Meditation in Yorkshire

Meditation is not the most traditional of Yorkshire past-times, but here at God’s Own County, we are receptive to new ideas and if something is worth doing, it’s worth doing well. So we have been looking into what meditation is, and how you can go about getting started.

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Meditation is the art of silencing the mind and going beyond the frustrations of our thoughts. It’s like looking down at some litter on the footpath – usually this would make us frustrated. But – rather than get caught annoyed at the bad we can see down below – we can look up and see the vast beautiful landscape beyond. As soon as we look up, we change our perspective on life.

If we avoid getting caught up in the minor dramas and small frustrations of life – if we can silence the mind, then we can experience a much greater sense of peace and well-being – and it is this inner peace which is meditation.

Meditation reminds us we always have a choice – whether we want to pursue an internal dialogue with ourself – which doesn’t get anywhere – or whether we want to become concentrated on something beautiful, uplifting and fulfilling.

We could be walking in nature and perhaps unconsciously be meditating or at least clearing the mind. But, when we sit down to meditate, we make that conscious effort to dive deep within and discover a part of our being we are rarely in touch with. Continue reading Meditation in Yorkshire

Yorkshire Facts – Interesting and Unusual

Historically, Yorkshire boundaries were bounded by the physical landscape of the East coast (Humberside). The River Tees in the North, and in the West, the Western slopes of the Pennines.

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Yorkshire was split into three Ridings – East Riding, North Riding and West Riding; this area includes modern counties, such as Humberside, Durham, Cumbria, Cleveland and even parts of Lancashire.

Yorkshire Dales

  • One of the many dry stone walls dotted around the Yorkshire Dales. Stone walls are prolific in Yorkshire Dales, they date  back to Enclosure Acts of Parliament in 1201.
  • Yorkshire has sometimes been nicknamed God’s Own County. in general recognition for having the largest number of great people and great things in Britain. Some even go so far as to say Yorkshire is – God’s Own Country. This is either a slip of the tongue or recognition of Yorkshire’s wider struggle for complete independence
  • Yorkshire Day is  held on 1 August every year to celebrate Yorkshire’s unique culture and dialect.
  • After the death of Richard II, there was a civil war between the House of Lancaster and the House of Yorkshire over the next successor to the English crown. The wars of the Roses led to bitter fighting until Henry Tudor (Lancaster) beat Richard (York) at the Battle of Bosworth.
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Cow and Calf Rocks, near Ilkley
  • The unofficial anthem of Yorkshire is the popular folk song is On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at (“On Ilkley Moor without a hat”).

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Bolton Abbey – from Autumn photos of Yorkshire Continue reading Yorkshire Facts – Interesting and Unusual

Statuesque Yorkshire

Trafalgar Square has it’s plinths and Yorkshire folk have their  own  Sculpture Triangle encompassing the cultural venues of Yorkshire Sculpture Park in West Bretton, The Hepworth art gallery in Wakefield, and the Henry Moore Institute and Gallery in Leeds. Somehow this fails to float the ‘sculpture culture’ that many believe Yorkshire deserves.

Pop Up Shop Sculpture

The venues for permanent sculpture seem formal and not easy to access. Harlow Carr gardens often feature sculptures in a horticultural setting but for stunning sculptural pieces in a similar setting I prefer The Hutt at Grewelthorpe .

Civic sculptures tend to honour worthy individuals like Constantine in York or Forster in Braford. The other approach is to render in stone a City’s emblem like York cats, Leeds owls or Bradford’s boars.

The Octopus should be an emblem for an east coast town like Hornsey.

Below is a member of the Packa family, Alister called Al for short. He can be seen near Salts Mill not  surprisingly in Saltaire Continue reading Statuesque Yorkshire

Leeds City Centre Photos

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New for old and vice versa – even as we speak new buildings are reflecting the changes on Boar Lane with the new Trinity shopping centre.

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Leeds Station is one of the UK’s biggest and busiest train stations. Leeds now  has only one major train station and  over 18 platforms. It has recently been refurbished to increase capacity and you know it was needed when you see the streams of weekend clubbers arriving for a night out.

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Victoria Arcade. The posher part of Yorkshire Continue reading Leeds City Centre Photos

Tea Towels are US

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Yorkshire – The White Rose County or as I am sure you prefer ‘Yorkshire – God’s Own County’ attracts a wide range of merchandise and there’s nowt wrong with that if it helps the Yorkshire economy.

Take Tea Towels as an example (not just a device for drying the pots) from Yorkshire Linens. Available are designer tea towels such as Yorkshire Born & Bred, Yorkshire Pudding Recipe,  War of the Roses,  Yorkshire Map, Scarborough railway poster tea towels and a Harrogate scenes .

Good attractive Tea towels at a reasonable cost or so I’m told. Now you can get someone to dry the dishes in style! So don’t throw in the towel just yet. Less of this ‘Blether’ which features on an Amazon tea towel of ‘Yorkshire Dialect Translator’  which I reckon this was made in China (when that is what it is supposed to dry.)

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Bread Bred in Yorkshire Bakery

Just making some fresh bread notes or my comments from 7 years ago would be going stale. I love fresh wholesome artisan bread and a new shop recently opened in our village. It sells sold a variety of bread from several Yorkshire bakeries and is was a welcome addition to the range of shops in Menston.
Below are a few Yorkshire bread crumbs but if you wish to feature your favourite bakery send us a comment below.

Craven Bakery Skipton
The bakehouse is situated in Craven Nursery Park on the Snaygill Industrial estate. Here they produce a large variety of freshly baked products including bread, confectionery, large catering sized cakes and fresh cream cakes. All produce is delivered on a daily basis to wholesale customers including the new bakers shop in Menston.

Bread and Patisserie Masterclass
Swinton Park Cookery School runs a training course in Masham that teaches participants the art of different bread from traditional daily loafs to speciality Italian breads. Ever wondered how chefs achieve those stunning pastries.

Thomas The Baker
This Helmsley based baker produces large quatities of bread plus a range of authentic Italian breads called Rustica Classico, the definitive combination of fine Italian flour, extra virgin olive oil and malt flour. Rustica Formaggio made with Italian flour and the added tang of fresh grated cheese.
Rustica Pomodoro or tomato bread contains sun dried tomatoes marinated in white wine vinegar, with a sprinkling of oregano, capers and basil.

Fosters Bakery Barnsley
Fosters has been a family owned business since 1952. They have a unique range of bread rolls of all types, shapes, sizes, flavours and textures. They make English muffins and teacakes as well as hot dog rolls and torpedoes. Baked in Mapplewell where over 200 staff have NVQ’s.

 “Donker” is a speciality loaf  available from amongst others Thorley’s Bakery, Driffield. A dark rye bread often with seeds on the crust it is baked as a welcome gift in Holland.

Simple Yorkshire Bread is available in recipe form from deliciously Yorkshire or their food guide available from Amazon.

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Fosters Bakery
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Yorkshire Day Out

It was a fine sunny August 1st 2018 and there were no hail stones, moorland fires or natural disasters in God’s Own County! A couple of organisations in and around Skipton earned a special mention when the grandson was giving two grandparents a rostered day out.

Skipton Fire and Rescue

Just by the railway station exit opposite Herriots hotel is the ‘fire station’ or HQ for the Skipton Fire & Rescue Service. As we arrived they were holding a charity and awareness raising event highlighting dementia. The active team arrange several events including this on Yorkshire Day and are holding an other open day on Sunday 17th August 2018 between 10am-4pm.

  • ‘There will be loads of fun activities for all the family including; face painting, a bouncy castle, inflatable maze and a tombola. There will also be a range of demonstrations throughout the day. Money raised will go to The Fire Fighters Charity.’
  • On Yorkshire day we were treated to tea and treats from Betty’s in Ilkley, collected by the fire chief on his way to work. The local folks home arrived in a mini bus with a hoist for wheelchairs that amused the grandkid.
  • There were no call outs whilst we were there but records show there were two later in the day to keep the retained fighters on their toes.
  • The photo shows an aspect of ‘service’ that is easy to overlook. The damage car was one of several that were held in the fire station yard after the rescue of driver and passenger had been completed.

Summary An impressive show of community spirit well done to the team. Help them by supporting future events.

Northern Rail

This outfit have been under the media and travelers cosh for several months. Strikes over driver operated trains, overcrowding, pay disputes and new timetables have contributed to the problems. Not on Yorkshire Day!

  • The local ticket office found the cheapest way to travel to Skipton with a combination of metro card and senior rail passes. It was well worth collecting 8 tickets for the 2½ of us.
  • Whilst I was struggling with the buggy the cheerful conductor hoisted the 2½ year old up on to the train.
  • Shipley was the 4th station and first change. Down the tunnel under the Bradford line to the Skipton platform left us one minute to wait for the on time train. The conductor walking down the isle niftyly side stepped the buggy which we still hadn’t worked out how to open and close.
  • Passing through Keighley we could see the Worth Valley railway had an engine in full steam and at least one of our party regretted not disembarking for a longer look.
  • Skipton station yard car park had a wazzock parked in a way that stopped the local bus making its normal turn.
  • The return journey was assisted by a ticket collector who recommended staying on platfom 1 rather than rushing to platform 4 for the stopping train to Shipley.
  • The both trains then arrived in Shipley at the same time but we had a dash across the car park to get the Ilkley train using  the 2 lifts and running across the cobble with the kid in the buggy.

Summary Northern Rail did Yorkshire Day proud. The staff were friendly, the services ran on time and the cost for 2 pensioners and the toddler was good value.

House of Fraser

Long ago Amblers Department Store on High Street was taken over by Brown and Muff’s. They sold off to Rackhams part of House of Fraser (HoF) in the 1970’s. Now the shop is shortly to be closed as HoF are in severe financial trouble. Here are some views as to why this has happened:

  • Department stores are having a hard time and many are jaded and passed their sell by date.
  • People with time and disposable income to spend often have enough ‘stuff’. The need for departmental stores is vastly different to the 1960’s when these shops were enjoying their hey day. In the Skipton store there is no ‘experience’ or sense of fun except watching 4X4’s fight for a space in the free HoF car park to avoid paying in the adjacent council car park.
  • Linea the House of Fraser own brand sounds more like a southern European bus network. Such own brands carry no intrinsic value.
  • The renovated cafe was light and airy with lots of tables crammed in. Shame it was only half full at the height of lunch time. That didn’t improve the service with 2 sandwiches and a kids meal taking over half an hour to arrive!

Summary Thank goodness the street market pulls visitors in to the town. If HoF is not rescued I hope good, successful new tenants for the shop are found promptly.