PEOPLE

Celebrating their  Golden Wedding


FLASHBACK 50 YEARS: This is John and Judy Hague on a snowy Easter Tuesday in 1967 when they were married at Erdington, Sutton Coldfield, which is Judy’s home town. In April 2017 they celebrate their Golden Wedding anniversary. John and Judy  have lived in Bishop Monkton for 33 years which John says makes him a ‘native’ – the requirement being to have lived in the village at least 30 years and to have fallen into the beck twice. He has done both!  To celebrate the occasion John and Judy went on a Mediterranean cruise which will took them to Jordan, Crete, Malta and Gibraltar. 

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Dan gets a big old fashioned welcome home

Back from Bavaria to resume life in Bishop Monkton

NICE TO BE BACK: Dan, Jack and Nikki.

Dan Wright and family arrived back home in Bishop Monkton on Friday and within hours of stepping off the ferry were meeting up with old friends at the Masons Arms, with Dan supping a welcome  pint.

The family have spent the last three years in Bavaria where Dan looked after a 24-acre estate for the grandson of the last King of Bavaria.

His employer owns three castles and a palace in Bavaria and the Czech Republic and Dan's job was to look after the lawns and the forest trees - 'quite a big job', he explained.

Back in Bishop Monkton he was welcomed with a 'Welcome Home' sign strung across the  front of his family home in Fontein Terrace.  Soon he plans to resume his former job, but in future will be dropping the stone walling side and concentrating on gardens and lanscaping.

Meanwhile his wife, Nikki, who worked on looking after the flower gardens in Bavaria, will become Head Gardener at Rudding Park Hotel.

Their son, nine-year-old Jack (now a fluent German speaker) will return to Bishop Monkton School, with a few tales to tell his classmates!

Dan has not severed his links with Bavaria. He will be back there in the spring to bring the lawns and trees back their best . He admits that he chose the timing of his return visit with care so it co-incided with the Beer Festival there!

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New Mine Hosts at Masons Arms


GARY CROSS and Lesley Johnson (pictured above) are the new lease holders at the Masons Arms and have some exciting plans gastronomically and also plans 'to bring back the community spirit to the pub'.

Having lived previously in Harrogate and Ripon, and having almost bought a house in Bishop Monkton in 2008, they are no strangers to the village. They also have a bar and restaurant in Scotland.

Their plans to attract more customers include having a new menu on offer every month and running regular special events such as charity and quiz nights and they have other surprises up their sleeve. They stress they want 'to bring back the community spirit to the pub'.

Several local clubs and organisations have already placed bookings for the coming weeks and Gary and Lesley hope to give them a pleasant surprise with their welcome and the food and drink they will offer them.

Contact details:  e-mail: themasons.HG3@gmail.com  Tel: 01765 676631.

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Is this all 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? If so, please send details to editorbmtoday@aol.com so he can put them in touch with David who is keen to start a Pipe Smokers’ Club. Or is that just a pipe dream?


DAVID RICHOLD, Bishop Monkton’s only home-based architect, enjoys nothing more after a hard day’s work at the office than sitting on a bench in his back garden puffing away at his beloved briar pipe.

There he sits, sifting out remnants of Condor Original Longcut backy from a pouch, and stuffing it into the bowl of his beloved Peterson pipe, before he lights up. Ah -  what bliss!

He’s in the garden because Rory doesn’t allow him to smoke in the house, and David himself chooses not to light up in his office (perhaps for fear of setting fire to the regimented piles of documents, plans and application forms which occupy every spare inch of space there!)

David has been a pipe smoker since the age of 15. His dad told him not to smoke cigarettes because they were not good for his health.  So David got a pipe instead (‘I never inhale, you know’ he confides) and he has been a pipeman every since.

He recalls that there used to be about five co-conspirator pipe smokers in the village but now, sadly, most, if not all, have died or moved away, so his plan to form a village pipe smoker’s club might face an uphill struggle!

It will be far easier to recruit new members for the planned village Local History and Gardening groups, he admits.

David had hopes of recruiting members for his planned group from those who covet the corner stool at the fireside end of the bar in the Lamb & Flag. But, oddly enough, these days not all, if any, smoke pipes!

So David’s idea of a village pipe smokers’club may just end up another pipe dream!

So maybe his will remain a one man club - but who knows?

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