Welcome to our Briestfield village site!



RSPB Dearne Valley

A Reed Bunting as seen on our visit to the lovely wetland area on 25 March.  We were also blessed with great weather.

95th B'day in home of birth

On 4 September, Ivy Hartley celebrated her 95th birthday in the house she was born in here in Briestfield, with friends, family and villagers.  It great to retain our friendship with Briestfielders and hear all their memories of the village.  Ivy helped to plant the Jubilee Oak (see below) which we hope will be there for hundreds of years.

Eclipse from Briestfield

There was a spectacular lunar eclipse on 28 September 2015.  It was total at 3am and you can see how the moon changed from 11pm the previous day.  For once, the conditions were excellent, with the fog holding off until later.

Lambs at Back Lane Farm

Rubbish! Please take it home!

A group of volunteers collected 12 bags of rubbish over Easter

Christmas at The Shoulder

Thanks to Mell, Sam and her staff for putting on a brilliant Christmas Dinner on 22 December for 17 members and friends.  Thanks also to all the members who helped with the preparations and the decorations.

Summer Tea in the sun

Over 40 villagers and their guests enjoyed superb weather, with homemade food and drinks on Saturday 26 July.  Organised by BHCG, it was hosted in Blacker Hill Farm in the charming and secluded back garden.  We have now held two successful events and are hoping for a hat trick next year!

Birds of Briestfield

A large party of members set off on a guided walk in April and saw many interesting birds including Lapwing and Chiffchaff.  It was great to see many of our senior members complete quite a lengthy walk.

Christmas at The Shoulder

Advent Display

This attractive display was created by the Group and can be seen in Thornhill Parish church over the Christmas period.

Summer Tea Sizzler
The 'barbecue' summer continued on 3 August, at the sell out event.  We were delighted at the strong turnout to sample the cream of Briestfield baking and more in the charming and comfortable surroundings of Blackerhill Farm.
Shoulder Reopens
The new tenants have announced a special opening for the Community from midday onwards on Saturday 20 April.  This will continue up to the official opening.
The official launch night will be from 7pm on Friday 3 May. 
Spring Arrives!
Spring Postponed!
Our intrepid reporters have been out to the most inhospitable areas of the snowfields!
Mind how you go! 
Mega drifts at Huntroyd
Pearsons Lane
Christmas Dinner at
The Woolpack
Over 20 members and guests enjoyed an excellent dinner on Thursday 6 December as the wind and rain raged outside.  In addition to a lively company, we heard an entertaining summary of our activities during 2012, which made for a lengthy list, as well as some new research on topics previously presented.  There is always something to add to the story!
 Planting the Royal Oak

The Group has celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee by planting a Royal Oak tree sapling in the centre of the village, for the benefit of all the villagers.

The planting ceremony was undertaken by our most senior residents Violet Longbottom (97) who came to the village to be married in 1934 and has lived here ever since, and Ivy Hartley (94) was born and grew up at the historic Briar Croft.

The sign reads:

“This oak, grown from an acorn collected from the Royal Estates, was planted by the residents of Briestfield on 13th October 2012 to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II  

Royal Oak Arrives!
As you can see, it is small, but perfectly formed!  Please see the label below, which explains the origins of the future mighty oak which will grace the 'village green'.  Savile Estates have given permission for the planting, in a ceremony of great pomp later in the year.

Flood solved!

The long running village problem of the water north of the Shoulder has been solved at the second attempt.  Kirklees personnel found that a blockage existed just 2 feet beyond the long trench they previously excavated, nearer to the Shoulder.  This was allegedly caused by past dumping of cooking fat into the drains and will hopefully not recur.
Community Meeting on 15 March
The meeting heard about the latest situation on various community matters:
  • Fly tipping: many items have been reported and cleared by the KMDC
  • Bottlebank: now removed back to its original position in the Shoulder car park, to the benefit of visual amenity!
  • Dimpledale refuse collection: we are looking to find a suitable site acceptable to affected residents
  • Grit bins up and running and thankfully not needed this winter
  • Village Hall: now fenced off leading to reduced anti-social behaviour and tipping
  • On road issues, we await the outcome of Kirklees budget discussions
  • Discussion about planting a Royal Oak on the village green.  Idea to be progressed
  • Discussion about autumn planting of bulbs to improve the attractiveness of the village.  Idea to be progressed
Cllr Iqbal reports back
On Tuesday 13 September, Cllr Iqbal reported back on progress on community matters:
  • Village Hall - The owner has ordered building site mesh to close off access.  The request that low level chain and post fencing would be preferred has been made to him.  He will discuss development options for the site with KMDC Planning Department.
  • Fly Tipping - Many items have been removed.  BHCG members will pull out tyres and other objects obscured by vegetation.  All are asked to report any Fly Tipping requiring removal to briestfield@gmail.com.
  • Dimpledale refuse collection - Bins and base to be provided on trial site near Croft End Cottage.
  • Highways - Meeting rescheduled for 22 September.
  • Bottlebank - Resiting of Bottle Bank to be discussed with new landlord of Shoulder.
  • Full Council is considering implementation of a number of 20mph zones in Dewsbury.  We may be eligible for such treatment.
  • Grit bins - Two bins have now been sourced and siting to be discussed with Highways.
  • Road flood near Shoulder - Matter to be raised with Highways.
The Group thanked Cllr Iqbal for his continuing efforts on behalf of the village.
Highways Meeting
On 22 September, a meetng was held on site.  Of the various alternatives considered, the best initial step seemed to be to introduce a Speed Indicator Device.
This would:
  • Attach to a lamp post and therefore be movable to different positions (4 per annum)
  • Show the recorded speed to the driver
  • Measure the average speed of vehicles over a period of time and give information on which to base future decisions
  • A leaflet is attached on the Resource Centre page
The introduction of a 20mph limit could follow, although it would require a lot of intrusive signage.
We will discuss all this at the next meeting.
Illegal HGVs
A large (>7.5 tonnes) HGV sped through the village at 1.30pm on 25 August.  This was a white Coop Fresh Food  vehicle and has been reported to their HQ.
If you see any illegal HGV, please note its description, location and if possible, registration and the time sighted.  Then send an e-mail to briestfield@gmail.com.
Community/History Activity

Meetings for 2018

Sunday 25 March

Bird watching at Denaby Ings Mexborough leave here at 11.00

Thursday 19 April


Talk on the history of Briestfield - Whitley Community Centre - 19.30 £2.50 per person

Thursday 31 May

Community Meeting - Blackerhall Farm 19.00


Thursday 7 June

 Dewsbury Blue Plaques Walk


Saturday 14 July

Village Summer Tea - The Holt


Friday 7 September

 '40's Night – Whitley Community Centre 

Meetings for 2017

First Half 

14 January

Visit to the York Cold War bunker.

22 January

Litter pick. 2pm

Friday 17  February

Supper at the Shoulder of Mutton

Come and join us between 6.00-6.45pm.  No need to book, just turn up if you are free.

Sunday 19 March

Litter pick.  2pm meet at the Shoulder with a rubbish sack.

Thursday 23 March

Get-to-know you and Get-to-know your village.

7pm Blacker Hill Farm

Saturday 25 March

Bird watching trip or Birds of Briestfield.  Details to be confirmed.

Friday 7 April

Early supper in the Shoulder of Mutton. 

Join us between 6.00-6.45pm if you are free.  Details as above.

Thursday 11 May

Community meeting 7pm Blacker Hill Farm.

 We will circulate an agenda nearer the date.

Sunday 21 May

Litter pick. 2pm Shoulder of Mutton car park.

Saturday 3 June

Summer solstice saunter. 2pm Oakwell Hall.

Join us for our annual saunter.  This year around the grounds of Oakwell Hall.

Thursday 6 July

Blue Plaques tour of Dewsbury. 7pm Dewsbury town centre. (meeting place to be confirmed)

Saturday 22 July

Village summer tea.

2pm The Holt

Meetings for 2016

Second Half 
Sunday 16 October 14.00 - Litter Pick      
Meet at the Shoulder

Friday 28 October   19.30 - Abide With Me talk at Dewsbury Minster

Sunday 11  December 14.00 - Litter Pick      
Meet at the Shoulder

Thursday 22 December 19.00 - Christmas Dinner at the Shoulder

Saturday 14 January - Visit to York Cold War bunker

First Half 
Sunday 24 January 14.00 - Litter Pick      
Meet at the Shoulder

Sunday 21 February 14.00 - Litter Pick                     

Meet at the Shoulder


Sunday 17 April - Wildlife visit                             

Markham Grange

Tuesday 26 April 19.00-20.30 - Community Meeting, at the Shoulder


Tuesday 10 May 19.00 - Meal                                  The Shoulder

Saturday 18 June 14.00 - Summer Solstice Saunter 

Bretton Sculpture Park

Sunday 24 July - Summer Tea


Meetings for 2015

Second Half

Saturday 22 Aug  2.00pm - Litter Pick 

Meet at Shoulder                                                            

Friday       11 Sept 7.30pm - Community Meeting/AGM

The Holt, club room

Saturday    26 Sept 2.00pm - Bulb Planting

Meet at Shoulder

Sunday       27 Sept 2.00pm - Crow Nest Park Visit

 Meet at park         

Sunday       11 Oct   2.00pm - Abide With Me talk

Venue to be arranged

Sunday       25 Oct   2.00pm - Bulb Planting

Meet at Shoulder

Friday          30 Oct   7.30pm - Fish and Chips

Wetherby Whaler

Sunday          1 Nov   2.00pm - Litter Pick

Meet at Shoulder

Sunday         22 Nov 11.00am - Salt's Mill Visit

Meet at Shoulder

Monday         21 Dec                 - Xmas Meal

Lunch or dinner, venue tba

First Half

Friday 23 January at 7pm        Wetherby Whaler Wakefield


14 of us enjoyed  fish and chips at the Wetherby Whaler in Wakefield.  If you could not make it this time, don’t worry, we will slot-in another visit soon and let you know.

Sunday 25 January at 2pm      Litter Pick

The group collected 7 bin bags of rubbish and 4 tyres from Briestfield Road and Back Lane.

February TBA                           Visit to Wakefield Archives and Dewsbury Library

Sunday 22 February at 2pm    Litter Pick.

Sadly, we will probably collect at least 7 bin bags again.  If you can spare a few hours, please join us at Shoulder of Mutton car park.

Sunday 12 April at 2pm            Crow Nest Park Guided Walk. 

Meet in the car park.  Stuart Hartley has lots of information and will guide us around the grounds.

Saturday 25 April                       Bird Watching near Pontefract

This event was popular last year. Dennis is very knowledgeable and at this time of year, many of the migrating birds are arriving. It is sure to be an interesting and informative morning. Bring your binoculars.  Details of venue, timing and transport to be announced later.

Wednesday 27 May at 7.15pm   Community Meeting Blackerhill Farm

Saturday 30 May at 2- 4pm         Rhododendrons at The Holt

The rhododendrons should be at their best at this time.  Join us in the gardens at The Holt if you would like to see them.

Saturday 13 June at 2pm          Litter Pick

If you have a few hours to spare, meet in the Shoulder car park. 

Sunday 21 June at 2pm            Summer Solstice Saunter

Meet in the Shoulder car park for a walk around the locality.  It should take  2-3 hours.

Saturday 25 July at 2pm           Summer Tea at Blackerhill Farm

Back once again by popular demand.  Join us for afternoon tea at Blackerhill Farm.

Meetings for 2014

Second Half

Friday 12 September at 7pm

AGM and Community Meeting, Shoulder of Mutton.  Councillor Ahmed invited to the latter.


Sunday 28 September at 2pm

Bulb/Shrub Planting.

Sunday 2 November at 2pm

Litter Pick.

Thursday 20 November at 7pm

Talk.  Venue The Shoulder.

Friday 28 November at 7pm

Fish and Chips evening at Ossett.

Monday 22 December at 7pm

Christmas Meal –  Venue The Shoulder.

First Half

Sunday 23 February 2.00pm

Litter Pick – meet at The Shoulder car park.

Saturday 5 April 11.00am

Guided walk to look at the birds of Briestfield.  Lesley Tompkins, an RSPB volunteer from Leeds, will guide us on a short walk around the surrounding countryside.  This is very suitable for novice bird watchers.  Please bring some binoculars if you have them/can borrow them. A donation for RSPB will be requested.

This will be followed by lunch in Shoulder at about 1pm (of course it depends on how fast we walk/what we see/ the weather!!)  Details of lunch will be forwarded to those who express an interest.

Sunday 4 May at 2.00pm

Trip to National Mining Museum for tour/museum/library.  Meet in Mining Museum car park.

How long is it since you visited the National Mining Museum which is on our doorstep?  So many of the population of Briestfield depended on mining for their livelihood in the past.  Come and join us on the underground tour to remind yourself of how so many of them spent large parts of their lives, or help us with more specific research in the museum library.

Saturday 10 May at 2.00pm

Litter Pick – meet in Shoulder car park.

Tuesday 20 May 7pm

Community Meeting.  Come and join us to discuss the issues that matter to our community.

Shoulder of Mutton 7.15pm.

Saturday 21 June 2pm

Midsummer Walk – Meet in Shoulder Car park for a walk in the countryside around Briestfield.

Saturday 26 July 2pm

Garden Party – Back by very popular demand.  Come and join us at Blacker Hill Farm for afternoon tea.

Meetings for 2013
Exact timings and locations to follow:
Saturday 23 March - Research Morning at Wakefield Archives, a treasure trove of property information about the village;
Thursday 4 April - Community Meeting at a local pub;
Saturday 20 April - Litter picking (maybe there won't be any!)
The results from Saturday - just the stretch to Howroyd beck!
Thursday 23 May - Meal at The Shoulder
Saturday 22 June - Strawberry tea at Blackerhill Farm POSTPONED;
Saturday 20 July - Litter picking;
Saturday 3 August - Summer Afternoon Tea at Blackerhill Farm 2pm-4pm;
Wednesday 25 September - AGM 7pm at The Shoulder
Saturday 5 October - Bulb and Shrub planting at 2pm
Wednesday 23 October - People and Properties of Briestfield all new research at The Shoulder
Sunday 3 November - Litter picking at 2pm
Friday 20 December - Christmas Dinner at The Shoulder at 7.30pm
We have launched a new discussion forum on Rootsweb to cover the parish of Whitley Lower (Briestfield and Whitley).  This is a world-wide service and is used very effectively by small local areas to link up interested people wherever they are.  Please join and encourage others to do so.  The link is shown below and is easy to follow:
Visit to The Houses of Parliament
A group of members enjoyed a memorable visit to Westminster on Tuesday 23 October.  This included a tour of both houses, including witnessing the Health Minister's questions and the announcement of the postponed badger cull in the Commons.  It concluded with an hour of questions to our local MP, Simon Reevell and we are most grateful to him for the tour and the time he spent with us.
Meetings until the end of December 2012
The following meetings have been arranged and a separate e-mail will also be sent to advise members where we have their address:
Tuesday 28 August AGM and community meeting,
7.30pm at The Holt
Thursday 27 September John's Briestfield talk, part 3 7.30pm at Whitley Church
Tuesday 23 October visit to Houses of Parliament, numbers finalised, travel now booked
Saturday 3 November more bulb planting.  Please come along and help make the village a prettier place in Spring.
Thursday 22 November, Afternoon Tea for seniors, at 1.30pm at Blackerhill Farm
Thursday 6 December, Christmas Dinner, 7.30pm at The Woolpack