Black History Month: Champion Jack Dupree – Calderdale saves the best for last

October. Stoptober. Halloween. Seems like there’s no shortage of happenings in this month. It may take a fair bit to draw our attention from personal achievements and our quest to enjoy Halloween, much as we can with current restrictions.

Black History Month is also celebrated in October. And for Calderdale, believe you me, it comes with a punch!

My colleague forwarded me a forward, a nugget of information about World famous Jazz musician -and professional boxer!- Champion Jack Dupree, having lived ’round the corner’ in little old Ovenden of all places! What a goldmine!

To me Jack Dupree was a name I vaguely recognised. I wasn’t into jazz until about a couple of hours since I received the link. What completely fascinated me was to know that a celebrity of this magnitude lived in my neck of the woods!

I first viewed the video, then I looked up the man himself. Orphaned at infancy after the criminal activity of the KKK, going through the care system, braving the road, becoming a professional fighter then finding his gift for music, teaching himself to play the piano, moving to Europe to escape prejudice and finding love here in Halifax on his way to stardom!

To think that this passed by our doorstep should fill us with pride.

View the YouTube video for yourselves!

I am writing this whilst listening to the music of the man himself. The style is not what I would usually go for yet every note brings smile after smile and even laughter to my face.

The life of Champion Jack Dupree epitomises everything Black History Month stands for. A life almost ruined by institutionalised prejudice. Overcoming hardships such a start can bring about. Gumption, courage and following your inner voice. Becoming a beacon and shaping the World.

This is one of Calderdale’s very own historic gem with regards to celebrating Black History Month. Jack Dupree’s life demonstrates how all the efforts, all the strifes, all the work done and still needs doing has achieved so much. It woke us to the error of our ways and made us more human. It highlighted the absurdity of excluding a group of people from basic human dignity, privileges of health and education we take for granted. It gave, amongst others, one human being the ability to reach across the ages and touch the heart of another, again amongst others. Despite this becoming more prominent it is far from an isolated case.

The possibility that we may have been denied this privilege, that millions would have not experienced this privilege, the possibility that millions of voices might never have had the chance to be, doesn’t even bear thinking.


Before you go, a treat: Calderdale Council celebrates Jack Dupree!

Free Term Time Meals for Children with Blondin’s Cafe at the Piece Hall

During this Half Term, Blondin’s Café in The Piece Hall will be serving out free meals to children who rely on school dinners.

The food is contributed by all the outlets in the Piece Hall.

This is a part of a local initiative, to support the families that would otherwise struggle to feed their children during the holiday term break.

The project will run throughout the Autumn Term time break from 10am to 4pm.
Kids will receive a man, a piece of fruit and a drink.

Follow the link for more information: The Kindness Project: Food for Kids

You will find information about how you can help. Any donations are welcome and any surplus will be used over for plans for a similar project during the Christmas break.


Arts and Crafts for Wellbeing Zoom sessions from Healthy Minds

The next term’s Arts and Crafts sessions by Healthy Minds are announced and you are welcome to join. No experience is necessary, just the willingness to have a go in a friendly, supportive environment.

Mon 2nd Nov            Creating Zentacles

Mon 16th Nov           Seasonal Decorations

Mon 7th Dec              Seasonal Decorations

Mon 21st Dec            Decorating Glass tealight holders (Winter Solstice)

The Arts and Crafts for Wellbeing Zoom group was set up in response to Healthy Minds participants expressing that they felt lonely, isolated and bored during lockdown. It was noticed there was a desire for people to occupy their time in a way that is positive, providing a break from the news and a chance to share and learn new skills in order to keep busy and active in their own time in and away from the group.

The Arts and Crafts for Wellbeing group therefore aims to provide this space; a safe and welcoming environment for people to make some ‘creative connections’ and is intended to provide some ‘light relief’ to improve our sense of wellbeing.

Workshops run via Zoom on the 1st and 3rd Monday of the month from 6pm-7.30pm Places are limited and allocated on a first come first serve basis.

The session link will be emailed close to the date of the session. Please book your place at least a week in advance as materials may need to be posted to you.

For more info and to book contact

West Yorkshire Police Christmas Card Competition

Today, October 27th, we’re launching our children’s Christmas card competition!

Budding young artists are being offered the opportunity to see their festive artwork to be used for the official West Yorkshire Police Christmas card.

To find out how to enter visit:

Rules for artwork:
  • 4 to 16 years, can design a corporate Christmas card for West Yorkshire Police demonstrating the different roles in Policing and the work we do to keep communities and the people in them safe.
  • All entries must be hand-drawn and must be received by the closing date of Monday November 30th, 2020 (any entries received after the closing date will not be counted).
  • The image should fit on one side of A5 (an A4 piece folded in half) portrait or landscape.
  • Entries can be submitted by post only.

Click here for full details and competition information.

West Yorkshire Police Urging The Public to Stay Safe This Halloween

Stay safe this Halloween.
Many traditions such as trick or treating are to be avoided due to restrictions that are currently in place across all of the county of West Yorkshire.

Read full article

West Yorkshire Police is urging the public to stay safe this Halloween amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

Following on from Government guidance, West Yorkshire was put into Tier 2 ‘High’ Covid Alert category, mixing of households and social distancing measures are currently in place, and police are urging the public to enjoy the festivities at home to help stop the spread of Coronavirus.

“This year, trick or treating is not encouraged, but there are lots of activities families can do at home and to keep them safe.”

Typically this time of year tends to be the busiest period of the year for the police and last year West Yorkshire Police received nearly 1,800 999 calls on 31 October, and just over 4,000 contacts overall.

“As we all know things can change quite rapidly, so please ensure you are keeping an eye on Government announcements and the local guidance on the website so you can keep up to date on Covid restrictions as well as guidance

“For anyone experiencing anti-social behaviour or clear breaches of the restrictions in place I would urge they contract West Yorkshire Police. But most of all, it continues to be about using common sense, thinking of others and following the local guidance so that we can all be as safe as possible, thank you.”

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is supporting the Police’s plea for people to act responsibly.

“If you are celebrating please be respectful of your neighbours and your community – remember, we’re all in this together. Please also remember that the handling of fireworks is best left to the professionals. Please don’t risk injury or having to call on the emergency services or NHS at a time when they are so desperately needed in fighting the pandemic.

Any incidents of anti-social behaviour can be reported online via the West Yorkshire Police website, please visit

999 should always be used in an emergency, where there is a danger to life or crime in progress.

For more information and advice via Twitter, search #WYHalloween or follow West Yorkshire Police @WestYorksPolice and West Yorkshire Police Customer Contact Centre @WYP_CCC.

Stay Safe This Halloween
  • Have a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Decorate your household or living space
  • Have a trick or treat hunt with your household members in your home
  • Bake some Halloween treats
  • Carve and decorate pumpkins and display them in your windows
  • Have a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Have a virtual Halloween pumpkin carving contest

Online Remembrance Sunday Service with St Georges Church November 8

There will be no Service of remembrance in St Georges Church, Ovenden this year because of Covid-19 restrictions.

However, St Georges Church, Lee Mount will post a remembrance service online at around 10:00am on Sunday, 8th November. It can be found on our Facebook page –

St Georges Ovenden Facebook

You can watch this without a Facebook account/membership and it will be available throughout the day.

In addition, we will also post an act of remembrance at 10:55am on Sunday 8th November. This will include the laying of wreaths, reading the names on the Cenotaph within St Georges and the two minutes silence.

Members of the public are welcome to watch and take part in these events in your own home provided you have access to the internet. Sadly, we cannot accommodate a live event.

For more details:
Contact Alan Maxwell on 01422 251761 or by email

Help Us Stop the Spread – Coronavirus Alert

For the most up to date information on Coronavirus, visit the Council’s website here

Calderdale remains in Tier 2 with regards to Coronavirus restrictions. It is up to everyone to ensure we observe the recommended guidelines to control the spread of the virus.

Remember: Hands – Face – Space

  • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds
  • Maintain a 2m distance where possible
  • Wear a face covering
  • Don’t exchange visits with other households
  • Avoid crowded spaces, especially indoors.
  • Keep yourself informed
  • Isolate if you have symptoms

If you suspect you have contracted Coronavirus, get tested.
Get a free NHS Coronavirus TEST