A busy week of meetings at TMD HQ this week, which is a part of my job I love; talking!
It’s a Scouser’s prerogative; yes for those who didn’t know…. I’m a Scouser, well… a plastic one! We come out of the womb talking and cracking jokes,..... Being from the, Wirral, we take your CD collection as well as nicking the radio! Just in case you were wondering……!
A fair few meetings with lots of possible great ideas for Garforth, it’s always nice to be asked my opinion on things. Last Friday night I met with some great people at Quirky Ales, it’s always good to hold meetings with a drink in my hand; some of my ideas are actually better! We had a talk about possible new happenings on Main Street and other possible projects that if all come off, could be really good for our town! Wait and see Nice to also see many other people in there too #busytaproom
It won’t be long before the kids are off on Half Term, anyone going away somewhere warm? I’m away but I’d be daft to think, The Lake District will be anything other than a little damp, cool and rainy! I think it will be thermals, walking and lots of afternoon teas and gingerbread instead #notcomplaining
Following on from half term, if your child, like mine is in year 6 and feeling the pressures of doing well in their SATS, have you considered talking or visiting Kip McGrath? Chris who runs our Garforth Branch is here to help and prepare Year 6 for SATs and for high school, where the demands and assumptions are often very different. They offer free assessments.
If you do have any questions or feel help would be beneficial call Chris and the team on 0113 232 0044 or http://kipmcgrathgarforth.co.uk/
It was nice to meet up with our lovely #MIG this week and see how the lovely little Tommy has grown
#MIG (Mum in Garforth)
This week baby Tommy went for his first swim! My husband loves swimming and couldn't wait to take him for his first foray into the water.
After figuring out the correct attire for babies in the pool (we bought some Huggies Little Swimmers and a Splash About Happy Nappy), the next step was to find a nearby pool warm enough for babies (about 32 degrees C for babies under six months old).
Temple Moor has a warm pool but unfortunately it's not open to the public. We decided to try Tadcaster Community Pool because their small pool hosts baby classes (so must be warm enough) and it's only a 15 minute drive from Garforth.
The pool was really nice and the staff were very friendly and helpful. Tommy was a little unsure about going underwater all the way but he did really well and seemed to have fun. My husband was one proud daddy. I have to say, the pool was a bit chillier than I expected so we didn't stay in for long, but but overall it was a positive experience. We'd like to go again so I've ordered a wetsuit for next time.
I'm also looking into baby swimming groups and there are several options around that I need to look into more closely - Flutterbabies, Turtle Tots and Waterbabies to name a few. If anyone has any recommendations, I'm all ears. It would need to be close to Garforth and accessible by public transport for days when hubby is at work with the car.
Let me know your thoughts and suggestions on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @garforthkitchen
See you next week!
#WOTS(word on the street)
Hearing from the Manager at Monkey Maze yesterday, that they will be shutting their doors in March for 16-18 weeks in order to complete a whole refurb! I think it’s been something that has been needed for a while, I think their plans are to move some of the nursery from upstairs about a little and move the kitchen up near reception making everything more accessible. She didn’t mention what their plans were for the actual play structures… there has to be some element of surprise I suppose!
You may have noticed, Dumouchel have put a post put up on their social media pages and will also be following it up with a poster outside the shop, but for now, they will no longer be opening the shop on a Wednesday, this may just be for the winter months when it is quieter and they will revisit it in the spring. But for now, if you do wish to collect something or want something for a Wednesday, you can still pick up as they are in house.
THURSDAY from 9am to 2pm
FRIDAY from 9am to 3pm
SATURDAY from 8.30am to 3pm
If you would like to place an order for collection on WEDNESDAY this can be arranged by CALLING 0113 2870055 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call in to see us!
Of course, our bread, croissants and mots of other lovely things are available to purchase on MAIN STREET form Pride and Produce Deli when we are closed.
The Dumouchel Team
I noticed the newly built houses on Green Lane; you know, the ones practically tickling the train track, have suddenly dropped their asking priced by £10k! Still not sure who will want to live here, but I’m sure the developer is optimistic; at least it looks nicer now they're up.
Planning you can look too - https://publicaccess.leeds.gov.uk/online-applications/
A few things in planning this week with the release of the information on Marstons Pub Group coming into the space they have allocated for a new pub/restaurant. To give you an idea, this is what sort of pub it will look like. I have tweeted asking them question as to what type of pub they will be gracing us with, but yet to hear, I can’t see on their list of new jobs for new pubs that Garforth is on their list yet! I’ll keep you posted if and when I see jobs coming up
I here on the grapevine that one of our local Vets will be moving into the smaller unit. I’m just hoping a big massive pile of junk doesn’t come to the other larger one; I’m not being shop snobby, I'm truly concerned with a supermarket, a pub and another retail unit coming together, creates a destination for people to go and then the high street suffers! I know, I know, I’ve mentioned it before, but when you start seeing that it’s not too far away, it does bring a worry of uncertainty to our high street.
The layout for the Lidl development;
Plans have been shared by Councillor Dobson by Redrow Homes to develop another little village of 238 homes and some open space upon the Stocks Blocks site. See here for details. If you are wanting to object/comment you can do so my adding in the comments box;
Nothing happening in the old LadyCares building, shutters still down and no sign of any works going on at all thus far. Considering the new owners are supposedly meant to be opening in March!
To end on a nice note, I received a lovely private message yesterday thanking me for all the things I do in Garforth and that I’m inspirational to our town; how nice was that? I got all a bit choked whilst reading it in Monkey Maze! I read stats all day long seeing what is popular, what works, what people are seeing and what is engaging everyone, but to hear nice kind words being especially sent really does give you a boost and it goes a long way. - keep em coming!
Thank you for shopping local, be proud you are, as you're helping the place you call home.....
Until next week…………………………….
So it’s happened, Trump Towers as the new President of the USA; I don’t normally get political on here, but I can laugh and feel annoyed at the situation, I mean if President Regan was once president; and he did a great job, anyone can step in and be elected, right? To be fair, there’s nothing great about anything he has said or done to make us not laugh or cry, is there?
Have you been watching the inauguration or are you attending a Trump Party? A few pubs across England have been sharing the fun side of the 45th USA President being sworn it; or is that swore at?
Let’s hope they have enough wet wipes in The White House #orangetan everywhere
#Letuspray we get through the next 4 years unscathed; we have enough problems of our own!
I look forward to shouting about a couple of new businesses coming on board soon #watchthisspace
If you haven’t heard or not aware, Absolutely Fabulous are under New Management with Julie and Charlotte at the helm. The salon has been transformed inside and is much warmer and cosier. Charlotte has lots of plans for new treatments this year. Go and speak to one of the girls and book in your next appointment. They are also looking into doing some great cross marketing with other local businesses; which is always music to my ears
Telephone - 0113 287 3229
NEW OPENING TIMES ARE
Tues: 9.30 am - 6.00 pm
Wed: 9.30am - 6.00 pm
Thurs: 9.30 am - 8.00 pm
Fri: 9.30 am - 6.00 pm
Sat: 9:30 am - 4.00 pm
#MIG Guest Blogger, Christine is having a busy week this week, it’s allowed, as new parents, it’s so hard to believe that time will make things better, but it does, and the sleepless nights and routine juggling days don’t last forever; even though they do feel like this at the time. More updates next week from our, lovely, Mum in Garforth.
I’ve had lots of great meeting this week talking about all kinds of local projects from, Car Parks to Food from other local projects that really could work well on Main Street. 2017 could be a really exciting year, just keep following.
#WOTS (word on the street)
Hearing on the grapevine that sadly, Scribblers Pre School has definitely closed forever, you may have seen late last year they were asking for people to volunteer for a new committee but it doesn’t sound like it came together in time in order they could get it back up and fully running. Such a sad thing to hear, not only for the staff that have lots jobs but also for an institution that has spanned so many years in Garforth.
It sounds like the first WWI meeting went well on Tuesday, lots of people joined up and signed up. They meet once a month, so you can still join should you wish. It sounds like it could be fun! Firthfields Community Hall, Next meeting
What a transformation and they haven’t even finished, it’s amazing what a lick of paint and new bi folding doors to a building can do #Weatherspoon’s
As of last week, The Bird in Hand closed its doors. George, the ex-landlord did try a fair few ideas to make the pub more inviting and give it a future, but unfortunately, these never truly took off long term. We wish George a successful future in whatever he does. The rumour mill has started that the pub has been bought and to be turned into a Greek restaurant! We’ll see.
For those who noticed, we had a couple of vans and caravans #travellers parked up at Garforth Train Station this week, but luckily they were moved fairly quickly.
Please check out our Events page on Facebook, we have lots of things going on and new things are added every week; quite a few new ones this week.
If you’re thinking about PROM2017 already. Chocolate Beauty Spa and Precious Bridals have come together to create this amazing and very special event.
Looking for inspiration for your Prom night?
We have a stunning catwalk with beautiful gowns, beauty demonstrations, inspiration for nails and spray tans and much more!
GARFORTH HOUR LIVE
Our next live night will be on Tuesday 28th February – if you’re a local business, find out more
Nothing new to report in planning this week, a few requests in planning for Miami, the disappearing landscape, but nothing of interest.
Have a fabulous weekend and support the place you chose to live, so much can come from shopping local
Until next week..............
My week in Pictures
Its been a very up and down week in TMD HQ this week! But all is good #smugface
The first, Friday the 13th of the year, I hope you’ve avoided black cats, ladders, found a penny or picked up a rabbit from the butchers and took its foot!
Garforth gets the cold but not the SNOW
THE AA have warned that anyone travelling in icy conditions should take a shovel, blankets/sleeping bag, extra clothing (including scarf, hat and gloves) 24 hour supply of food and water, de-icer , rock salt, torch, spare battery, petrol can, first aid kit and jump leads.
I felt a right idiot on the bus!
Flowers by Chloe is now on and you can follow her on Facebook and Instagram and you can also see all her lovely work on her new website http://www.flowers-by-chloe.co.uk/
I've also had some interest this week from some cool and unique businesses and thanks to David at Mr Smith’s Locksmith for putting some of these businesses in touch – great cross marketing
Some great news from one of our members this week
Proving Social Media is key to promoting your business.............
I have owned a dance school in Garforth for many years, and it has been successful for all that time. Excellent examination results, competition results, a good "family" feel built up with the students as they progress from Tiny Tots through their exams. Eventually, though, the students leave; but new ones have joined at the Tiny Tots level to keep overall numbers steady.
Over the last few years, dance has become very popular, in the media, as a hobby, and even as a career. I am not the only dance school in the area, and there was a concern that numbers could fall off if I didn't take steps to promote my business a bit better. That was when I approached Christine at the Main Deal for help.
I have always relied mainly on word of mouth to advertise or promote the business, and this has worked well in the past. Students tell their friends, parents talk to their friends, and I kept getting more students. But in the last two years, dance has escalated its presence on social media, and I am not the most computer-friendly person. Twitter was a mystery to me!
Christine has helped me to grow the business massively in the last two years. She helps manage my twitter feed, she promotes the business locally through the Main Deal, and increases the profile of the business locally. I now have 10-15% more students in the whole school than I used to do , and I have gone from one Tots class a week to now having to start up a third!
On a connected note, the school regularly does shows to raise money for charity, and the promotion from The Main Deal has helped to boost the profile of the school so that we have had much larger than usual donations to the charities (local and national) that we support!
Principal, Caroline Atha School of Dance
It's so nice to hear and thanks to Caroline for sharing, #proudaspunch
#MIG Mum in Garforth
Time for Myself
I decided that for my birthday I would treat myself to a massage. I've never been one to get spa treatments, but I really appreciate the prospect of a bit of pampering now that I've become a Mum. All of last week I was looking forward to some alone-time (truly alone, not just leave the bathroom door cracked open to listen for screams while I'm in the shower alone-time).
I booked myself in for a luxury chocolate massage at Chocolate Beauty Spa on Garforth Main Street. It was lovely. The massage was great, I really enjoyed myself and left feeling light as a feather and completely relaxed - I recommend it.
Unfortunately the spell was broken when I got home. Baby Tommy didn't want to take a bottle while I was gone so he was a hangry and upset little guy the rest of the afternoon. We learned that he's not ready to be without me for long stretches at a time just yet. And that's ok.
In a few months' time when we start to wean him I'm going to book myself in for another treatment - a little treat for myself once I get through the tough first 6 months. Almost there.
Follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @garforthkitchen to find out what else is going on in our community.
Shops opening later!.............
I have been asked this question so many times and by many, so I thought I would ask the Traders using their Facebook page I created some years ago. Here are the questions:
Would the shops consider:
Here are their answers;
Other answers were put forward too, which gave me thought. Some Traders have always done things that way, and questioned changed, but as our Main Street is slowly becoming more social and helping create changes, could this, some time in the future have an impact on our shops changing their habits too? I'll come back to this in a couple of years.
Last week’s blog about Dominoes approval was requested to be put up on Streetlife to get a discussion going about LCC Planning and what local people thought of the decision. Some comments were very good and local councillors got involved, and as usual on Streetlife (even though I do have another name for it) it did have its, air-sucking- teeth-gritting comments, it was interesting to see what people thought and how little some actually know about the place they live! There are lots of ways to find out about planning,
Here's the link https://publicaccess.leeds.gov.uk/online-applications/
Talking about Streetlife, it proved this week that it can come to some good, as PHIL B asked, what people wanted from Garforth, what was missing, what they would like to see more of. Its OK, Pizza wasn’t mentioned! But lots of fabulous ideas were, including more good food, a market, pop up shops/areas, art spaces and much more and what’s come from this post and peoples input could have some legs and actually work – it’s about the right people getting engaged, listening and most important of all, acting! #watchthisspace
Miami has completely gone….and what a big space it is!
32a Main Street has applied for a new, Ladies Fitness Centre which will reside above, The Greengrocer https://www.gymophobics.co.uk/ - this could bring footfall to the main street as people pop in and out of the gym as the entrance is a doorway on the parade.
Planning for seven apartments to be built on Wakefield Road is still at current status and has half a dozen objections.
Before I end this week’s Blog, hands up who would like to see a local Food Festival this summer?
Until next week..........................
Good Evening and Happy New Year to you all and thank you for reading in 2016, I hope you will continue to do so and I will try to make my content interesting each week.
On Monday, The Main Deal will officially be 2 years old and im happy to say it’s achieved a fair amount of great things in this period. Helping local businesses be seen, helping local businesses cross market, helping them to shop local and see the benefits of doing so. Giving a lot of businesses a future. Connecting community with information and helping out and steering local projects and there's more to come in this, my third year, as we grow bigger doors are opening. Without you following and using The Main Deal, I wouldn't be here, so thank you, so very much.
And to add to the 2 Anniversary and in case I haven’t shouted loud enough. I have been nominated for 2 Yorkshire Choice Awards, so please vote. #itsovertoyou
As a blog follower, what works better for you ?
Reading the Blog
Listening to a blog
Watching a video blog?
I really would appreciate your comments as it all helps to make sure you, as followers keep reading, watching, listening - you can add a comment at the bottom of this page
I look forward to adding, Flowers by Chloe this week and The Willow Park Park Farm, our 2 new members of the new year.
Pride and Produce will be opening its evening Bistro doors on Friday 27th January and we will see every Friday and Saturday evenings changing for the better, with;
La Bella Vita
Three Sisters Supper Club at Cielo
The Station House Café
Local Pubs with events
Weatherspoon’s opening in March
Our evenings in Garforth are looking great...... make sure your visit and book a table at Pride 286 5222
We will our first WI opening at Firthfields on January the 17th at 8pm. You can follow them on twitter @WYFWI for more information. There is an annual membership fee of £39, so cheques at the ready.... go Women.
Mum in Garforth #MIG
Cooking Resolutions for the New Year
I don't like New Year's resolutions normally; mine usually get forgotten within a few weeks or aren't specific enough to keep me on track. In the past I've had resolutions on what I should or shouldn't eat. This year instead of the what I'm eating, I'm going to focus on the how it's made. It's about what I can eat, not what I can't. Here are my three resolutions...
1. Try new recipes and make more meals from scratch.
I'm good at making healthy, nutritious meals, however my repertoire is not very large and I sometimes add jarred sauces to things I'm cooking.
Now, I'm going to make my meals from scratch and add at least one new dish to the rotation each month. To help me with this, I got myself a blank recipe book so I can add recipes and notes when I try new things. This will also make it easy to quickly scan for meal ideas when I don't know what to make for dinner.
2. Eat cakes and treats - as long as I make them myself.*
Considering how much spare time I have for baking while I'm looking after four month old baby Tommy, my sugar intake is bound to decrease dramatically. And I'll know exactly what's in what I eat.
*Excluding dessert after Sunday dinner of course! And the occasional quality treat on a special occasion.
3. Stick to sourdough breads.
These don't use yeast as a raising agent and are much easier on the digestive system. That means saying goodbye to Hovis and other supermarket breads, but lucky for me all the delicious bread at Domouchel in Garforth is sourdough and it's only a ten minute walk away. Do, this one isn't exactly a sacrifice.
Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram to see how my resolutions are going. Who knows, maybe you'll get some ideas for you own kitchen at home.
This of course was going to be a big one this week, due to LCC Planning Council approving Dominoes onto our high street; only yesterday
After 20+ individual objections and being part of a steering group yesterday and trying to get all the facts and points as to why we should object Dominies coming to our High Street, it appears it was all a waste of time, as no-one was prepared to listen. We were already in a losing battle yesterday as we were last on the Agenda. The first item took an unnecessary 2 hours and the other 1.5 hours, with lots of comments discussions and some fraught words on these cases. By 4.45pm the Councillors in panel were clearly ready to clock off; not sure there is a budget for overtime with LCC so we were left with vert little time!
The lovely Sue McQuire, Secretary of Garforth Neighbourhood Planning Forum was our speaker; having in mind each side only has 4 minutes to speak and get their very valid points, to the panel - the evening beforehand myself, Sue and the lovely Phil Barrett; a huge supporter in our community; we're lukcy to have such a great ambassador as he could be very instrumental in being part of great projects in our home town; you'll hear of more soon, I'm sure. . Over a very long evening, Phil pulled together the core strategies of Government Health policies, along with some fabulous points about the NHS obesity and health crisis in the UK and the damage it is doing long term to our lovely NHS. The scary truth came out in the figures alone, the biggest one was to read that 34% of our children and 20% of our adults in GARFORTH are Obese!!! So much for a Child Friendly Leeds!
I don’t care who prefers Dominoes, You can order from CROSSGATES AND OULTON and if they don’t deliver to your area, ask for a Dominoes near you! As according to figures, Dominoes want to open a fair few more across Leeds! HOWEVER, I do care that;
For your information here are the other options for pizza. In, out, take it out
Greggs - eat in, take out
The Station House Cafe – Eat in and take out, fresh dough
The Podger – Eat in and Take out, fresh dough, 2 for 1 pizza’s on a Tuesday
Dumouchel – Most Saturdays, take out, fresh dough -
La Bella Vita – eat in, fresh dough, I’m sure if you rang they would make one to go too
Golden Crust/Grill – take out
Grill and Chill – take out
Valentino’s – take out, fresh dough
Sweetshakes do Pizza Paninis
Plus all the others you can order to your home on JUSTEAT
I don’t think I want to look at pizza for a while and when I do, it will be bought from an Independent
On another sort of planning matter; it was sad to see Ladycares close its doors on Christmas Eve, proving that if we don’t use them, we lose them.
In March we will see Harris GreenGrocers taking over the building – again not giving us enough variety here. Landlords don’t care, they just want their properties filled. I hope it doesn’t hinder on Lee at The GreenGrocer and Chris’ Fruit and Veg.
This year we will see more great things happening, as I mentioned in an earlier post on Facebook this week, a lot of great local people are getting behind some fabulous local projects and making good changes to bring us a great year. I will, of course be updating you as we go along, but it’s up to you to particiapate, be part of the growth, help these ideas too flourish, you, they and we make a better place to live, as clearly we can’t leave it down to LCC planning.
Until next week……………..
My name is Christine Thom, I came to live in Garforth nearly 22 years ago; you may have seen me around ?