Opinion: Farsley set for its best year in 2023?

old woollen sunny bank mills Farsley
New life at the Old Woollen: (from left) Dick Bonham, John Gaunt, Choque Hosein (Trouble at Mill), William Gaunt and Howard Bradley (Trouble at Mill).

By Farsley-based community reporter Damon Cooper

Sun terrace soirees at Jasper’s Coffee Shop during the day – or well into the evening at The Village Wine Bar over the road on Town Street – provides a snapshot of what’s making Farsley an exciting place to live. 

In Farsley you discover a bookworm’s paradise with at least four free libraries – from Jasper’s, Sunny Bank Mills, the little free library on Newlands and Farsley Library itself – alongside the independent Truman Books for those wanting to splash out on the latest releases.

This year we even had Farsley’s first literature festival, which brought authors to various venues along the high street.

From books to bookings, the trio running events at The Constitutional and Old Woollen keep drawing in star turns from Utah Saints, Jack Carroll and others. They are they supported by others to make these in credible events happen. This is on top of a monthly beer club, cheese and wine club, lively bingo sessions plus quite a bit more. 

Amityfest 22 was Farsley Town Street’s first-ever craft beer festival, hosted within Weavers Yard at Sunny Bank Mills. It brought together 11 breweries and sold out sessions. 

India express Farsley farmers market
India Express at Farsley Farmers Market last year.

Farsley Farmers Market will be celebrating its ninth anniversary in 2023. Running from St John’s Hall and grounds, this monthly innovative pop up was pioneering when a lot of the above wasn’t even launched yet. We’re so lucky to have so much variety in our village. 

The juggernaut of Leeds 2023 will bring people together even further to engage in culture through events, displays and more. Our neighbourhood host, Alaina Dunne, will be working with individuals to give them a platform and celebrate their individuality. 

We can dream and imagine all this captured in a Mel Davis painting, commemorated by a glass stained window design by Zoe Eady, limited edition ceramics by Clod Studio, become a pizza special at Grumpy’s Bar + Wood Fired Pizza and bottled up by Amity Brew Co. 

It would be nice to see our sports teams, clubs and gyms go from strength to strength too as athletes reach personal milestones. Whenever that’s our teams winning a match, someone doing 10k steps a day, a spectacular goal or doing well in a tournament. Sporting culture is as important as any other culture we encounter for enriching our lives. 

Children will be at the heart of our year of culture from storytime, learning creative skills to arts and crafts. Leeds 2023 has to be the year that everyone points back as a turning point for their creative journeys and the year art is widely deemed as a worthwhile investment for our communities going forward, because what is the alternative? 

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