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

Bradford October 2017

Bradford has a museum to be proud with the National Science and Media Museum. The author and a friend are pictured taking advantage of one display that showed thermal images of visitors. The white eyes are the hottest and I am the one with the ‘ruddy’ complexion 

When the sun is shining the glass walls of the Broadway center reflect the old and the new with the Wool Exchange seen from a new angle. The complexity of the photographs of buildings reflected in windows was pointed out by painter William J (Bill) Gall to a Thursday Oil Painting group at a recent tutorial.

With a bit of luck Ivegate is starting to perk up and the Bradford ‘Boar’ was looking good, in the autumn sunshine, on top of the Old Crown. Let us hope it is returning to its former glory.

York Is Appealing

We all know that York has a wide appeal for residents and visitors but are these appeals really necessary?

This is a tale of two art related 2017 appeals .

1. The York Art Gallery

If you have £3.6 million to spare you could help acquire A Revery by Albert Moore  a 19th Century York born artist. The painting above currently features at the York Art Gallery until 1st October 2017 but the museum and gallery trust would like to buy this painting.

 Money and finance seems high on the list of priorities for the Art Gallery. Is this appeal convincing you? How many works do York own that are not on display in the City?Book CoverAmazon Kindle version of ‘43 Amazing Color Paintings of Albert Joseph Moore – British Academic Painter (September 4, 1841 – September 25, 1893)’

2. Wooden Sculptures Wooden Appeal

I have been invited to support a fund raiser to buy ‘for the nation and York’, a 17th century sculpture by Grinling Gibbons. The cost will be £300,000 and 80% has already been found from mainly public sector purses. To be more exact funds for the purchase are destined for York Civic Trust and Fairfax House an Historic House Association member. The HHA is an association of 1500 privately owned stately homes, historic dwellings, parks and gardens throughout the UK. The Civic Trust is awash with unspent investments!

Sotheby’s auctioned the lot for a price of $162,500 on behalf of the estate of A Arthur Traubman their late chairman who served time in USA prison over his role in a price-fixing scandal with Christie’s. He  was a multi-millionaire from construction and investment (peak networth $3billion). He is also known for his extensive  art collection which Sotheby’s valued at $500 million. Should the public be coughing up another £60,000 for this shemozzle?

Book Cover Lords and Liars: The Inside Story of the Sotheby’s-Christie’s Conspiracy by Christopher Mason


Pop Musicians of Yorkshire

Not all our Yorkshire musical achievements are groups or bands everyone would be proud of but we could put on a great festival from some acts on this list.

  • Def Leppard sheffield
  • Saxon barnsley
  • Robert Palmer batley
  • David Coverdale north yorkshire singer for Whitesnake and Deep purple
  • Black lace ossett
  • Jive Bunny rotherham andy pickles
  • Human league sheffield ware and marsh quit to form heaven 17
  • The Housemartins hull
  • the wedding presents
  • Pulp and Jarvis cocker sheffield common people
  • Sisters of mercy
  • Terrorvision keighley
  • Melanie Brown scary spice leeds
  • Shed Seven, seahorses york
  • Chumbawamba
  • Gareth Gates bradford
  • Artic Monkeys sheffield
  • Kaiser Chiefs guisely
  • Pigeon Detectives rothwell
  • The Cribbs wakefield
  • Corrine Bailey Rae
  • Kate Rusby
  • Housemartins
  • Richard Howley
  • Tasmin Archer
  • Kiki Dee

If your local favourite is not on this list let us know so we can update.

Wiig to Wed – Bridesmaids Needed

Beverley Minster

Beverley Minster could be the location for the PR media frenzy that will be the luvvies wedding of the century. It could alternatively be the name of one of the Bridesmaids when Kirsten Wiig weds. Mother Shipton would be the Maid of Honour and other bridesmaid contenders could include Victoria Cave, Adel Church, Burton Agnes Hall, Greta Bridge, Jet Whitby, or even Rose Berry-Topping.
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Bridesmaids The Movie

Wiig is the creator and actress who wrote the script for  Bridesmaids a new, potentially cult comedy currently being previewed in cinemas around Yorkshire. Continue reading Wiig to Wed – Bridesmaids Needed

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

Wilfred Pickles Have a Go

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You can get snippets of Wilfred Pickles as an actor on youtube or watch a full comedy series with Jimmy Jewel from Barnsley on this boxed DVD of More Northern Comedy.

According to wikipedia Wilfred Pickles was a proud Yorkshireman, (aren’t we all) ‘born in Halifax and having been selected by the BBC as an announcer for its North Region radio service, went on to be an occasional newsreader on the National service during World War II. He was the first newsreader to speak in a regional accent rather than the “BBC English” of the period, and caused some comment with his farewell catchphrase “… and to all in the North, good neet”.’

One of his books ‘The Wifred Pickles Gay Street Book’ with Enid Blyton and the Biggles author Captain W.E. Johns, et al. wouldn’t pass the politically correct brigade in current publishing. In the early post war years Wilfred Pickles was as close to a modern day Celebrity as you could get. Wireless was a great medium for developing catch phrases and Wilfred had his fair share including “Give him the money, Mabel”, “How do, How are yer?”, “Give ’em the money, Barney!” (Barney Colehan) and “Are yer courting?”

The title song to his radio show ‘Have a Go’ will be remembered by the many who attended or listened to the show over it’s 21 years. They never visited the same place twice and had over 1500 outstanding invitations to visit when the show finished.

      “Have a go, Joe, come on and have a go
      You can’t lose owt, it costs you nowt
      To make yourself some dough.
      So hurry up and join us, don’t be shy
      and don’t be slow.
      Come on Joe, have a go!”

Theme and words by Jack Jordan

Mabel, Wilfred’s wife took over ‘at the table’ and Violet Carson (Ena Sharples of Coronation Street) played the piano. The original prize money was 1 pound 18/6, awarded in increments of 2/6, 5/-, 10/- and 1 guinea.

The autobiography of Mabel Pickles by Mabel Myerscough Pickles is still available in some book shops.

Norman Yardley’s Contribution to Music

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Yorkshire Cricket Captains, Including: Geoffrey Boycott, Darren Gough, 7th Baron Hawke, Norman Yardley, Ray Illingworth.

Norman Yardley of Royston near Barnsley was ‘Cricketer of the the Year 1948’ and this is how it was reported in Wisden
In 1950 he led his country in the first three Tests against West Indies the second Test at Lord’s was lost giving the visitors their first victory on English soil. This led to the musical (?) contribution I referred to :-

VICTORY CALYPSO by Lord Beginner (born Egbert Moore)

Cricket lovely Cricket,
At Lord’s where I saw it;
Cricket lovely Cricket,
At Lord’s where I saw it;
Yardley tried his best
But Goddard won the test.
They gave the crowd plenty fun;
Second Test and West Indies won.

With those two little pals of mine
Ramadhin and Valentine.

The King was there well attired,
So they started with Rae and Stollmeyer;
Stolly was hitting balls around the boundary;
But Wardle stopped him at twenty.
Rae had confidence,
So he put up a strong defence;
He saw the King was waiting to see,
So he gave him a century.

With those two little pals of mine
Ramadhin and Valentine.

West Indies first innings total was three-twenty-six
Just as usual
When Bedser bowled Christiani
The whole thing collapsed quite easily;
England then went on,
And made one-hundred-fifty-one;
West Indies then had two-twenty lead
And Goddard said, “That’s nice indeed.”

With those two little pals of mine
Ramadhin and Valentine.

Yardley wasn’t broken-hearted
When the second innings started;
Jenkins was like a target
Getting the first five in his basket.
But Gomez broke him down,
While Walcott licked them around;
He was not out for one-hundred and sixty-eight,
Leaving Yardley to contemplate.

The bowling was superfine
Ramadhin and Valentine.

West Indies was feeling homely,
Their audience had them happy.
When Washbrook’s century had ended,
West Indies voices all blended.
Hats went in the air.
They jumped and shouted without fear;
So at Lord’s was the scenery
Bound to go down in history.

After all was said and done
Second Test and the West Indies won!

David Friths obituary of Norman Yardley is available as the ‘All round Skipper’ in the Yorkshire Cricket Archive.

Related Links
The Best of Dickie Bird on audio CD from Amazon
Slipless In Settle: A Slow Turn Around Northern Cricket by Harry Pearson is a book on Yorkshire village and League cricket that will give you a wry smile or three.
Wisden on Yorkshire
Photo on creative commons license by Badger Swan on flickr
Jim Laker on Gods Own County.

Feldspar or Mill Stone Grit

Feldspar or Mill Stone Grit?  Feldspar is a group of rock-forming tectosilicate minerals which make up about 60% of the Earth’s crust whilst gritstone is a fluvial sedimentary rock. Rock is not what you should expect with Feldspar in this case.

Feldspar is a four-piece acoustic band, writing and performing original songs with a folk-inspired sound. West Yorkshire lads Will Green – guitar, lead vocals and Ben Lloyd-Evans – piano, guitar, vocal harmony are joined by Ben Cashell – ‘cello and Rob Cope – soprano sax . They were performing at Otley Courthouse last night to launch their first CD ‘Bright Day’ The songs are all thoughtfully constructed and the live performance was a good show piece for the group who have been together in various guises for 5 years.

The Title track ‘Bright Day’ was inspired by J.B. Priestley’s Bright Day a huge critical and popular success that was partially autobiographical. Its message of hope and promise echoeing the expectations of a nation after the long dark years of war. It is a message that still resonates with our own troubled and changing times. “Bruddersford (the setting) always seemed to me to have the kind of ugliness that could not not only be tolerated but often enjoyed; it was grim but not mean.” J B Priestley 1946 in Bright Day.

Feldspar can be heard or seen on their website where the CD can be purchased. Lets hope they are another Yorkshire group like the Kaiser Chiefs ‘cos the lads done good’.

Band Of Hope Burmantofts to Salvation Army

Salvation Armys Hope in the City Breakfast presented by Rogers Wireless photos by CIBC-PacBluePrinting and RonSombilonGallery-109.jpg
Temperance societies in the early 1800’s were worried about drinking amongst the youth of Leeds. The reverend Jabez Tunnicliffe welded several together to form the Band of Hope. He died age 56 but was the chaplain at Burmantofts cemetery where his grave can still be seen close to Stoney Rock Lane.

The Band of Hope started in 1847 when Ann Jane Carlile a temperance pioneer was invited to Leeds to speak at some children’s meetings. She was convinced that children suffered because of the ready availability of ‘strong drink’. Hope UK still works as a children’s charity ‘enabling children to make drug free choices’. ‘First you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you’ Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald.

After exposure to the Band of Hope William Booth and his wife Catherine opened The Christian Revival Society renamed in 1878 The Salvation Army. There are many icons associated with The Salvation Army including  The Citadels, The War Cry, the Red Shield and the slogan “Blood and Fire”. (Representing the Blood which was shed by Jesus for our sins and the Fire of the Holy Spirit).

The good works of the Salvation Army include

3,000,000 meals served every year at community and residential centres
79,000 prisoners visited each year in 134 prisons
3,200 homeless people given food and shelter every night in 57 centres
709 local church and community centres
636 elderly people accommodated every night in 17 residential centres
300 youth clubs providing a caring environment for young people
120 drop-in centres offering support and help for people in need
70 day centres for elderly and disabled people
50 nurseries and playgroups
30 Red Shield support centres for military personnel in the UK, Germany and the Falkland Islands
10 people reunited every working day with their families through the Family Tracing Service

Perhaps the most obvious icon is the Salvation Army Band that is one of the activities that supports the necessary fund raising activities.


‘Eleven pence halfpenny more to make a bob’ a  fund raising slogan of the Salvation army.

Photo credit
Salvation Armys Hope in the City Breakfast presented by Rogers Wireless photos by CIBC-PacBluePrinting and RonSombilonGallery-109.jpg by RON SOMBILON MEDIA, ART and PHOTOGRAPHY, CC BY-ND 2.0