Club reports

Book Group

Members enjoy annual picnic


Members of Bishop Monkton Book Group pictured enjoying their annual  summer picnic which this year was hosted by Sue Short.

As usual, after the meal, members reported back on the books they had exchanged at the annual dinner and had since read..

A good read was had by all!

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Classical Music Group

Debussy and Rachmaninov

The June meeting of the Classical Musical Group was devoted to the music of Debussy and Rachmaninov.   

The first half of the programme consisted of a number of shorter works by Debussy including Prélude à l’Après Midi d’un Faune, Suite Bergamasque and Petite Suite.  

After the interval, we began with two of Rachmaninov’s short piano solos, Op. 3 No.1 Elegie and Op. 23, No. 5, Prelude in G minor, played by Howard Shelly.  

Finally, we reached the main work in the programme, Rachmaninov’s monumental Third Piano Concerto, one of the most technically-demanding works in the repertoire.   This was a recording of the legendary 1995 BBC Proms performance by Grigory Sokolov and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yan Pascal Tortelier and provided a breathtaking finale to the evening.

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Women's Institute

WI looks back over its 90 years


SIX WI PRESIDENTS attended the 90th birthday celebrations of Bishop Monkton WI at the Village Hall. They are, from left,  Ruth Martin, Dorene White, Danae Coultas, Florence Bowes, Joan McLaren (present President) and Margaret Simpson. Ruth and Dorene made and decorated the cake. 

This month marks the 90th anniversary of the formation of the Bishop Monkton Women's Institute. 


Ninety years ago in 1927, twelve ladies formed a WI in the village. Their first meeting was in The Masons’ Armsbut it was not until 1932 that they were able to meet in a hall of their own. The Hall was let out under strict rules – no alcohol and no dancing in hobnail boots!   

During the Second World War, it saw the WI helping with finding homes for evacuees from the towns and in organising dances and a Youth Club to help to keep up people’s spirits.

The Hall continued to be a centre for all just as our present Village Hall fulfils a similar purpose today.  

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Conditions of hiring WI Hall:  

No alcohol and no dancing in hobnail boots.

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The group meets in the Village Hall on the first Wednesday of each month – this month was particularly special as we celebrated our 90th birthday.  

 It was a very happy occasion and there was considerable interest in looking at photographs, records and memorabilia dating from 1927 to the present day. This gave rise to many reminiscences, particularly from members of long standing, one of whom entertained the assembly with a monologue on “Old Age” with which some of us could identify and which gave our younger members something to think about.

Those present enjoyed a delicious buffet which was followed by a beautiful birthday cake made and decorated by two of our more senior members. Finally, the evening was rounded-off by the singing of “Jerusalem”

FOOTNOTE: Do come to see the WI stand on Hog Roast Day in the Methodist Chapel when the photographs, records and memorabilia referred to above will be on display.

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Age UK Lunch Club

Val retires after 14 years as secretary


In November 2002 Age UK in Ripon approached Gloria Baker to suggest starting a lunch club in the village. Initial doubts about the likely level of support it would attract were dispelled by Val Ellis-Beech who carried out a survey of potential members which confirmed a likely attendance of 16 people, so the club got under way meeting every fortnight in the Methodist Church schoolroom.

From the outset full support has been given by the Parish Council, food being prepared by the catering staff of Ripon Hospital and the Methodist Church providing crockery, cutlery and table cloths.

Val assumed the role of secretary which involved contacting all the members and ordering the food. She has carried out both tasks meticulously over the 14 years the club has been running.

Understandably, the numbers have fluctuated over the years but the Club continues to flourish and everyone enjoys the food and the opportunity to meet and chat with long-term friends.

Val left the village recently moving to Blossom Gate Court in Ripon. This means she will not be able to continue as secretary. However, she still hopes to attend the lunches as often as possible.  At her farewell lunch Gloria Baker thanked Val for her work as secretary and passed on best wishes to her from all the members. Margaret Lodge had volunteered to become secretary.

Should anyone wish to join, the Club meets once a fortnight in the Methodist Chapel schoolroom at 12 30pm. There is a two-course meal and tea or coffee for £4.50. Or, if you would like either to collect the food or to serve it please contact Gloria on 676238.

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