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Tilting at Yorkshire Windmills

Firstly we exclude the modern wind farms, wind turbines and their ilk designed for energy production and despoiling  the landscape. Windmill has the clue in the name, a mill that uses wind!

Which area of the county has the greatest number of windmills and a tradition of maintaining them? In York there are 23, Beverly 19,  and the surprise Hull with 29. There are fewer in the West Riding but do not ignore 4 at Aberford and Barwick in Elmet. Information from Watermill World

Perhaps Hull is not so surprising with its port and connections with Holland. Maud Foster Mill, notionally in Lincolnshire is an English tower mill was built in 1819 for the Reckitt brithers who at the time were corn factors. Their milling and baking then launched the Hull based business of Reckitt and Coleman as suppliers of starch.

Every organisation or interest group seems to have a national day and Windmills have coined two days in 2018 to promote their preservation. National Mills Weekend will be on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May 2018 and includes watermills. Part of The charity ‘Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) reg no. 1113753.



Warning the road bends sharply left under the narrow railway bridge. (When I say narrow I mean breath in).  Unfortunately the number of the bridge and safety instructions are obliterated by the similar graffiti on the plaque fixed to the bridge wall itself.

A word to the graffiti (so called artist). Banksy you are not! If you aspire to be the King then it will only be as Kong. This rendering on a blanked off window is on the Saltaire Brewery offices. Let us hope the king is soon old enough in years and mentality to stop defacing property with his so called tag. If the graffiti artist is self identifying as a female then why use ‘King’

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Beeston Grave Situation


Neat rows of houses built in one of Beeston’s heydays. Less neat were the desecrated grave stones in the park cemetery.

Another hey day relates to the 15th century building Stank Hall tithe barn. Happily no longer in a grave state of neglect but vandals are a menace.  A veritable history of Yorkshire influence can be gleaned from the friends of Stank Hall   

On September 9th 2017 there is a rare opportunity to see inside the 15th century timber framed Stank Hall Barn as part of the ‘heritage open days’ programme.


Girls not on a Train


















The Liverpool to Scarborough train has just dropped me at Seamer the penultimate station before the terminus – If it doesn’t stop in Scarborough then it will end up in the briny. Later in the day I return via Filey and waited an hour for a return train through York and Leeds.

Teenage Behaviour or Misbehaviour

  • I was at the end of the platform taking the snaps. Four early teenage females were acting the goat and disturbing the only other two ladies in the waiting room/shelter.
  • The teenagers bragged that they had be ‘thrown out of McDonald for amongst other things sticking a chip up someones nose’.
  • At Seamer, no doubt bolstered by earlier misdemeanor, whilst waiting for the Filey/ Bridlington train they were acting in a loud, coarse and threatening manner to the consternation of the two ladies.
  • One of the ladies took them to task in a professional manner by discussing what the future consequences of acting as they did. ‘If they wanted to have good clothes, afford a car and expected a reasonable life style they needed to work’. She went further suggesting that they had little prospects of getting a job with the attitude and disrespect they showed.
  • The lady was an HR professional at a good company in York, Paragon Creative whose products for the entertainment industry should have a lot of street cred with the girls. She told them that despite wanting to recruit young people she would not employ them even if they could do the job because their conduct was wrong.
  • The other lady remained a bit shaken. She felt if she had been alone with the teenagers she would have been frightened.

I arrived too late on the tableau and would have been ineffective as a bloke arguing with four girls could create the wrong impression. Everyone including the girls were probably glad when they got on the Sheffield bound train and we were happy to wait for the York- Liverpool bound connection.



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


Extra Unseasonal Photos

Value for Money Extra Autumn Photos of Yorkshire


Menston trees in autumn sunshine


Acer in Autumn sun.

wharfe valley

Wharfe Valley from Bleach Mill Lane

St John’s Road




Bolton Abbey



Newly Haunted Bradford – Sunbridgewells

Was the opening of the Victorian tunnels under Ivegate a good idea or have old ghosts and ghouls been released on the unsuspecting public. The Victorian tunnels have previously contained and constrained all sorts of undefined mysterious bodies best left alone from Little Fat Black Pussy Cats to  Pretty Things to say nothing of many haunting noises.

Book Cover

The converted tunnels reopened off Centenary Square linking through 3 levels to exit in Ivegate.  The former Berni’s Inn  and Bier Keller were old  name changes in attempts to suppress  the atmosphere of the  Grosvenor well known as a haunted pub.

How quickly will the ghostly spirits ensure the new name of Sunbridgewells need to alter to protect visitors from spooks and specters.

Graham Hall the renovator says “Well I hope it increases the footfall into Bradford, i.e. the night life………’ Mmm yes we see what he might mean. Still it is along time until Halloween and the goths, aliens and related monsters might keep away long enough for you to grab  a meal or drink.   However  Bradford’s own ghosts are already in the fabric of the tunnels and you wont really be drinking alone.


Drop In To A Yorkshire Cafe

shipley 006

The catchy upper windows at this cafe caught my attention in Idle.  The steamy windows hinted at a warm welcome to augment the smiley faces. It was then that the name sank in and I thought a drop of tea would be what I got if I wasn’t careful.

I played cricket for Idle Congs in the 1960’s and was having a nostalgia walk to see how the village had changed – not much although some licensed premises were shuttered and closed, only temporarily I hope. Over 50 years ago I probably thought I was a good fielder and claimed many catches to my name but perhaps I was not so good more like my batting and bowling. Still I don’t remember being called butter-fingers all that often.

I was interested in the derivation of the name Butterfingers and extrated this note from a larger item on the subject at

Before Charles Dickens used the phrase in Pickwick Paper there was a reference to ‘butter-fingers’ in the Yorkshire newspaper The Leeds Intelligencer dated May 1823.

‘The English Housewife. Delving again, I found that the book, written by the English writer Gervase Markham in 1615, scarce as it may have been in 1823, is still available today. Markham’s recipe for a good housewife was:

‘First, she must be cleanly in body and garments; she must have a quick eye, a curious nose, a perfect taste, and ready ear; she must not be butter-fingered, sweet-toothed, nor faint-hearted – for the first will let everything fall; the second will consume what it should increase; and the last will lose time with too much niceness.’

T pot

Here’s the tea pot short and stout

Here’s my handle here’s my spout

pick it up and ooops – butterfingers


Yorkshire Pig Breeds

Large White Yorkshire Pig

The Large White pig, also known as the English Large White, is a breed of domesticated pig originating in Yorkshire. It is also fondly known as the Yorkshire pig. First recognized in 1868 and registered in 1884 this Yorkshire pig was popular around Keighley West Yorkshire for many years.


Large Whites are distinguished by their hefty bearing, erect ears, slightly dished faces, white color, pink skins, and long deep sides. They have been valued for their bacon production since the inception of the breed. As their name suggests, they are characterized by their large size.

The Large White is regarded as a rugged and hardy breed that can withstand variations in climate and other environmental factors. Their ability to cross with and improve other breeds has truly made them a factor nearly everywhere commercial swine are produced. They have been known for decades as a favorite market animal where high quality bacon and pork are sought. Their tendency to grow and not lay down excess fat have made them favorites, not only when swine are marketed at relatively light weights, but also when they are carried to heavier weights.

Large Whites are known for large litters, heavy milk production and for having excellent maternal instincts. They are not only lean and active, but are also quite sound in feet and legs. They carry their considerable length with ease and grace. Their extra height, or length of leg, helps them to remain active and have long useful lives in the breeding


Small White or Small Yorkshire

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Yorkshire Sheep


The Wensleydale is a large long wool sheep with a distinctive grey black face, ears and legs. The Wensleydale breed was developed in the 19th century by crossing English Leicester and Teeswater sheep to make a mule that developed in to the Wensleydale.

One of the largest and heaviest of all sheep breeds, the Wensleydale has long, locks of ringlet like woll inherited from its teesdale parentage.

There is a long show tradition for this breed and the 2016 winner at the 125th annual Wensleydale Longwool Sheep Breeders’ Association show and sale at Skipton Auction Mart.

‘Mr Fisher lifted the title with his first prize shearling ram and male champion, a first-rate home-bred that has excelled in the show arena all summer, becoming champion at both Otley and Ripley Shows, and  runner-up in its class at the Great Yorkshire.’



‘A separate register is maintained in the flock book for coloured Wensleydales which occur naturally as a result of a double recessive black gene (this is not exclusive to the Wensleydale). Since the coloured register was commenced in 1994 the number of black ewe lambs registered with the Association has been volatile – in 1999 there were 88 registrations but these have declined in recent years.

Some white animals carry one recessive black gene and mating two such sheep can produce coloured lambs from an apparently all white flock.  These lambs are registered in the coloured register and the dam and sire must also be transferred out of the white flock.  When the demand for wool was at its peak it was common for black lambs to be culled to prevent the valuable clip becoming ‘polluted’ with coloured fibres and to protect the reputation of breeders. However, these lambs born out of white flocks have now become very important as they widen the gene pool for coloured breeders – in 1999 breeding rams were registered from 13 flocks but by 2009 this had declined to 6 flocks.

Although referred to as Black Wensleydales – the colour will vary from silver to jet black.’


Swaledale Sheep Breeders Association

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