York Footpath or Snickelway Map

Snickelways were recently nominated as one of York’s seven man made wonders. Snickleways often lead the walker to fantastic pubs or act as short cuts to other watering holes.

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The Complete Snickelways of York  –  Mark W Jones

If you like maps then you will like this book. If you like quirky maps and routes you will love this book. If you like York, and who dosen’t, then you may have already got this book or one of the earlier editions. Written and published like the Alfred Wainwright’s  Coast to Coast  book in hand written text with drawn and sketched routes this book gives an exceptional insight in our York, past and present.

For quirky who would have thought that Arthur Gemmell’s stile maps couldn’t be beaten for content or detail of presentation but they are? All these three cartographers Gemmill, Wainwright and Jones put the Frank Wilkinson walking series to shame from a cartographic perspective.

So what on earth is a ‘Snickelway’? In Mark Jones eyes it is a cross or hybrid between a Snicket, a Ginnel and an Alleyway with the odd Court, Yard or Throughway thrown in for good measure. What is more he takes us on walks through 50 of them all within a quarter of a mile of ‘The Shambles.’  That would be 51+ Snickelways if you count the top of the wall. A complete walk would be in excess of 3 miles plus the wall if you choose to tackle it all in one go.  My favourite review of the book says   ‘ My wife and daughter set off after breakfast with a copy of Snickelways, and I am still waiting for them to get home to make my midday meal’.    Angry York resident at teatime.

Mark Jones should be an honourary memeber of the International Cartographers Society or you yourself may wish to be a member of the Map Collectors Circle. I doubt the Roadmap Collectors Association have discovered Snickelways yet.

Look out for more humourous slogans on the snickleways of York. Opposite the Bluebell there is a T shirt shop with some great captions in the window. Try Too Beer or not two Beer’ Shakesbeer.

Whitby – Home For Vampires That Fear The Light?

Since Bram Stoker lit his first candle to see the ink drying on his story of Dracula the local vampires have preferred the night and twilight. So might you if you see the light like this around St Mary’s and the Abbey. Gouls, Goths and Vampires are generally portrayed in black but when shown in their true colours it can be quite illuminating.

Can you see the vampires heading down the steps to the sea front? Mind how you go or we may never see you again.
Take your own Vampire potions and protection with you if you venture out as the lights begin to twinkle, dim and then disappear as night sets in and Vampires start to roam.
Avoid getting spooked, meeting a zombie or getting kissed on the neck in Whitby. On a positive note dawn has always returned, so far!

Illuminating Images

This page has been designed in part to promote a series of Whitby photographs which use light in a variety of ways to emphasise the nature of our favourite Yorkshire seaside town. The real images are bigger better and dare I say it ‘more spooky’ but follow a successful, tried and tested theme.
Similar works based on clever lighting of Ilkley Moor are available from retailers in Ilkley and a deal could be done for a Whitby organisation that sees the light. Contact Chris North Photography.

Whitby Home For Vampires

Not Goulish enough for you? Try reading ‘Whitby Vampyrrhic’ by Simon Clark

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JOHUTCH says ‘This book is probably one of my all time favourites and I have read a lot of horror books. Mr Clark draws you in to the characters straight away and the storyline is transfixing…. Give him a go, in my opinion he is better than King.’

Other novels by Simon Clark in order of publication over the last 17 years
Nailed by the Heart
Blood Crazy
King Blood
The Fall
Judas Tree
Darkness Demands
The Night of the Triffids
In This Skin
The Tower
Death’s Dominion
London Under Midnight
Lucifer’s Ark
This Rage of Echoes
The Midnight Man
Stone Cold Calling
Vengeance Child
This Ghosting Tide
Ghost Monster
Whitby Vampyrrhic
The Gravedigger’s Tale
His Vampyrrhic Bride

Simon Clark is from Doncaster and is best known for his ‘The Night of the Triffids’ a sequel to Wyndham Lewis’s ‘The Day of The Triffids’. The sequel takes up the story twenty-five years later when the now grown-up son of Bill Masen is still searching for a method of destroying the implacable triffid plant as it continues its worldwide march.
Simon also wrote many short stories and ‘Doctor Who Dalek Factor’.

WGW is the Whitby Goth Weekend which runs from Halloween to Bonfire night. The big event 4th-6th November 2016 is sold out. This gathering of Steampunks, emos, goths, metallers, and other musical genres makes for a very suitable Whitby weekend home for ‘Vampires Who Fear The Light’.
Let the light shine but not too brightly!

Hockney Rebel

If you are a Cockney Rebel when you come from London are you a Bradfordney Rebel or Yorkney Rebel from Yorkshire? naw tha’s just normal.
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‘Hockney’s Pictures’ is a retrospective of one of the most popular pop artist in the world today. Covering all media and presented thematically it shows David Hockney’s prolific paintings, drawings, watercolours, prints and photography.

From Hockney’s early years as an Art world rebel to acknowledged innovator, communicator and preeminent artist of world class.

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Conversations with Paul Joyce entitled ‘Hockney on Art’ contains musings and insights, interspersed with works by the artists who have inspired David Hockney.

These books and many more with insights into David Hockney as the ‘enfant terrible’ are available from Amazon

Read about David Hockney his large tree painting and brief history on Gods Own County

Beverley Festival of Folk

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The Beverley Folk Festival 16 – 18 June 2017 is set to be another rip roaring success.
There is a long list of performers already booked to appear. As with other folk fests you also get ‘Pub Stuff’ in various hostelries around the town.

Beverley’s Folk Festival Pubs

  • The White Horse, or ‘Nellie’s’ to the locals, dates back to the 16th century and was the birthplace of the festival. I am told that the pub still uses the original gas lamps but that the beer is definitely not too gassy.
  • The Sun Inn as usual is a strong supporter of live music and fine beer. Cor shine a light.
  • Tiger Inn will be a roaring success.
  • The Forrestors Arms, Durham Ox, The Monks Walk, Hodgsons and down in the Westwood The Woolpack are all on hand for a good pint or three.
  • The Wold Top bar at the festival village will obviously feature the local brew.


After all this why not take a coach home. This Beverley bus was spotted in Volendam in the Netherlands at the week end. I hope all the trippers make it back home for the festival.


Some of the Artists who have appeared in recent festivals performances include:

Bernard Wrigley
Eleanor McEvoy
John Shuttleworth with ‘It’s Nice Up North’
Barbara Dickson
Ben Lawes
Blazin’ Fiddles
Bowie, Bliss & Cockerham
Charlie Dore & the Hula Valley Orchestra
Dave Burland
Eddi Reader
Barbara Dickson,
Bootleg Beatles
Ralph McTell,
Wizz Jones

Continue reading Beverley Festival of Folk

Stained Glass Conservation In Yorkshire

Stained glass is the long practices art of manipulating coloured light within an architectural context. York Minster is a great exponent of this art.

York minster stained glass

Disused medieval chapels in York are put to many uses but the Bedern Glaziers Studio is one of the more appropriate. The former chapel of the Vicars Choral, the Bedern chapel in York has been transformed into an open access conservation studio by York Glaziers Trust .

Here you can see conservation of the York Minster Great East Window originally made between 1405-1408 by master glazier John Thornton. It was removed from the Minster in 2008 for a 5 year restoration project. Cleaning the glass and repositioning dislodged pieces will be enhanced by the removal of mending leads from the past which disfigured the window. It will then be encased in clear glass and replaced in the Minster.

For over 40 years the York Glaziers Trust has been involved in a range projects all over Britain, working on glass from the 12th to the 20th centuries. Recently they were working on four large panels for the Victorian manufactured west window of Beverley Minster. The vast window which depicts figures and events connected with the early history of Christianity in Northumbria was influenced by AW Pugin.

Guided tours of the studio are available on Wednesday and Friday afternoon by pre-booking at the Minster. Group visits and Connoisseurs Tours are also available. An interesting and informative experience.
The largest number of panels is devoted to the Apocalypse, the events that will herald the end of the World and the Second Coming of Christ. The glass was removed in 2008 as a prelude to the major restoration of the east façade, providing a once-in-a-life-time opportunity to conserve and protect this medieval masterpiece.
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Sources and Other Links

York Minster stained glass
From Anita363 on Flickr ‘The York Minster has some of the best surviving Medieval stained glass anywhere. It was protected during the Reformation, when many of the great cathedrals in northern Europe suffered major damage. The center panel traces the lineage from Jesse at the bottom and his son King David up to Jesus at the top, outlines by the twining green branches of the family tree. I like the way the sun is just visible.’

Dance Yorkshire

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Whilst this book features Dancing in the East Riding there is a lot more going off in Yorkshire. I am always surprised at nthe number of dance venues still functioning for classes, medals and competitions. Undoubtedly a healthy pastime for a great many people it is good to feel a resurgence for dance.

Dancing as a Sport
The Yorkshire Dance Festival took place in Sheffield earlier in September. There were 28 classes of ballroom and latin and details can be found on Dance Info Sports that boasts ‘Everything you wanted to know about competitive dance world and dancesport.’
The 2012 Olympics created the idea of a 2012 dancers getting fit by dancing in city centres. A more traditional programme of dance events is on Dance Yorkshires web site.

Dancing as a Career
Yorkshire Dance in Leeds is a charity based operation that offers training courses and more dance related activities. It has just received more funding from The Arts Council for a Lift project to develop the work and careers of a selected group of talented dance practitioners. There will be an expert career mentoring programme and support for artists. The Riley Theatre is based at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance and runs an edgy programme and various courses.

Dance Humour
The Russians have the kosack, the Spanish the flamenco. If Yorkshire had a dance of its own, it’d involve swilling a pint of Tetley’s to and fro in front of the football while shouting ‘Leeds! Leeds! Leeds!’. Thankfully they don’t teach you the ins and outs of that dazzling composition, but you could learn some more credible forms of groove — street, jazz, tap and ballet are just a few of the jigs that you could be mastering here. Jangle that spangle, girlfriend. according to the Itchy guide.

The Butchers Dance

A guy has spent many years travelling all around the world making a documentary on Native dances. He thinks he has every single native dance of every indigenous culture in the world on film. He winds up in a pub in Sheffield where he hears about the seldom seen and sacred “Butcher Dance.”

The guy’s a bit confused and says, “Butcher Dance? What’s that, I thought I knew all the worlds great dances?” After a great deal of persuasion he gets an invite to the local dance hall. With great excitement because he believes he has uncovered a great new dance format he turns up at the appointed time.

A deathly hush descends over performers and spectators. The guy is becoming caught up in the fervour of the moment himself. This is it. He is about to witness the ultimate performance of rhythm and movement ever conceived by mankind. From somewhere the rhythmic pounding of drums booms out and locals begin to sway to the stirring rhythm.

Then he hears “You butch yer right arm in. You butch yer right arm out. You butch yer right arm in and you shake it all about…..


Rag Rugs and Ragging

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Rag rugs remains have been found in old Celtic and Viking homes and the making of rugs from rags is still practiced in Yorkshire. As the pictures imply there have been style changes as the availability of rag material has changed (some might argue improved). This is a new world of Proddies, Poggies, Clippies or Latch Hooks some of the tools of the trade to push the rags through the hessian. The process is now a little more complex as the rugs have become art objects often used as wall hangings or decorations.

Rag rugs are sometimes called Tab Rugs, Peg Rugs and Clootie Basses. Here in West Yorkshire the popularity of groups where people to get together to mat ‘n’ chat is growing. “It’s a nice communal thing to do, to sit with your rug.’ According to Jenny Salton, Museums Officer at Tolson museum Huddersfield.

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Louisa Creed and her husband from York are also exponents of the revived craft though Louisa has been making rugs for over 20 years. Louisa Creed’s work is highly valued and respected on both sides of the Atlantic, rugs can sell for upwards of £1200, better than your average Rag and Boneman prices. She has her own web site and has a  selling exhibitions at

Cemetery Chapel, York
Mainly Rag Rugs
Friday 14 to Sunday 16 October 2016

The Ebor Ruggers,including rugs by Louisa and Lewis Creed.

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Continue reading Rag Rugs and Ragging

Sir Patrick Stewart

After waiting for God only knows how many decades (well 6.9 actually) the Mirfield lad made good with an OBE in 2001 and  a Knighthood (KBE) in 2009.

He was the Chancellor of the University of Huddersfield. ‘Sir Pat’ is also a Patron of Refuge, the national charity supporting women and children who are victims of domestic violence and has sponsored a scholarship for a three-year full-time doctoral study in the area of children and domestic violence at Huddersfield. Patrick Stewart has also been a committed human rights activist. He tells the story of how he got involved in human rights advocacy when he heard of an Eastern European theater troupe that got jailed for trying to perform a Shakespeare play. ‘Something is rotten in the state of Denmark’ may be an apposite quote from Hamlet.

Of his role in Star Trek he is reported to have said ‘you know all of those years with the Royal Shakespeare Company, all those years of playing kings and princes and speaking black verse, and bestriding the landscape of England was nothing but a preparation for sitting in the captain’s chair of the Enterprise.’

As CNN said the ‘Queen says make it so‘ and we want to add our congratulations to Sir Patrick.

David Hockney Bradford Born Painter

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David Hockney RA exhibition of 82 Portraits and 1 Still-life can be seen at the Royal Academia from 2 July – 2 October 2016


This representation of David Hockney’s work reflects many of his interests and insights.
His mother Laura is the central theme as she remained throughout her life.
The photo-collage method was created in the 1980 whist David was touring America and his collages of the Grand Canyon and Zion Canyon, Utah are on display at Salts Mill Saltaire.
These collages challenge conventional ways of looking at art and are just one of the innovations David has brought to the public’s attention. David has been keen to engage with his audiences in colourful and communicative ways.

Mini Biography

  • Born in Bradford on 9th July 1937 of Bradford parents.
  • ‘From an early age David Hockney had a desire to be an artist. At the age of 11 he won a scholarship to Bradford Grammar school. In the
  • first year he purposefully came last in the form so that he would be able to study art – (reserved for non academic boys)
  • At the age of 16, he was able to leave and devote himself to art. He studied at the Bradford School of Art then The Royal College of Art in London.’
  • He was a conscientious objector during national service.
  • His brother Paul Hockney was one time Lord Mayor of Bradford.
  • After London life, post college David moved to New York and then Santa Monica in California where he produced much of his Oeuvre including swimming pool series and paintings of lithe young men.
  • Read more at Biography online

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Current Works

Hockney’s largest painting, ‘Bigger Trees Near Warter’, which measures 15’x40′, was hung in the Royal Academy’s largest gallery in their annual Summer Exhibition 2007. It is currently on display at York Art Gallery until 12 June 2011.
The work is the largest David has produced and “is a monumental-scale view of a coppice in Hockney’s native Yorkshire, between Bridlington and York. It was painted on 50 individual canvases, mostly working in situ, over five weeks last winter.”
In 2008, he donated this work to the Tate Gallery in London, saying: “I thought if I’m going to give something to the Tate I want to give them something really good. It’s going to be here for a while. I don’t want to give things I’m not too proud of…I thought this was a good painting because it’s of England…it seems like a good thing to do” The Times

Other Hockney Bits

Hockney’s Garrow Hill is a depiction of the rolling Yorkshire Moors, streams and patchwork fields. It will be used at the Chelsea Flowers show by Kate Dundas and Esther Kilner as the inspiration for their garden exhibit.

Art in Yorkshire is a  celebration in 19 galleries throughout Yorkshire of works from the Tate collections.

The Hockney Gallery in Saltaire has many works on display and a large range of products available to purchase. I particularly like the early opera sets on the top floor.

Me Draw on i-pad was an exhibition in Humblebaek Denmark until 28 August 2011

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Biography on line
Picture from memaporg on flickr under creative commons license Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic
David Hockney official web site with current projects

Hockney Rebel

JWM Turner in Yorkshire

It is said that ‘The beauty of Yorkshire’s landscape moved the great British painter JMW Turner to tears’. No surprise there then for Yorkshire folk who are lucky enough to live and travel in the county.

Book Cover“Turner loved Yorkshire and visited around 70 places across the county, sketching and painting – a great example of  dramatic and inspiring Yorkshire’s landscapes”  Garry Verity Welcome to Yorkshire.

Considering just one location we can see JWM Turners abiding interest in Yorkshire. Hackfall Woods was famous as one of the finest and largest wild gardens in Britain where Turner’s many sketches resulted in two finished watercolours. Today it is much-loved hidden gem. In the car park, you could see a copy of Turner’s painting displayed alongside that of local artist, Ian Scott Massie who was commissioned to capture the same landscape three centuries later. More of Turner’s work is on display in the nearby Masham Gallery.

Book Cover Turner has been the inspiration of numerous artists. His  large body of work is a resource for both authors and painters much of which is controlled by the Tate Gallery. Jane Sellers talks of the painter William Cowen, who she tells us, “was born in Rotherham and became a drawing teacher in Sheffield.”