Recent News The Burley Bridge Association, along with Burley Walkers are Welcome, has become a partner organisation for the iWharfe project, which is campaigning to improve the water quality along the whole of its length to the confluence with the River Ouse, Burley comes under Zone 4 as shown below.
The project has evolved from the Ilkley Clean River campaign, and is being coordinated jointly by that group along with the Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust and the Addingham Environment Group in conjunction with community groups along the length of the river. Citizen scientists have been trained to take samples from the river on Monday 24 August, and these will be analysed by laboratories in Lancaster and Wakefield. Results will be published in due course.
Following earlier sampling in Burley Weir undertaken at the same time as upstream in Ben Rhydding and Ilkley, it was found that E.Coli levels were 40 times the recommended Environment Agency level when the river was at normal level, and 50 times the recommended level following heavy rainfall. The Ilkley Clean River Campaign website details a number of incidences of adults, children and dogs becoming ill after swimming in the river at Burley this summer, and recommends avoiding entering the water here at any time.
August 2020 Unfortunately, because of the Corona virus, our AGM was not able to take place as planned in May 2020. Members are invited to catch up on our activities at our Zoom AGM on Tuesday 1st September 2020. Ilkley Clean River campaign We are perturbed at the quality of the water passing through Burley and are delighted to have become active supporters of the campaign for bathing water designation for the River Wharfe. For more information, please click here: https://sites.google.com/view/cleanwharfeilkley/home
February 2020 Bridge engineer to speak at 2020 AGM We are please to announce that Ben Aynsley from GHD will be our speaker at the AGM in May this year. Ben will be able to share up to date information about design improvements he and his colleagues are recommending for the Burley Bridge. He will also talk about other bridge design and construction work GHD has been involved with nationally, including current work in the Lake District replacing flood damaged structures. Please make a note in your diary for what should be a very informative evening: The AGM will be held at Burley Community Library on Wednesday 20 May, starting at 7.30 pm.
January 2020 Burley Bridge Hike is back! A long term favourite on Burley's sporting and recreational calendar, the Burley Bridge Hike, is coming back for one year only in 2020. The Long Distance Walkers Association challenge walk (which is also run by many people!), returns on Saturday 24 October. The 21 mile walk will start at a new venue, Burley Cricket Club, and then follow the original route crossing Ilkley and Addingham Moors to reach Airedale and the Leeds Liverpool Canal, before crossing back to Burley over Burley Moor. Refreshments will be provided before the start, along with pie and peas for all participants on their return. Ilkley Cricket Club will also be opening up their bar in the afternoon to quench thirsts (tea and coffee will also be available!). Bookings will be available shortly via the SiEntries web site. In the meantime, we need volunteers for marshalling duties and to help provide refreshments at two sites on the route as well as before and after the event at Burley Cricket Club. Please consider helping at what will be our major fundraising event of the year!
October 2019 Jazz concert completes a year of music for the bridge An unprecedented year of musical fundraising events by the BBA ended on a high note on 5 October, with three local bands performing at Burley Social Club. It was a fitting venue for this sixth and final concert, given we had started here a year ago with a rock concert. Three local bands generously performed without charge - the Two Rivers Jazz Band, the Band Upstairs, and Chevin Jazz. It was a superb evening with excellent musicianship, a very receptive audience, and raised an impressive £653 towards the bridge.
Thanks go to all the bands, groups, and choirs who have performed for the Burley Bridge Association over the past year in providing such wonderful and memorable entertainment and to everyone who turned up to support the events, whatever the weather! And not forgetting of course the many local businesses who contributed raffle prizes or who displayed posters and sold tickets.
Our fundraising focus for the year ahead will now turn to applying to trusts and foundations. With six successful events under our belt, we now have additional evidence of an excellent level of support from the community to use within our applications.
June 2019 Blog on Burley Fantastic blog from Kate Atkinson on her recent visit to Burley in Wharfedale and in particular the river crossing.
Kate is the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and campaigns for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
Fairfax Singers raise the roof for the bridge An unexpected bonus on 29 June was an offer from the Fairfax Singers to hold a fundraising concert for the bridge. The offer came via one of our members who sings with the choir after they found they had a gap in their performance calendar. A superb evening at the Methodist Church of songs from Elgar, Dvorak, George Gershwin, Cole Porter and many more ensued, along with songs from guest soloist Maddy Podesta. Many thanks to the Fairfax Singers and their Musical Director, Dorothy Hawkshaw, for a wonderful evening raising a brilliant £400
June 2019 New company to take forward final design work A major step forward was announced by trustees following the committee meeting of 4 June, with the appointment of GHD to undertake final design and development work for the bridge with a view of working with the BBA through to the construction phase of the project. Three companies, including Ramboll UK who undertook the initial design work, were considered by trustees for the task, with presentations made to trustees by two local companies during April. After careful assessment of the proposals and benefits of working with each company for the final phase of the project, trustees passed a motion unanimously appointing GHD. One of the key factors was the benefits of working with a company with a strong local presence (they have offices in Leeds), as well as a senior member of the company living in Burley. Further meetings, including a site meeting are being planned. Watch this space for more information!
May 2019 O'Hooley and Tidow bring Gentleman Jack to Burley! The Queens Hall was the venue for a unique and very special opportunity to see nationally acclaimed folk due, O'Hooley and Tidow on 11 May. Nominated for Radio 2 'Best Duo' in 2018, Huddersfield based Belinda and Heidi sang a selection of songs from their impressive collection of self-penned material, finishing with a rousing version of 'Gentleman Jack'. This is featured as the theme song for the BBC1 period drama about the life, times and loves of the remarkable Anne Lister, business woman from Shibden Hall, Halifax. BBA members and supporters filled the hall, along with fans of the group. We are grateful to Cate Perman from Burley Parish Council for running an excellent bar through the evening, and to Booths and Tescos for raffle prizes. Income from the evening, including bar and raffle topped £1300, so a superb result all round!
April 2019 Steeton Male Voice Choir sing for the bridge Another great turn out by members and supporters who were fully entertained by the superb Steeton Male Voice Choir at St. Mary's Church on 13 April. Featuring guest soloists (singing in Welsh and French!), as well as soloists from within the choir, the programme ranged from folk to male voice standards to songs from the shows and more! Thanks go the choir, the musicians, their impressive 'behind the scenes' support people, and to all the BBA volunteers who made the evening such a success in the beautiful setting of St Mary's.
December 2018 Fundraising events for 2019 Two events have been planned for Spring 2019. Please make a note in your calendar, or better still buy tickets now! Upcoming Events
Firstly, Steeton Male Voice Choir, one of the best choirs in Yorkshire (and now stars of the silver screen!) will perform at St. Mary's Parish Church on Saturday 13 April. The church has great acoustics which should show off this fantastic choir's repertoire to the very best effect.
Secondly, folk artists Belinda O'Hooley and Heidi Tidow will perform at the Queens Hall on Saturday 11 May. Belinda and Heidi were nominated for the Radio 2 folk award 'Best Duo' in 2018, and their current winter tour has been selling out in most venues (especially in Yorkshire!). As keen walkers themselves (living in Marsden, great walking country), they are very keen to support the bridge project. Check them out at http://www.ohooleyandtidow.com
Your donations A reminder that all donations received by the BBA will contribute to construction and maintenance costs, and will go even further if you are a tax payer through us being able to claim Gift Aid - providing you have filled in a Gift Aid form! You may also want to consider making a bequest to the BBA in your will. Donate
Askwith Arms reopens! Supporters of the bridge will be pleased to hear that the Askwith Arms has reopened. Just a short walk up from the site of the bridge, the pub has previously been a popular destination for Burley residents, providing the stepping stones have been accessible! We hope that having a bridge, once built, will provide a more reliable year round source of trade for the pub and help guarantee its success as a rural business. In the meantime, please give the pub your support and mention where you come from so staff are aware of the future potential!
November 2018 Big turn out for the Queens Hall Folk Concert About a hundred supporters turned out for a superb evening of folk music at the Queens Hall in November, raising an amazing £1134 from ticket and bar sales and the raffle. The evening kicked off with Rum Doodle who played a mixture of their own eloquent songs with a local flavour, as well as their own take on some folk standards. Yan Tan Tether then came to the stage with a beautiful a capella set with sublime harmonies drawn from their recent CDs. The evening concluded with Duncan McFarlane and Anne Brivonese, who raised the roof with some high energy musicianship from guitar and fiddle, accompanied by a range of songs composed by Duncan. Thanks are due to Lynne O'Malley from Yan Tan Tether who organised the bands, and to Cate Perman for providing the bar. A brilliant evening!
October: A great night at Burley Social Club, with more to come! The first rock concert put on by the Burley Bridge Association proved a great success, generating an impressive £850 towards bridge construction costs on the night. Phil and Mike (instead of Me and Dan!) warmed up the growing crowd with a variety of acoustic numbers, some familiar and some original, while Titan Soul electrified the evening with their high energy music and superb guitar riffs. The night concluded with Sure Fire Affair performing an original set with superb musicianship and great lyrics which got a number of people up and dancing. Thanks to everyone who contributed to the evening, especially Mike Richmond from Sure Fire Affair who organised the music side of things, and all three bands who played the gig for free in order to support the bridge project. Thanks guys!
Our next event will be a folk concert at the Queens Hall on Saturday 17 November at 7.30. A bar will be provided, and it should be another night of superb entertainment from three top quality local folk groups: Yan Tan Tether, Rum Doodle, and Duncan McFarlane and Anne Brivonesse. Tickets cost £10 - check out our Events page for more information. September: Rock for the bridge The first of a series of fundraising events happens on Saturday 29 September at Burley Social Club. Three bands normally seen on the Leeds club circuit are generously providing an evening of rock music to help kickstart the push for funds towards construction and maintenance costs. Sure Fire Affair, a commercial indie / progressive band will be performing self-penned numbers including from their planned EP. Titan Soul will be generating lots of energy through their 70s inspired riffs and astute and incisive song writing. Me and Dan are an acoustic duo formed from Leeds' finest covers band, Strangers in Trainers, who will perform some well known and loved numbers. All in all, it should be an evening of superb music. Find out more, include booking tickets, on our Events page.
August: Burley Festival generates lots of support The two BBA contributions to the Burley Summer Festival event proved very popular this year. A stall in Grange Park on the very busy first Sunday of the Festival had a continuous stream of people visiting it to look at the model of the bridge and find out about progress. The new leaflet we will be using for fundraising had its first public appearance, and received universal praise. Well done Justin at Smallprint Menston, who did all the art work and also designed our new logo! We have subsequently received a number of new member applications and donations. Thanks to everyone who stopped by to wish us well now that we have started fundraising towards construction and maintenance costs.
Our second Festival event, the Coffee Morning at St Mary's Parish Centre was also very successful, with £151 being raised in the course of the very busy morning. Thanks to everyone who contributed raffle prizes and baking. Unusually, perhaps because of the high turn out for the event, there were no cakes left over at the end of the morning to sell off!
July: Planning applications approved The planning application for the Bridge has now been approved by both Bradford Council in July and Harrogate Borough Council in May. The BBA was praised by a member of the Bradford Committee for the stamina shown over the years, which was acknowledged to have finally paid off enabling fundraising for construction and maintenance to finally start.