Mill Bank in Bloom achievements 2002 – 2014
Gold award and ’Best small village in Yorkshire’ 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 in the Yorkshire in Bloom Competition.
The Mill Bank Group
In 2002 the village felt neglected and there was little community activity. The Mill Bank Group was formed to rescue and renovate public areas and undertake activities to improve the quality of life for local people. The first project was to create a community garden from the Methodist graveyard which had been neglected for over forty years. This is now an attractive quiet spot in the heart of the village featuring a village poem by the late Glyn Hughes who used to live in Mill Bank.
The Group is a non profit making organisation run by volunteers and is open to everybody living in and around Mill Bank. Every attempt is made to conserve the best of the past and ensure that developments are sympathetic to the environment and culture of the area.
Mill Bank Group activities and achievements 2002 – 2013
Creation of a Community Garden in the Methodist graveyard
Creation of a kitchen garden for St Mary’s school
Creation of bog and wild flower gardens
Maintenance of Plant boxes around the Village.
Herb Planters in village for use by all villagers
Village name stone erected
Thousands of bulbs planted
Commissioned community poem erected in garden
Area behind name stone re landscaped and maintained
Benches installed in garden and beside stream
Renovation of walls, railings and gates
New rubbish bins installed and maintained
Litter and dog pollution addressed
Christmas lights lit in tree annually
Repairs to banks of stream and wild flowers planted
Bird feeders, bird, bat and butterfly boxes constructed
Mini orchard and soft fruit area planted
Raised veg. beds installed for those without gardens
Maintenance to grit bins, street furniture and phone box
Contact e-mail network of local people set up
Mill Bank Facebook page established
Two books, annual calendars, walks leaflets and newsletters published
A happy working relationship established with St Mary’s School
A bug haven built on the playing fields
Sympathetic and sustainable planting throughout the village.
Coordination of the “Save the bus” Campaign
Work started on establishing the Mill Bank Website.
The experience of people getting together to enhance the environment generates a sense of pride in the local community. The Group also promotes an appreciation of past history and an awareness of place in time. To this end we have produced three social history publications and a ‘Walks about Mill Bank’ leaflet published in 2009. A number of recently established social groups are now flourishing. The group supported a villager with her exhibition at local libraries on the Triangle Women’s Hostel by applying for a grant on her behalf. The exhibition has been a huge success.
Organisation and communication
The group has a management committee and holds an AGM in the autumn. Each year there is a consultation exercise, usually a spring ‘walk-about’ to identify priorities. This year we have undertaken a more detailed consultation exercise. The village notice board is well used and newsletters are circulated quarterly. The two notice boards will be replaced this year by local volunteers. There is an active e mail network for regular volunteers. The Halifax Courier publishes stories of our achievements and the newsletters are available on our Facebook page.
In 2011 the Group completed a community planting project. This was particularly popular and aimed at people who do not have gardens. Raised vegetable beds were installed and a mini orchard was planted. Herb tubs and the soft fruit area for use by all villagers are also popular. Volunteers continue run the school gardening club on Fridays. We plan to establish a History Board in the village tracing the history of the village. This will be supported by the School children and other interested villagers.
Our core work is funded through the sale of the annual village calendar and other merchandise. We need £1,500 p.a. for base activities and grants for special projects are obtained from a variety of sources. We aim to be as self sufficient as possible.
The work of The Group has had a noticeable impact on the village and the local estate agent claims our work has increased the value of properties in the village. People tell us they appreciate our work and we have been rewarded with top awards from Yorkshire in Bloom.