Author Archive | Hortoris

North Yorkshire Moors Railway and Pickering


Pickering is the perfect start to your steam train adventure, leaving the charming village the trains to Whitby go through stations evocative of an earlier era.

  • Levisham is an 1912 style station, accessible by one solitary hill road and suitable mainly for sheep and walkers (if they are different).
  • Newton Dale requires you to make a special request for the Guard to stop the train at this tiny, picturesque halt.
  • Goathland or should I say Aidensfield or Hogsmeade from Harry Potter, is just a few yards up the hill from the station.
  • Grosmont is a 50’s style British rail station and home for the engine sheds. ( My uncle worked for British rail as a welder, he put the tops on the pork pies).
  • So into Whitby and on some days up the Esk Valley railway to Battersby.

Book Cover

The original NYMR route started at Whitby and ran through to Malton Junction. The southern section from Pickering to Malton has long since passed into history – or has it? Read more in ‘A Nostalgic Trip Along the Former Whitby and Pickering Railway and Through to Malton’ on Amazon

Pickering and the Railway

  • Experience an unforgettable lunch, afternoon tea or dinner on board the Pullman Dining Train or eat in one of Pickering’s cafes or public houses.
  • Pickering Station is a fine  building from the 1840’s built for the York and North Midland Railwayafter they took over the Whitby and Pickering Railway.
  • Local residents set up the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Society in 1967 to preserve the line.
  •  Peter’s Railway Young Engineer’s Centre on platform 2 is an interactive exhibition for children to learn about engineering and science through storytelling.
  • Peters railway is a series of books published in Pickering

Tea Rooms to Visit on the Yorkshire Tea Council Trail

bettys harrogate

In 1919 Frederick Belmont opened his first Bettys Café Tea Rooms in the fashionable spa town of Harrogate. It seems like I was queuing from that date as the people snaked around the corner last weekend. There are six Bettys Café Tea Rooms to explore: the spa town of Harrogate has two branches one in the town centre and a second at the RHS garden at Harlow Carr. York has one in the square opposite St Helen’s and Little Bettys is just around the corner in Stonegate. You can also also find Bettys in the market towns of Northallerton and Ilkley.

The above logo from the Tea Guild has an Afternoon tea group that may interest those who like to pause in welcoming surroundings with a good cup of tea and a bite to eat. The Yorkshire locations include:

De Vere Oulton Hall – West Yorkshire
The George Hotel – Huddersfield
Swinton Park – North Yorkshire
Bagden Hall – West Yorkshire
Grinkle Park – North Yorkshire

Other Tea Council locations include Elizabeth Botham & Sons, plus Bullivant both of York and The Black Swan Hotel, Market Place, Helmsley. The Bridge Tea Rooms in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire has been named as the winner of The Tea Guild’s prestigious Top Tea Place 2009 Award but that is not the Bradford Yorkshire where I have still to discover a true tea room but see Shipley’s earlier story.

The UK Tea Council’s “incognito” Tea Guild inspectors have taken tea in tearooms and country and city hotels across Britain, to find the finest tea experience. The anonymous judges award points in fifteen different categories which include the variety and excellence of the teas offered, efficiency and knowledge of service, décor, hygiene and cleanliness, ambience, presentation skills and most importantly the choice and quality of teas served. That seems like a fine job to have I wonder how much you have to pay them to go eating and drinking Teas?

Just a note on the Tockwith Tea Party where Betty’s of Fat Rascal fame sought to stop Fat Betty’s Cheese Nibbles from being made and sold. I understand the Cheese nibbles won but crumbs what a fuss.


Yorkshire’s Sweet Tooth

Liquorice Loot


Pomfret is an early name for Pontefract and as most Yorkshire children know, Pontefract is the heart of Yorkshires liquorice making. Around the time of the Battle of Hastings, French monks arrived in Pontefract with liquorice plants for medicinal and stomach purposes and locals created a cottage industry that led to such treats as ‘Yorkshire Pennies’ ‘Catherine Wheels’, Pomfret cakes, Bootlaces and other sweetmeats made from chewy black liquorice.
Pomfret cakes or Pontefract cakes were first created when sugar was added to the liquorice stock and an image of the Norman castle stamped into the round black sweet that was created. The castle has a morbid history Richard II was imprisoned and probably murdered, in Pontefract Castle in 1400. In 1648 to March 1649 Oliver Cromwells New Model Army was engaged in the successful siege of Pontefract Castle that led to its ruination. ‘Pomfret, Pomfret! O thou bloody prison’ as Shakespeare put it in his play Richard III.

Fast forward to the 1840’s when a Sheffield business Bassett and Lodge started a confectionery business that eventually created ‘Liquorice Allsorts’. The Allsorts mix apocryphally was created by a clumsy salesman who spilt a tray of various liquorice creams and sweets in a pattern that appealed to the customer. In 1918 they started to manufacture jelly products called ‘Peace Babies’ which we all now know and love as Jelly Babies. In the 1920’s as a logo the company created “Bertie Bassett,” a human like figure made up of liquorice allsorts. On the strength of the liquorice products such as Ju-Jubes and the Allsorts, Bassett’s bought other brands that included Victory V Lozenges, Zubes, Sherbet Fountains and Beech Nut. I fondly remember the beech nut chewing gum machines which vended an extra packet every 3rd or 4th purchase, what fun it seemed to be getting something for nothing.
Mint based products from Bassett’s included Mint Imperials, Murray Mints and Clarnico Mint Creams.

Needlers started making boiled sweets in Hull in 1886. One of their key innovations was to start selling sweets in clear glass jars rather than the bottle-green glass that had been used previously. All sweets and chocolates were unwrapped and Needles were producing over 2000 tons a year by the early 1920’s but in 1928 they invested in a wrapping machine.
By the 1970’s the chocolate business was loosing money and unfortunately had to be closed but investment in the sugar based lines led to the introduction of the Sensation’ range of vacuum packed mints and fruit pastilles. Needlers bought Batgers Ltd the makers of Jersey Toffee and moved production to Hull.

Thorntons first Chocolate Kabin opened in Sheffield in 1911 aiming to be the best sweetshop in town. Easter and the production of special and named Easter eggs became an important part of business for Thorntons. Then special toffee was created in 1925 and production required larger premises in Penistone Road Sheffield. The chocolate business developed by focusing on quality and learning from contenetal manufacturers particularly in Holland and Belgium. The business floated on the stock market but unfortunately the business moved downmarket into Derbyshire. There is still likely to be a Thorntons Kabin near you (based on my post code I found 6 shops within 10 miles).

See an earlier report on Maxons boiled sweets.  All this and still no mention of Rowntrees, Macintoshes,  Terrys, Yorkshire Mixtures or even Farrah’s Original Harrogate Toffee. If you have a favourite Yorkshire sweet that I have missed   send us a comment below.
Thanks to Maurice Baren ‘How it All Began in Yorkshire’ and The Oldest Sweet Shop in England at Pateley Bridge.

Pontefract Cakes
Liquorice Loot by Jon Åslund CC BY 2.0


Ladies Days At Yorkshire Racecourses

Snow Business

If you have an eye for a good horse then go to one of Yorkshires premier Racecourses this summer on Ladies day. Below is a list of special event when the Ladies can dress up (to loose money if you bet on horses like this one).

Ladies Days 2010

Course                   Day                    Date

Wetherby              Thursday          20th May

Thirsk                      Tuesday           15th June

Ripon                      Thursday          17th June

Redcar                     Saturday          19th June

Pontefract             Wednesday      4th August

Beverley                 Wednesday     11th August

Catterick                 Friday eve      13th August

York                         Thursday         19th August

Doncaster               Thursday         9th September

Racecourse Enclosures

Members, County or Premier enclosures are top of the range areas in price and dress code and often viewing.
The Grandstand and the Paddock are where to find the heart of the action, traditionally called Tattersalls.
The less expensive Course Enclosure is not as formal but it is just as easy to loose your money with the bookmakers here.


Days Out for Kids to age 92

With Half Term and Easter just around the corner you may want some ideas where to take the kids or grandchildren for a day out. This is just a short selection of Yorkshire based attractions and I would add the Royal Armouries in Leeds and the National Media Museum in Bradford.

Jorvik Viking Centre is a York based time travel experience that is worth queuing for ‘Whether it has been five or fifteen years or even your first time to visit JORVIK, the JORVIK Viking Centre has something new for everyone’ ‘Vikings were warriors. More precisely, Viking is the name by which the Scandinavian sea-borne raiders of the early medieval period are now commonly known.’ Dig around in York there is a wealth of interesting historical activities you can get the children involved with.

The Magna Science Adventure Centre at Rotherham ‘Leap, twist and climb your way around mind-blowing structures and gravity defying activities at one of Europe’s largest outdoor play areas or Spray, squirt, mist and drench…and more importantly get very, very wet at one of the UK’s largest outdoor water play areas.’ If that sounds like the fun your children will enjoy then Magna may work for you.

The Deep ‘The worlds only Submarium’ in Hull is a winner of many awards which include gold award for The Green Tourism Business Scheme and silver for Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 2009 and it should have got another award for inventing a new word so it can claim to be ‘the worlds only’. With attractions such as Slime, Coral Realm, Kingdom of Ice and a Twilight zone there is something for everyone including the 3500 fish. The Deep in Hull you will find fun and an education about our seas.

Eureka moments come only occasionally when you get to my age but kids up to age 10 experience them at every twist and turn of this Halifax museum. ‘Everything at Eureka! has been designed to inspire children to find out about themselves and the world around them through 100s of hands-on exhibits’.

National Coal Mining Museum (NCM) at Overton near Wakefield explores mining through the centuries. Don a hard hat and descend into a mine then visit the pit ponies to find out what they did for the mining effort. Admission is free!

York Castle Museum ‘is one of Britain’s leading museums of everyday life. It shows how people used to live by displaying thousands of household objects. It is best known for its recreated Victorian street, which combines real shop fittings and stock with modern sound and light effects, to evoke an atmosphere of Victorian Britain. Prison buildings are explored in York Castle Prison, where visitors come face to face with ex-prisoners including highwayman Dick Turpin, who was hanged in 1739 for horse stealing.’ Tickets do allow you to revisit during the next 12 months if you can’t take it all in at one visit.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park is South Yorkshires newest attraction of 45 acres of walkthrough including Lemur Woods and Wallaby walkabout. Ideal for environmentally friendly children who want to see a range of animals including the most endangered the Painted Hunting Dog. May only open at weekends until summer but check here.


Otley You Are Not Drinking Enough

Woolpack Otley

Is the economy so bad down in Otley that no one is drinking enough to keep the pubs viable. Always a great place to drink, Otley landlords must be having a hard time after the opening of Sainsbury’s and Netto’s new supermarket.
The Summercross is shut for good (or bad depending on how you look at it). Will the Woolpack and Yeoman ever reopen as pubs?
Is the new work just started on the Bowling Green going to see oit reopen as a J D Wetherspoons? At least the eyesore will be renovated by March I am told.

Bowling Green

In the last couple of years there have been problems for other pubs in the town. It is great to see the Black Horse, Red Lion, Fleece and Cross Pipes back serving good ale. I hope their trading is ‘ale and hearty but that is down to us drinkers.

Summercross Otley

Otley needs more visitors to help boost the economy. It is a good base to explore the dales to day trip for lunch or just a drink in the numerous surviving pubs. see pubs in Otley list. It is even better if you are looking for a night on the town in a traditional, pub rich, market town so get to Otley before the next closure.


Yorkshire’s Master Voice – 1970’s & 1980’s Pop Music

Dog Looking at and Listening to a Phonograph, "His Master's Voice", The Original RCA Music Puppy Dog Logo Symbol for Advertising

Yorkshire can produce hard rock and heavy metal when it needs too and this applies to music as well as industry.
The 70’s and 80’s were productive years for our talented performers.

Def Leppard

  • The band were formed in Sheffield in 1977.
  • Lady Gaga claims that her forthcoming new album is inspired by Def Leppard
  • The group still perform spectacular live shows and have sold over 60 million records.
  • Have a look at the great detail available on the Def Leppard unofficial website. The official web site seems to be for pushing merchandise (not a Yorkshire thing to do).


  • Saxon started in Barnsley as SOB during 1976 and joined forces with another local band Coast featuring Biff Byford on vocals and Paul Quinn on guitar. The line-up then comprised of ‘Oly’ Oliver, ‘Dobby’ Dawson, ‘Blute’ Quinn, ‘Frank’ Gill, and Peter ‘Biff’ Byford. The band was Son Of A Bitch soon changes to Saxon.
  • Saxon are still touring, often in Germany where they are especially popular. You can see them in the UK at Hammersmith Apollo, with Judas Priest on 26th May 2012
  • After the album Saxon in 1979 the 80’s started with Wheels of Steel and ended 8 albums later with Rock ‘N’ Roll Gypsies.
  • There have been greatest hits, live albums and several studio releases since.

David Coverdale

  • Born and raised in Saltburn North Yorkshire
  • David was successful as the lead singer with Deep Purple until it folded. He then recorded a couple of solo albums.
  • David formed Whitesnake in 1978 and they had success in the UK and Europe but it wasn’t until they reformed in 1984 that they had success in the USA
  • David declined to join Black Sabbath after the departure of Ronnie James Dio – a good move me thinks.

Black Lace

  • The most famous group to come out of Ossett, the town more famous for the saying “Don’t thee thou me thee thou thissen and see how tha likes thee thouing”
  • Perhaps that accounts for the unusual number one record that made Black Lace famous Agadoo
  • Black Lace came to the fore in the 1979 Eurovision Song Contest. They finished seventh with the song “Mary Ann” one of the UK’s best performances?.
  • They also had party hits with Do the Conga, ‘I am the Music Man’ and a personal favourite of mine ‘Superman’

Robert Palmer January 1949 – September 2003

  • Born in Batley Robert moved to Scarborough at the age of 10 then on to Malta
  • For Island records he made 8 studio albums and a further 6 after moving to EMI
  • Best known for Addicted to Love and a Bad Case of Loving You
  • With Duran Duran and others, Robert Palmer joined would be supergroup The Power Station
  • In his obituary the Guardian said ‘One of the most gifted white soul singers of his crowded era, Robert Palmer, who has died of a heart attack aged 54, worked hard at being misunderstood.’ read more

Dog Looking at and Listening to a Phonograph, "His Master’s Voice", The Original RCA Music Puppy Dog Logo Symbol for Advertising by Beverly & Pack = Creative Commons


Maggies Doggy Walkers

KN Dog Walk- Yorktown- Chris

Yeadon- Rawdon – North Leeds


    • On holiday, busy at work or too sick to ‘walk the dog’ then Maggies Mutts can walk you back to happiness

Dog Looking at and Listening to a Phonograph, "His Master's Voice", The Original RCA Music Puppy Dog Logo Symbol for Advertising


  • Get your dog away from music and it to the fresh air


Name that Dog Walking Service

Dog Only Knows
Airedale Walkies
Corgi and Bess
Borzois back in Town
Yorkie Walkers
Boogie woogie beagle boy
Fine Fetlars

By Dog Byte Digital – (10 minute effort)

KN Dog Walk- Yorktown- Chris by skirtpr CC BY 2.0
“Dog Looking at and Listening to a Phonograph, “His Master’s Voice”, The Original RCA Music Puppy Dog Logo Symbol for Advertising by Beverly & Pack CC BY 2.0


‘Live at Leeds’ – Yorkshire Pop Music in 1970’s

Yorkshire popular music was ‘steady away’ in the 1970’s with Leeds university and Sheffield both producing good bands. Not a county to boast we did have a storming hit with the Brighouse and Raistrick Brass Band and Floral Dance. (What not pop music? Tell it to your grandma)


The Bradford band recorded for Decca, RCA and successfully for Rak
“Oh Julie, Living next Door to Alice, I Love You Carolina, Oh Carol and an early single “Let the Good Times Roll” were some of Smokies top records.
Still claiming to be ‘Europe’s top live band, thirty years after its inception is truly fantastic’
After numerous name changes, after leaving St Bedes school Bradford, the band settled on Smokey only to be threatened by Smokey Robinson who made them make the final name change albeit only only inserting an ie instead of a Y

Jeff Christie

This Leeds lad had some success with the Outer Limits but they failed to make the big time and the band folded in 1969
Then sometime as a professional songwriter when he wrote for the Tremeloes
Yellow River was a hit for his Yorkshire band ‘Christie’.

Tony Christie

No relation to Jeff Christie, Tony was another Sheffield lad.
Maria and Is this the Way to Amarillo were iconic records.
Peter Kaye did a send up of ‘Is this the Way to Amarillo’ that got the song a second successful outing.

Paul Carrick

Sheffield must have been a musical breeding ground.
Paul was the singer with Squezee and Mike and The Mechanics.
He also had a big hit with ‘How Long’ by the Aces.

Be Bop Deluxe

Be Bop Deluxe was founded by Bill Nelson guitarist and singer-songwriter from Wakefield
Glam, Progressive Rock, or Heavy Metal they were hard to pigeon hole or label.
‘Ships in the Night’ was there major single success but they produced many good albums.

Paul Rodgers

Lead singer with Free, born in Middlesborough
‘All Right Now’ was a success for Free
With the band Bad Company Paul enjoyed years of success in the USA before being involved with several superbands.

The Who

– Unfortunately not from Gods Own County but their classic album ‘Live at Leeds’ deserves a mention. It also provides the framework for this post.

See also
Yorkshire Pop Music 1950’s
Yorkshire Pop Music 1960’s

Amazon music links
Tony Christie
Be Bop Deluxe
Mike and the Mechanics

Floral Dance Brighouse and Raistrick Brass Band


Balliff Bridge & Berry Brow Brass Band

A charity collector walked up the garden path of an old Yorkshire Cottage and spoke to the elderly lady owner ‘ Excuse me I am collecting on behalf of the Baliff Bridge & Berry Brow Brass Band’

‘Eh!’ she said

‘I am collecting on behalf of the Bailiff Bridge & Berry Brow Brass Band would you like to contribute?’

‘Eh speak up I’m a bit deaf’


‘Eh I still can’t hear’


‘Ah still can’t hear’

So he turns to go and she says ‘An’ close the gate behind thee’

‘You know what you can do with your flippin gate’ he chunters to himself

‘Aye and tha know what tha can do with the blinkin’ Bailiff Bridge & Berry Brow Brass Band’ she alliterates.

Up to Date

And in case you thought Gods Own County and Amazon were not up to date we have worked together to offer you a chance to buy ‘Yorkshire Wit, Character, Folklore and Customs or Wit Character Folklore and Customs of the North Riding of Yorkshire’ by R. Blakeborough first edition published by Henry Frowde (1898)
Sorry it is not yet available on Kindle! We will be kindling later.

Outlook for Bailiff Bridge 2012

Skipton no fly zone


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