COLUMN: Mayor of Boroughbridge’s diary

Coun Liz Vose accepts the Walkers are Welcome certificate on behalf of the town. (S)
Coun Liz Vose accepts the Walkers are Welcome certificate on behalf of the town. (S)
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Coun Liz Vose takes a look at issues affecting the town, including the award of Walkers are Welcome status to Boroughbridge.

Easter is now firmly behind us and I hope you all had an enjoyable break.

We can now hopefully look forward to some better weather in the coming weeks and months. Easter began in the Vose household on Good Friday when family and friends arrived to spend the weekend with us. On Easter Saturday, David and I attended the official launch of the Festival of Walks being held to celebrate the attainment of the Walkers are Welcome status for Boroughbridge and the Lower Ure Valley and it was an honour to accept the Walkers are Welcome certificate on behalf of the town.

The Walks Group has devised a series of 10 Ure Walks Through Time and leaflets giving more information on each of these walks are available from the Tourist Information Office or Boroughbridge Library. It is one of my aims to complete each of these walks once my term of office as Mayor finishes in May – although whether I can persuade David to accompany me is a different question!

Later on Saturday evening David and I, together with our visitors, had great pleasure in attending a concert in St Andrew’s Church, Aldborough, put on by the Harrogate International Youth Festival.

When the festival started 40 years ago Boroughbridge was one of the first places outside Harrogate to host performances by bands, dancers and choirs, as well as providing refreshments and accommodation. Unfortunately in recent years the town’s involvement has fallen away and so it is particularly encouraging that we are now back on the map. From talking to the organisers I understand that it is intended to continue this involvement in the future – I do hope this is the case as our area has been overlooked for too long.

We also really enjoyed representing the Boroughbridge area at the last night of the Youth Festival at the Royal Hall in Harrogate (see pages 37-39). Once again we were entertained by talented youngsters from many parts of the world who came together to sing, dance and play instruments; all with great style, commitment and a great spirit of getting together which culminated in a tremendous massed band performance to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the festival. Quite brilliant.

Before the concert we were invited to attend a short ceremony to mark the fifth anniversary of the restoration of the Royal Hall and the official opening of the new Heritage Lounge (see pages 8-9) which showcases the history of the Royal Hall as well as an interactive audio-visual system exploring the restoration of the Royal Hall, Harrogate’s spa heritage and the many personalities and performers associated with it.

This week I would like to bring to your attention some further developments of the service offer by the Boroughbridge Area Community Library Association (BACLA).

Since the middle of last year BACLA volunteers have been running the library in St James Square on Wednesday mornings. A dozen or so volunteers have formed an effective, well-trained team which has delivered an effective and friendly library service.

Having found its feet BACLA now feels the time is right to expand a little on the service it offers and so with effect from May 1, BACLA volunteers will be opening the library on Wednesday evenings, from 5 - 7 pm, to allow access to the usual range of services offered in the library to adults whose work commitments do not allow them to make use of these facilities during the day and to students who need the facilities of the library in order to do homework.

These extended opening hours are experimental and will be for a trial period of six months to judge what demand there is. So, if you like the idea of the library being open late afternoon/early evening, please support it!

BACLA is also becoming involved in an initiative at Dishforth Airfield. Every Thursday afternoon from the end of April BACLA volunteers will be providing a service to (predominantly) mums and pre-school children at the community centre on the base, giving them access to books, talking about them, issuing them and reading stories to the children.

As successful libraries now provide more for the community than merely lending out books BACLA is keen to offer something different during the sessions when volunteers are in the library. Unfortunately the library in Boroughbridge is only very small and its size does dictate the sort of activities that BACLA can offer. One suggestion that has been put forward is to make board games available. Scrabble in particular has been mentioned but chess, draughts or any other similar game for two would be equally acceptable.

If you have any interesting and novel ideas which would help BACLA maximise the service it can offer during its Wednesday sessions, bearing in mind the tight confines of the library, then please contact the BACLA secretary, John Helliwell. John can be contacted via email at johnhelliwell604@btinternet.com or you can leave a message for him or any BACLA committee member at the town council office on Hall Square.

Finally, I would just like to reassure the villagers of Aldborough that the town council will be repairing the damage to the Maypole Green and it is hoped that this will have been completed in time for the annual May Day celebrations on May 12.