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Parish Council seeks new clerk

BISHOP MONKTON Parish Council is on the lookout for a new clerk. The new appointee wil replace Keith Pettitt, who is stepping down at the end of March because of a unexpected new commitment. Keith, who has held his present role since October, will later also be stepping down from his roles as clerk of Roecliffe with Westwick and Littlethorpe Parish Councils.

 See advertisement for a successor. Go to JOB VACANCIES.


It's party time 

January is party month for many of us, including three Bishop Monkton clubs. Here members of the Wednesday morning Table Tennis Group are pictured enjoying a lunch at the Guy Fawkes Inn, Scotton. Later in the month the Croquet Club and Book Group will also be having parties at the same venue.


Hunt pays us a welcome visit

THE YORK & AINSTY NORTH HUNT visited Bishop Monkton stopping for a stirrup cup and cake at The Lamb & Flag.  They were welcomed by a large crowd of hunt supporters, followers and villagers who were glad to see them back at the Lamb & Flag after an absence of almost 20 years.  Current Joint Master of the Hunt is Amanda Slater.  The Hunt was founded in 1816 and the saddest moment in its history occurred in 1869 when an overloaded ferry boat, carrying the Master and 12 others across the River Ure near Newby Hall capsized, drowning the Master and five others. 

Send your picture/s of The Hunt to  To view them go to NEWS/Hunt pictures

See also PICTURES/Photo of the Month.


Help unravel our village’s history


THE STAR INN, one of seven pubs which once operated in Bishop Monkton. Our village pubs will be one of dozens of topics to be researched by our new Bishop Monkton Local History Group which will hold its inaugural meeting at the Village Hall on Thursday, January 26, starting at 7 30pm.The Group will undertake various research projects, assemble village documents and maps, interview older residents, etc. The aim is to create Bishop Monkton’s first comprehensive Village Archive for the benefit of present day villagers and for the use of future generations. If you would like to take part or just find out more about this exciting project e-mail or just turn up on the night. You’ll then become a founder member and will be embarking on a fascinating journey of discovery.


Gardening Club's first meeting

Pull up the wellington boots, don the gardening gloves and put on the thinking caps for the first meeting of the Bishop Monkton Gardening Club which will be held on Thursday, January 19th at 7pm in the Bishop Monkton Methodist Schoolroom. Over 20 people have already expressed interest in joining the group so it is certainly worthwhile everyone getting together and having at least an initial discussion, to ascertain whether it is viable to take this idea forward.  Without support, however, the Club won’t blossom, so do come along if you also have an interest in gardens and gardening. If you are unable to come along to the meeting, but would like to join the group, then do let Colin or Glenda Hunter know by e-mailing them at


A year of notable achievements

GERALD SHERVINGTON, Chairman of the Village Hall and Playing Fields Committee, reports on a  year of notable achievemenrts at the annual meeting of the group at the Village Hall on Thursday evening. With him are Lesley Shervington (Secretary) and Mervyn Beecroft (Treasurer).

For full report go to NEWS/Hall AGM 2016.



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RECENT NEWS ITEMS (click on photo for more)
  • Bethlehem visit

    RICHARD FIELD reports from Bethlehem when preparations were well in hand to celebrate Christmas at The Church of the Nativity. The silver star, pictured above, marks the spot where Jesus was born. 

  • Yorkshire champions

    BISHOP MONKTON Croquet Club's Level Play team are current Yorkshire Champions in that League. Here Andrea Widdison receives the shield from Yorkshire Federation Chairman Anna Giraud. 

  • National winner

    DAVID WIDDISON, a member of Bishop Monkton Croquet Club, receives the National A Level Tournament Cup after beating off fierce competition from players with national and world rankings in this prestigious event.  

  • We will remember them

    RECIPIENTS of boards mounted with parts of a crashed RAF plane and dug up from its 1943 crash site and brought over from Germany for presentation as part of November's Remembrance Day service at Bishop Monkton Church.  

  • Council appointments

    THE PARISH COUNCIL has announced two new appointments. Pam Harland has been co-opted as Councillor and Keith Pettitt has been confirmed as Parish Clerk. The two positions became vacant following earlier resignations. 

  • Goodbye Jonathan

    Warm  tributes were paid to Jonathan Singh, who has departed after having been priest here for the past two and a half years. He received a number of gifts and good wishes for his future at St Leonard's Hospice in York. 

  • Record auction

    CASHIER Martin Minett looks shocked when he finds that this year's action broke attendance and profit records, making over £3,000 for imrprovements to Village Hall security, and attracting the largest turnout for 10 years. Can't wait for next year!

  • Blithe Spirit

    The  cast of Blithe Spirit who brought pleasure to large and enthusiastic audiences. A tremendous lot of preparation, hard work and rehearsal went into this Noel Coward production and everyone involved in it is to be congratulated and thanked.  

  • Overall winner

    Anne Bettridge receives the trophy as Overall Winner at the Produce, Arts & Crafts Show from Show Organiser Chris Procter. She narrowly beat Pauline Beecroft for the top award.  The event attracted entries in 95 classes across eight different categories. 

  • Harvest Festival

    ABUNDANCE: The display which welcomed those attending the Harvest Festival service at the Parish Church. A Harvest Festival service also took placde in the Methodist Church a week later.

  • Just a pipe dream?

    PIPE SMOKING David Richold thinks he may be Bishop Monkton’s last pipe smoker. He recalls that there used to be about five left in the village, but he thinks all have either died or moved away. Does anyone else in the village still smoke a pipe?  Let us know!

  • Girls show how

    GIRL FOOTBALLERS from Bishop Monkton School were runners-up in the grand final of the regional Y5/6 competition held at Rossett School, Harrogate. This is just one of the recent sporting successes at our School.


Death of
former bowler

Bowlers will be sad to hear of the death of Norman Mitchell, a former member of Bishop Monkton Bowling Club.
Mr. Mitchell, 85, who lived in Knaresborough, had a career as a stocktaker working for Venners visiting local pubs and clubs.
His funeral will take place at Stonefall Crematorium, Harrogate, at 1pm on Friday, January 20, followed by a gathering at The Travellers' Rest. Friends from Bishop Monkton are welcome to attend.
Mamma Mia! treat

Here's a chance to attend a Mamma Mia! movie and dress up for the occasion!
The event is being organised by Bishop Monkton Entertainments Group at the Village Hall on Saturday, February 25 starting at 7 30pm.
Go to WHAT'S ON to find how you can get your ticket.
Coming soon .....

The first astronomy column of the New Year will be published later this week.
Look out for Chris's Backyard Astonomy. Lots to look up for!

Keeping in touch
Every day this site is read, not only by up to a couple of hundred local people, but also by readers from many parts of the world, including the USA, Australia, New Zealand and various parts of Europe. (Yesterday in all 210 logged on, to be precise!)
Most of our overseas followers are either former residents of Bishop Monkton or the area or have family or friends living here. Most log on as a way of 'keeping in touch'
Typical is a letter received this week from Richard Mann in Canada. He writes: 'I used to work in Ripon and lived in Knaresborough and I know the area well and also many of the people in the area. Although I have lived in Canada many years I still miss the area and my many friends. Consequently I find your website very interesting'. 

Warm Praise for
Life Savers

There is more warm praise for the work done by Bishop Monkton Life Savers, a small but dedicated team which provides a first response service if anyone in the village suffers a heart attack.
Dave Jones, of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, has written to say: 'Can I just say a massive thank you for the amount of cover you give from such a small team. It really is amazing'.
The team includes six first responders (including two new recruits this month) and three co-ordinators. The team is always on the lookout for new recruits.
Anyone interested should call Richard Field (677795), Roger Baker (676238) or Alison Holley (677854)
Honour for our Cricket Club

Bishop Monkton has been chosen to host the premier cup competition final in the Nidderdale Cricket League for the forthcoming season.This is will be played on Sunday, September 3. 
This event is competed for by clubs that play in the top two Divisions of the League.
This is a great honour for the club and shows that all the hard work Alan Wigby has put into preparing the wickets over the years has been recognised

Beck cleaning reduces flood 

The annual cleaning of the beck has just been completed by 20 good men and true from the village. 
This year four farm trailer loads were removed and taken by  contractors to the landfill - one more load than last year.
Mostly the debris was foliage and tree and shrub branches as well as tree roots which potentially could dam the beck and cause  flooding. In addition several iron bars were removed as well as a Durex packet with two sheaths inside!
Roger Baker wishes to thank those participated in the exercise and thus reduced the possibility of flooding in our picturesque village.
Council updates
You can always keep abreast with what is being done and discussed at our Parish Council by reading the latest minutes on this site. We also single out the most important items to disseminate on our news pages. 
To read the latest minutes click on PARISH COUNCIL.

Help forthcoming
Ripon Library, well used and appreciated by Bishop Monkton folk, is facing a crisis. 
From next April funding cuts mean full-time staff will be cut to one, and it can only maintain a normal service if it can recruit some 70 unpaid volunteers. Could you help, even offering to help out for a couple of hours a week? If so, or just to find out more, email the Ripon Library Action Group on OR by telephoning them on 01609 536613.

We are told that at least two Bishop Monkton residents have responded to this appeal. Th\anks!
Carollers thanked

Carollers who toured the village just before Christmas not only brought the sound of Christmas to our homes but also raised £145 for Ripon Food Bank. The event was organised by Emma Oates.
A wam letter of thanks has been received from Alec Lutton Presidentof ‘Bread of Life’ Food Bank, Ripon.

£5,000 raised fror cancer charity 

The Bishop Monkton Calendar Boys calendar project has now raised almost £5,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support. A few calendars are still available from The Lamb & Flag.
For more go to NEWS/Calendar Boys.

Can you help trace another family?

After our success in tracing the Renton family, we have now been set a new task - to try and trace the Scatchard family.
Shaun Wilson of Birstwith has written to say his great great great grandfather, Joseph Scatchard, was inn keeper at the Crown Inn at the time of the 1851 and 1861 England censuses. He was
 born about 1796 and died in 1887 aged 91.
He wonders if there are any Scatchard families still living in or around Bishop Monkton who are descended from Joseph Scatchard of the Crown Inn?
If anyone can help please send details to and the information will be passed on to Shaun.

The domino effect

Almost 60 bowlers and guests took part in a mass game of dominoes at the Village Hall in the first of the club's off season fund-raiser events.
The champions of the evening were Margaret Lodge and Tommy Kirby,while Paul Wardell showed he needed a little more practice before next year!
Go to BOWLING /news and pictures for report and photos.

Appeal for refugees
Items of winter clothing and bedding are still needed for refugees and asylum seekers. If you have any contributions to make please take them  to Dransfield House, Main Street, Bishop Monkton. Thanks to those who have already responded.

The last word

Digging our gardens or digging up our past.The choice is yours!

Nobody can say Bishop Monkton stands still! Or that there's never anything to do!
Next year we will see two brand new clubs being set up on top of the 29 already in existence (and you can see them listed by going to ORGANISATIONS/full list or looking on the back page of the Parish Magazine).
The latest to be announced is the Bishop Monkton Local History Club.
The idea is to pull together details about all aspects of our village's history and create Bishop Monkton's first comprehensive Village Archive.
The group hopes to find out more about the history of The Mill, the Mechanics Institute, our churches, our school, our pubs, our farming heritage, our well known village families and long -standing institutions like the WI and Cricket Club and other topics to be identified by the members at their first meeting
They also hope to interview long-time residents and ask them to recall memories of the village years ago, and to record or video these.
These are just some of the ideas, but more are certain to emerge when the group holds its inaugural meeting at the Village Hall on Thursday, January 25, starting at 7 30pm.
Already 15 villagers have expressed interest in joining the group, but more would be welcome.
For people who don't actually want to join the group and attend meetings, the group hopes it will be able to pass on details to them through a new webstite yet to be agreed to set up. 
An equally exciting prospect  is the planned formation of a new Gardening Club which will hold its inaugural meeting at the Methodist Schoolroom on Thursday, January 19. This is a club for anyone who is keen on gardens or gardeing and who would enjoy sharing ideas with like-minded people.  Anyone interested is welcome to attend their first meeting.
The creation of the two new clubs, exciting as it is, presents one tiny dilemma for our Parish Magazine. How will they find room on the crowded back page listing village groups to fit in two more?  We're sure they'll find a way!

In FEEDBACK you can read reactions to this and earlier matters raised in The Last Word.

Have you got a (very brief) comment on a current issue, a niggle or a query? If so, send it for publication in FEEDBACK.

Click below to find what the local weather has in store.
CLICK HERE for forecast


Editor: Richard Field, BCAc

Here are e-mail addresses to contact Richard on other matters:
Life Savers: 

17 January, 2017

Visits to site since launch in 2005:

Site launch:
29 January 2005
(day of new Village Hall opening).
Record one day visitors:
435 on 25 September 2012
Record one month visitors:
4,152 on June 2012
Reached 333,333 hits: 6 15pm on Friday, 30 Sept 2016
Number of visitors yesterday:
Providing you with:
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Edited and updated every day
at 6am to keep you informed