Proposed visit to Leeds, January 2017

In our calendar for 2016-17 we have listed another weekend away, for Saturday Jan 7 to Monday Jan 9.

I have been up to Leeds to talk to the events manager at the Cosmopolitan Hotel (which is another hotel in the Peel Hotels chain and therefore offers the Golden Voucher deal that we used for Bradford last January) and she told me that we could book up to a MAXIMUM of 24 rooms so that we did not dominate the voucher scheme which is very popular at that time of the year.

The current price for the Golden Voucher is £139, but may go up to £149:

Golden Voucher 2016/7

There are pros and cons for this hotel:

  • we get room, bed and breakfast plus dinner on both nights of our stay FOR TWO PEOPLE at the published price – unbeatable value, I’m sure you will agree;
  • it is central and everything we might visit can be accessed easily by a short walk into town;
  • it is next to the main station (in case anyone decided to travel up by train);
  • parking facilities (using the Q-Parking site) are a two minute walk away;
  • we can eat together in the hotel restaurant and a section will be reserved exclusively for our 2 evening meals;
  • the rooms on offer are referred to as Red rooms and Green rooms (they are on different floors) and have King beds or twins if you prefer;
  • single rooms can be arranged should widows such as Jo Murphy wish to accompany us.


  • parking is a whopping £15.50 per day (using the hotel’s voucher scheme which discounts the actual £24 charge if you forget to go through the hotel) as they do not have their own parking space;
  • we cannot go on the first Friday of the month as they have a special group in each month and their activities may offend our sensibilities (however, since we are proposing Sat-Mon, this should not pose a problem).

In terms of things to do, I propose a menu as last time, so that you can opt in for the activities you feel are appropriate for your health and mobility. Some examples would be:

  • a visit to the National Mining Museum near Wakefield, either for Saturday morning or Monday afternoon – FREE, but you need a returnable £3 deposit for the gear to go underground – if you do not wish to go underground to see the mine workings, there is plenty to do and see above ground while others descend into the darkness;
  • a guided tour of the city centre on Sunday afternoon (additional cost to be determined by how many opt in);
  • a guided GHOST tour in the city centre on Saturday or Sunday evening (additional cost to be determined by how many opt in);
  • a visit to the Thackray Medical Museum (additional cost of £7 for concessions or £8 for “normal” adults);
  • a visit to Kirkstall Abbey (FREE);
  • a visit to the Leeds Armouries (FREE, but may require booking in advance if there is a large number who wish to visit);
  • a visit to Leeds Industrial Museum (additional cost to be determined by how many opt in);
  • an opportunity to follow the Leeds Owl Trail (a city centre walk that visits 25 locations across Leeds City) – FREE and can be undertaken independently;
  • an opportunity to follow any one of a number of interesting walks around the heritage features of Leeds;
  • an opportunity to visit the Art Galleries in Leeds;
  • plenty of lovely shops for those who may wish to explore the post-Christmas sales as retail therapy, including some very high-end ones such as Harvey Nichols and an arcade of purely high-end designer shops;
  • and many more (browse here) – I have a single leaflet about most of the above-mentioned activities, so could copy those or scan them for distribution.


The opportunity to attend Mass at St. Anne’s Cathedral on Sunday is one we should not miss; Solemn Mass is at 11.00am. I am sure that we will be able to contact the Leeds 3 Circle and get further information about Mass and possibly to arrange meeting up with some of them as we did last year with the Bradford brothers. We could meet them at The Tetley Collection, where lunch is available.

I think you will see that there is a lot to do, in another northern city which does not always get the recognition it deserves.

Overall, I think the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, so am proposing that we go ahead. If you would like to book one of the 24 rooms available, please e-mail me on

by 28th May and I will add your name to the list. We can sort out the individual payments once I know how many rooms we will be taking up and after I have bulk ordered them in one go, which is the easiest way to manage things.

Visit to Bradford, 2-4 January 2016

We had another great weekend away together, organised by Bro Karol. 16 brothers and wives availed themselves of the opportunity to go on a “Golden Voucher” deal at the Midland Hotel, Bradford.

We started off with 10 of us visiting the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway for one of their Mince Pies Specials; a quick look round the shops in Keighley, and a warming cup of tea help keep the cold away to some degree as it had been raining all morning. Most of the group got off at Haworth and braved the steep climb up into the village to have some lunch and enjoy a look round their shops and museums. A further two went off to Ilkley for the day, having parked up at the Midland Hotel beforehand.


The train at Keighley Station

That evening we all gathered for drinks in the bar and then enjoyed a splendid three-course meal in the Grill Restaurant with its quaintly decorated ceiling.

Next morning, after a good sleep and a hearty breakfast, we all drove the short distance to St Francis of Assisi Church where he heard Mass and were welcomed with open arms for swelling both the congregation and the singing. One of the Bradford Brothers gave us a very warm welcome from the altar and used the opportunity to explain some of the benefits that the Association can offer to young people in the parish.

We then moved on to the Salt’s Diner, upstairs in Salt’s Mill, Saltaire for lunch where the food was again excellent and the company brilliant.

Richard's pudding

Brother Richard finally got his wish – sticky toffee pudding with custard

Our group was joined by two of the Brothers from Bradford who then accompanied us on our guided tour of the model village. Maria Glot, our guide, was extremely entertaining and kept our attention and humour alive despite a biting wind and driving rain.

Deep discussion about football and rugby

Two of the Bradford Brothers joined us for lunch – deep in discussion with Bro Tony.

Once the tour was over, most people went back to the hotel to have a warming shower before we all gathered once more for dinner in the restaurant. Another smashing meal was had and the talk of the evening was Brother Charles’ “other woman” and his 12 children (with another on the way)!

Monday morning was much drier and we were delighted by a tour of some interesting sites in the centre of Bradford, including the Bradford Club where the local Circle meets. Thanks to Brother David Stockdale of Bradford for such a well-informed tour and for willingly giving up his time to lead us round when he could have been at home with his grandchildren.

By the end of the morning most people were ready for a coffee (at Waterstone’s inside the Wool Exchange) and then to make their way homewards. Once again, those who went said it had been an enjoyable opportunity to be away and sample the delights of somewhere not on most people’s radar. Lots of suggestions were made for our next venture, but that is for another day.

Group photo

The group gathers on the stairs at the Midland Hotel

Just trying out the Tag Generator

Here is some text to see how Strictly Auto Tags picks up words for tagging each post.

It is taken from the old Presidential blog:

Angela and I braved the freezing weather to go down to the Beeston Fields Golf Club in Nottingham where Nottingham 20 and City of Nottingham 221 Circles held their Dinner. Since it was so close to Christmas, this was chosen as their theme for the night and all the tables were decorated with references to the reindeer from the song “Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer”. This year the two Circles were honoured by the presence of Grand President, Vernon De Cruz and his wife, Evelyn. The meal was excellent and the wine flowed freely on our table. Speeches were brief and to the point; Grand President gave the vote of thanks on behalf of the guests and reminded us that friendship is one of the most important elements of belonging to the Association.

An excellent night was rounded off by Circle Secretary John Hay leading the assembled masses in carol singing, which was then followed by some impromptu renditions of various Christmas songs by the tables that held the senior guests. On my way out, I was challenged to sing some Polish carols, but was able to avoid this by quoting my usual phrase “Nie mowiem bardzo dobrze po Polsku” (if you don’t know what it means, put it through the Google Translate site) which usually gets me off the hook with other, more fluent, Poles!

Tonight I made a solo visit to Chesterfield Circle as no-one was available to accompany me there. The Circle was very welcoming – only to be expected as I know so many of them very well. Loads of brothers turned up tonight, and I discovered the reason once proceedings got under way. There was to be a discussion of the request from Grand Treasurer for Circles to loan money to shore up the cash flow problem being encountered over the next couple of months. The debate was, to say the least, lively and it was interesting to sit and listen to the various arguments being put forward knowing that our Circle Council had been given the go-ahead in October to offer a small sum.

After the meeting, the meal was excellent and I had a couple of long conversations with brothers I have known a long time. Thanks to everyone for making me feel so welcome.

Hello Mansfield!

Welcome to WordPress.

This is a sample blog for the Circle. The intention is to set up a free one using then put in the following:


It uses Celestial Aura Theme V2.2 with a custom 880×269 pixels header image (created in Photoshop Elements) on a 275 pixel header band (defined in Celestial Aura Settings).

The Blog Title has been switched off in the settings.

Background colour is #bfdaf5.

Menu is set under Appearance; it has a URL link to Google UK and to the website for the Catenian Association; it also has the Categories included.


Calendar, Meta (labelled Admin) and Custom Menu have been set for the LEFT SIDEBAR. Recent Posts and Recent Comments have been set for the RIGHT SIDEBAR.


Akismet (comment spam detector)

Google XML Sitemaps (which will need to be run when it is properly live)

Platinum SEO (to ensure that the search engines pick it up properly)

Strictly Auto Tags (to create Suggested Tags, Mass edit tags, Autocompletion, Tag Cloud Widgets, Related Posts, Related Tags, etc!)

Sociable (to make sure that the posts can be automatically shared via Digg,, Facebook, Blogplay, email, FriendFeed, MySpace, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Technorati and Twitter)


WordPress Thread Comment (to allow comments and replies from the same box).

All you need to do is access the admin section and post a blog entry, with or without photos, to get the ball rolling.

Good luck!!