Woodcraft get to work

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THIS group of young people and adult helpers are members of Bailiff Bridge Woodcraft.

I am sure many of these children will remember the day in May, 1990, when they all joined together to try and clean up the stream.

I remember visiting the group back in those days as I had not heard of Woodcraft and I wanted to know more about it. I discovered that it was a thriving national organisation. Every week thousands of volunteers and young people met in school halls, community venues and any venue they could find to learn about big ideas through fun activities like singing, playing and debating.

One of the principal aims was always to have great fun but also to try and develop children’s self-confidence and build their awareness of society around them.

The activities that the members took part included outings and camps which were a good way of helping and teaching the members to understand important issues, such as the environment, world debt and global conflict.

I am not sure when the Bailiff Bridge Woodcraft group closed but nationally Woodcraft currently has about 400 groups meeting around the country, mainly in urban areas, and increasingly more are in rural areas. The nearest groups to Brighouse now are in Hebden Bridge and Bradford.

It looks judging from the polythene bags they are holding up, this clean-up has an element of sponsoring. This group was not the first to clean-up this area nor was it the last, but it is very commendable that these young people were keen to do it and I doubt whether they have walked in the stream since that day.

This area of the stream and its surrounding banking has had over the last couple of years a real make-over and looks well. Let us hope that those who have regularly chucked their rubbish over the bridge would feel sufficiently embarrassed if they chucked it over now. After all the hard work of making one of the village’s long standing ‘grot-spots’ into an area that looks attractive.

None of these children would be around on that July day in 1968 when the stream level rose and came down where they are standing in a raging torrent. The outcome of which can be seen in the insert photograph of that day 44 years ago.

Many older readers will recall that day when the whole village was flooded, a situation Bailiff Bridge has experienced on many occasions, but let us hope it was the last.

If you would like to know more about the Woodcraft Organisation please have a look at its website www.woodcraft.org.uk