Images of Yorkshire Moors & Wolds

Moor & heath

Yorkshire is blessed with dramatic and unrivaled scenery. From the East coast through Moors, Dales and Wolds there are umpteen images to catch the imagination.
You can access these images via short or long distance walks, from car windows, glossy books, old postcards or surfing the internet as you are currently doing.

On to Ilkley Moor

Roman road roam’n’ all over the place?
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‘The Yorkshire Moors and Wolds’ Book by Mark Denton

A collection of wonderful panoramic Yorkshire images of Moors and Wolds. These are two very different landscapes separated by the Vale of Pickering and encompassing forests, remote farmlands, dramatic rocky landscapes and gently rolling hills.

The Beauty of Trees. Thixendale,Yorkshire Wolds. UK.


The Beauty of Trees. Thixendale,Yorkshire Wolds. UK. by Philip Ed CC BY-NC 2.0


Maeve Binchy 1940- 2012

Maeve Binchy the best-selling Irish author has died aged 72 after a short illness.
Ian Rankin has tweeted “Maeve Binchy was a gregarious, larger than life, ebullient recorder of human foibles and wonderment.” She was a great story teller who knew where she stood in the pantheon of Dublin writers.
“I was very pleased, obviously, to have outsold great writers. But I’m not insane – I do realise that I am a popular writer who people buy to take on vacation.” Maeve Binchy

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Maeve published 16 novels  Minding Frankie – was published in 2010.
Minding Frankie is about a motherless female child and a story about unconventional Dublin families and relationships which aren’t quite what they seem. Baby Frankie is born into an unusual family. Her mother is desperate to find someone to take care of her child and she doesn’t have much time. Noel doesn’t seem to be the most promising of fathers but despite everything, he could well be Frankie’s best hope.

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Other Key Maeve Binchy Works include
Light a Penny Candle, The Lilac Bus as well as Tara Road, Heart and Soul and Circle of Friends.
Firefly Summer is warm, humorous, sad and happy.
Victoria Line, Central Line is a nice collection of short stories.
Many of Maeve’s books were translated into 37 languages and all told she sold more than 40 million copies worldwide


Captain England Play for Yorkshire










Lord Hawke,  7th Baron Hawke of Towton played for Yorkshire from 1881 to 1911. He captained England 4 times winning all of those matches.

Stanley Jackson 1905 won his only test series against Australia and retired – some non Yorkshire captains should have retired as quickly. Stanley toped both the batting and bowling averages in his test series.

Norman Yardley captained Yorkshire from 1948 to 1955. He captained England 14 times winning 4 tests which under rates his innate ability.

Brian Close won 6 of his 7 tests drawing the other- obviously he had to be fired in 1967. Those sort of results are just not cricket! Local hero of our betting shop Brian sadly was stumped for the last time in September 2015











Len Hutton won the ashes twice as the first professional to captain England and MCC. Sir Len had a career average of 56.66.

Geoffrey Boycott has never been a favorite of the cricket establishment as evidenced  by the limited number of only 4 test matches  as captain and those when Mike Brearley was injured.

Ray Illingworth won the ashes in 1970/71 and started his captaincy with a run of 13 undefeated tests.  As Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year in 1960 in he was dumped as Test captain! First class records 24134 runs and 2072 wickets Ray is comming up to age 85

Michael Vaughan captained England a record  51 Tests winning 26  and losing 11.He retired in 2008 after 5 years as captain. He was less successful in One Day matches but again that’s not cricket.

Joe Root is the latest in our illustrious line of Yorkshire cricketers who have captained England at home and MCC away. He takes the best wishes of all supporters forward through 2017 and onward until he is usurped by the next Yorkshire captain.


photo Source: CricketArchive, from an idea by Scyld Berry Daily Telegraph


Gore Vidal – Homosexuality & Transexuality

During the late 1940’s and early 50’s Gore Vidal was producing challenging books. This included Myra Breckinridge (sunsequently made into a film) and The City And The Pillar with a hint of autobiographical politics and homosexuality.
Gore Vidal died on 1st August 2012 age 86 with 24 books and numerous screen plays to his name.

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The City And The Pillar
‘Jim Willard, former high-school athlete and clean-cut boy-next-door-, is haunted by the memory of a romanctic adolescent encounter with his friend Bob Ford. As Jim pursues his first love, in awe of the very same masculinity he possesses himself, his progress through the secret gay world of 1940’s America unveils surreptitious Hollywood affairs, the hidden life of the military in the Second World War and the underworld bar culture of New York City.’ Amazon says Gore Vidals book based on homosexuality ‘remains not only an authentic and profoundly important social document but also a serious exploration of the nature of idealistic love.’
The publication of The City and the Pillar in 1948 shocked the American public but did not damage his personal appeal as he remained a controversial but well connected figure in US political and social life.

Myra Breckinridge
Gore Vidal novel of the same name, in which a gay man, Myron Breckinridge undergoes a sex-change operation before setting of – as Myra Breckinridge – on a mission to Hollywood to “destroy the American male in all its particulars”. A successful book that was made into a film starring Raquel Welsh, Mae West and John Huston.

‘It is a risky (and risque) business becoming ‘Woman Triumphant’ – exercising total power over men like Rusty Godowski. Rusty just wants to be a Hollywood star like everyone else at Buck Loner’s academy, but now that Buck’s niece, Myra Breckinridge, has arrived, the curriculum is taking a wildly strange turn. Willing to risk all to be superb and unique, Myra means to prove to her old friend Dr Montag that it is possible to work out in life all one’s fantasies – and survive.
‘From Myra’s fist appearance on the page she was a megastar’, explains her creator, Gore Vidal. Myra caused a second furore when she returned in Myron to battle it out with her eponymous alter ego, a drab little man fallen into marriage and a job in Chinese catering. Theirs is a contest of hormonal roulette, with glorious Myra off on time-travelling missions of mercy back to 1948 to try to change cinema history and to introduce her own radical theories of popuation control. Meanwhile Myron tries desperately to stay in the present as inconspicuously as Mrya will allow.’

Gore Vidal Selected Quotes

There is no such thing as a homosexual or a heterosexual person. There are only homo- or heterosexual acts.
It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail.
The United States was founded by the brightest people in the country — and we haven’t seen them since.
Andy Warhol is the only genius I’ve ever known with an I.Q. of 60.
‘George W Bush was the stupidest man in the USA’ and Gore Vidal couldn’t be a conspiracy theorist as ‘the administration were not clever enough to pull it off.’


Clog Almanacs

Before the invention of printing, uneducated people in England used wooden calendars to keep track of the seasons and of the religious festivals. These calendars were known as clog almanacs. This booklet describes some of the clog almanacs that survive today and explains some of the medieval Christian symbols used on them. It is illustrated with drawings and photographs and has a useful bibliography for those who would like to know more about this fascinating subject

English Clog Almanacs: An Introduction: Volume 1 Paperback – 16 Jun 2012

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The origin of these runic or clog-calendars was Danish and were more prominent in the North. No runic calendar or Clog Almanac  has  yet been found in any Saxon or German province

Runic inscriptions recorded special dates for example saints days such as June 8th for St William Archbishop of York 1144 a.d.  or May 7th St John Beverley from 721 a.d.


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Nostalgia is Bigger Than It Used To Be

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Nostalgia is big business and isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. Alan Titchmarsh has latched on to the trend with his BBC book ‘When I was a Nipper’ available from amazon as paperback or hardback.

Why Nostalgia is Getting Bigger

  • The baby boomers are enjoying life and there are a lot of them around.
  • Old music acts from the 60’s and 70’s are touring and performing in ever growing numbers. I saw one of the Dubliners on a zimmer frame at St Georges Hall Bradford last year!
  • Discretionary spending on nostalgia increases year on year. Collecting memorabilia, old pottery, and modern antiques has been promoted by lifestyle programmes on TV.
  • Family tree compilation and ancestor research has joined the list of popular hobbies.
  • Themed holidays and a greater number of museums and local attractions based on nostalgia proliferate.
  • There is a demand for nostalgia because times were good. The supply of nostalgia based products, services and media is aimed at satisfying the demand.

Yorkshire Nostalgia

    • The Railway Children is running again in a live performance at Waterloo Station

  • Heartbeat of Aidensfield fame may have ceased production but it is still running on digital TV channels and dvds. How long before we are nostalgic for analogue TV?
  • Another show that runs and runs is the Last of the Summer Wine. I can even get nostalgic for the reruns!
  • If you want to keep up with nostalgia you can do a lot worse than read The Dalesman

Yorkshire’s Fictional Anthropologist

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I have just read ‘The Calling of the Grave’ by Yorkshire author Simon Beckett. It features Dr David Hunter a forensic expert to equal Kay Scarpetta or Kathy Reichs’ Tempe Brennan.
Not up to the standard of Pat Baker’s W.H.R. Rivers, a real anthropologist, as his fictionalized self in Regeneration. Rivers treats shell-shocked soldiers so that can be sent back to the front in the brutal First World War.
Karen Rose’s forensic pathologist Lucy Trask is bit off this track so give this Yorkshire lad’s hero a chance.

Simon Beckett grew up and still lives in Sheffield. ‘I had a fairly ordinary working class background, at a time when the city was still dominated by the steel industry. I’ve lived in other places but always gravitated back here. It tends to get a lot of bad press, but it’s a good place to live, and a lot greener than most people give it credit for – I mean that in the sense of trees and countryside rather than the ecological sense. I don’t set my novels here, because I think it’s difficult to be objective about somewhere you know well. But other writers have no problem with that, so it’s just a case of different strokes, I suppose.’

His other books: ‘Where there is smoke’ Written in Bone, Whispers of the Dead and The Chemistry Of Death are now on my list of books to read.

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Quick Guide to Slow North Yorkshire

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Slow North Yorkshire: Moors, Dales & Coast, including York – Local, characterful guides to Britain’s special places from Mike Bradshaw

According to the description of this book it ‘explores the nooks and crannies of this dramatic and diverse county and takes in all the well known sights as well as regional secrets, including fossil hunting, wild food foraging and the game of quoits.
Mike Bagshaw’s unique guide to the area brings to life the landscapes and wildlife of the region and indulges his interests in crafts, architecture, local history, folklore and pubs.’

I do not think Slow North Yorkshire refers to the speed of thought of any of the residents nor their measured speech and manners. It is more an invocation to take your time traveling through or just talking to the characters in the pubs and cafes.

It may try to cram in too much with chapters on Three Peaks area, Swaledale, Wensleydale, Craven & Wharfedale, Nidderdale & Harrogate, Clevedon & Hambledon, York, Eskdale & Cleveland to say nothing of Howardian Hills and Eastern Moors Forests and Beaches. On second thoughts it can’t do justice to all these places but just offers a smorgasbord of morsels or quick reminder of places and things to try.

You will want to stay several nights to cover even a small section of the area so the accommodation from Alastair Sawday ensures a comfortable stay, helping to get the most out of a ‘slow’ visit to one of Britain’s most beautiful areas.


Cockersdale and Keith Marsden Doin’ the Manch

Doin’ the manch is the title and first song on a re-released album of songs from Cockersdale and the pen and fertile mind of Keith Marsden. Hopefully this song is playing as a tribute to Keith who died in 1991.
The Manch is Manchester Road in Bradford which contained a record number of pubs most of which get mentioned by Keith in his humorous manner. There was also a serious side to Keiths songs about social conditions in the Yorkshire mines and mills and Cockerdale still sing many of them on the 3 CD’s and in live performances. The live show entitled ‘Picking Sooty Blackberries ‘ is pure Keith but Cockersdale performed ‘Lest we Forget’ the songs of Rudyard Kipling and Peter Bellamy at the Whitby Festival 2008.
Cockersdale Top Ten

Bring Us a Barrel
Follow me Home
Hills of Mullaghbawn
Lost at 21
Three Cheers for Booze
Will Ye Go Te Flanders?
Cholera Camp
Raglan Road
St Aubin sur Mer
Left, Left, Right, Steady
Morley Main =
Home Lads Home

I originally penned this comment in 2009 and went on to watch the reformed Cockersdale at Whitby. The music pathos and humour are still as evocative as the early days with Keith and Cockerdale. Been Around For Years one of 4 LP’s is still available from Fellside


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