Congratulations to Eliana Bailey (WCA Chair) and all WCA members involved in the Warley Museum project.
Prime Minister Theresa May has recognised a volunteer from Warley as a Point of Light for her work in creating a museum housed in a phone box that celebrates Warley’s culture and history.
Eliana Bailey is the creator of one of the world’s smallest museums which displays artefacts and local history from her home town.
Eliana, who is also chair of Warley Community Association, has brought the community together to curate the newly opened museum which will change its exhibition every few months.
It has attracted hundreds of visitors and caught the imagination of the media at home and abroad. The current exhibition explores Christmas in Warley.
Eliana is the latest recipient of a Point of Light award, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.
In a personal letter to Eliana, Prime Minister Theresa May said: “Through Warley Community Association, you are uniting your community behind innovative local good causes. The phone box museum in particular is a tremendous way of showcasing Warley’s history.”
Eliana added: “What do you do with a redundant telephone box? If you’re the Warley Community Association, you turn it into a working museum of local history. To receive this award is both thrilling and very humbling.
“I accept it on behalf of all our community members, who like me, constantly strive to maintain and improve all areas of our beautiful village of Warley.”
Eliana is the 643rd winner of the Points of Light award, which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA.
An application has been made for Warley Museum to be included in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Warley Museum was officially opened on Saturday 8th October, 2016 by the Mayor of Calderdale, Howard Blagbrough; the Mayoress of Calderdale, Catherine Kirk; and Richard Macfarlane, Collections Manager at Bankfield Museum.
Local brass band, the Friendly Band, along with the Sowerby Bridge Morris Dancers, provided the traditional entertainment for this very special event.
Eliana Bailey, WCA chairwoman, said: “We’ve had a phenomenal response. People thought it was amazing. When they saw inside they could not believe it.”
Photos by Paul Turner
Photos by Matthew Reardon
Warley Town, a historic village in the Calder Valley, sits on the outskirts of Halifax, West Yorkshire. In the spring of 2016 Warley Community Association (WCA) ‘adopted’ the disused BT telephone box as part of British Telecom’s ‘Adopt a Kiosk’ programme.
After considering a number of options, including a defibrillator station and a library, WCA members voted to transform the telephone box into a unique museum of local history. Eliana Bailey and Kathryn Gallagher coordinated the project, which utilised the knowledge and talents of local residents.
Key figures in the concept and creation of Warley Museum were resident artists, Paul and Chris Czainski, the curators of the museum.
Doug Bailey, a joiner, renovated and converted the telephone box, which involved stripping it back to its bare bones, then repainting and refitting it.
Paul Czainski produced the wonderful etchings on the glass panels, which feature scenes of local history. He also designed and illustrated the information backboard, ‘Notables of Warley Parish’.
Chris Czainski is working on a mosaic floor made from old pottery and objects d’art found in Warley gardens.
The museum’s exhibits of local historical artefacts and curiosities, donated by Warley residents, will be changed every few months. These are displayed in secure boxes which can be viewed from both inside and outside the museum.
Warley Museum is situated in the centre of Warley village, at The Maypole Inn. Opening hours are 8am-4pm.
Donations of local history artefacts enthusiastically received.
Warley Community Association
Eliana Bailey (WCA Chairwoman) 01422 839458
Warley Community has a new chairman, Andrew Berry, and new committee members, Janet Blackburn, Andrew Ferguson and Shari Taylor.
The Warley Community Association was formed in 2008 to raise funds to repair a local landmark and it has since gone on to organise large-scale annual events in the MayFest, Warley Open Gardens Day, Warley History Exhibition, and Christmas Fayre.
Andrew Berry – Chairman
June Illingworth – Treasurer
Maryke Deahl – Secretary
David McCallam ~ Website Administrator, Newsletter Editor, Warley History Group Co-ordinator
Eliana Bailey ~ Events Co-ordinator
Stephanie Ryan ~ Warley In Bloom Co-ordinator
Shari Taylor ~ Publicity
Andrew Ferguson ~ Allotments
Anthony Shepherd, a visitor from Brighton, came to the area in August to further his research into his family history. Anthony has traced his ancestors back to 1360 in Warley and Ripponden and wants to find a connection between the Shepherd name and any Warley buildings which carry the Shepherd name, e.g. Far Shepherd House Farm.
If you can help in this then do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
When Jean Smith of Holme Drive was approaching 70 she decided to celebrate her big birthday with a party for a few friends – 90 to be precise!
She organised her ‘do’ at the Vandals Rugby Club on Friday 22 September and made sure the night went with a swing.
Jean didn’t want any presents, asking instead for contributions to her two favourite charities. By the end of the night she had collected an amazing £120 for the Forget-me-Not Children’s Hospice and £110 for the Heart Foundation.
Jean was truly thrilled with the evening and wants to say a big thank you to everyone!
Roll on more village birthday parties!
Calderdale Heritage Walks will be exploring the village of Warley, part of the ancient township of Warley as featured in the Domesday Survey of 1086.
The tour starts at the Maypole Inn at 2:15 p.m. on Sunday 26 August and is two hours of easy walking. Iain Cameron is the tour guide. Simply turn up on the day and pay the fee of £3.00 to join in.
Children are allowed on the walk if over 13 years of age and accompanied by an adult. Dogs on leads are allowed.
For more information about local guided walks, visit the Calderdale Heritage Walks website here.
As part of the Halifax Festival, Halifax Thespians presents The Lost Plays of Phyllis Bentley in a performance of three short plays by Halifax playwright, Phyllis Bentley: The Hotel Riposo, Tommy’s Pickle and Too Many Brides.
There will also be readings from the author’s autobiography and other stories of her life and Halifax connections.
The venue is Halifax Playhouse Studio on Thursday 12 July 7:30 p.m., Friday 13 July 7:30 p.m., Saturday 14 July 2:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Tickets £5 from Square Chapel for the Arts 01422 349422 or book online
The following pen portrait of Phyllis Bentley is taken from the Calderdale Council website.
The literary ‘Inheritance’ of Dr Phyllis Bentley
“Two strong passions have always ruled my life: The first is literature; the second is the West Riding.”
Phyllis Bentley was born on the 19th November 1894. She was the youngest child of Mr J E Bentley, who was a mill owner. She spent most of her life at Heath Villas, Free School Lane, Halifax. Phyllis was educated at Halifax High School for Girls and Cheltenham Ladies College where she undertook an external degree from London University. A munitions worker in London during the First World War, Phyllis returned to her native Halifax where she taught English and Latin at Heath Grammar School. She also did cataloguing work for the Halifax Literary and Philosophical Society.
From an early age, Phyllis Bentley had stated her ambition was to be a novelist. After several rejections from publishers, in 1928 Phyllis commenced her long association with the Gollancz publishing house, who agreed to publish her novel, appropriately entitled,”The Partnership”.
Her masterpiece, “Inheritance” was published in 1932. Telling the story of the Oldroyd family, set against the background of the development of the textile industry, the book received widespread critical acclaim. Two further novels continued the saga of the Oldroyd family, “The Rise of Henry Morcar” and “A Man of His Time”.
In 1967 Granada Television began the serialisation of the trilogy. Filming began in both Calderdale and Huddersfield. The ten-part series featured John Thaw and James Bolam in leading roles.
The success of her novels resulted in Miss Bentley being much in demand as a public speaker. She regularly gave lectures, both in this country and abroad and was an expert on the Bronte family.
Phyllis Bentley was an active member of the Halifax community. She had strong connections with the Halifax Authors’ Circle, the Women’s Luncheon Club and for a time was president of the Halifax Thespians. Voluntary work at the Halifax Child Welfare Clinic brought her into contact with children and parents from poorer families. This contributed to her sympathetic treatment of poverty in her writings.
In 1963 she moved into Grange House at Warley, a 17th century yeoman clothier’s house. Visitors to the house would remark on the orderly nature of the rooms. She had a daily housekeeper stating that she “always hated housework”. Always a supporter of young writers, she would spend many hours answering correspondence – giving advice to those just beginning their literary careers.
In recognition of her talent, Phyllis received several awards. In 1949 she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Literature ( DLitt) from Leeds University. In 1958 she became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 1970 was awarded an OBE.
Phyllis Bentley was a regular user of the Library in Halifax. As part of her 80th birthday celebrations, the Library held an exhibition of her work. Original manuscripts were on display, together with items from her desk, including a calendar and pencil case.
On the 27th of June 1977 at Ing Royde Home, Phyllis Bentley died. Her desk and chair were amongst items bequeathed to the Library. The diaries and correspondence are available to view (by appointment) in the Calderdale Archives Department. The works of Phyllis Bentley can be found at the Reference Library in the Central Library, Halifax.