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SCHOOL MEETING: There was a good attendance at the meeting held last Tuesday at St Thomas a Becket RC College. What could have been a stormy meeting was handled in a masterly way by chairman, Martin Conlan, supported by Dean Fr Tim. Two cabinet members Couns Olivia Rowley and Graham Stokes,with father of the council, Laurie Harrison from South Kirkby as well as local councillors swelled the attendance. For my brief contribution I emphasised the importance of a Christian environment in the two Catholic high schools (St Thomas a Becket and St Wilfrid’s).

BESSIE GILROY: Daughter of Bob Pitchforth, one of the best-known men in Sandal, an ice-cream man and barman at the old Walnut and Kitty Mills Hazell, who married Denis Gilroy and had three children, David, Patricia and Mark, died last week. Her funeral service was celebrated at the church of SS Peter & Paul, attended by family, friends (and Mark who had flown from Australia).

SS PETER & PAUL SUZY FUND: Brian received a cheque for £700 from friends in Glasgow, an off-shoot of the Healey’s, a happy contact with former Sandal man, John Havelock.

SANDAL STROLLERS: Enjoyed a great walk around the park at Wentworth Castle on Thursday, December 1, when highlights included spotting deer and exploring the Monument Trail. Seventeen walkers then had lunch at The Long Room. Plans for 2012 are being made and will be available on SCAwebsite www.sandal.org.uk

STAN ARCHER: Deputy news editor at the Express in the days when it was broadsheet. I attended his funeral at Ravensthorpe and told his son of the time Stan showed his political impartiality when just before the 1983 general election he phoned me, telling me of a vicious personal attack on my Christianity, timed so I would not be able to respond until after election day. Stan suggested I might visit the Express office and have a ‘walk round’. On entering Stan’s office, he rose and left the room, allowing me time to just happen to see the press release. I then left and used the time granted to send in a press release of my own, outlining my Christian background.

HELP THE HEROES: Elaine Bevan, who organised a fundraising weekend on February 19 and 20 at the Sandal Asda store raised the magnificent sum of £1,590.77 for this charity. Elaine asks me to extend her warmest thanks to Asda, her colleagues and all the generous customers.

SANDAL METHODISTS: This Sunday carols by candelight in the church at 6pm and stay afterwards for refreshments. Last Saturday there was a service of Christmas carols when a collection raised £202.60 for the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice.

SANDAL RUGBY: Another tough match away to top team, Darlington when points were dropped, I passed the ground en route for family party in Newcastle, but alas could not stop. A real challenge tomorrow when we host Rossendale for the final match of the year. Kick off 2.15pm.