DEBUT: Lala’s Restaurant manager Akeel Ahmed (right) will be making his stage debut in The Chef Show
A chef from a Batley curry house is all spiced-up to star on stage in a deliciously entertaining comedy show.
The Chef Show is a story about a father and son who have very different ideas on how to run the family business. The hilarious play is about a typical night in your local ‘Indian’ restaurant, with all the tastes and smells of Britain’s favourite dish, created by a chef in front of your eyes.
On a national tour after winning two awards, actors Kamal Kaan and Rohit Gokani play all the characters, with their comic tales inspired by interviews with restaurant workers.
They will be joined by popular Lala’s Restaurant manager Akeel Ahmed, for the one night only performance on Wednesday June 19th, at Hanging Heaton Cricket Club.
Akeel will become part of the show as he talks about himself and life at Lala’s in Batley and cooks some tasty, spicy food at the same time.
Father-of-three Akeel, 40, said he was looking forward to his first ever appearance on stage. He said: “I have worked in restaurants since I was younger and worked as a chef and now a manager.
“I don’t feel nervous as such but some of my friends are coming to see the play, so that will be interesting.
“I have got to know a lot of our customers from this area through the restaurant, so it would be great to see some of them at the performance.”
The hilarious play is about a typical night in your local ‘Indian’ restaurant
Yorkshire playwright, BBC Radio Leeds presenter and stand up comedian Nick Ahad, wrote the play after working in his dad’s Bangladeshi restaurant and take away.
Nick said: “This might be the first time the audience from the Dewsbury and Batley area have heard the story of the person who makes the food in their local curry house.
“When you see the man making your curry has a life, a family and dreams of his own, then you see humanity.
“Food brings people together and breaks down barriers. When you hear his story you cannot fail but see someone more than just the bloke who makes your food. That’s why I think the Chef Show is vital and timely.
“It will leave behind a genuine relationship that had previously never gone beyond ordering a chicken tikka masala.”
Director Stefan Escreet, whose original idea the play is based on, added: “We are delighted to be working with Lala’s in Batley.
“They are such a highly respected family business and so well known locally. We’re looking forward to plenty of fun on stage.
“We know the Dewsbury and Batley audience will have a great night out and learn a little about the lives of people running these businesses in the community.”
Creative Scene the Arts Council England funded project, which brings arts and culture to north Kirklees, presents the Chef Show, by Ragged Edge Productions.
Nancy Barrett, director of Creative Scene, added: “It is a comedy sketch, a play and a cookery demonstration rolled into one. It is deliciously entertaining and not to be missed.”
Mount Cricket Club held its annual community presentation evening at the Al-Hikmah Centre, Batley.
The Club was first established by two enthusiastic cricketers Mr Hanif Mayet (who continues to be its Chairman) and the late Farid Karolia together with some of their friends. Since then the Club has progressed through various Yorkshire leagues and now plays its senior cricket in the Halifax Cricket League (HCL) winning many trophies, friends and supporters along the way in England and increasingly abroad.
In attendance were members of the community including men, women, boys and girls together with a whole host of community, voluntary, statutory organisation and public/private businesses including enterprises and local schools.
During the evening of Saturday 12th January 2019 two special messages of support and appreciation to the work the Club does for and with its community were read out from Colin Graves, Chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board and Baroness Patricia Janet Scotland QC, through the Commonwealth of Nation’s Secretariat and the Peace at the Crease Team.
One of the highlight of the evening were the Community Champion Awards given on the night to two exceptional individuals who given so much service to and for the local Muslim community. Ian Brodie, responsible for the provision of a multi faith room in Pinderfield Hospital, Wakefield, received an award; Sheila Acquith, responsible for helping and supporting local Asian women with English speaking and sewing machine classes when they arrived from the Indian Sub Continent in the early 1970s and 1980s was also honoured with an accolade.
Attendees heard of the work the club is engaged with in promoting inclusivity and to open cricket opportunities to all sections of the community including girls, women, children with disabilities and for the over 50s.
The audience heard about its participation in the 4th Light of Faith Tour with the Vatican’s St Peter’s Cricket Team and retaining the ‘Sir John Major Friendship Club’. Zahed Lorgat of JM Financial talked about his involvement with the Club during the tour to Corfu, Greece and was proud to be supporting the Club even though he now lives in London. During the Corfu tour the Club’s coaches led by Mrs Rizwana Patel also undertook two coaching sessions with school children.
Hanif Mayet, Chairman of the Club commented as follows: “We’re really pleased that as a club we provide participation opportunities into sport especially for women, girls and children from the age of five onwards”.
Tracy Brabin, Batley & Spen MP & Shadow Minister for Early Years, attending for the first time commented that: “It was an absolute privilege to be asked to speech at Mount’s presentation evening at what was a wonderful occasion celebrating their commitment to the community it serves. It was also fantastic to celebrate women and girls in sport, something the Club continues to embrace as it moves forward with new partnerships”.
Mark Arthur, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Cricket Club, who attended with his wife Debbie, had the following to say: “Another great evening at Mount celebrating a year of achievement both on and off the Field of Dreams. Their progress with girls and women cricket and personal development is commendable”.
David Pearson JP, DL, FRSA, A Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire commented: “Not only were cricketing achievements celebrated, but recognition was given to a number of people who had selflessly served the local community.
“The Lieutenancy is always pleased to be associated with such recognition and we are very grateful for the invitation for one of its officers to represent Her Majesty at this most enjoyable event”.
Jules Preston, Chairman of the Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust attending for the first time said: “It was very inspiring to attend Mount’s presentation evening.
“Seeing the young people receiving their medals and trophies brought home to me how the values of developing healthy bodies and healthy minds, of tackling inequalities in communities closely mirrors the values of the NHS”.
Cllr Fazila Loonat, from Kirklees Council commented as follows: “It was an absolute pleasure to join the Mount Family celebrating another year of success on and off the pitch. The teams have gone from strength to strength doing fantastic work to bring communities together through cricket and tackling issues around cohesion and health. The highlight for me was the awarding of the Community Champion Awards to the two exceptional individuals (Sheila & Ian) to whom we owe a great deal of gratitude”.
In presenting the 1st Team Cup Anthony Briggs, Chairman of the HCL commented: “On behalf of the league can I extend a massive thank you for the invitation to Mount Cricket Club’s presentation evening which was an excellent and enjoyable evening.
“On top of this you secure speakers such as the local MP Tracy Brabin, Jules Preston the Chairman of the Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust and Mark Arthur from Yorkshire Cricket.
“This is testament to the connections you have and the great work you do in the local community. We look forward to attending again next year and you never know perhaps you will have more success on the field to celebrate, all the best for the forthcoming season”.
Abdul A Ravat, Mount’s Development Officer and who played host for the evening was delighted and stated that: “The presentation evening is a keenly awaited occasion where we celebrate the Club’s achievements both on and off the pitch.
“We are proud of our objective to make cricket accessible to all and will continue to involve ourselves with wider community activities. Going forward we would like to do more than what we are currently doing from our base at the Field of Dream and will work with the ECB under its South Asian Strategy, with Yorkshire Cricket, Kirklees Council and others. Imagine what we could do for our community if we had the proper tools”.
Stand out performances of the season
• 4 players were voted on an independent poll run by CricInfo’s ‘performance of the week’. They were Soyeb Gheewala; Ismail Mayet; Jabir Patel and Siraj Patel and were awarded their unique caps from Tracy Brabin MP.
• Soyeb Gheewala and Jabir Patel both shared the Dr Motawali ‘Players of the Season Cup’ with amazing battling: o Soyeb scored 1,057 runs with an average of 81.1, including 3 centuries and 3 more scores of 50 and more with a highest score of 170 not out; and Jabir scored 1,248 runs with an average of 96, including 6 hundreds and 3 more scores of 50 and over with a highest score of 192 not out.
The young provide a gateway for elderly to the world wide web
The young boys from Batley armed with laptops, samosas and kebabs were the gateway for some elderly residents at Wellington Court in taking them to the world wide web.
They paved the pathway for them to experience the digital world on laptops and ipads creating a portal through time to their earlier years and birth places.
One elderly resident aged 90 visited her birthplace, Grimethorpe where she relived her childhood memories and friends through the internet. She exclaimed in excitement recognising some places that still existed many decades on. She expressed her gratitude and happiness at being able to revisit past places and capture her memories from nearly a century ago.
One elderly overjoyed that she could now contact her grandchild properly using internet connectivity. This resident expressed initial concerns as she did not know how this could be done and had failed a few times before.
The young boys from Kumon Y’all, Dewsbury and a local Madressah Talimudeen, Batley united together extending a helping hand to these elderly residents introducing them to the digital age and showing a snapshot of what bandwidth the internet can achieve in connecting people and places like never before. They transported other residents elsewhere, to different parts of the globe, allowing them to experience life in a different time zone.
One young person, Uzair Fajandar, 17 said "Wow... What a wonderful experience teaching our older generation different aspects of this modern day internet.It was not just about teaching but also learning from them to see how life was back then”.
The co-ordinator at Wellington Court, Dave said “the young men quickly assessed if the residents had any experience” He further commented that “the residents thoroughly enjoyed themselves”.
Karina and Jay from Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing were the intermediate for Kumon Y’all to bridge a stable connection with residents at Wellington Court.
Farook Yunus, projects manager from Kumon Y’all explained to the elderly residents that we would love work with them in the future and progress this positive work into bulb planting, garden clean-ups and other inter-generational activities that promote a good understanding between all and further friendships and unity across different communities.
RELAX: Enjoy treatment in a luxurious treatment room
Indian head massage, goji berries and cupping amongst the wide range of alternative solutions to health problems
Suffering from health problems or aches and pains that you just can’t get any relief from? Alternative therapies could be the way to go.
Abdul Passwala is the fully qualified complimentary therapist behind Alternate Therapy in Batley. Offering a wide range of therapies and massages, Alternate Therapy can perform treatments in their luxurious treatment room based in Batley, or with their mobile service, if you prefer they can come to you, and treat you in your own surroundings.
With a number of treatments available, family-run Alternate Therapy are sure to have something on offer that can relieve that little niggle you’ve been having, or ease long-standing problems that are causing you suffering.
There are a number of massage treatments on offer from sports massage to remedial massage to deep tissue massage, which will help to ease your aches and pains.
If you are after something a little different, why not try a wet and dry cupping massage. It’s an ancient practice in which a cup is applied to the skin and the pressure in the cup is reduced (using a change in heat or by suctioning out air), so that the skin and superficial muscle layer is drawn into and held in the cup.
SHOP: Alternate Therapy sell a wide variety of products to improve your
Alternate Therapy also offers hot stone massages (heated smooth, flat stones, which are placed on key points on the body) and Indian head massage (a technique that has been practiced in India for over 1000 years.
Traditionally the techniques used in Indian head massage were restricted to the head and hair, to improve scalp and hair condition of Indian women. Now it incorporates the upper back, shoulders, neck, upper arms and face) and aromatherapy massage (which uses warm essential oils to activate your sense of smell and increase your sense of well-being. The oils are massaged into your skin, dropped into water for you to bathe in, or blended with other oils or steam for you to inhale).
Alternate Therapy also offers reflexology treatments. Reflexology is based around the theory that different points on the feet, lower leg, hands, face or ears all correspond with different areas of the body, and massaging them stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system to heal itself. Reflexology can help with a number of health complaints including: stress, back pain, migraine, IBS and asthma – to name a few.
They also offer the ability to buy products from their website, like aloe vera gel and goji berries. Goji berries are a great source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, fibre, zinc, iron and antioxidants, and can be used to aid in weight loss and to boost your immune system.
With the variety of treatments and health products on offer, now might be the time to treat yourself or someone you care abut?
“I feel there is no greater personal reward and satisfaction then seeing the smiles on people thorough the impact of your work.”
Where many teenagers may be out “having a doss”, one young man carries the beacon of inspiration for young people throughout West Yorkshire.
18-year-old Haris Rashid from Batley has been dedicating his evenings, weekends and school holidays to volunteering at community centres offering his help and support to the elderly as well as young people.
Along with fundraising, Haris has completed, what he describes as, “exhilarating walking expeditions” in the Yorkshire Dales, developed leadership skills and even learnt how to cook!
Haris’s tireless commitment hasn’t gone unnoticed - recently he became a proud recipient of the Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Silver award in front of a fully packed audience at Huddersfield Town Hall.
The Heckmondwike Grammar School student started his journey with DofE some years ago, achieving the Bronze award initially.
Now that he has achieved the Silver award he says he’s as determined as ever to bag the Gold award too and looks forward to visiting the Royal Palace in London upon completion.
“The Duke of Edinburgh scheme has enabled me through volunteering, physical activities, expeditions learn life skills and more. I know that by expanding my knowledge and array of competencies they will serve me well throughout life,” says wise Haris.
The young man, who intends on going to university to study Law, says he’s ultimate ambition is to become a Barrister with a particular interest in Human Rights.
“I intend, while at University, to do volunteering project with one of the developing countries through Voluntary Services Overseas,” he adds.
“I feel there is no greater personal reward and satisfaction than seeing the smiles on people through the impact of your work.”
“I would recommend the DofE scheme to every young person. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the benefits to the community from your volunteering efforts.
“I have developed the confidence and the communication skills to speak to large audiences, and most importantly I have made lasting friendships, through the scheme, that I will cherish.
“I intend to undertake the British Mountaineering Association Leadership challenge and support other young people through my volunteering with Duke of Edinburgh schemes.
“I was also privileged and honoured to meet at the Huddersfield Town Hall award ceremony Stephen ‘Stanley’ Bates - the dual gold medallist and Jim Dodds the Kirklees Mayor, both of whom are inspirational figures in their own right”.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: The duo first discovered a passion for martial arts almost 20 years ago
Taekwondo siblings receive prestigious martial arts award
Whilst most brothers throughout the country get in trouble for fighting, a couple of sparring siblings from Bradford have been awarded for their combative natures at this year’s Martial Arts Illustrated National Awards.
Mohammed Zamoord and Mohammed Wahed, from Undercliffe, in Bradford, were invited to the high-profile event earlier this month in Burton-upon-Trent to commend their services to teaching taekwondo across West Yorkshire.
The duo have been running classes in various communities - in Bradford, Dewsbury and Batley – for almost two decades and were presented with Martial Arts Illustrated (MAI) Award by the Hall of Fame Authorities.
On receiving his award, Zamoord said: “It was a great sense of achievement. We have been involved in martial arts for almost 20 years so to get this type of national recognition is an amazing feeling.
“We were fortunate we trained with the best National taekwondo champions, winning titles in Wales, Scotland, England and the north of England many times over.
“We carried on our success by teaching our skills to the youth and passing on our knowledge to students who have been part of our organisation the United Martial Arts Academy.”
The awards evening was attended by guests from throughout the martial arts world, including the highly respected Richard Bustillo.
Richard is one of the few remaining few students who was taught by the legendary martial arts movie star Bruce Lee and was on hand to speak to the award recipients.
Wahed added: “It was a huge privilege and an honour to be amongst such highly talented people from the martial arts community.
“We caught up with some old faces and had a wonderful evening. Richard commented this type of event didn’t happen many years ago, as people from different martial arts would not talk to one another.
“He said it was great for him to see the martial arts community in the UK getting on with each other, respecting and celebrating together - whether it be Judo, Karate, Taekwondo, MMA or Aikido.”
Zamoord and Wahed are currently spearheading their new project called ‘Support Taekwondo’, funded by the Big Lottery Fund.
The project will kick off in early December and is aimed to help young children and adults in Bradford with learning, behavioural and emotional difficulties.
BEAUTIFULLY WRAPPED: Just some of the gifts provided by the students at Madresah Taleemudeen
With Christmas just around the corner, a group of school students from Batley have been busy spreading the festive joy through an interfaith initiative for their local hospitals.
Kind hearted students from the Madresah Taleemudeen Islamic School have collected money for ‘Kids For Kids’- a project where students raise funds for toys and gifts.
These presents are then handed out to the youngest patients at hospitals near to their school.
On Wednesday 23rd November, pupils visited Dewsbury District Hospital to deliver their gifts before, on Friday 25th November, they ventured to Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, to drop off an array of beautifully wrapped presents on the wards.
JUST IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS!: One child receives his gift which will no doubt bring a little fun to the long hours spent recovering on the ward
Maulana Zakir Daji, Head Teacher at Madresah Taleemudeen, was delighted with the children’s response.
He said: “We feel this act of generosity will help put a smile on the faces of the young innocent children in Dewsbury Hospital and Pinderfields Hospital and offer a glimmer of hope and support during this difficult and daunting time when they are admitted.
“We also feel it enriches the children who study at Madresah to be able to help support local charities, organisations and institutions which offer a great service to us all.”
KIDS FOR KIDS: The students hoped their gifts would put a smile on the faces of the children in hospital
The school, on Henry Street, Batley, facilitates Islamic education for its students, yet teachers are also keen to provide programs which try to give back to the wider society they live in.
Mr Daji added: “At a time when there is a lot of negativity in the world, it is a great way to put smiles on the faces of the young children, especially with Christmas around the corner which is supposed to be a time of happiness.
“There is a myth that our community is divided but we aim to dispel that and help build communities together.”
ENTERTAINMENT: Children enjoyed having their faces painted (Pic cred: Adam Patterson/Open Society Foundations)
After a summer which has seen Britain seemingly more divided than ever, an organisation has begun to start healing divisions by bringing people together with events organised around food and games.
A grassroots collective - ‘Hope not Hate’ - seek to challenge and defeat the politics of hate and extremism within local communities, whilst building resilience against the politics of hate and fear, at a local and national level.
"Over the weekend of the 3rd and 4th September, there were more than 80 #MoreInCommon events which took place across the UK."
The aim of the weekend was for people to have fun, but the intent behind the merriment was serious: to show that, like Jo Cox said, people have ‘more in common than that which divides us’.
The organisers wanted to provide a fitting tribute to her memory and in Jo Cox’s constituency of Batley and Spen, there were community festivals, street parties and conversations over cups of tea.
COHESIVE: Thousands of people turned up to the event, despite the wet weather (Pic cred: Adam Patterson/Open Society Foundations)
Paul Meszaros, the Yorkshire organiser, said: “The Batley event was really good. Despite the wet weather, thousands of people turned up.
“There were donkey rides, a climbing wall and face painting. You name it, we had it.
“The turnout was astonishing. The united mood after MP Jo Cox’s death was very strong. We all wanted to stand together. That’s why we saw the big turn outs. It was pouring down but people still came.”
As well as entertainment for the younger attendees, there was also plenty on offer for people of all ages.
“Organisers gave out 1,000 meals for free,” Paul added. “It was a food and cultural celebration. We had Syrian food and Syrian dancers, Irish bread making, singers from around the world and Caribbean drummers.”
COLOURFUL: Hundreds of stalls kept the whole family entertained (Pic cred: Adam Patterson/Open Society Foundations)
Paul took his daughter with him to Batley whilst his wife went with the rest of the family to Bradford.
“It was all very good. We’re already talking about doing another one next year,” he said.
“We had that period just before and after the Brexit vote where there were racist attacks everywhere and a nasty old atmosphere.
“What this event has made clear is that there are so many ordinary people that don’t want to sign up for that. People want to live in harmony. Jo Cox’s comment that we have more in common than that which divides us struck a chord in this moment in time.
“All these little events tapped into her ethos.”
FUN: Donkey rides were a popular attraction in Batley (Pic cred: Adam Patterson/Open Society Foundations)
VIOLENT: Samir Hussain hit the complainant numerous times around the head and body with a rounders bat
A Batley man will go to prison for more than five years after he attacked a relative in the street with a rounders bat.
27-year-old Samir Hussain came across Mohammed Yaqoob by chance on the street in Mount Pleasant, Dewsbury and a family dispute erupted into violence.
The broad daylight incident happened in March 2016.
Bradford Crown Court heard this week that Mr Yaqoob had his young son in his car when Hussain overtook him in a works van and stopped in front of their vehicle.
Prosecutor Dave Mackay told the court that Hussain went over to the complainant’s car intending to speak to him about the dispute, but after Mr Yaqoob poked him in the stomach with a small rounders bat the defendant took if off him and struck him ‘numerous times’ to the head and body.
Even when Mr Yaqoob was on the ground, the prosecutor said the attack with the bat continued.
It only ended when members of the public shouted at Hussain to stop.
Mr Yaqoob suffered a fractured left forearm and an open fracture to his left leg after the fight.
It is understood that Mr Yaqoob had to have a metal plate inserted in his leg during surgery at hospital and he also had cuts to his head.
After the assault, Mr Yaqoob told police that his nephew, Samir, had done it, but after his arrest Hussain claimed that he had only struck the complainant a few times in self defence.
Hussain, of Dark Lane, Batley, had been due to stand trial today but he admitted a charge of causing Mr Yaqoob grievous bodily harm with intent.
Barrister Amanda Johnson, for Hussain, said he had expressed genuine remorse for the offence and she explained that he had lost his temper in a ‘moment of madness’ after being provoked.
Jailing Hussain for five years, recorder Richard Woolfall said he had pleaded guilty to a very serious allegation and it was clear that there was history to the incident which happened on 14th March this year.
As part of the sentence, Recorder Woolfall set an indefinite restraining order which banned Hussain from contacting Mr Yaqoob directly or indirectly and he is also prohibited from going to the street where he lives in Staincliffe.
HANDS ON: Preparing rations was a highlight of the day as the group especially enjoyed the hands-on activities
British Asian girls from Huddersfield and Batley shone a spotlight on Army medicine this past week when they visited a military field hospital in York.
The visit - arranged with the Huddersfield Pakistani Community Alliance and the Indian Muslim Welfare Society - was designed to give the girls an insight into a career in medicine with an Army flavour.
Hosted by 34 Field Hospital based in Strensall, the girls – aged between 12 and 16 - were shown how to build a temporary shelter called a basha.
They also prepared and ate a Halal operational ration pack for lunch before heading off to the battlefield ambulance where the roles of a Combat Medical Technician and field surgical team were explained alongside the equipment they use.
After some basic first aid training - including resuscitation techniques - they military girls took part in a stretcher race where they put their newly-acquired skills into practice.
16-year-old Aqsa Khan from Huddersfield said she had learnt more about the medical side of the army and different injuries faced on the battlefield.
“I have had basic training before but this is more advanced,” she said. “We have learnt more about the equipment the Army uses and then I went to look at all the equipment they would ship out with them overseas - and it is a lot. “
Before the visit, eight girls from the group of 24 had said they were seriously considering medicine as a career, a number which increased significantly by the end of the day.
LIFE SKILLS: Lessons in CPR were well received by the girls, as some would like to eventually pursue a career in medicine
Amongst those contemplating such a profession was 16-year-old Saira Munir from Huddersfield.
“I am not good at science and I want a career in business,” she said. “However, learning about everything that goes on here, how they treat the patients and how they rescue them is interesting.
“It is not something that you learn by watching the news. You have to see it and hear it from people that actually do it themselves. It was good coming here.”
14-year-old Aaisha Khan from Dewsbury agreed. She said: “More than anything, I really enjoyed the fact that we were able to see different part of the Army instead of the stereotypical things we see on the news.
“I really liked hearing about all the different career opportunities that the Army can offer; the different facilities and what the benefits are - instead of the things people usually mention such as fighting and going to war.
“Medicine is definitely something I am considering and the reason I came here today is because I felt it could help with my career.”
34 Field Hospital was the last field hospital to deploy to Camp Bastion in Afghanistan in 2013 and also returned home a year ago from Sierra Leone where they ran the Ebola Treatment Centre in Kerrytown.
ARMY LIFE: The group of girls from Huddersfield and Batley got an invaluable insight into what it means to be in the army
The visit to Strensall was arranged by 4th Infantry Brigade based in Catterick , the Army’s regional focus for community engagement.
Lieutenant Colonel Mark Hunter, from the 4th Infantry Brigade Community Engagement team who organised the visit said: “We are reaching out to diverse communities throughout the region in order to raise awareness of what the Army does both in this country and abroad.
“The Army has many careers - of which medicine is one. We are not just about combat, we undertake humanitarian work and training throughout the world. 34 Field Hospital is a good example of that, having served on different styles of operation both in Afghanistan and Sierra Leone.”
EUROPEAN DEBUT: Khalid Ayub fought for the first time in Croatia last week as an English representative in the Schoolboys European Boxing Championships
European debut for teen boxer
Boxing on the big stage is becoming somewhat of a regular occurrence for a local boxer from Batley who last week travelled to Croatia to compete in the Schoolboys European Boxing Championships.
Fourteen-year-old Khalid Ayub, who boxes out of the Warrior Breed gym, flew off to the Baltic state with his coaches for the biggest competition of his career to date.
In a performance streamed around Europe Ayub was unfortunate to lose out on his European debut but impressed his GB coaches and the local team alike.
Adam Bham, from Warrior Breed, said Ayub had a lot to be proud of following the close contest and was looking forward to seeing him continue to develop as a boxer.
“Throughout the fight, Khalid displayed maturity beyond his years,” Adam said. “He has acknowledged the set back and maintained that he is eager to return to the gym and continue to improve himself and win more titles.
“The England coaching team have been left with high expectations for the future with further bouts lined up against boxers from Scotland and Denmark later this season, Khalid continues his training and will shortly join the English training camps once again.”
The European Championships is known to be the ultimate test for GB's amateurs, with nearly all qualifiers being ranked ‘number one’ in their home countries.
The schoolboy division is hotly contested with representatives holding high hopes of reaching Olympic podium squads within four to eight years.
Khalid will be hoping to get back to winning ways when he returns to the ring with the national set up against opponent from Scotland and Denmark later this season.
A certain pizzeria in Batley is a real head-turner. Customers can’t walk or drive past the establishment without being drawn in through their doors, the heady waft of Italian pizzas guiding the hungry over to a flashing bright neon sign. It can only be...Godfather’s.
Inside, the restaurant has an American diner feel with an Italian twist. The wood fired oven crackles and spits with heat in the corner, turning out hundreds of authentic Italian pizzas every night, all deliciously fragrant with herbs; their crusts airy, their bases thin and topped to capacity with imaginative ingredients.
Pizzas have either lusciously rich red bases, bursting with the juice of vine-ripened Italian tomatoes from the fields of southern Siciliy, or racy green pesto flavours that compliment a sprinkling of black olives, fresh vegetables and spicy halal chicken.
Founded in 2005, Godfather’s is a family run business who knows that their pizzas are ‘the Don’, especially as an award-winning Italian chef spins the dough.
Each pizza is individually tailored to taste balanced and beautiful. The Bollywood Pizza is a real crowd pleaser - with a spicy base, tongue tickling chicken and locally sourced mozzarella - it is polished down to the last crust.
The menu is expansive and covers other favourites like homemade burgers dripping with cheese, steaks and sumptuous spaghetti bolognaise.
So grab your crew and head down to Godfather’s for a pizza that’s the boss.
ENDING A FAST: The iftar brought together people from all faiths and backgrounds in Batley
Multi-faith community comes together for charity and remembrance
An international charity based in Yorkshire hosted a special multi-faith iftar in Batley last month as communities came together in remembrance of Jo Cox MP and to raise money to help feed the hungry around the world.
The free event, titled ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ took place at Carlton Junior & Infant School at 7pm on Friday 24th June and was hosted by the Penny Appeal charity, featuring presentations, prayers and personal reminders from a range of guests.
Amongst those in attendance on the day were the Reverend Ann Pollard of Trinity Church, MP for Dewsbury and Mirfield Paula Sherriff and Leeds Makkah Masjid Imam Qari Asim MBE.
The iftar – the name of the evening meal that Muslims have to end their fast during Ramadan – began with a welcome by Carlton Junior school’s Ikram Butt and Shagufta Mirza.
This was followed by a traditional reciting from the Qur’an by Imam Asim, before Reverend Pollard and Ms Sherriff lead a remembrance piece for the late Jo Cox.
Ms Cox was tragically killed by a lone gunman just miles away from the primary school as she carried out her parliamentarian duties in the town of Birstall.
Carlton Junior school headteacher, Rizwana Mahmood, also paid her respects to the former MP prior to Maghrib prayers and the start of the iftar meal.
Harris Iqbal, UK Programmes Manager at Penny Appeal, said it was an event which brought out the best of the local community.
“The Love Thy Neighbour community iftaar in Batley was a truly exceptional experience,” he said.
“It was beautiful to see people of all faiths and none, and of different backgrounds and cultures, come together to break bread in the spirit of Ramadan.
“The blessed month is a time for hospitality, caring and sharing, as well as an opportunity to help others and create new friendships, so it was a pleasure to have the company of local councillors, MPs, faith leaders and residents and for everyone to come together in remembrance, celebration and charity.”
The event raised money for Feed Our World, Penny Appeal’s programme to provide nutritious meals to people in over 30 crisis-hit countries around the world. Donations can be made at any time by calling 03000 11 11 11 or visiting www.pennyappeal.org.
WHERE ARE THEY?: Police are appealing for help in finding two-year-old Musa Bham and his father Abdullah.
A father and his toddler have disappeared from their home address in Bolton.
Musa Bham, aged two, was last seen on Sunday 5th June leaving his home address with his dad Abdullah Bham.
He was reported missing to police on Friday 17th June and despite numerous attempts to trace the pair, police have so far been unable to trace them and are now appealing for the public’s help.
The pair are originally from Batley, West Yorkshire and still have links to the area.
Detective Inspector Danny Brophy of GMP ’s Bolton borough said: “We have followed a number of lines of enquiries in our efforts to find Musa and Abdullah Bham but have so far been unable to trace them.
“Although I would like to stress that we do not believe Musa to be in any danger, his family is growing extremely worried about him and desperate for his return.
“I am urging anybody who may have information about the pair’s whereabouts to please contact police immediately.”
Anybody with information should contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
ONE GOAL: One Nation have one vision, where there is justice and compassion
Charity’s aim is for a world where compassion reaches everyone
One Nation is a UK-registered charity based in Batley, West Yorkshire, who have been operating for four years.
They campaign for a better world where basic amenities and social opportunity become ‘the norm’ for all people.
The charity’s main focus is on alleviating poverty for those in dire need of humanitarian aid. From newborn babies; to injured victims of war and the elderly – their vision for the future global environment is one that produces justice and is based on compassion for all.
One Nation works on a variety of local, national and international projects. These range from their ‘Feed the Homeless’ events throughout the UK, to providing emergency aid relief to victims of the ongoing war in Syria.
They respond to emergencies and natural disasters in countries such as Palestine, Bangladesh, and Sudan with financial and humanitarian assistance.
The group initially started their work back in 2012 when they witnessed the Syrian genocide unfold and wanted to help in any way they could.
That year they sent their first convoy of ambulances full of aid to help the field hospitals.
Members of One Nation have travelled more than 20 times since, to set up long term projects and help alleviate the suffering of the innocent families, widows and orphans.
They are one of a few charities where trustees and volunteers have personally delivered food parcels to the areas of Aleppo, Lattakia, Hama, and Idlib as well as aid to besieged areas such as Madaya, Ghouta, Yarmouk and Homs.
The team now delivers food parcels and fresh bread every month to thousands of people inside Syria and have also recently set up a purpose-built widows and orphans camp called ‘project hope’ which provides safe and secure shelter, electricity, clean water, food, clothing, healthcare and educational facilities.
One Nation also regularly sends containers full of aid to the war-torn nations as well as sponsoring many field hospitals inside Syria.
FEEDING THE HUNGRY: The charity have had unprecedented access to the world’s most needy
Due to the refugee crisis in Europe, the philanthropic team recently sent a convoy of over 50 vehicles to help deliver humanitarian aid in countries such as Austria, Germany, Croatia and Hungary.
This initiative also involved a trip to the island of Lesvos in Greece to help deliver clothing, food and shelter.
A spokesperson from One Nation said: “It was a truly saddening experience where we saw mothers, babies and people who were injured from bombings. Even pregnant women arrived and sometimes fell unconscious as soon as they were taken off the boats.
“Many of the children were shivering and had to be given thermal blankets and warmer clothes to stop them catching hypothermia. In April, our team also visited Sudan to assist the Eritrean refugees by providing food and medicine.”
These journeys have given the charity unprecedented insight into the situation that people face.
This Ramadan, One Nation are helping to provide food for the most needy from only £1.00 per person per day - or £30.00 for the month, in the following countries: Syria, Gaza, Yemen, Bangladesh, Sudan and India.
Contact details below:
For more information about One Nation, or to make a donation, get in touch via:
Telephone: 01924 856923
Address: 2a Oxford Street, Batley, West Yorkshire, WF17 7PZ
POLITICALLY ACTIVE: Paula Sherriff MP with the ‘My Country My Vote’ 2016 winners
Pupils from three schools across Kirklees attended a politically charged celebratory event at Dewsbury town hall last week.
On Friday 29th April, students from Westborough High School in Dewsbury, Upper Batley High School in Batley and All Saints Catholic College in Huddersfield celebrated the completion of their ‘My Country, My Vote’ project, aimed at ensuring the next generation of voters are clued up on all things politics and the democratic process.
Over recent months, each school has been given the unique opportunity to take part in different campaigns for their local area, culminating in a presentation evening.
For this year’s ‘My Country My Vote’ project - arranged between Kirklees Council Community Heritage and Education Team and the University of Huddersfield – the teens were tasked with delivering presentations of their winning campaign to a jam-packed audience.
Campaigns included: getting lower travel fare concessions to and from school for local young people; re-introducing school lockers back into school, encouraging more youth orientated businesses to open and for improvements to be made to Crow Nest Park in Dewsbury.
The pupils that participated in the project were pre-GCSE age as to not interfere with their exam timetable.
‘My Country My Vote’ is an initiative which has been running since 2012 and teaches students about running effective political campaigns. It also increases awareness of, and participation in, the processes of local democracy.
Local MP Paula Sherriff presented the awards, after which she gave an impromptu ‘question and answer’ session where the audience could ask her probing questions about her life as a politician.
INNOVATIVE: Students expressed their democratic concepts through the medium of wool
The pupils asked the Labour MP some very searching questions and the audience was very appreciative of the ‘no-holds-barred’ opportunity to grill a serving politician.
Dr Andy Mycock, Reader in Politics at the University of Huddersfield helped oversee the prohect and praised the engagement of the participating students.
“The My Country, My Vote project has successfully provided opportunities for young people across Kirklees to engage with and participate in local democracy by empowering them to change things in their schools and communities,” he said.
“The enthusiasm of the young participants fundamentally challenges the notion that young people are not interested in politics.”
One of Batley’s oldest supermarkets has been enjoying a new lease of life in recent months, with Mullaco’s Cash and Carry proving a real hit with clientele.
The site was previously used as the store’s warehouse, stocking huge quantities of goods from all over the world. However, with only the smaller Wellington Street establishment selling the wares, there were always surplus products being stored.
With demand from customers rising in recent years, the decision was taken to convert the former storage site into a state-of-the-art cash and carry and the response has been enormous.
Headed by an expansive HMC-certified halal cutting plant, the site provides all the usual Mullaco favourites, alongside a huge meat aisle.
Owner, Yousuf Mulla, says he has been delighted with the response from new and old customers who have been full of praise for the new look Mullaco.
“To make this site into what it is today took a large investment on our behalf yet it is already starting to pay off,” he said. “We have been here just 18 months and word-of-mouth has spread across the country.
“The reputation we have built via the Mullaco store over the past 40 years has allowed us to hit the ground running with this site as we continue to develop our business model.
“We were named Halal Butchers of the Year in 2013 and take pride in continuing to live up to our billing.”
As well as selling the finest cuts of meat and fresh poultry from their in-house butcher, products are also packaged in-store, using the latest hi-tech machinery.
This has allowed for the creation of ready-to-takeaway cuts for customers, which have proved popular with locals and those placing online orders.
Yousuf added: “We have made it so customers can not only purchase cuts of meat from our butchers, but can call in and pick up a ready-made packet like they would in any major supermarket.
“Recently, we have begun stocking a larger quantity of higher quality meat with the Aberdeen Angus really taking off.”
Sourced from local Yorkshire farms, the lean cuts are packed with flavour and texture and are available in a variety of forms.
Why not opt for the hand-pressed burger, with maximum taste and succulence packed in, or your favourite Aberdeen Angus steak - including Fillet, Sirloin and Rib Eye.
“Our unique packaging means we do not have to freeze our meat like other Asian supermarkets. They are maintained at the same fresh temperature for up to 48 hours,” Yousuf explained.
“This allows our meats to remain with their optimum taste for customers to take home and serve up to restaurant-standard.”
Products have been shipped as far as Saudi Arabia and Dubai in recent weeks whilst UK residents can take advantage of guaranteed next-day-delivery on orders placed by 10am.
If you can’t wait that extra day, simply call into the cash and carry yourself and see for yourself why Mullaco are the king of meats.
One of Batley’s favourite secrets is celebrating its reopening this month, with a new look and new menu launched at Raz’z Diner.
Located on Purlwell Lane, the restaurant and takeaway has built up a tasty reputation over the past four years, bringing a hearty Italian menu to the fore, with an American twist.
Today, as the much loved establishment continues to thrive, new tastes are being introduced to appetise diners, from gourmet burgers to exotic venison and ostrich steaks.
Owner at Raz’z Diner, Raza Ayoub, explained why he had decided to bring new life into the already bustling restaurant.
“We wanted to create a quality place for our customers where they can enjoy themselves in a setting complimentary to the food we prepare,” he said.
“It has been a big investment on our part and we are still waiting for our huge fish tank to be installed. Until then, visitors can dine in our relaxing restaurant or takeaway and experience the freshest menu around.”
All dishes cooked up at Raz’z Diner involve the freshest ingredients, sourced daily from local grocers and butchers, to ensure taste is always at a premium with every bite.
Amongst the many steaks available on the new gourmet menu is a mouth-watering 10oz Wagyu Sirloin Steak.
The melt-in-the-mouth steak is regarded as one of the world’s finest cuts, with its marbling texture absorbed into the muscle to give meat its tenderness and flavour. Served up with a drizzle of peppercorn sauce, it is a dish you have to try to truly appreciate.
A range of fully-loaded chicken and succulent steak burgers are also now available at Raz’z Diner, alongside classic favourites – parmesans, shredded steaks and pizzas - which the establishment built its success on.
“Our dishes have always been made fresh to order but recently we noticed there was still room to grow with our menu,” Raz added.
“That is why we have decided to launch the gourmet selections. The food is beyond compare with other eateries in the area, yet you won’t have to break the bank to experience them in the restaurant.”
Perhaps you would rather enjoy your meal at home? Well worry not, Raz’z Diner not only provide a takeaway service for all their dishes but have a delivery service - free to all homes in a three-mile radius when spending over £7.
With a menu to fulfil every foodie’s desire, head down to Raz’z today and find your perfect dish on Purlwell Lane.
PARADE: Prophet Muhammad’s birthday is celebrated with flag waving and free food
WAVING AWAY: Kids celebrate one of the most important dates in the Islamic calendar
Hundreds of people gather on the streets for a joyful party
One of the most important dates in the Islamic calendar saw people line the streets last month for a parade arranged by mosques in Dewsbury, Heckmondwike and Batley.
The Eid Milad procession, which included horse-drawn carts and flag wavers, went through Westtown to Savile Town, and celebrated the birthday of Prophet Muhammad.
The green flags, covered in daffodils and tulips, were waved by adults and children, symbolising love for the environment and nature.
People in procession handed out free cartons of Biryani rice and soft drinks to passersby as well as those in the procession.
The festival took place during Rabi-Ul-Awwal, the third month in the Islamic calendar.
After the procession was over, scholar Shaiykh Mufti Sahibzadha Noor-Ul-Arifin said: “This is not a political gathering, but a purely religious peace procession where local Muslims ... can learn about the life of Prophet Muhammad.
A SPECIAL DAY: The parade was arranged by mosques in Dewsbury, Heckmondwike and Batley
“A person with black or white skin, male or female, elderly or young, rich or poor, Muslim or non-Muslim - all were equal to him.
“This was Muhammad’s true Islamic state. He was always teaching his followers to show love and compassion.”
Organisers emphasised that the message of the procession was to spread a message of peace.
No disturbances were reported during the event.
A religious programme was held in the evening at the mosque in Westtown, which included speeches by local Imams.
Speaking to the Asian Express about the importance of this year's Eid-Milad Peace-Procession, senior Muslim Scholar at Kanzul-Iman Jamia Mosque, MuftiShams-Ul-Huda Khan Misbahi explained: “The Islamic festival of Eid-Milad has been celebrated for centuries.
FAMILY TIME: A father and son enjoying the parade
“Its purpose is to spread a message of love and to bring people together from different communities.
“This is why hard-line extremist Wahhabi political groups like Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Boko-Haram, Al-Shabaab and ISIS do not believe in this important Islamic festival.
“They have openly banned Eid-Milad celebrations in those areas of the Middle-East or Afghanistan which are controlled by them.”
He continued: “At the moment, these groups are also using the internet and social-media to spread a lot of false propaganda against the festival of Eid-Milad.
“This is why lots of Mosques feel it is now more important than ever to organise these Eid-Milad public peace-processions which are helping a great deal to teach our youth about the true peaceful message of Islam.”
FLYING THE FLAG: Children wave green flags which represent respect for the environment
The transformation of the old Batley and Dewsbury Magistrates Courts building in Dewsbury Town Centre, into Wedding and Conference Suites, is almost complete as an unrivalled level of luxury and facilities prepares to open in Kirklees.
The Courts Banqueting & Conference Suites are the perfect destination for your wedding, boasting a number of suites which can cater for all events, from small gatherings through to large celebrations.
With stylish interior, entwined with classic Asian traditions, it is the ideal venue to host your big day.
Experienced wedding co-ordinators are available in-house and specialise in designing, managing and delivering events to suit individual requirements, no matter what the budget, size or theme.
From the minute you arrive at The Courts, you and your guests will be blown away by the extensive range on offer.
The outside Courtyard provides the perfect location for photographs, and has stunning features including a fountain and gazebo, giving rise to many other picture opportunities.
The Reception areas also provide perfect opportunities for guests to mingle and have refreshments served, prior to moving into the chosen Wedding Suite.
If you need a moment to relax during your wedding day, then head to the Bridal Suite, a place to unwind, freshen up or simply grab a few moments alone.
All the Suites include:-
State of the art audio and visual technology (including plasma TV screens)
An adaptable stage and lighting
A choice of seat covers, table decorations and floral displays
Classic wedding or bespoke menus
There are also excellent disabled facilities (including lifts to all floors) at The Courts. Management make it their business to ensure that everyone feels at home.
It is possible to offer separate rooms for ladies and gentlemen, whilst a private prayer room is available.
The first wedding suite, completed in October 2015, The Crown Suite is suitable for up to 470 guests.
The Suite offers all the features you would expect from a premium venue, including a number of stage and stage decor options, flower showers, a lit walkway, sound and lighting equipment.
You can choose from a number of wedding packages on offer and then add to this from an extensive number of optional add-ons, to make your special day is unique.
Her Majesty’s Suite
A larger wedding suite, due to be completed in December 2015, Her Majesty’s Suite is suitable for up to 1,000 guests. A Mehndi Suite will also be available by the same date.
Executive, Party, Conference and Bridal Suites will all be completed by the beginning of May 2016.
The Courts Management Team recognise that every event is different, so offer complete flexibility, and are happy to discuss your specific requirements to ensure that you are provided with the perfect setting for your special day.
ATTACK: Footage of a recent ‘vigilante’ attack in Ravensthorpe shows a man being attacked in the street
Police call for calm following series of burglaries
Police are calling on members of a Kirklees community not to take up the role of ‘vigilantes’ as a spree of robberies has left residents fearing for their safety.
Last week, four separate burglaries were reported to police in the Batley, Dewsbury and Ravensthorpe areas, with the same gang of thieves believed to be behind each attack.
On Thursday evening, five people were run down by a car in Ravensthorpe as a group of locals confronted the drivers of three unknown vehicles.
As one driver attempted to escape, he veered onto the curb and struck five young people with his car before crashing it and abandoning the vehicle.
He was forced to lock himself in the bathroom of a Subway establishment until police arrived with up to 150 members of the local community blocking him in.
He was arrested by officers at the scene on suspicion of wounding with intent but has since been released without charge.
In response to criticism of the police on social media and ‘misinformation’, West Yorkshire Police have written a strongly-worded letter, in relation to the recent crimes.
Inspector Mohammed Rauf signed the letter and wrote: “Unfortunately, and very sadly, a number of people within our community have decided to take it upon themselves to try and police their local streets which is raising concerns and fears unnecessarily and have resulted in at least two serious incidents.
“We ask that this behaviour cease immediately as it is only causing harm to the wider community.
“We have numerous resources working during the day and into the night all of whom will be patrolling the streets, working with our communities and gathering any information or intelligence that you may have.
COVER: One man escaped a mob of up to 150 locals by locking himself in a Subway toilet until police arrived
“Policing the streets of Dewsbury and Batley is the preserve of the police and we cannot allow individuals to take on this role and in effect act as vigilantes.
“We know our communities do not want this and cannot and will not allow this to continue.”
During last week’s robberies, a group of men were reported to have targeted Asian families for cash and gold.
Mp for Batley and Spen, Jo Cox, said she was aware of ‘numerous’ incidents and had been in touch with local residents, police and councillors.
She said: “I have been in touch with some of the victims who are very concerned about these incidents.
“I understand the worry, upset and anger within the community about what has happened and following last week’s meeting I have organised a meeting to discuss it further with Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff.
“We will meet with the police and crime commissioner, senior police officers and community leaders.”
Do you live or work in Ravensthorpe and have been affected by the recent crimes? Get in touch with our newsdesk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CRICKET: The Mount Cricket Club, from Batley, faced off against the Vatican’s St Peter’s XI earlier this month in the Friendship Cup
Mount Cricket Team building faith relations around the world
All roads led to Rome for an amateur cricket club from West Yorkshire earlier this month as faith relations were strengthened through a unique match with the Vatican.
Batley’s Mount Cricket team swapped their local field for the Italian capital on 14th October after being invited to compete in a T20 game, for the Sir John Mayor’s Friendship Cup, with the Vatican’s cricket team - St Peter’s XI.
The local squad, made up of all Muslim players, faced off against the Roman Catholic side in the first such game organised to promote interfaith relations through the medium of cricket.
In total, a party of 33 travelled from Batley’s Madina Masjid for the inaugural event, including the team of 11 players, key members of the Club’s Executive Committee and supporters.
Lasting four days, the group were treated to a personal tour of St Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, whilst nine members of the party attended Sunday mass led by his Holiness, Pope Francis.
Fiaz Rashid, one of those who attended mass, said of the event: “The congregation prayers had such vibrancy that you felt connected with all around you.
“It was one of the most moving experiences I had encountered.”
FAITH: All members of the Mount team are of Muslim faith and played against the Roman Catholic side in an attempt to further build faith relations
Prior to the match with St Peter’s XI the visitors played a warm up game with the Roma Capannella Cricket Club, eventually clinching a six-wicket victory.
However, the matchup the following day with St Peter’s XI proved to be a more challenging encounter with the home team edging out their opponents in the final over of the game.
Aimed at promoting relationships between the two faith groups, the occasion was organised to build bridges and friendship and for those involved, it excelled expectations.
Hanif Mayet, Chair of Mount Cricket Club, summed up the whole experience saying: “The four days in Rome will be etched into our memory and hearts as an unforgettable experience. Thank you Vatican.”
Pratheesh Thomas, a member of the Vatican team and a Seminarian, added: “Today we have realised one of our dreams, to play against a team composed of Muslim friends.”
Following the match, the two teams and members of the executive committee dined together to celebrate the event, with a rematch for the Friendship Cup already being touted to be played here in the UK.
Also attending the event was Nigel Baker, British Ambassador to the Holy See; John McCarthy, Australian Ambassador to the Holy See, Mark Arthur, Chief Executive of Yorkshire County Cricket Club and representatives from the English & Wales Cricket Board.
SICKENED: Sam Al-Kazhraji says he has not been able to sleep since the robbery last week
‘Thugs stole my life’s work in one night’
A business owner in Batley is offering a £10,000 reward for information that could lead to the return of 23 boat engines, stolen from his workplace in a ‘life-changing robbery’ last week.
69-year-old Sam Al-Kazhraji, arrived at his workshop, off Brookroyd Lane, on Thursday 15th January to find his property had been targeted by thieves.
The previous evening, a gang of robbers had used the site’s own forklift truck, to load goods onto the back of a lorry before driving them to an unknown location.
Mr Al-Kazhraji, who owns West End Marine Ltd, said he could not believe it when he drove into the yard the following morning and saw the business had been robbed.
ROBBED: Mr Al-Kazhraji stands next to one of the engines which was not taken during the heist and appeals for help in tracing the stolen goods
“At around 8am we came up to the gates and you could see that they had been forced open,” he said.
“I drove into the yard and then saw the roller shutter was open for the warehouse and a fork lift truck was in the yard which was very unusual.
“It wasn’t until we inspected the building that we saw the extent of what had been taken. After that I felt sick all day.
“All my staff have families and this is going to affect us all. If I lose my livelihood due to this burglary, the whole staff will lose there’s too.
“I have worked my whole life to build this business up and these thugs came in one night and just took it all away.”
As the business was still in the process of moving into the new site at the time of the burglary, the premises were still uninsured as a new alarm system had not yet been fitted.
This has severely impacted the company’s operations and running costs, leading Mr Kazhraji to offer the substantial reward to anyone that can help find those responsible.
REWARD: Many of the engines stolen were brightly coloured, like the one pictured
“The £10,000 reward is very serious,” he said.
“It is offered to anyone who can help trace the people responsible for the burglary and hopefully help return some of the stolen goods.”
The father-of-three adds that he has not been able to sleep since the theft and believes that the robbery was a ‘targeted’ one.
“It was definitely a planned operation with military precision,” he said. “They took all the most expensive engines, propellers, starter motors and alternators.
“The police agree that whoever did it had planned it for a long time beforehand. They even had an escape plan if they had been caught on the night, as the back lock had also been broken off.”
The vehicle used in the robbery is believed to have been a 7.5tonne lorry with engines on the back.
MISSING: The Volvo D-9 engine was one of the most expensive models stolen and is distinguished by its bright white colour, measuring around one-and-a-half metres
Mr Al-Kazhraji says it must have made more than one trip between the yard in Batley and wherever the engines were taken as the number of stolen goods weighed too much for one trip.
Due to this, it is believed the lorry will not have been able to travel more than a 30 minute distance from the site on that night, with the full incident taking place between 10pm and midnight.
The most expensive model of engine taken was the Volvo D-9 (pictured above) which can be noticed by its white appearance, around one-and-a-half metres long, and was wrapped in polythene. Other designs include: Yamaha, Volvo, Caterpillar, Iveco and Perkins.
Det Insp Stef Wiseman, of Kirklees CID, said: “We don’t believe this was a random burglary. The engines are worth a lot of money and we believe the establishment was targeted because of what was in the premises.
“I would appeal to anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity in the area on that night to get in contact. I would also appeal to anyone with an interest in boats to be on the lookout too.
“If you are offered a boat engine or engines for sale in a deal that sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.”
If you have any information about the robbery please contact the CID on 101.
SUCCESS: Ahmad Gul has been recognised as one of the top Gujarati writers in the UK after being awarded the Gurajat Darpan Award for his short stories entitled ‘Ajaanya’
Gujarati poet pens his name at the top
One man’s passion for writing was acknowledged from the other side of the world last month as a Batley resident was awarded a top literary award, all the way from India.
Ahmad Gul, poet and chairman of the Gujarati Writers Forum (GWF), was given the Gujarat Darpan Award for his collection of short stories entitled ‘Ajaanya’ (meaning ‘Strangers’).
The presentation took place in Indore, India last month, on behalf of the historic literary organisation known as the Gujarati Sahitya Parisad, of which Mahatma Ghandi once chaired in the 1930’s.
The 105-year-old organisation holds the awards ceremony biannually and it is considered one of the top literary honours in Gujarati literature.
Mr Gul, who moved to Batley from India back in 1963, has been writing since his arrival in the UK and initially used it as a way of remembering home.
His latest commendation was awarded for his short stories which depicted the ‘realities of Muslim families and society’ – something which is somewhat rare in this type of literature.
Commenting on his award, Mr Gul, confirmed that his triumph was the second best achievement of his life and could only be triumphed by his OBE recognition.
Ismail Daji, secretary of GWF added: “The members of Batley’s Gujarati Writers’ Forum congratulate Ahmad Gul for this outstanding achievement.
“This award has placed him to a level not yet reached by any member of Gujarati community in the UK.
“We feel it’s a just and rightful recognition of Mr Gul’s hard work, his literary ability and his deep insight into our culture, our family life, and our society.”
Mr Mohamed Mula, chairman of the Indian Muslim Welfare Society (IMWS), added: “We would like to congratulate Mr Lunat OBE for his achievement.
“Let us hope such a glittering prize would act as a catalyst for the ‘would be’ author from our local community.”
A delegation of generous fundraisers from a West Yorkshire voluntary organisation travelled more than 200 miles last weekend to deliver vital funding to the flood-hit area of Somerset.
The Batley-based Indian Muslim Welfare Society (IMWS), made the long trip south, as they presented a cheque of £16,000 to the Somerset Community Foundation flood appeal fund.
After seeing pictures of the floods through the media, the group began fundraising in mosques throughout Batley, Dewsbury and Huddersfield, and within a couple of weeks, had already raised more than £10,000.
DONATION: The group presented a cheque of £16,000 to the Somerset Community Foundation which works with residents whose homes have been affected by the floods
Chairman of IMWS, Mohamed Mulla, explained why the group were so determined to help out and how delighted he was to see interfaith relations.
“Although there may not be any connection between the Indian Muslim Welfare Society and Somerset, we have the connection of humanity and that is why we knew we had to help,” he said.
“We saw pictures of homes which had been flooded and decided we must do something to help.
“It was through working with the Somerset Community Foundation that we actually got involved with the fundraising efforts and the work alongside the Bishop of Taunton.”
The group presented the £16,000 cheque to the foundation before being taken on a tour of the affected areas, starting with the church in Muchelney, which acted as the central hub for the flood relief effort, before moving on to Burrowbridge.
The Bishop of Taunton, the Rt Rev Peter Maurice, welcomed the IMWS to the long-marooned Somerset village after meeting them in Thorney.
“This is such a wonderful gesture of solidarity from one community to another,” he said.
“It's heartening to find that rural communities in distress in Somerset are getting support from Muslim communities in Yorkshire.
“We're very grateful to the Indian Muslim Welfare Society and to all the individuals who have generously contributed to the collection. We are deeply grateful for their expression of kindness, compassion and care for those affected by the flooding.”
GREETED: Members of IMWS were met by the Bishop of Taunton, as they discussed the relief efforts and were given a tour of some of the worst affected areas
The group also met Rita Dobson, a resident in Taunton whose home has been flooded twice already this year, in January and February.
Ms Dobson said it was lovely to meet a group who were simply raising funds due to the goodness of their hearts.
“It is really nice to meet some people who genuinely care,” she said. “It’s not politically motivated or anything like that, it’s just the generosity of the heart, it does get you quite emotional really.
“When you’re living in a quite sad looking house at the moment, just little things like this can make a huge difference. My spirit has been lifted today.”
The IMWS have prided themselves on helping disasters both close to home and elsewhere in the world. In 2009, they raised thousands for the Cumbrian flood victims and have also raised much more for the tsunami relief work in 2004.