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  1. Bedale Festival takes place this Saturday, 30th June 2012.

    The Festival is one Bedale’s main events; attracting over 1000 people from the local community!

    The fun starts with an Olympic themed parade at 11am which leaves the Benkhill Drive bus park, led by the St Chads Scout Band; before travelling through Bedale to the park for judging.

    Aiskew Under 5’s preschool will be be joining in the parade again to compete for the ‘Ray Calvert Trophy’. Last year’s theme for the parade was 'Local Occupations'; with the Flower Shop winning the trophy and first place; decorated by the Rainbows.

    This year’s judges include Clr Amanda Coates (Mayor of Bedale), Mrs Annette Sowden (Headteacher of Bedale Primary School) and Mr Martyn Coombs (rtd Head of PE, Football Coach and D & S Times reporter).

    The Festival continues after the parade; taking place in Bedale Park, which is located next to Bedale Hall. The Festival promises a fun day for all the family, including a fair, refreshments, fire engines, a police community vehicle, the Wensleydale Railway, martial arts, a cycle display, circus skills, dance workshops, birds of prey, fundraising stalls and much more!

    There will also be the usual Car Boot Sale in Bedale Park from 8am with the Bedale Scout & Guide Group being the beneficiary charitable organisation of the day.

    Bedale Festival is Bedale Scout & Guide Group’s main fundraiser and monies raised go towards running costs and the building fund for the new Scout & Guide Building which they hope to start building soon.


    The Beckside Project; Bedale Scout & Guide Building

    The Beckside Project was set up last year, with the aim of replacing the existing hut on the banks of Bedale Beck with a brand new £375,000 eco-friendly, wood-clad scout hut and community facility that can also be used by other community groups.

    Some of the major contributors towards the project have been Bedale Town Council, Aiskew Parish Council, R and R Ice Cream, The Rectors Four and 20 fund, Bedale Chamber of Commerce and proceeds from the sale of the book ‘Reflections of Bedale.’ Anybody who would like to support the project can email .


    Bedale Scout & Guide Group

    Bedale Scout & Guide group currently includes around 150 local children who attend Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts and Explorers and enjoy the various activities the leaders voluntarily provide. To find out more about the group, vist their Facebook page at or email .


    Bedale Town Council

    Bedale Town Council support the Festival financially and provide Bedale Park as the venue for the event. They are also responsible for local Car Boot Sales. To find out more about Bedale Council, the Town Market, Car Boot sale, council minutes and more, view their page on BedaleOnline at

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  2. Thank You Bedale – A True Taste of Yorkshire for the Olympic Torch!

    Alan Mak, President & Trustee of Magic Breakfast writes exclusively for BedaleOnline after carrying the Olympic Torch this morning

    See all the photos here!

    alan - flame lit - ready to run! 1115amCarrying the Olympic Torch in beautiful Bedale this morning was an amazing, inspirational, and unforgettable experience! Thank you Bedale for a fun, exciting and brilliant day! You gave me incredible and vocal support in the bright Yorkshire sunshine, and you gave the world a true taste of Yorkshire with the warmth of your welcome. It was great to see so many hundreds of people lining Market Place: school children with their teachers. Mums and dads. Pensioners and war heroes from the Bedale Royal British Legion. Local shopkeepers, farmers and business people. Everyone in Bedale was here it seemed, lining the streets six or seven deep, cheering, shouting, taking photos, soaking up the atmosphere. It was like the Jubilee all over again. The warmth, energy and passion of the Bedale welcome has been amazing!

    Today started bright and early with a briefing at 8AM for all the Torchbearers covering Northallerton and Bedale at Northallerton College. I was then bussed back to Bedale to take my place on Market Place, dropping of the others on the way. It was great to meet the other Torchbearers at the briefing and learn about all the great things they had done for their communities. By way of background, the Torch came to Bedale today as part of the 70-day nationwide Torch Relay, and today it went through Northallerton and Aiskew before reaching Bedale at around 11AM. The previous day the Torch had been through York, Ripon and Harrogate, and after Bedale it now moves on to Richmond before heading up to Barnard Castle and Carlisle. But, today was proudly Bedale’s Day. As I ran up Market Place towards Bedale Golf Club as slowly as I could to savour every second, see every smile and wave as much as I could, all I could think of was how great it was to be in Bedale as well as the children we feed at Magic Breakfast and how much they would all have loved being in Bedale today too. Holding the Torch high above my head and waving to the crowd, my “Moment to Shine” (as the Olympics organisers like to call it) seemed to happen in ultra slow motion yet was over in a flash, but it is one of my best experiences in my life so far.  

    As I mentioned in my first BedaleOnline Olympic blog, I was chosen as a Torchbearer because of my work as President & Trustee of Magic Breakfast, the UK’s leading school breakfast club charity. We provide free, healthy breakfasts to 6,000 primary school children in 210 primary schools, including over 50 schools across Yorkshire. I suffered from child hunger myself, so I’ve worked hard to raise awareness of the issue with politicians, the media, businesses and the wider public. Judging from the massive turnout today, I think we made lots of new friends. As a proud Yorkshireman, I was truly honoured to be part of this once-in-lifetime event in the heart of Yorkshire, surrounded by so many people that I’d grown up with from local communities that I've known since I was young – from old school friends and teachers to long-lost neighbours – as well as Magic Breakfast staff and supporters.

    I’ve visited Bedale a number of times before, but an added bonus of carrying the Torch here is that it encouraged me to find out more about one of Britain’s best market towns. Given Magic Breakfast’s food focus and the fact that I was carrying the Torch on Market Place, I’ve learnt that Bedale was first mentioned in the Domesday Book and was granted its market charter by Henry III in 1251, allowing a market to be held every Tuesday, and Bedale has been giving visitors a true taste of Yorkshire ever since with great local produce. Today reminded me again about some of Bedale’s best qualities: warm, welcoming and friendly people. A wonderful gateway to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and some of Yorkshire's finest scenery. Bustling local shops, homely pubs like the Green Dragon and charming buildings. A rich culinary tradition that spans real dairy ice cream from Dales herds and Yorkshire beers to pies and Wensleydale cheese. But above all, Bedale has a great sense of community, a strong Yorkshire identity, and a glowing warmth that attracts visitors from around the world.

    alan mak 2I‘ve definitely experienced that warm welcome myself throughout my Bedale Torch experience. Arriving in Bedale on Tuesday afternoon to settle in at the Green Dragon, I met Councillor Mike Lowe, Deputy Mayor of Bedale and his colleagues from the Bedale Royal British Legion for a chat and a few photos in front of Bedale Hall. Apart from Magic Breakfast, I’ve also been a longstanding fundraiser for the Legion and the Poppy Appeal, and I founded the Legion’s UK-wide Young Professionals Branch, so it was great to meet some local Legion members and stalwarts like Mike. Later that night, I had a few beers in the Green Dragon with County Councillor John Weighell, Leader of North Yorkshire County Council (and councillor for Bedale itself) and Caroline Dickinson who used to work for local Conservative MP William Hague. They were as excited as I was, and in between seeing England beat Ukraine in the football, they told me how the Torch coming through Bedale has really brought the whole community together in excitement. I’ve also had a huge number of good luck e-mails and Twitter and Facebook messages, as well as extensive press and media coverage, including from national newspapers like the Guardian and the Times, local newspapers in Yorkshire and London where Magic Breakfast is based, as well as local and national radio such as BBC Radio York and the BBC World Service. I’ve been incredibly proud to talk about Bedale in all these interviews, and especially proud to have carried the Torch in my home county of Yorkshire.

    So, as my time in Bedale with the Olympic Torch draws to a close, I’m spending this afternoon meeting and thanking as many of the people who’ve supported me a possible, from the editors of BedaleOnline itself and the staff and regulars at the Green Dragon to local school children, councillors and civic dignitaries. It will be great to get some photos with them and the Torch too. I’m also hopping on the Wensleydale Railway to take in the breathtaking Dales scenery before I leave too, and have a wander round Bedale. The Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and I have been very proud to carrying the Torch in Bedale for Magic Breakfast. But more than anything else, it has been a great honour to share my Olympic Torch Relay experience with the people of Bedale. It belongs as much to you all as it does to me. Congratulations to everyone in Bedale for all you did to make today a great success and for sharing all that your beautiful market town has to offer with me and the rest of the world. Today you gave me, Magic Breakfast, the Olympic Torch Relay and the world a true Taste of all that is best about Yorkshire. Thank You.

    9 ways you can carry on supporting Alan and Magic Breakfast   

    1. Share Alan Mak’s exclusive BedaleOnline blog with your friends, family, colleagues and network – spread the word about Alan’s Torch Relay and Bedale’s Olympic Torch moment!
    2. Send Alan your pictures from today’s Olympic Torch Relay: and they will be collated on an online gallery so the world can see the Torch in beautiful Bedale.
    3. Follow Alan and his charity Magic Breakfast on Twitter: @AlanMakUK and @Magic_Breakfast to keep up-to-date with their work fighting child hunger and poverty in Yorkshire and across the UK
    4. If you’re a journalist, please help Alan tell the Magic Breakfast story on beating UK child hunger and Alan’s Olympic Torch story. Contact Alan on
    5. Go to Alan’s Torchbearer story on the London2012/Facebook Torch Bearer page. Tweet about it. Blog about it. “Like” it using the Facebook button in bottom right hand corner. Spread the word.
    6. Visit the Magic Breakfast’s website to find out more about their work fighting child hunger and poverty in Yorkshire and across the UK
    7. If you’re interested in supporting Magic Breakfast in any way – get in touch with them on This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
    8. “Like” the Magic Breakfast Facebook page to show your support for our their fight against child hunger and child poverty
    9. Visit BedaleOnline in exactly 1 year’s time (on 20 June 2013) when Alan will be writing another exclusive blog updating us on the impact that his Bedale Olympic Torch Experience had on Magic Breakfast’s work.

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  3. Proud to carry the Olympic Torch in Bedale for Magic Breakfast

    Alan Mak, President & Trustee of Magic Breakfast and London2012 Olympic Torchbearer, writes exclusively for BedaleOnline!

    torch bearer - alan makI’m proud, excited and honoured to be carrying the Olympic Torch in beautiful Bedale on 20 June 2012 as part of the 70-day nationwide Olympic Torch Relay. It will be especially great to do so in Bedale in my home county of Yorkshire, just a few miles from my hometown of York. As a local lad born and bred in Yorkshire, there is no greater honour than carrying the Torch in front of so many of the friends, family and neighbours that I grew up with from local communities that I've known since I was young. I’m really looking forward to seeing the people of Bedale lining the streets!

    Carrying the Torch in Bedale will make the experience very special. I have visited Bedale on many occasions since I was young as you are so close to York, and it’s a place I love spending time in because you have so much to offer. Warm, welcoming and friendly people.  A wonderful gateway to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and some of Yorkshire's finest scenery. Bustling local shops, homely pubs and great restaurants. And above all, a great sense of community and a strong Yorkshire identity that attracts visitors from around the world. Over the years, I’ve loved wandering around the market, having afternoon tea and going for a walks in the Dales then coming back for a pub lunch. I especially love Bedale’s rich culinary tradition: real dairy ice cream from Dales herds, Yorkshire beers, pies, creamy chocolate, and Wensleydale cheese. After the Torch Relay is over, I will be sure to stay for a big lunch with Magic Breakfast’s supporters who will be coming to Bedale to cheer me on!

    The Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and not only am I proud to be carrying the alan mak - with leigh primary school birminghamtorch in Bedale, I am also proud to be carrying it for Magic Breakfast, the UK's leading school breakfast club charity, who nominated me. My nomination was supported by Samsung, Olympic Torch Relay sponsors, who were searching for a "Local Hero who goes the extra mile" for their community. In my case, my work for charity had caught their eye. I'm President and Trustee of Magic Breakfast, and we provide free, healthy breakfast to 6,000 British primary school children every morning in over 210 schools, including across Yorkshire focusing on inner city Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford and Rotherham. Having a good breakfast improves children's school attendance, concentration in class, and exam results, and encourages them to lead healthier lives. As the first person in my family to attend university, I know how important having a good breakfast is, and I wouldn't have got to Cambridge without overcoming challenges like hunger myself. Last year, Magic Breakfast won the Prime Minister's Big Society Award for outstanding charities, so carrying the Olympic Torch will be a great way to round off an excellent twelve months for us, and I can think of nowhere better than Bedale in the heart of Yorkshire.   

    The Magic Breakfast team will be staying in the Green Dragon on Market Place the night before, and I am looking forward to getting up bright an early the next morning for a briefing to meet the other Bedale Torchbearers, and then having a quick wander round Bedale to soak up the atmosphere. I’m hoping for a big crowd of local people on Bridge Street and Market Place, and really looking forward to seeing the streets lined with local people as I know this will be a great day for Bedale too. Let’s hope we have great weather!

    Visit the BedaleOnline blog on the afternoon of Wednesday 20 June where I’ll be posting an exclusive blog, complete with photo, about how it felt to carry the Olympic Torch in Bedale. This will be the first place to read about it! Until then, thank you to everyone in Bedale for the support you have given me, and for hosting the Olympic Torch Relay. When I tell people about carrying the Torch in Bedale, the question I'm most asked is "What will be going through your head as you run with the Torch?" "Not dropping it” is the obvious answer. "Protecting it from gusts of wind so it doesn't blow out" also comes to mind. But most importantly, I will be thinking of the children, parents and teachers we work with at Magic Breakfast and the wonderful people of Bedale. You are all a great inspiration to me, and I will be thinking of you all when I carry the Torch!

    8 ways you can support Alan in Bedale:

    1. Watch Alan carry the Torch live. Come to Market Place for 11AM on Wednesday 20 June.

    2. Follow Alan and his charity Magic Breakfast on Twitter: @AlanMakUK and @Magic_Breakfast. They will be providing regular Twitter updates leading up to the big day.

    3. Go to Alan’s Torchbearer story on the London2012/Facebook Torch Bearer page. Tweet about it. Blog about it. “Like” it using the Facebook button in bottom right hand corner. Spread the word.

    4. Watch Alan carry the Torch online. Watch it live on the BBC Torch Relay website or the LOCOG Torch Relay site. Tune in from 11AM on Wed 20 June.

    5. If you are a journalist, please help Alan tell the Magic Breakfast story on beating UK child hunger and Alan’s Olympic Torch carrying! Contact Alan on

    6. If you are interested in supporting Magic Breakfast in any way – get in touch with them on

    7. “Like” the Magic Breakfast Facebook page to show your support for our their fight against child hunger and child poverty

    8. Visit the BedaleOnline blog on the afternoon of Wednesday 20 June for an exclusive blog from Alan describing what it felt like to carry the Torch!

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    Find out more about the Olympic Torch here.

    We have everything you need to know about when the torch comes to Bedale on June 20th!

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  4. The Olympic Torch Relay started on the 19th May at Land’s End, Cornwall and will end 70 days later at the Olympic Stadium after travelling approximately 8,000 miles around  the UK; carried by 8,000 torch bearers and covering more than 1,000 villages, town and cities!

    The Torch will travel via 20 towns and villages throughout North Yorkshire in June 2012; passing through Aiskew and Bedale before heading to Aysgarth and then continuing it's journey around the UK.

    BedaleOnline are excited to announce the names and details of the Olympic Torch Bearers that will have the privilege of carrying the torch through Aiskew and Bedale on 20th June 2012:

    torch bearer - alan makAlan Mak

    Hometown: York

    Age 28

    Carrying the Flame through: Bedale

    On: 20th June 2012

    Alan's nomination story

    "Alan is an ordinary person doing extraordinary things. As an outstanding, energetic and passionate Trustee of Magic Breakfast, Alan leads the fight against child hunger by setting up school breakfast clubs that feed over 6,000 hungry children every morning in 210 primary schools in Britain's most deprived communities.

    Bagels, cereal, porridge and juice give the UK's hungriest, poorest children aged 5-11 fuel for learning, boosting their concentration in class, attendance at school, and success in exams.

    Having suffered from child hunger himself, Alan has led the campaign amongst media, business and policymakers to raise awareness of child hunger and poverty, and calling for action.

    Alan shows immense commitment to the cause by personally sponsoring the breakfast club at his local primary school where he is a governor. He has secured thousands of pounds of funding from corporate supporters, and led Magic Breakfast to success as a recent winner of the Prime Minister's Big Society Award for outstanding social enterprises. Alan is also designing and launching 'Magic Porridge', a new social enterprise serving porridge to the workplace to raise funds to feed hungry children.

    Alan has gone the extra mile. His work allows an entire generation of children to make the most of their education and be the Olympians of the future. Alan's story is powerful, personal and inspiring, and he would carry the Olympic Flame with pride.

    Visit for more information."


    torch bearer - elaine dowellElaine Dowell

    Hometown: York

    Age 62

    Carrying the Flame through: Aiskew

    On: 20th June 2012

    Elaine's nomination story

    "Elaine is the founder member of the Encephalitis Society, a charity which supports individuals who have had Encephalitis, which is inflammation of the brain usually caused by an infection or auto-immune response to infection. She took the initiative to start up the society with a couple of other affected families in 1994 after they found themselves isolated and in the dark about the condition and its effects. The society has since grown into a national charity that provides advice, information, support groups, regional representatives, does dedicated research to improve outcomes and holds social events to enable sufferers to share experiences. I had Encephalitis the year before the society was formed and for 11 years struggled to cope, felt very alone and totally lost my sense of identity and direction and it was only once I found the society in 2004 that I met others who had had the same condition and finally regained a sense of identity and learnt some strategies to cope with the effects of it. I can honestly say that for myself the support and information the society provided was a turning point in my life and I would not be where I was today had I not found them and the many friends I have made through them. It was once said by a society member that the society is 'a light in a very dark place' and for Elaine to be a torch bearer would be a way that I and all the members of the society could say a huge thank you for putting her frustrations to good use back in 1993."

    torch bearer - mike dobsonMike Dobson

    Hometown: Thirsk

    Age 71

    Carrying the Flame through: Aiskew

    On: 20th June 2012

    Mike's nomination story

    "Mike retired from working in education in 1995 and since then has devoted himself to voluntary work within the community, doing fifteen different unpaid activites, as well as eighteen paid activities. He is an advocate with the National Youth Advocacy Service, Barnado`s, Voice for the Child in Care, HMYOI Wetherby and HMYOI Wakefield. He is President of North Yorkshire Youth Ltd and Patron of Sports Aid. He has been involved with the Duke of Edinburgh`s Award, the North Yorkshire County Scout Council, The Prince`s Trust, Youth Clubs North Yorkshire, the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services, the National Youth Agency`s Education and Training Standards Committee, the National Lottery Charities Board, the Schools Curriculum Award, the Outward Bound Trust, the National School and Community Network, the York and North Yorkshire Connexions Board, the Extended Schools Programme, the Community Education Development Council, St John`s Ambulance (Commander) and has been a School Governor at the village school for eight years. He is Chairman of the York and District Society for Amateur Artists and teaches watercolour painting to young people, adults, and community art groups, including young people in prison. He is an independent visitor at Hassockfield Secure Training Centre, Aycliffe Young People`s Centre and Huntercombe House, Stockton upon Tees. In 1995 he was awarded the MBE for `Services to Young People`. Despite his age and a knee replacement, Mike runs 20 miles a week."

    torch bearer - rachel wilkinsonRachel Wilkinson

    Hometown: Stockton on Tees

    Age 43

    Carrying the Flame through: Aiskew

    On: 20th June 2012

    Rachel's nomination story

    "Rachel Wilkinson is the manager of our vulnerable learners cohort at Bedale High School. We have a room that is called BRIDGE . She, and the other 2 members of the BRIDGE team make sure that young people in need of support are helped in a number of ways, this could be emotional support, practical support or referral to other agencies who could help the young person. Students at risk of exclusion are also helped to try to minimise the chance of this happening. Disaffected young people end up staying in school and completeing their GCSEs rather than becoming non-attenders and leaving with no qualifications. Young carers and those in care of the local authority are supported. All the young people Rachel helps have better chances in life now that they have received support at an early stage. She is proactive and all the young people she has helped sing her praises."

    Terry Haw

    Hometown: York

    Age 75

    Carrying the Flame through: Aiskew

    On: 20th June 2012

    Terry's nomination story

    " Cheerful Helpful Instructing Inspiring Others to take up sport. Since 1959. Youth club leader Cubs football referee 1960 Tennis player Junior tennis coach 2000 have benefited over the years. Runs ladies league 600 players. Playing every week in York district Winter tennis raising funds for Breast cancer Research At 75. Coaches to Encourage players to return to play. He is Mr Tennis in Fulford if not in York. He has devoted all his spare time to encouraging others to take up sport. He is deserving of the honour of carrying the Olympic torch. All this has been achieved despite difficult home circumstances. He is always eager to help anyone no matter the circumstances. When I snapped my tendon playing tennis it was Terry who took me to hospital. Stayed until 3am ran me home and provided great encouragement for me to return to play again after 9 months at the age of 64 and I am still playing. "


    The team at BedaleOnline are excited about seeing the Olympic Torch pass through Bedale from Aiskew. We look forward to seeing Bedale bustling with people and all the local school children lining the streets as it passes!

    We'll be there on the day, will you? Let us know how you plan to celebrate the occasion and how you'll be getting involved by emailing us at

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    You can find out about the Torch route, times and more on our Olympic Torch page.

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