Opinion: Birstall Chamber of Trade chairwoman Anne Thompson

HAPPY HELPERS Pat Thornes, Anne Thompson, Nichola Bishop and Dave Chilvers. (d626a449)
HAPPY HELPERS Pat Thornes, Anne Thompson, Nichola Bishop and Dave Chilvers. (d626a449)
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Unusually, I’ve really struggled with the words to start my column this month. There have been so many highs and lows this year that it’s been difficult to sum them up.

In common with all small communities in Kirklees, Birstall has had its share of problems and some would argue communities like ours face more than their fair share in the next couple of years.

Last month I attended a district committee meeting at which the challenges facing all of us were discussed. We were asked for ideas on how our communities could rise to these challenges. It didn’t matter how whacky the ideas were. So here’s a thought for all our local politicians –set aside your differences and the political blame games and resolve to work together for the good of us all.

The Chamber of Trade’s motto is Working Together and we’ve certainly lived up to that this year. We’ve held numerous fundraisers such as quiz nights, race nights and the summer fair, and as a result have been able to donate £800 to the Royal British Legion and Help for Heroes, contribute £700 to the Christmas lights switch on and put up 30 Christmas trees.

None of this could have been done without the generous support of local traders, and the unfailing support of the people in our community who attend the events.

I have to thank all our members, particularly Pat at High Ridings Travel, Jill at Fashion Workroom, Michael at Seaspray, retired butcher Alan Walker, Karen at Watsons, Elaine at Woody’s Preserves, Hilary and Ian Wainwright, Anjie at the Pet Shop, Nicola at Bishops, Dave and Andy at the Cobbles, Dave Chilvers, Carolyn at Brearleys solicitors, David and Pam at the Oakwell Motel, our electrician David Exley and our builder Jack Crossley .

Planning for next year’s events starts in January and we’d love to hear from you with any ideas, or if you’d like to be involved. Post on the Birstall Chamber of Trade or Be Proud of Birstall Facebook pages, or email pat@high-ridings-travel.co.uk.

I can’t let the year go by without mentioning the work of the Birstall In Bloom team that keeps the village looking so lovely, and to thank them for giving us such a beautiful Remembrance Garden.

There are lots of things I love about Birstall, but above them all are its people. It only remains for me thank you all for continuing to support of the village, and its shops and businesses – and to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.