some delicious hot sandwiches by our friends at the (very aptly named) Maypole Coffee Shop and Deli’. We’ll also be serving up some tasty mince pies and warming home-made Mulled wine. Signs and posters are currently going up in the village, and (if you haven’t done so already) you should be receiving an invite through your letterbox very soon! We look forward to seeing you at the Fayre! For more information, please click here.

Beer Festival Another Huge Success

Pictured: David Moss, Lucie Glover and Dan Hampshire… Festival volunteers.

We’d like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who came along and supported our fourth annual Beer Festival. The event once again proved extremely popular, and the weather (although not quite the same balmy 26 degees as last year) proved highly favourable, with the bar running dry at 5pm! And that’s despite us increasing the amount of drinks on offer last year by 20%.

The first beer to sell out was the very distinctive ‘Tabatha’ (brewed by Partners of Dewsbury)… a very pale Belgian style tripel beer with a strong fruity, hoppy character and a hint of coriander… proving a hit with real ale lovers, and those that might normally prefer a lager. It wasn’t long before the remaining casks were emptied, soon to be followed by the bottle bar. The Liefmans Cuvee-Brut (an amazing cherry beer from Belgium that tastes more like a sparkling rose wine) was (as predicted) the first to sell out, and the local Organic Cider from Samuel Smiths was something of a surprise hit.

Those that attended will know that we made a few changes to this year’s festival; a bigger and better bar (courtesy of Garforth Lions), a separate bottle bar, the addition of draft cider, an all new payment system, the provision of live music and improved tasting notes to name but just a few! We think that this resulted in a better experience for our guests (significantly shortening queue times for example)… hopefully you’ll agree, but we’re always open to suggestions and comments for further improvement!

Don’t worry if you couldn’t make the event… we’ll back back again next year, and we will be even bigger and better! If you’d like to see some photos, you can view them on our photos page (many thanks to Rebecca Winteringham and Jean Fergusson for taking these). To download a free festival programme (including tasting notes) please click here.

Finally, we’d like to say a big thank you to all of our sponsors, without whom the event would simply not be possible:-

  • Barwick Fisheries
  • Barwick Garage
  • Capitol Car Spares
  • The Gascoigne Arms
  • The Maypole Coffee Shop & Deli
  • Nicky Howarth (Howarth Solicitors)
  • Neil’s Fruit and Veg – Leeds Market
  • Neil Stagg
  • Options Hair Salon
  • The New Inn
  • Pizza Piccante

A special mention must also go out to our first ever glass sponsor, and we would especially like to thank Andy at Thackers Commercial for his generous sponsorship.

Pictured: Local musician Sam Crane entertaining the crowd. Image courtesy of Rebecca Winteringham.

Beer Festival Beers Announced

Yorkshire Sparkle, Worts n’ Ale, Journeyman’s and Captain Oates… they might have some odd sounding names, but rest assured these are some fine tasting ales. We’ve got a great range of drinks lined up for you at this year’s Beer Festival which takes place in less than a couple of weeks on Saturday the 20th October. For more information and a full list of drinks please click here.

Beer Festival preparations under way

Preparations are well underway for our fourth annual Beer Festival. Whilst we can’t promise the balmy temperatures of last year (26 degrees in October!)…we can promise you an even greater choice of quality cask ales and continental bottled lagers (we’ll also be catering for wine and cider drinkers of course). Please check out our Beer Festival page for for more details.

Sponsors wanted
We want to make this year’s festival bigger and better than ever… by increasing the selection of beers available (we’re aiming for 14 barrels this year!). We’re therefore offering sponsorship opportunities to local businesses and individuals. Each sponsor receives free admission, complimentary drinks vouchers, collectors glasses, barrel posters, a tasting notes advert, and a mention here on the website. Packages start from £35 and will be offered on a first come first served basis. Please click on the link below to download a sponsorship form (PDF) which contains the full details.

Barwick Beer Fesival – 2012 Sponsorship Opportunities

Race Night a huge sucess!

A great night was had by all

Thank you to everyone who attended the race night at the Black Swan recently. A great time was had by all and we are already being asked if we will be holding another Race Night next year! Perhaps more importantly, thanks to the generosity of all those that attended and/or sponsored a horse, we raised over £350 for Maypole Trust Funds.

Race Night Runners!

Don’t forget our Race Night is on Saturday 31st March at the Black Swan in Barwick at 7.30PM. Tickets are not required and admission is free (just turn up!).

How it works

A few people have been in touch to let us know that they have never been to a race night, and don’t know how it works… if this is you, don’t worry, as everything will be explained when you get there. Whilst it may seem a little complicated, it really isn’t… but in the meantime, here’s a brief explanation:-

Simply choose a race, select your horse and decide the amount you want to bet!

1. We will be running 9 races in total, and there are 8 horses in each race.
2. You can place a bet on any horse in any race (or multiple horses in multiple races).
3. If your horse wins, you claim your share of the winnings.
4. The more people that place bets (and the higher the value of each bet)… the higher the winning payouts.
5. We will take the winning horses from the previous 8 races to create the 9th race (an ‘auction’ race).
6. All 8 horses are offered up for auction… the person who bids the most, becomes the horse’s new owner.
7. The new owner of the winning horse in race 9 takes ALL of the winnings!

All of the races take place on video screens, so everyone can watch and cheer on their favoured horse … and as well as the racing, we will also be holding a raffle, prizes for the best dressed race couple, and offering ‘Sausage & Mash’ to race-goers for just 99p!

Horse Sponsors

As part of our fundraising we have been looking for sponsors for each horse. Each sponsor paid £3 to become the owner of a horse. If their horse wins the race, they will receive a bottle of bubbly, and an owners race cap! Thanks to the generosity of the local community, all 64 horse have now been sponsored. For added excitement, sponsors are of course free to bid on any horse (including their own) in any of the first 8 races.

List of Runners

We are delighted to bring you a full list of runners (and owners) below. Thanks again to everyone who sponsored a horse!

Race 1
1. Silly Billy – Neil Stagg
2. Hi Ho Silver – Dan Hampshire
3. You Bet – Mary Vipond
4. Aussie White – Barry Vipond
5. The Magician – Mark Edwards
6. Reet Petite – Katy Horkan
7. Sweet Sixteen – Nigel Rostron
8. Wonkey Donkey – Ian Quarmby

Race 2
1. Red Rum – Colin
2. Juicy Lucy – Pam
3. Ten Bellies – Brigida
4. Scally Wag – Geoff
5. Bizzy Lizzy – Stacey
6. The Drunk One – Helen
7. Bend Over – Steve
8. Bursting to Go – Andy

Race 3
1. Tikka Masala – Lucie Glover
2. Init2winit – Mark Newby
3. Teachers Pet – Lou Ward
4. More More More – Georgia Ward
5. Skint Again – Tom Croft
6. Mines a Pint – Rob Bradley
7. Golden Balls – Charlotte Moss
8. Mr Wonderful – Rob Bradley

Race 4
1. Quick Flash – Nigel Rostron
2. Donkey – Daniel Leadbeater
3. Lucky – Mark Whelan
4. Colour Blind – Clive
5. Speeding Fine – Nick Swales
6. Super Stud – Jamie Swales
7. Topless Dancer – Ben Sherrard
8. Tax Evader – Mark Pennells

Race 5
1. Puss in Boots – Claire Strafford
2. Woody & Buzz – Neil Stagg
3. Darts & Dominos – Dan Hampshire
4. Cops n Robbers – Ian Ashworth
5. Flash Harry – Clive
6. Everybody Out – Alan Crabtree
7. Run out of Juice – Georgia
8. Dick & Dom – John Beaumont

Race 6
1. Constipated – Oliver Tumilty
2. Ant & Dec – Lucy Tumilty
3. Top Cat – Emma Thompson
4. Chocaholic – Gary Thompson
5. Snailpace – Craig Tumilty
6. Angel Delight – Daisy Tumilty
7. Short Measure – George Thompson
8. Startime – William Thompson

Race 7
1. Loser – Dan Gire
2. Under Par – Julie Fergusson
3. Silver Streak – Albert Fergusson
4. I will if you will – Jean Fergusson
5. Ugly Chops – Dan Gire
6. Miss World – Auntie Izabela
7. Underpaid – Paul Fergusson
8. Mr Ed – Kath Bullock

Race 8
1. I’m The Boss – Lisa Haigh
2. It’s In The Net – Daz Appleyard
3. The Two Nuns – Sally Hardy
4. Strike It Lucky – Lee Haigh
5. Me Giro’s Late – Den
6. Sure Thing – Richard
7. Never Lost Yet – Mo
8. Without A Doubt – Diane Fasihi

Race 9
An auction race… horses will be offered to the highest bidder on the night!

Remember, the more people that turn up, the more bets that are placed, and the higher value of each bet, the more there is to be won! We do hope you will come along and support this event… and who knows? you could end up leaving with more cash than you arrived with!

Join us for our ‘Race Night’ on 31st March

Barwick Maypole Race Night Black Swan

Don’t forget our race night on the 31st March… it starts at 7.30PM at the Black Swan in Barwick, and admission is free (no ticket required). All attendees will receive a complimentary glass of bucks fizz, and if you fancy a bite to eat, you can grab a ‘bangers and mash’ supper for just 99p! As well as bringing you the excitement of the races, we will also be holding a prize raffle and giving away a prize for the best dressed race-goers.  If you would like to sponsor a horse for the evening, just pop in to The Black Swan and ask a member of the bar staff. The cost is just £3 per horse and each winning sponsor receives a race cap and bottle of bubbly! We do hope you can join us!

Diary Date – Saturday 31st March – 7.30PM

We’re delighted to announce our first event of the year on Saturday 31st March at 7.30PM at The Black Swan. It promises to be an entertaining affair and if you attend, you could even be returning home with more money than you set off with! As well as some tasty food and drink, there will be the opportunity to win some cash at our adrenaline filled ‘video race night’… get all the action and excitement of a live race in the comfort of your local pub, whilst raising some funds for your local charity (posh hats for the ladies are optional!). More details will be provided closer to the time, so please check back here soon or follow our page on facebook!

New committee elected

We would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to everyone who supported us at this morning’s highly successful ‘Christmas Coffee Morning’. We’re still counting the pennies, but first estimates suggest that a good few hundreds of pounds were raised for the Maypole Trust. If you were unable to make it, you can view some photos of the event in our photo gallery.

The coffee morning was followed by the Maypole Trust Committee’s Triennial General Meeting (TGM) where the residents of the village had the opportunity to elect the Maypole Committee for the next 3 years. Maypole Trust Chairman (Nigel Trotter) gave a speech explaining the election process, announcing retiring members, and also new candidates looking to join the committee. The floor was opened up for questions and comments, but none were forthcoming.

Upon asking those in attendance whether they would like the outgoing committee members to carry on their work, Nigel was met with a loud and unanimous ‘yes’ from the floor. As such, we can now formally announce the 2011-2014 committee:-

The following members will continue to be on the committee and their roles agreed at the next committee meeting:-

Nigel Trotter
Mark Vipond
Michelle Vipond
Jane Neale
John Fergusson
Lucie Glover
David Moss

Two new nominees were put forward and were unanimously elected. We would like to welcome aboard:-

Josie Ford
Karl Whitehead

The following members have retired from the committee, but may continue to support the Maypole Trust in other ways. We would like to thank them for their hard work and support over the years:-

Richard Hampshire (Richard has agreed to continue organising the Barwick Beer Festival)
Denis Scott (Denis’s tasks will be split amongst the committee)
Frances Smith (Frances will still be helping in an advisory role, and with occasional Maypole tasks such as leaflet distribution)
Barry Vipond (Barry’s previous tasks will be overseen by David Moss)

If you were unable to attend the TGM, and would like to join the committee, it is possible to become a co-opted member. To do so, you will need to be nominated by a current committee member and the nomination approved by the remaining committee members. We also welcome volunteers who are willing to offer help without needing to attend committee meetings.

Diary Dates

Barwick Maypole Raising
Monday 26th May 2014

Barwick Beer Festival
Sat 18th October 2014

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