Mrs Catherine Moulson
Catherine has lived in Meltham for well over 50 years, since her marriage to her late husband Dennis.
She is and has been very actively involved in village organisations for pretty much all her life, taking a leading role in all of them from time to time.
Her interest in them has never diminished, and we list below her continued work.
Meltham Church (St. Bartholomew’s)
She has been Deputy Church Warden for many years and sacrist, roles which she continues to fulfil. She is an “ever present,” doing many other jobs that need doing but get neglected, or people simply leave it to her knowing she gets things done. She sings in the church choir and must have been a member for many years.
She is a member of both the Church Council of St. Bartholomew’s and of the Parochial Church Council which covers the 4 Anglican churches in Meltham. She is a pastoral care visitor.
She continues as Secretary and Speaker Finder, a position she has held for many years.
She is a member of the Meltham branch, I believe since its inception.
She has been involved since its inception about 15 years ago, as a committee member and supervisor and regularly can be seen in the shop after closing time, sorting, clearing and marking up garments.
Gilbert and Sullivan Society
For many years she has been actively involved in some official capacity. The cry is “Ask Catherine, she will know.”
Meltham Moor School
One area of her interests which gives her great satisfaction is to be with children. To this end since ceasing work as a dinner lady at the school 14 years ago, she attends school at least half a day a week to hear children read and do other basic assignments to encourage children.
Meltham Cricket Club
For many years a great supporter of the club by helping with cricket teas and baking. In the season she will be at the match for some part of the time or delivering food prior to the match.
Catherine is a skilled flower arranger and people call on her skills for particular functions or special events and often she does the labour without charge.
Catherine’s interests embrace so much of Meltham life that frankly we wonder that she ever has time for herself or family. She is caring and considerate and puts others, in most cases before herself. She is well known and respected.
For a lady who does not like to be in the limelight and totally enjoys being a key and essential backroom worker, we believe that a Pride in Meltham Award would be deserved and well received.
Words by John and Celia Mitchell.
Mr Nigel Priestley
Nigel is Senior Partner at Ridley and Hall, Solicitors in Huddersfield. He has specialised in family and community care and has won a national reputation for his advocacy of grandparents in care proceedings. He won the Law Society Highly Commended Solicitor of the Year in 2008 and in 2010 he was named Solicitor of the Year in the National Excellence Awards.
His friendship with John Bakanoba led to a connection with Uganda which resulted in the creation of a twinning link between the Huddersfield Law Society and the Uganda Law Society. This provides resources and training for Ugandan Lawyers.
As well as his lengthy service on Meltham Town Council, (ending in May 2011), Nigel has also been a long serving lay reader at St James Church, Meltham Mills. He was for a time the Town Crier of Meltham.
Mr Melvyn Gibson
We have an unsung hero in our community: Melvyn Gibson, or Mel, as he likes to be known. Some years ago he had a dream to build Meltham Greenway on the old railway line from Station Street, heading out towards Meltham Mills.
From his campaigning beginnings with a small group of volunteers, this seed has blossomed into a fully used countryside walkway and cycle path for the villagers of Meltham and surrounding areas. The Greenway was officially opened in May 2008, and now attracts visitors from all over the country.
Mel could quite easily have sat back and congratulated himself on a job well done: but no, he was on to his next project. He noticed that many youngsters were taking up skateboarding, but had nowhere suitable to practice. So he has taken up the challenge to provide a skateboard park in Meltham.
Mel, with the help of Clr Lyons, has procured funding of £72,000 from the Holme Valley North Area Committee (Kirklees), and a further £20,000 from Meltham Town Council, to start the ball rolling. He has met with 30 youngsters to get their ideas on the skate park, and hopes to be drawing up plans for completion in the very near future.
The youngsters of Meltham have always been short of entertainment locally (as I well remember from my youth) and so our hero has been a long time coming. Long may you continue Mel, and a big thank you from us all!
Words by Clr Jean Wrathall.
Mrs Shirley Watson
As some of you may be aware Shirley Watson is retiring from Meltham Town Council where she has served for the past 28 years.
Shirley was born in Meltham and has lived here for most of her life. She worked as a cook at Helme C of E school, where she worked for 25 years. Shirley has been a member of Helme Church and has organised many events there i.e., charity auctions, meals, harvest suppers. With the help of the Reverend Mark Bishop a group called the Top teens was started and it successfully engaged younger members in the church. Being a church warden for 11 years Shirley has arranged many marriages and christenings.
Shirley was elected on to Meltham Town Council as a Lib-Dem 28 years ago. However, she has been an
Independent councillor for the past six years, as she felt that she had more freedom to help the community by not being affiliated to a political party.
Although life as a Town Councillor was busy Shirley still found time to invest in more community events. She was one of the founder members of the Meltham Carnival Committee, Helme Young Wives, the Mothers Union and now Helme Ladies. She has worked in the Cross Roads shop. She was one of the founder members of the Carlile Street Luncheon club and together with a group of young mums fought very hard to get the zebra crossing in Meltham. She worked tirelessly with the Meltham enhancement group and was one of the founder members working to ensure we could all enjoy the wonderful flowers which are displayed in hanging baskets every year.
Shirley (with a lot of help from Mr Roy Bastow) was the instigator of the Over 60’s club. The group started with 10 members and now has up to 140 members.
Unfortunately Shirley has had to retire from the Council due to ill health which she has struggled with for the past four years. It is plain for all to see that Mrs Shirley Watson has been a stalwart of our community for so many years. It is difficult for Shirley to accept that due to her illness she is no longer able to deal with the rigorous demands that she has previously undertaken. On behalf of the Township of Meltham we would like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Shirley.
Shirley will continue to be involved and active in the community and looks forward to the’ younger generation’ taking over where she left off.
Words by Clr Pat Maxfield.