Jack Yates is a member of Meltham Methodist Church and in the 1960’s became good friends with John Bakanoba who also joined the church. John had moved to Meltham from his village in Uganda and together they started to raise funds for a charity which provides foster care and schooling for orphaned children in Kyema. Jack, who is an avid poet, decided to publish a book of poems entitled “60 years, Dad and other poems” to raise funds for the scheme. He is also a keen photographer and has taken numerous photos around the village which he makes into greeting cards and sells them at local functions. Over the years Jack and John Bakanoba raised thousands of pounds for the Mustard Seed Project (as it was called) and this provided a well, an electricity supply and a community centre for Kyema in Uganda.
To read Jack’s poetry is definitely uplifting and his cards and witty bookmarks are a treat to behold! I feel that he has “missed his way” by not having his poetry published nationally. He also likes to “tread the boards” and the last time I saw him he made a wonderful pantomime dame!
We mustn’t forget the superb coach holidays that Jack has organised and run for many years now which are still going strong. He always seems to find interesting places to stay, with good hotels and the holiday is always filled with humour. He also provides a photographic history of the holiday for your scrapbook.
Jack has also produced the scrap book of press cuttings for the village for many years. Up until very recently, he came to the Town Hall and methodically went through the Huddersfield Examiner to collect press cuttings for any articles mentioning our parish area and filled scrap books with these. The scrap books are held in the Town Hall and provide a valuable reference point and interesting look at our social history through the ages. Unfortunately, Jack has recently decided to give up this job and we are looking for a replacement – something which will be very hard to achieve. Jack is such a lovely and kind gentleman and should be rewarded for his services to the village of Meltham and Wilshaw.
Janet Rockett has been involved with all aspects of voluntary work in the village for decades. At the current time we know she is involved with Helme Church, the Helme Ladies Group, Meltham Crossroads Project, a Director of Meltham Sports and Recreation Centre, part time teaching and goodness knows what else. A very capable and willing lady who we think is well deserved of this award.
Ken Crowther is a founding member and chairman, being the principle driver and co-founder of the Deacon Close Tenants & Residents committee, ably assisted by Charles Woodbridge. There is little doubt that without his leadership and persistence the newly formed organisation wouldn’t have been so successful. Although he would say: “That without the support from Irene and the residents he couldn’t have achieved so much.” Their successes have ranged from initially battling hard to save their community centre building from being taken for conversion into accommodation by Kirklees Council, and transforming it into the great place it has become.
Since achieving the building, he has been foremost in gaining grants from the council. Moreover not content with raising money for the centre he has organised fund-raising events, including summer fetes to Christmas markets for many local and national charities, including the Leanne Baker Trust and MacMillan nurses. The centre also has social afternoon activities, with Tia-Chi Games Day, Friend-to-Friend meetings and history group meetings.
In the past he was a shop steward at David Browns and a housing representative on KNH. He organised the Meltham and surrounding area Darts & Dominoes League, which included all the pubs and clubs in Meltham and surrounding areas, which gave donations to Meltham Pensioners Annual Tea for many years. Besides which he still managed to captain his team and play darts & dominoes in the Holme Valley League.
Meltham Walkers are Welcome
Meltham Walkers are Welcome – represented here by Christine Senior and Ann Jurczyszyn.
The walking group is a great success and a real credit to the organisers. It offers up to 3 walks a month and the numbers attending are impressive giving members of the local community, and further afield, an opportunity to explore the Meltham area.
It offers really important access to community fellowship in a healthy way.
The group is also involved in researching the history of the Meltham Mills pleasure ground.
Norman Mellor - Meltham's Fund Raising Music Man
Norman who delights in organising concerts for charities and during the past 45 years must have organised the best part of a hundred. Having raised over £10,000 for his favourite the ‘Forget me not Trust’ besides helping their support groups with their fund-raising concerts. Other charities include The Smile Train and the Yorkshire Cancer Research and assisting concerts for other charities. Furthermore, among his early concerts were for the Asthma Group, besides being chairman, also raising funds for the chest clinic at Huddersfield Infirmary.
For over 10 years together with his wife Vera, organised Christmas concerts, in Holmfirth’s Civic Hall, for children’s charities, ably assisted by Honley Male Voice Choir and the valley’s brass bands. Despite suffering recent leg problems he produces a show each year for Honley MVC funds, held in the Southgate Theatre. He has been signing in the choir for over 45 years, also encouraging and helping would be singers wherever he went. He has been guest with many other choirs including The Silver Ring, Bolstertone, Houghton Main, Driffield and several times with the Featherstone and Sharlstone choirs, besides a number of ladies choirs. His high profile performance, was singing solo in a packed Royal Albert Hall with the backing of 1400 singers along with two of the very best – at that time – brass bands, The Yorkshire Building Society and Sellers International who also accompanied him for Old Man River. This was repeated a few months later in Hull, with east coast choirs, in aid of Yorkshire Cancer Research Charity.
Norman and Vera have raised five children and have eight grandchildren who have helped him with the computer to compose his book, which has been written about Norman’s experiences and his perspectives of life. No doubt, his family members will treasure it.
Alan Redfearn and Jean Danson
We had two long serving members of the Town Council retire this year, Alan Redfearn and Jean Danson, both served as Chairs of the Council during the last term and incidental of this, both have been long serving in their commitment to our community. For example both were founding members of Meltham Sports and Community Group (back in the 1990s) and continued as trustees/directors of the Sports and Community Centre at Broadlands for the last 12 years. Jean has been an active member of Meltham Crossroads Shop, Helme Ladies, a walk leader and Walkers are Welcome as well as a host of other things and Alan a big supporter of the Forget me Not trust and organiser in chief of the over 60s Luncheon Club etc. Many of you will know many more examples of their involvement in the community.