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A celebration for a life lived to the full

The Church of St. John the Baptist was filled to overflowing for the Service of Celebration for the Life of Unity Sylvia Hield.

Over 160 mourners, many wearing a splash of colour to acknowledge Unity’s love of colour and art, were present to hear reflections on Unity’s life, 60 years of which was spent in Bishop Monkton.

The Church was appropriately and beautifully decked with wild flowers, some picked from Unity’s own garden. It was just what she would have wanted!

After the death of her beloved husband, Michael, Unity created an art gallery in her garden in his memory and this became a focal point of cultural life in the village, with regular exhibitions of the work of local and national artists and sculptors, and sometimes including work of her own.

She was, of course, a distinguished and accomplished artist and sculptor herself working in a studio she created in one of her outbuildings, where she also gave classes to aspiring local artists.

Another of Unity's preoccupations was a love of all animal life. She always had one or two dogs, latterly the well-loved 11 year old collie, Chester. She also had a fine collection of swans and ducks on a lake in her garden which gave her great pleasure. In fact she loved all creatures great and small.

Her love of wildlife and her skill at painting and sculpture came together when she sculpted animal figures which she then sold to realise funds for the Whitley Fund for Nature.

Last year she produced a magnificent bronze bear which she donated to raise funds for the Whitley Fund and attended a high profile auction in London attended by David Attenborough when the bear realised £6,000.

The service, led by The Rev. Sheila Murray, included  a finely chosen mix of hymns, readings,music and prayers which all perfectly befitted the occasion and which Unity would have loved herself.

Everyone present knew that, with her passing, they had lost a wonderfully kind and dear friend, the like of whom will be hard if not be impossible to replace.

The service ended  fittingly with a moving rendition of Gabriel Faure's 'In Paradisum'.sung by 'Yorkshire Voices'.

A retiring collection will be shared between The Church of St. John the Baptist and The Whitley Fund for Nature, two charities close to Unity’s heart.

A longer tribute to Unity and reflections of her life will be included in our In Memoriam column in the near future


Chester finds a new home

Chester, Unity's beloved 11 year old collie, has found a new home. He has been 'adopted' by a lady in Scotland and. lucky for him, she lives beside the seaside. so he will enjoy walks on the beach. Unity would have been delighted he has found such a lovely new home.


National Croquet Day marked

Bishop Monton Croquet Club joined clubs across Britain in celebrating National Croquet Day. Kneale Kimber and Sara MacPherson are pictured after receiving prizes in a progressive doubles competition from Club Chairman Richard Field.

Also see CROQUET CLUB/Latest news.


To abseil down Ripon Cathedral

Christine Ewalt, pictured above abseiling in New Zealand, will be abseiling down Ripon Cathedral on May 18 at noon. She  is hoping to raise money for the Fabric Fund at St John the Baptist Church.  A sponsor form will be in the back of the Church or people could contact Christine directly on 677341 or at 1 Sycamore Close. 


No ducking out of this family outing

Proud Mum leads her 14 tiny chicks for a first look at their new Bishop Monkton home.Yes, its great to have the ducks back on the beck!  Pictures by Kathryn Bethel and Chris Bagnall.


Out of this world!

This remarkable photograph was taken by village astronomer Chris Higgins. These are solar prominences (flares) in the chromosphere which are whipped up by magnetic activity in the Sun taken on the 22nd of April.  Alongside the image is a scale representation of the Earth.


A history lesson with a mass appeal

Over 60 villagers crowded into the Village Hall for an open meeting of Bishop Monkton Local History Group. The 'class' heard a talk about the group's new website, details about the village's Conservation area and a briefing about the group's forthcoming programme of events. No exam followed this history lesson!

For more on the meeting  Click here


Your views passed on to the Council

(see added comments at base of this topic)

The recent serious accident at the village's notoriously dangerous crossroads has resulted in a large number of villagers coming up with ideas of what should be done to resolve the problem before there is a fatality there.

Few issues have created more reaction and comment as you can see from the long list of ideas put forward which you can read by cllcking on Guestbook.

Here, in summary, are what just some villagers are suggesting and these views have now been passed on to the relevant Councils.

Bob Upton:: A mini roundabout and 20 mph speed limit for whole village..

John Binns: 20 mph speed limit on certain roads.

Sheila Parsons: A mini roundabout

David Banks: Two mini roundabouts

Richard Harper: Divert Moor Road to create a staggered junction with Knaresborough Road.

Stephanie Lonsdale: Sleeping policemen.

Chris Bagnall: A mini roundabout.

Jonathan Pimley: A roundabout and further speed reducing measures.

Carol Wells: Sleeping policemen on certain roads.

A Whincup: Stop signs rather than Give Way signs.

M and D Jackson:  Mini roundabout..

Basil Birchall: Small roundabout.

Ken Nelson: 20mph speed limit and traffic lights at crossroads.

Ian Favell: Rumble strips and added parking restrictions.

Susan Stead: Roundabout or stop signs.

Peter Clark: A roundabout and a speed limit. But not rumble strips - the noise they create is a nightmare.

Angela Archbold: Just do something!

Alison Auchterlonie: Remember it is the council that make the decisions.

Heidi Ayliffe: :Use mirrors to improve visibility

Editor: The  villagers' views expressed here have now been referred to to the relevant council/s.

Ben Cairns:  See his personal views on the issue (go to NEWS/Crossroads debate)

For extended views  go to Guestbook.


A wonderful new area for parties

The impressive extension to the Village Hall pavilion is now almost completed. The potential future use for this large sitting out /viewing area is now obvious for all to see, and good use of it will be made in the coming summer. The patio, which still awaits the addition of protective safety screens round the edge, will provide not just a great area for watching cricket but also a marvellous outdoor venue for parties, BBQs, etc.


New nature reserve on our doorstep

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust has opened a brand new nature reserve called Ripon City Wetlands, which is just under two miles north of Bishop Monkton. It is a large 41ha  area of lagoons and reed beds, situated just south of Ripon (neighbouring Ripon Racecourse) and has already attracted thousands of wetland birds, including rare avocets. A number of visitors attended the public opening on Saturday, May 4, when Yorkshire Wildlife Trust ran free guided walks and family activities The reserve has walking trails and wildlife viewing screens.  Well worth a visit!

Go to WHAT'S ON for future events there.


New show house 

The Mulgrave, pictured here, has become Kebbell's new show home. The previous show home has now been sold. For more information call 01765 676567.


iPads for everyone!

Pupils at Bishop Monkton School trying out the 25 new iPads which were bought for them as a result of the big race day last year organised by The Beck Busters. A similar event is being planned this year for Sunday, September 15. For more details e-mail


Here's something to crow about!

The remarkable story of how Bishop Monkton auctioneer Richard Harper (with no previous building experience) undertook the extend his iconic 300-year-old Grade 2 listed cottage. The two year project was watched over approvingly by the 30ft topiary cockerel in Richard's front garden!

For full story go to NEWS/Cockerel cottage.


A warm welcome to our newcomers

We extend a warm welcome to all the newcomers who have joined our community. A number of them say they decided to come to Bishop Monkton after reading this website and seeing what an active village this is! On arrival all receive a welcome pack. And all of us can help make them feel welcome by saying a cheery 'Hello and welcome. Hope you'll be very happy here'.


RECENT NEWS ITEMS (click on photo for more)
  • £18,000 raised

    Almost £18,000 has now been raised towards the first phase of urgent repairs needed to our Parish Church. This means that the Church is already over half way towards raising the £35,000 needed to undertake making the building safe and watertight. 

  • 2nd defibrillator

    The village's second defibrillator is now operational outside the Masons Arms. Pictured are Gywn Sagar who donated £600 towards the purchase of the life saving equipment. Ripon Lions,The Masons Arms and the Parish Council paid for the balance.

  • In Dragon's'Den

    Hazel Reynolds, eldest daughter of Lucy Cottrell, ventured in to the Dragons' Den in an attempt to get backing for her games business. Hazel received an offer for funding from Dragon Jenny Campbell but decided to decline it.

  • Tree Festival

    Visitors to the Church have been put firmly in the Christmas mood thanks largely to the Christmas On show there has been wonderful display of 22 Christmas trees each decorated by a different village group or organisation,

  • Royal honour

    Barbara Birchall being presented with the Riding for the Disbled President's Award for 'exceptional dedication to RDA' by the Princess Royal when she visited a RDA group at Wellburn Hall School.

  • BEM for Margaret

    Margaret Lodge had her British Empire Medal Investiture on October 9. She was one of six privileged few to receive the prestigious title in the North Yorkshire area. Margaret served as Bishop Monkton Parish Council Clerk for over 40 years.

  • Croquet honour

    Richard Field, Chairman of Bishop Monkton Croquet Club, receiving a Croquet Association Diploma for 'outstanding services to croquet' at the Association's national annual meeting at the Hurlingham Club in London.

  • Produce Show winner

    KEN BARKER receives his award as Overall Winner in this year's Produce Show which was held  at the Village Hall. The presentation was made by Chris Procter, organiser of the show who is now stepping down after organising it for a number of years.

  • 'Good Egg' award

    David Jones, who has been delivering milk round Bishop Monkton for the past 41 years, was awarded the ‘Good Egg’ Award at Stray FM’s Local Heroes awards ceremony.


Running a half marathon through the jungle

Katie Wade, pictured above completing the Brussels half marathon, will soon be running another half marathon in very different conditions - in the jungle of Sierra Leone!
Go to "NEWS/A very special trip" to find what takes Paul and Katie Wade to West Africa.
Click here for more details and to make a Donation

The Best Bike Ride ever!

The big Rotary Bike Ride, which used Bishop Monkton Village Hall for its start and finish, took 446 riders on a 100k route and raised £22,000 for charity.
Of this half will go to Dementia Forward and Scleroderma Research and the remainder will go to charities chosen by Ripon Rotary Club.
Another very successful event, the third organised by the Ripon Club,which some participants described as ‘The best organised Bike Ride ever!’

Christian Aid Week
Villagers will have received this year's Christian Aid envelopes and are asked to support this worthy cause.
This year you are asked to return  your envelope yourself to the Untied Eucharist Service at the Parish Church at 10.30am on Sunday, May 19 OR direct to The Vicarage.
You are also asked to sign the gift aid declaration if you are eligible.


Hog Roast
Lesley Shervington is seeking volunteers to give an hour in the tea rooms on Hog Roast Day from noon until 4pm.  She would also be very grateful for donations of cakes and scones to sell in the tea rooms.  Please email or leave a message on 01765 677564. 
Table Top Sale: tables are free to hire. Contact Angie Archbold 677834 to reserve a table.

Two new councillors co-opted

Two new councillors have been co-opted to join Bishop Monkton Parish Council. They are Ken Harper and George Ayliffe.
Three applications were received for the two vacancies and the two named were chosen solely on their application forms due to not all candidates being in attendance at the meeting.
The new appointments return the Council to six members. Stephen Verrill has been appointed Vice Chairman..
For more click on PARISH COUNCIL/PC minutes.

Anyone for tennis?


Focus on hedgehogs

A talk on Hedgehog Awareness was given at Bishop Monkton Village Hall 
by Jacqui Morell of Ripon Hedgehog Rescue (H.A.P.P.Y. on Facebook) and provided information on how she helps ill and/or injured hedgehogs and what we can do on a local level to help our prickly friends who have diminished by 97% since 1950.

Fancy a walk?

Now that spring is here many of us will be looking for local walks. A useful guide has been produced entitled 'Bishop Monkton Walks' which costs just £1 and can be bought at the Lamb & Flag or the Masons Arms.
How to hire our Village Hall

Villagers and outsiders often need to find a good venue for an event they are planning.
If so, you could not do better than look at our own Bishop Monkton Village Hall which has recently undergone many enhancements and which is likely to meet your every need.
Click here to find out more.
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Click below to find what the local weather has in store.

For amenities, costs, availability, etc Click Here

Editor: Richard Field, BCAc
Assistant to the Editor: Pat Field
Technical  Adviser: Martin Minett

If you wish to contact Richard
on matters concerning this site, 
Table Tennis, Croquet or Life Savers
please use the following e-mail
Table Tennis:
Life Savers:


Saturday 18 May 2019
Visits to site since launch in 2005: 
Log ins yesterday: 420

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: Friday, 30 Sept 2016
Reached 400,000 hits:Wednesday,12 July 2017
Reached 500,000 hits:  Friday,14 September 2018

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