Saturday, 26 December 2015

Ribble Valley

Ribble Valley is the largest district in Lancashire, in terms of area, and the majority of this is designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. You will be sure to find velvet green valleys, commanding fells and heather strewn moorland amongst the breath-taking scenery of picturesque countryside. Ribble Valley is also home to the Forest of Bowland which is itself, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

The Forest of Bowland offers plenty of opportunity for walking, cycling, fishing and horse riding and can offer some of the most remote and rugged walking in the North West, including the Tolkien Trail, which takes you in the footsteps of J.R.R Tolkien. The Pendle Witch Trail follows the route taken by the witches from their Pendleside villages passing through some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.

At 300 square miles, the ageless landscape of rural Lancashire appears almost bypassed by time. There are two market towns, Clitheroe and Longridge, along with 44 villages, who attract visitors that return time and time again to experience the historic area.

Discover the heritage contained within, ancient castles, atmospheric ruins, stunning architecture and nostalgic storytelling. Visit Clitheroe Castle, which has over 800 years of history and provides stunning views of Clitheroe town and the stunning Ribble Valley countryside. Try Whalley Abbey where the tranquil grounds are home to ruins of the large 14th century Cistercian abbey of Stanlow. Have a wonder around Sawley Abbey, with history dating back to 1147. Take a drive to Stonyhurst College which is renowned as one of the most stunning architectural sites in the north of England. Relax and hit the shops in Clitheroe before tackling Pendle Hill where you can learn the 400 year story of witchcraft.

Ribble Valley is easily acessible by public transport with regular bus and train services. There are also excellent motorway links from the M6 and M65.

Ribble Valley is a great place to visit for food lovers as it fast becomes known for local culinary delights and first class hospitality. Clitheroe is also developing into Lancashire's Food Town. Each August, it hosts a Food Festival and don't forget to try the Ribble Valley Food Trail when you visit.

We're looking forward to welcoming you!

Monday, 21 December 2015

Ribchester Museum

Ribchester Museum was an idea conceived by Margaret Greenall, who was originally from Warrington and a member of the famous brewing family. Her objective was clear - to stem the flow of artefacts out of the village that had occurred ever since Ribchester was recognised as a site of special historic interest. Miss Greenall opened The Ribchester Museum of Roman Antiquities in 1915.

When the original Museum opened, there was just one room, until a temporary prefabricated extension was opened in the 1960s. This annexe increased the Museum's storage area and allowed more space for displays, which was suffice, until the 1980s when its condition had seriously deteriorated. A plan to rectify this was developed and by 1990 the Museum had been completely revamped. A new two-story extension to the rear was built which connected the Museum to the adjoining cottage. The cottage was previously the incumbent curator's residence, and the decision was made to incorporate it into the Museum. These developments were undertaken under the auspices of Ribchester Museum Trust, which had been formed from the Museum committee following the National Trust's decision to relinquish the property after almost seventy years of ownership.

The Museum reopened in 2001, after under going the most ambitious redevelopment scheme in its history. Using funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, European funding and grants assistance from other supportive organisations, it was extended once more, this time incorporating the adjacent building which was vacant, adding a new wing which was opposite the original Museum. The permanent exhibition was replaced by striking, informative and modern displays, which included displaying the most interesting objects from the 1989 excavation in St Wilfrid's Graveyard for the first time. Behind the scenes facilities were improved and access and education issues were addressed.

The Museum celebrated it's Centenary year in 2014, which saw the return of the Ribchester Helmet on loan from the British Museum and the unveiling of a new interactive 3D model of the fort and vicus which allows visitors to explore a reconstructed fort, bathhouse and neighbouring settlement.

Friday, 18 December 2015

A message from the Captains.

Anxiety UK works to relieve and support those living with anxiety disorders by providing information, support and understanding via an extensive range of services, including 1:1 therapy, guide booklets, phone and internet chat lines.
They campaign to raise awareness and work regularly with external agencies and healthcare professionals to improve services for those living with anxiety disorders, panic attacks and phobias.
Established in 1970 demand for its services have grown significantly and are likely to grow even more.

Monies raised during the year will amongst other things go towards a locally targeted awareness scheme. The charity has also just started a major initiative aimed at helping those in or just out of higher education.

Please take the time at some point to have a look at their website and see the good work they do.

We know we can reply on your generous support but to help along the way we have decided to re-introduce 2 initiatives and we ask all members to help police them.

Members whose ball lands in any pond or bunker are asked to make a small contribution of 10 pence (or more if you wish) to the charity. Collection tins will be placed in the golf shop and in the club bar.

Secondly, some of you will remember a time where a penalty or fine of £1 was applied when a members mobile phone rang in the bar. Phones can of course be turned to silent or vibrate only mode and subsequently picked up and answered outside the bar.

Therefore, any member whose phone rings or alerts out loud in the bar should be encouraged to pay £1 contribution to the charity (monies to be placed in the collection tin in the bar).

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Clitheroe Christmas Festival 2015

Even with the torrential downpours, the Clitheroe Christmas Festival was anything but a washout!

Organised by members of Clitheroe Chamber of Trade and Commerce, they decided to go ahead despite another local Christmas Fair having to cancel due to the great British weather.

Daniel Williams, president of Clitheroe Chamber of Trade and Commerce, said ''The weather was awful, but we rearranged a few things and battled on and the day does go down as a success. Everyone who braved the weather enjoyed the event and the idea was to bring people into town shopping and if ever there was a day we needed that, it was this Saturday! I'd like to thank the whole team for all their efforts and everyone who came to support us on the day.''

The festival featured a visit from Father Christmas who was seen arriving on a train from Blackburn and Olaf, the much-loved snowman from the Disney film Frozen.

Entertainment was provided by a range of singers including Grace Davies, Arthur Geldard and Xanthe and James. Also braving the weather were Clitheroe Ukelele Band who performed close to the Rose and Crown pub on Castle Street, where refreshments in the form of a hog roast, mulled wine and mince pies were served.

The Atrium Cafe at Clitheroe Castle was home to Santa and his grotto for the day and Britain's Got Talent star Ella Shaw was in fine voice to sing Santa on his merry way at the end of the day.

The annual Walking Nativity from Clitheroe Parish Church to the crib at the castle gates was once again led by Rev. Andy Froud, who commented ''We thought long and hard about cancelling the Walking Nativity due to the dreadful weather. The alternative would have been to re-enact the story of Noah. As it happened, an amazing number of families appeared so I'm glad we kept to plan. I'd like to thank the team from the Clitheroe Chamber of Trade for all their hard work and for keeping the faith!''

Local pupils from St James's CE Primary School in Clitheroe and St Mary's RC Primary School in Langho provided carol singing throughout the day.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Forest of Bowland is Recognised Nationally with Dark Sky Discovery Site Status

Picture the scene, a frosty, winter's evening wrapped in an inky darkness with sprinkles of starlight, in awe of a wonderful view as the cosmos magically reveals itself in the wondrous dark skies of Bowland.

Thanks to a national initiative, there is no better time to explore Bowland's dark skies. It has recently been awarded the Dark Sky Discovery Site status for four sites in the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Recognised by the Dark Sky Discovery Partnership, managed by the Science and Technology Facilities Council UK Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh,  Dark Sky Discovery Sites are places within the UK that are both dark and easily accessible, but where it is possible to observe the spectacle of the Milky Way or the constellations, such as Orion, with the naked eye.

Forest of Bowland Sustainable Tourism Officer, Hetty Byrne had been quoted as saying ''We're delighted to join the Dark Sky Discovery Partnership's growing network of sites which highlight the best spots to see the night skies in the UK. The AONB, as part of its sustainable tourism developments, put forward four sites for approval by the Dark Sky Discovery programme - Beacon Fell Country Park, Crook O'Lune Picnic Site, Gisburn Forest Hub and Slaidburn Village Car Park. They are accessible sites, with good sight-lines and relatively low light pollution, giving people the best possible conditions to just turn up and see the stars on a clear night.''

Robert Ince, a local physicist has been working closely with ANOB to assess the night skies, to see how they are affected by light pollution and identified the best and darkest places to star gaze. Local authorities and land owners were also involved in the process to gain their support for the project.

Robert will be working with the ANOB during 2016, offering a series of star gazing events and workshops through the Festival Bowland programme. Robert explains, '' I love showing people the night skies, in the Forest of Bowland you can literally see thousands of stars; It has a real wow factor! Everyone can enjoy stargazing with a pair of binoculars and some basic information on how to get started, including star maps. During 2016 we'll be running a series of events at Discovery site locations - during the spring when glittering star clusters and magnificent constellations like Orion grace the sky, and in autumn when the Milky Way is overhead and meteor showers like the Perseids can put on an amazing show.''

Friday, 11 December 2015

Favourite Christmas Tracks Revealed

A recent survey of the most popular Christmas tracks played in shops, nightclubs, pubs and hotels has shown vintage songs to be top of the list.

Music licensing body PPL, state Band Aid's Do They Know it's Christmas (2014) topped the chart, with The Pogues' Fairytale of New York in second and Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas is You in third.

Contemporary tracks only creep in, on the back of marketing campaigns such as John Lewis's Christmas advert in 2014 which pushed Tom Odell's version of Real Love into the chart at number nine.

The PPL most played Christmas tracks are:

1. Do They Know It's Christmas? (2014) - by Band Aid 30
2. Fairytale of New York - by The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl
3. All I Want For Christmas Is You - by Mariah Carey
4. Driving Home For Christmas - by Chris Rea
5. Last Christmas - by Wham!
6. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday - by Wizzard
7. Merry Xmas Everybody - by Slade
8. Merry Christmas Everyone - by Shakin' Stevens
9. Real Love - by Tom Odell
10. Wonderful Christmas Time - by Paul McCartney

What's your favourite Christmas song?

Mine has to be Fairytale of New York by The Pogues - although, I'm a sucker for them all!

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Welcome to Excellence

Several employees here at Mytton Fold Hotel & Golf Club attended a nationally recognised Welcome to Excellence training course provided by The Via Partnership. From management and reception, chefs, gardeners, waitresses and house keepers, all functions of the business were assembled to take advantage of the 'Welcome Host Gold' customer service course.

The course was promoted by the Ribble Valley Tourism Association and the Ribble Valley Borough Council with the aim of improving our visitor numbers through excellence customer service. Welcome Host Gold helps participants get up to speed with the latest techniques, legation and best practices within the customer service sector. It also helps to give an insight into customer expectations and ways in which to consistently deliver the highest levels of customer service.

Having attended the customer service training, they had the knowledge to complete the City and Guilds Level 2 Award in Customer Service Delivery in the Workplace which included a variety of tasks including written questions and workplace observations and were awarded certificates for their efforts.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Turkeys safe for a week!

The weather took its toll on Saturday and again on Sunday with no play at all, but we can report on a winning combination by Mytton Fold Golf Club members in the Maxitours Competition at Dunham Forest Thursday last week.

Tim Maxwell writes: ''The ever present pairing of Richard Palmer (11) and John Farnsworth (21). These guys have not won together for a couple of barren years and were delighted to see their fair share of putts fall in on the excellent Dunham greens. They scored an amazing Maxitours record 27 points on the back nine. Well played chaps-great golf!'' The 27 points included three birdies and a two on the eleventh hole.

Re-arranged Turkey Shoot Date

This has been re-arranged for this Saturday 12th December - 10am Shotgun Start.

Men's competition is a Stableford competition 16 holes 75% of your 8/9th's summer handicap (Handicaps published on notice board).
Prize table for men from first to tenth place. Ladies separate Stableford Competition.

If you entered the competition for last week, you will be automatically entered for this week's date. If you did not enter last week and wish to play, please contact the Golf Shop to make a booking. Anyone who cannot play on the new date, please also advise the Golf Shop.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Presentation Night: a Night to Remember

An entertaining evening awaited Mytton Golf members, family and friends at the annual presentation night.
All celebrated the great and the good of Mytton Fold, who collected their hard won trophies from this year's competitions.
Excellent farewell speeches from retiring Captains; Mick Bryan and Ann Almond. It was with great pride they presented a cheque for £3087 to East Lancs Hospice, well done to everyone that has contributed to the Charity this year.
We wish all the best to Nick Avino and Tarja Wilson, in their year in the spotlight as Mens' and Ladies' Captain. Their first Captains' task was to announce next year's charity; Anxiety UK. A collection box will be in the bar for your sand and water incursions in the coming year, please give generously for your errant shots. 
Nick revealed that for the coming season there will be a new trophy up for grabs: the ''Birdie Trophy'' to be won by the player with most birdies achieved in the competitive season.
Well done to all of this year's Board Winners.
* Steve Worrall - Pros Winter Series
* Steve Worrall / Steve James - Captains Drive in Millennium Trophy
* Richard Palmer - Founder Lady Captains
* Wyane Ivinson - Pharman Cup
* Richard Palmer - Founder Captains Trophy
* Angus Barr - Queens Jubilee Cup
* Jan Van Boeckel - Frank Hargreaves Memorial
* David Hargreaves - Frank Hargreaves Memorial Seniors
* Ray Standring - Cavalier Putter
* Wayne Ivinson - Captains Prize
* Gary Ashton - Presidents Trophy
* Matt Oakley - Roger Osliffe Memorial
* Craig Hall - Bill Almond Memorial
* Frank Hindle - Bill Almond Memorial Seniors
* Carole Maher / Mick Bryan - Mixed Doubles Champions
* Ray Standring / Dave Griffith - Mens Doubles Champions
* Gary Aldred - Matchplay Champion
* Matt Oakley - Champion of Champions
* Matt Oakley - Order of Merit
* Chris Chadwick - Club Champion
* Brenda Griffith - Founder Lady Captains
* Brenda Griffith - Lady Captain's Trophy
* Brenda Griffith - Queens Jubilee Cup
* Brenda Griffith - Ladies Single Champion
* Tarja Wilson - Lady Captains Drive In
* Brenda Griffith - Frank Hargreaves Memorial
* Carole Maher - Bill Almond Memorial
* Brenda Griffith - Order Of Merit
* Katie Maher - Frank Hargreaves Memorial
And finally...
Licensee Mick Mahon, stalwart scorer at Whalley Cricket Club, has been announced as the Captain Elect for 2017. Bookies favourite for this year was Brenda Griffiths, who was announced as Ladies Captain Elect.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Clodagh upsets the Plodder's (Late risers at least)

With the weather forecast issued for the weekend being so poor from lunchtime Saturday, it was the early risers who profited from the clear skies with Steve Korab (11) securing first place with a level par 32 points. Much travelled pair of Keith Fitzhenry and Garry Davies scored 31 points with Keith going further on the last six to take second place. With conditions deteriorating during the morning, four members carded ''Waterlogged Cards''. Sunday saw Malcolm (green-keeper) having to wade across the 10th in his wellies.

In the winter pairs, some mouth watering scores saw John Welch (14) and Wayne Iverson (4) record 40 points - a real splash when some greens were partially under water. This edged out Richard Greaves (18) and Gary Aldred (10) into second on 39 points. Third came new Captain Nick Avino (14) and partner Martin Holden (11) with 37 points.

Friday, 4 December 2015

Whalley Pickwick Night

Thursday 3rd December 2015 saw the 27th Whalley Pickwick night held in the village between 6 and 9pm. Preston North end footballer Joe Garner, who hails from Whalley, and charity worker Naomi Eastham from Billington, officially opened this year's celebration.

Kiki deVille, who featured on BBC's The Voice in 2014, was also on stage show-casing her vintage swing / blues style voice. As well as being part of Will-i-am's team in the hit series, she has also performed at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Ribcaged Productions performed a mini-panto on stage while other attractions included a reindeer and barrel organs.

Now in it's 27th year, the festival is held in the Ribble Valley village and attracts more than 5,000 people who enjoy the attractions and stalls that line King Street,

This year's stalls featured a range of festive treats including, decorations, festive wreaths and mulled wine.

Accrington Pipe Band and Darwen Brass also preformed in the village. Whalley Old Grammar School was open, to allow visitors to browse the Local History Exhibition, including Jean Lord's special model display of how the main street looked in Victorian times.

For more details, please visit

Boing Boing Baggies

Like father, like son! Not only did he impress in 2015 at Mytton Fold Golf Club but Craig Hall then invites his father, Adrian, a West Bromwich Albion FC fan (like his son) and a member at Waterfront Golf Course, Rotherham (playing off a 25 handicap) who ends up winning Captain Mick Bryan's day out at Dean Wood Golf Course with 39 points. Last season, the Baggies won little away from the Hawthorns; this season, just like Adrian, has seen the Baggies win away at Stoke, Aston Villa and Norwich; and now Dean Wood Golf Course!

Always great entertainment Mytton Fold Golf Course Captain's Day, Mick Bryan used this last event of his year to bring great frivolity to his three playing partners and the watching masses. His play from the tee with his driver is usually reliable but an eye-watering TEN YARDS at Dean Wood will be remembered and noted for future opportunities!

The Captain dug deep to present some great prizes, the best received was for Kevin Shanley who recorded a creditable 21 points on the front nine holes. So pleased with his win, he was still regaling in his success in the Whalley Chip Shop on Saturday evening!

Many thanks to the Captain for organising the event and prizes .... and for remembering his Captain's Green jacket!

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Aviva Tour of Britain boost for Ribble Valley

Ribble Valley and Pendle held Stage Two of the Aviva Tour of Britain cycle race in September and it has been reported, the local economy was boosted by £2.1 million.

Pendle and Ribble Valley Borough Council's worked together to bring Stage Two, to the Ribble Valley, which began on Clitheroe and finished in Colne on September 7th.

Local businesses reaped the benefits according to an independent analysis which was carried out on behalf of SweetSpot, organiser of the Tour.

The report highlights that an estimated 180,000 spectators attended the event, with 25% coming from outside the North West.

Other findings include:

  • 91% described the race as 'very enjoyable' and gave it a rating of 4.5 out of 5.
  • 67% of spectators were inspired to cycle more often.
  • 38% came with their families
  • day visitors spent an average of £45.66 per group and overnight visitors spent an average of £72.24 per group on food and drink, entertainment, local travel, shopping and other activities.
  • 11% of visitors stayed overnight.
Tour organisers have described Stage Two as 'having the most exciting finishes of all this year's stages', and was broadcast in 129 countries worldwide.

Ribble Valley featured in the local, regional and national media, national cycling magazines and on local and regional television and radio.

Ribble Valley Borough Council leader Stuart Hirst said: 'The Tour of Britain was an ambitious undertaking by Ribble Valley and Pendle Councils, and our respective communities pulled out the stops to make the event a success.'

'The event attracted a spectacular number of spectators and showcased the two boroughs to a national and international audience.'

'As these figures show, we are reaping the benefits in terms of a significant encomic boost and indications are that there have been repeat visits to our two boroughs from spectators, as well as visitor enquiries from across the world.'

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Christmas in Numbers

This festive season will see us Brits consume more than 6,500 tonnes of Christmas pudding across the country in November and December, 500 times the weight of Big Ben, and this is just in hotels alone!

Britain's leading purchasing company Beacon, have found consumers will be served around 507 tonnes of turkey every day during November and December, alongside 9.9 million chipolatas and 500 tonnes of stuffing. In addition to the traditional festive turkey, hotels are also expected to serve more than 312 tonnes of fillet steak a day, showing that turkey may not always be the most popular choice.

Just Christmas week alone, this equates to 3,550 tonnes of turkey, 69.6 million chipolatas, 2,18 tonnes of fillet steak and 350 tonnes of stuffing. Joining turkey and fillet steak on our Christmas menus this year is pork, which saw a rise in popularity last year by 1.9%.

I wonder how many sprouts the kitchen need to peel?