What is it about Scarborough and Fiction

Book Cover

The Last Train to Scarborough is a Jim Stringer Steam Detective novel by Andrew Martin.

Hot on the heels of our review of the murders in Scarborough in ‘The Other Child’ by Charlotte Link is another book in Andrew Martin’s railway detective excursion into the Edwardian past. The Last Train to Scarborough has his ex-railway-worker-turned-detective Jim Stringer tackling an uncomfortable assignment from lodgings in a wet and gloomy off-season Scarborough.

Andrew Martin’s following is growing as his obvious love of the period and trains becomes clear to his loyal and new readers alike. Not everyone’s cup of tea you either fall for the books or not but give one a chance as they are worth reading on a long holiday train journey. Martin’s ability to summon up the Edwardian era provides an interesting atmosphere ‘as if you have gone back in a time machine and you are actually there’.

Some of the other titles in this 8 book series include The Blackpool Highflyer, The Necropolis Railway, Murder at Deviation Junction and The Baghdad Railway Club which is the latest Jim Stringer Steam Detective novel due to be published this week (June 2012)

The Bristolian near Woodley
Credit The Bristolian near Woodley by NH53 CC BY 2.0

Also on the Scarborough theme we shouldn’t forget Scarborough born lass Susan Hill CBE who has been riding high in the best seller lists with The Woman in Black.
Scarborough Fair by Chris Scott Wilson is a fictionalised version of the Battle of Flamborough Head explored from the American and British perspective. (not quite what I had in mind.)


Original Boundaries of Yorkshire


Association of British Counties Map of Yorkshire. Published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK

On a map of Yorkshire from the Domesday book the ‘county’ was a significantly larger region taking in parts of Cumberland Westmoreland and Lancashire.

Yorkshire stretched from Hull in the East Ridings to Sedburgh in the north West.

Lost parts of Yorkshire

Yorkshire’s boundaries were changed in 1974. It abolished the shires and implemented the much disliked new county’s of Humberside (east Ridings).

Some parts of Yorkshire were given away to:

  • Cumbria – Sedburgh district
  • Durham – Stratforth district
  • Lancashire (shame!) – Bowland, Barnoldswick, Earby.

Instead of the Ridings, Yorkshire was split into North, South and West. There was no East Yorkshire except the disgrace of Humberside!


Marine Conservation in Yorkshire

‘You can please some of the fish some of the time but not all of the piscene critters all of the time.’  Of the original 27 conservations zones none were on or near the Yorkshire coast. The nearest is the Aln estuary.

Defra’s new  areas for marine conservation do include the Yorkshire locations of Holderness from Skipsea to Spurn Point and Runswick Bay both of which are important for various species including starfish and crabs. However Compass Rose, 20 miles off the Yorkshire coast, which is an important place for plaice, herring, lemon sole and sand eels, is one of 14 sites that has been dropped from the new consultation.

 New Marine Conservation Zones

Runswick Bay north of Whitby to to Staithes boasts a highly productive seabed. It has important spawning and nursery grounds for many fish, including herring, sprat, cod, whiting and plaice. Harbour porpoises are regularly recorded here alongside foraging seabirds, such as kittiwakes. The Wildlife Trust says one reason to nominate this area as a Marine Conservation Zone is the  ‘Shallow rocky areas here are dominated by kelps and red seaweeds whereas deeper areas are encrusted in a living faunal turf of sponges, sea squirts, sea urchins and starfish. Interspersed with sand and gravel, this area is also important for burrowing creatures such as worms…. ‘

Holderness from Skipsea to Spurn Point is another proposed Yorkshire MCZ. ‘The seafloor here boasts a wealth of diversity, including habitats of cobbles, mixed sediment, sand and chalk, alongside patches of peat and clay. This mosaic supports a dense coverage of hydroid and bryozoan turf, sponges and ross worm reef as well as many fish, including tope and smoothhound. Over 8 different types of crabs have been seen at Holderness Inshore as well as the purple bloody henry starfish and common sunstars. Harbour porpoises and minke whales are often spotted from the shore passing through this area.’wildlifetrusts.org

Sea birds are also set to benefit -‘Holderness Inshore is  important for foraging seabirds as well as migrants. Within the southern region is ‘The Binks’, a geological feature forming the seaward extension of Spurn Point. This site also protects the geological feature, Spurn Head, which is in the south of the MCZ. It is a unique example of an active spit system, extending across the mouth of the Humber Estuary.Fulmar MCZ well off the Northumberland coast is as the name suggest an important area for seabirds, black-headed gull, northern fulmar, Arctic skua and black-legged kittiwake use this area, whilst breeding common guillemot and Arctic skua use this site during winter.’

Are Marine Conservation Zones Strong Enough?

 MCZs are ‘multi-use areas’ and not the far stronger no-take marine reserves. Multi-use will allow many activities to continue within them with their own set of restrictions and management.

Professor Callum Roberts, at the University of York a noted conservationists warns that missing key sites are still putting habitats and wildlife, ranging from large seagrass meadows to the spiny seahorse, at risk.

Professor Roberts is also reported to say “….. the UK’s rich marine life has very little protection. That may sound paradoxical, but six years after the Marine Act was passed, MCZs are still ‘paper parks’. They have no management at all, so life within them remains unprotected. They will be worse than useless, giving the illusion of protection where none is present.”



Picture under Creative commons http://www.flickr.com/people/sherseydc/



Jump on a Yorkshire Bus

Pictures of some older Yorkshire buses run by Yorkshire bus companies have been preserved by Ingy the Wingy and others for us to enjoy.

Even more important is the buses themselves are being preserved!

Yorkshire Traction 34583 YN04 YXS
Others are still in service. Use them or loose them as the saying goes. Watch out as politicians line up to cut ‘the pensioners perk’ our metro card for free bus travel out of rush hour. The rail concession in West Yorkshire has already been reduced this year from a 50p fare to 50% of a full price ticket.

West Yorkshire, 811BMR

I couldn’t resist adding these two extra photos to this selection.
Thanks to all who allow the use of their photographs under a creative commons license. I hope I give you fair credit.

See Twirlies on Trolley Buses
Wallace Arnold Coach Holidays
Charabanc or Charabang
Vintage Transport in Yorkshire

Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company

With my metro pass I can still ride all over on the bus but unfortunately I can’t ‘leg-on’ for two reasons. One is the old legs don’t work as quickly as they used too and the other reason is the flipping doors get in the way. Bring back conductors and the platform entrance.

Yorkshire Rider 7006 SUA 6R by Ingy The Wingy CC BY-ND 2.0 Yorkshire Rider Limited (originally West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive) 7006 SUA 6R, a Leyland ‘Fleetline’ FE30AGR built 1976 with a Northern Counties H43/31F body stands in Todmorden bus station on a 592 service to Portsmouth. Sunday 23rd October 1988

Mulley’s Motorways 354 KWX 14 by Ingy The Wingy CC BY-ND 2.0
‘Mulley’s Motorways Limited former Calderdale Joint Omnibus Committee (originally Todmorden Joint Omnibus Committee) 354 KWX 14, a Leyland ‘Titan’ PD2/12 built 1951 with a Leyland L27/26R body stands in Stowmarket bus depot yard. Tuesday 23rd September 1975
KWX 14 was transferred from the Todmorden Joint Omnibus Committee to the Calderdale Joint Omnibus Committee in 1971 (the completion date for the transfer was 6th September 1971) but was withdrawn before the end of the year. It then passed to Mulley’s Motorways’

Yorkshire Traction 34583 YN04 YXS by Ingy The Wingy CC BY-ND 2.0 Yorkshire Traction Limited (originally East Midland Motor Services Limited) 34583 YN04 YXS, an Alexander Dennis ‘Dart’ SLF built 2004 with an Alexander Dennis ‘Pointer’ B38F body on North Bridge Road, Doncaster with the 12:50 Doncaster Frenchgate Interchange to Scawsby Circular 42 service. Wednesday 13th October 2010

“West Yorkshire, 811BMR by Steven’s Transport Photos CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Yorkshire Heritage Bus Company by Danny’s Bus Photos CC BY-NC 2.0


Bluebells of Yorkshire

Bluebells in Woods

In your garden bluebells are fine in April and May and disappear underground for 8 months of the year. However the leaves can be a soggy mess for one month after flowering.
If you want tips on how to keep garden bluebells tidy see Gardeners Tips


Our Favourite Bluebell Locations

  • Middleton Woods Ilkley – divine scent drifting above the river Wharfe
  • Nostell Priory – bluebells  line the old paths.
  •  Hardcastle Crags- the woodland floor is covered with bluebells in spring.
  • Newton Woods and Roseberry Topping for a wilder environment
  • Freeholders’ Wood  Wensleydale

White bluebells

Bluebells also come in white perhaps in tribute to our own Yorkshire Rose!
If you know of any other Bluebell walks or interesting locations please let us know.


Yorkshire’s Richest People

Five years ago we commented on the then wealth generated by various people of Yorkshire

  • 1st Eddie and Malcolm Healey. Combined weatlh of £1.5 billion (UK – 42nd) Eddie Healey was the developers of the Meadowhall shopping centre, in Sheffield. He made £420 million by selling his stake in the development in 1999. His brother, Malcolm, 67, built up and later sold the Hygena Kitchens business and has invested in ebuyer, an internet retailer with annual sales of about £250m.
  • 2nd Sir Ken Morrison (UK – 66th) – £1.11 billion. Owner of Morrisons supermarket, developed from market stall founded by father in late Victorian Britain. Sir Ken is now also owner of farms in North Yorkshire and president of Great Yorkshire Show. Retired supermarket supremo remains the second richest man in Yorkshire, according to this year’s Sunday Times Rich List to be published on Sunday.


Other Yorkshire Rich People.

  • Lawrence Tomlinson – motor racing fan. Made wealth from sale of Orchard Care Homes business
  • Hamish Ogston who founded the York-based CPP and is worth £530 million (2008)
  • Jack Tordoff (11th) – £290 million owners of the Bradford-based JCT600 motors group, which operates 48 dealerships across Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, and the North-East. Their fortune is measured at , placing them at equal 279th in the UK.
  • David Hood (15th) – £370 millionfounder of Saltaire electronics firm Pace and the Multiflight air charter operation based at Leeds Bradford International Airport.
  • Sir Robert Ogden (20th) £150 million, Former Otley-based construction chief and now a computer entrepreneur, is Yorkshire’s 20th richest man, worth which ranks him at equal 501st in the overall list.
  • Me (4,000,345th) – £279 I own a Reynolds 531 Racing bicycle worth £279.

Overall, the wealth of the top ten in Yorkshire at £7,22 billion.

The annual Sunday Times Rich List is based on identifiable wealth (land, property, other assets such as art and racehorses, or significant shares in publicly quoted companies), and excludes bank accounts (to which the publisher has no access).



Yorkshire Rich at T&A


Air Ambulances of Yorkshire

Overhead Chopper at Leeds-Bradford Airport

Overhead Chopper at Leeds-Bradford Airport

‘The Leeds-Bradford airspace seemed to be full of budding pilots on the afternoon when I passed by. This helicopter was on a training session run by private aviation company Multiflight, a business which is based on the south side of the airport. They also give lessons in flying the Robin 200, Cessna 152 and Piper PA28’. Commercial businesses like this have helped develop Leeds as one of two key sites for Air Ambulances.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance Photo Shoot

Get on board to help Yorkshire Air Ambulance by supporting this motley crews fund-raising event on the 6th of May 2012. They are cycling the Leeds/Liverpool canal all 127 miles in a day to raise money . Here they are getting their photos taken with the Yorkshire Air Ambulance

Yorkshire Air Ambulance Landing
The North West Air Ambulance in the foreground with the Yorkshire Air Ambulance landing in the background.

As a charity Yorkshire Air Ambulance only receive help through secondment of paramedics from the NHS. To keep both of Yorkshire’s ambulances in the air they need to raise £7200 per day. This is equivalent to £2.65 million per year.
As a rapid response air emergency service the charity serves a population of approximately 5 million people across 4 million acres. The two air ambulances operate from Leeds Bradford International Airport and Bagby Airfield near Thirsk, and together both air ambulances cover the whole of the region.Donate here.

Barnsley - Good Friday
‘Good Friday, 22nd April 2011. The Blackpool helicopter and crew were called to assist a female patient who had fallen while out walking in Barnsley country park. The patient was taken to Wakefield General in 10 mins for treatment to an ankle injury. Colleagues from Yorkshire Air Ambulance and a land ambulance crew were also on scene.’

Overhead Chopper at Leeds-Bradford Airport by tj.blackwell CC BY-NC 2.0
Yorkshire Air Ambulance Photo Shoot by Simon Grubb CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Yorkshire Air Ambulance Landing by North West Air Ambulance,CC BY 2.0
Barnsley – Good Friday by North West Air Ambulance, CC BY 2.0
Excitement 3 – Yorkshire Air Ambulance by aldisley CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Excitement 3 - Yorkshire Air Ambulance


Best Yorkshire Falconry Sites


The best Yorkshire falconry locations for demonstration, education and sport include the following:

Falconry UK

    • This birds of prey and conservation centre is in Thirsk North Yorkshire near the Busby Stoop pub.
    • 70 birds from 30 species including eagles, falcons, hawks, kites, vultures and owls are on display in an English garden setting.
    • Mothers day specials and personal event days can be organised.
    • Falconry UK works with the ambulance service.

Thorpe Perrow Falconry and Birds of Prey

      • Thorp Perrow Arboretum, Woodland Garden, Bird of Prey & Mammal Centre covers a large area near Bedale
      • Regular flying demonstrations demonstrate the breathtaking ability of eagles, falcons, hawks, vultures and owls from around the world,
      • There is a new mammal area and a tea room that I enjoyed after a long walk around the gardens.
      • Thorpe Perrow


Yorkshire Dales Falconry Centre and Hawk Experience

      • Set amongst the limestone around Settle on the road to Austwick. The birds get to fly over Feizor.
      • The Falconry Centre housed around 35 birds of prey including various species of Eagles,
        Vultures, Hawks, Falcons
      • For over 20 years they have given visitors a glimpse into the sport of falconry and helped repopulate birds of prey in various countries.
      • A compact site that offers good value


SMJ Falconry

      • Provide personal tuition and great days out in the Yorkshire Dales hunting with their birds.
      • They also provide training for the Lantra Beginning Falconry Award.
      • A small family venture based in Oxenhope link

Coniston Falconry

      • At Coniston Cold you can become the falconer with an exclusive experiences. They are not cheap but don’t open to the public and are by appointment only.
      • The experienced and professional falconers offer insights in to species and individual characters of each of the 20 or so birds and the ancient hunting sport of falconry.
      • The Coniston Estate is also home to The Coniston Hotel and the Coniston shooting ground. For the sake of the birds I hope they don’t mix the two.

Hooded Falcon

Flying High Falconry

      • Flying High Falconry was established in in Kettlewell in 2003 Link
      • They provide an opportunity to engage personally in the ancient art of hunting with trained birds of prey.
      • Start your days hunting with a hearty cooked breakfast at the Tennant Arms Hotel, Kilnsey


Yorkshire Hawking Club the Newton Arms Sprotbrough.
Lightwater Valley has a birds of prey area.
If we have missed your business or a falconry site please let us know via the comments and we will be happy to provide a link.
The British Falconers Club Yorkshire region.

Falcon by Ian Blacker CC BY-ND 2.0
Falcon by Thundershead CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Falcon by sonyaseattle CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Perigine Falcon
Hooded Falcon by hans s CC BY-ND 2.0
Falcon by Stephen & Claire Farnsworth CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Yorkshires top Twelve Birdwatching Sites


Book Cover

Falconry books available from Amazon


Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in Yorkshire


RHS Britain In Bloom

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) organise and judge the annual Britain in Bloom competition. Over 2000 communities and 13,000 schools take part in various levels of the competition from small villages to large towns and cities. RHS is a mega charity and Britain in Bloom spawns many smaller local charitable efforts.
Local council parks and gardens teams support the efforts of numerous volunteers and major improvements to the environment often arise. Even if your area has not been a ‘Gold Medal’ winner in the past you can get involved for 2012.

RHS Garden Harlow Carr

Harlow Carr Library

The former home of the Northern Horticultural Society prior to merging with the RHS, the Harlow Carr Gardens are in Harrogate, long famous for it’s interest in horticulture.
The garden has been in a state of flux but the new developments have now taken shape and the RHS investment in the gardens is clearly visible. The RHS says ‘Harlow Carr is a garden dominated by water, stone and woodland and is very much part of the surrounding Yorkshire landscape’.

RHS Membership and Publications

The RHS is the UK’s top publisher of Books on gardening and related matters. There is scarcely a Yorkshire book shop without several of their titles for sale.
In addition the RHS publishes a monthly members magazine thoughtfully called ‘The Garden’ and a quarterly horticultural gem called Plantsman. Yorkshire folk can save money by reading these publications and most of the books at the RHS library in Harrogate. Members can take out up to 8 books on loan or use the library for rest and shelter from the showers whilst visiting the gardens..

Book Cover
RHS Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers available from amazon

RHS Plant and Garden Societies and Groups

Of interest to serious gardeners and specialists is the range of auxiliary special interest groups:-

Alpine and Rock Garden Group
This Group meets on three Saturdays a year at the Study Centre. Illustrated talks are given on alpines in their native habitat or in cultivation. Speakers vary from alpine experts to nurserymen or keen amateurs. Plants and information are exchanged.
Bonsai Group
The Group meets monthly in the Study Centre where talks, demonstrations and workshops are aimed towards learning both bonsai and horticultural techniques used in creating nature in miniature. At each meeting members exhibit their trees on a set theme.
Bulb, Lily and Hardy Plants Group
Meetings are held three times a year and take the form of lectures (both specialised and general), garden visits and the distribution of seeds, bulbs and plants.
Fern Group
The Group is part of the British Pteridological Society and has the object of promoting the study and conservation of ferns. Most meetings are field studies at various locations in Yorkshire and Lancashire (occasionally further afield).
Harrogate and Ripon Beekeeping Group
The Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers Association provides beekeeping demonstrations to visitors on Saturday afternoons in the summer months. These have been extremely popular, particularly with children. The group also runs practical beekeeping courses. If you would like to know more about these and other courses then e-mail us.
Heather Group
The Heather Group helps maintain the National Collection of Calluna – looking after planting and regular maintenance. The Group holds regular talks, walks around Harlow Carr and its collection, and visits to other gardens.
Library and Museum Groups
A rota of volunteers enables the Library to be open five days a week (six days in summer) during the most popular visitor hours. The Museum Group meet weekly to deal with the many tasks involved in the running of the Museum.
Northern Fruit Group
The Group has two main aims – to encourage the growing of fruit in our northern climate and to help individual members to grow their fruit as well as possible.
Opportunities are provided for members to share their experiences and expertise with each other at informal meetings.
Rhododendron Group
There are three meetings with speakers each year at the Study Centre and an outside visit to a garden noted for its rhododendrons. In addition, in early May each year a weekend of visits is arranged in various parts of the country to private gardens not usually open to the public.
Rose Group
The Rose Group has occasional meetings throughout the year on Saturday afternoons in the Study Centre. All RHS Members and their friends are welcome to attend any of the Group’s meetings.

feb harlow carr 100

Other RHS Yorkshire Activities

Welcome to Yorkshire’s Rhubarb Crumble & Custard Garden
The RHS is a charity working intensely with schools. A recent project was designed to link Ripley Village School in North Yorkshire with Iringa International School in Tanzania.
Many Yorkshire gardens open during the summer are supported by or supporting the RHS.
The Harrogate flower shows are not RHS events.

DSCF1374 by m111er CC BY 2.0



Yorkshire’s Best Beers

If you are an unrepentant beer drinker you will already know a lot about Yorkshire’s best beers. It is a well known fact that to a Yorkshireman a good brew comes from God’s Own County.

Best Beers in Yorkshire

  • The rapid and welcome increase in micro breweries means some of Yorkshire’s best beers no longer come from Tetleys but from clever niche brewmasters or in pub brewery.
  • You may never discover all Yorkshire’s best beers but you will have great fun trying!
  • Sorry to all the larger drinkers but I am afraid you do not have any products that qualify as one of Yorkshire’s best beers! That is because larger is fizzy pop not beer.

Names for Yorkshire’s Best Beers.

  • Websters Best, Ramsdens, Heys or Bentleys Yorkshire breweries are sadly now names of the past, Even Tetleys is no longer a Yorkshire brewed beer!
  • Enter the new breweries such as Saltaire, Copper Dragon, Ilkley, Wharfedale even Leeds.
  • Micro breweries are ‘the new black’ providing an ever growing choice for the discerning drinker
  • Can you match Yorkshire’s best beers with their breweries. Try Ale Mary, Hellfire and Yorkshire Gold, Mary Jane and Mary Christmas, Golden Pippin, Fire Dancer, Amarillo Ale and Triple Chocoholic 4.8%
  • Brewery trips around Black Sheep and Theakstons have long been popular but now Copper Dragon in Skipton and Saltaire brewery in Shipley have cafes and visitor centres to try out the magic ales.

Let us know the best beers of Yorkshire that we have missed out on. Then I can try sup some of them and say cheers on this web site.


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