The Guido Fawkes pub in York is a good place to start our quick review of Yorkshire fireworks.
Without the gunpowder plot of 1605 it is doubtful Yorkshire would have taken up the top spot of ornamental firework production during Victorian times nor top wholesalers now.
Review of Yorkshire Firework Suppliers
Standard Fireworks started making and supplying fireworks in 1891. The fireworks and ingredients were imported from China or made by outworkers like local coal miners supplementing their income. Then in 1910 a factory was built at Crosland Hill Huddersfield and although manufacture has long since been transferred to China it is still the admin HQ for Yorkshires Standard fireworks. Black Cat fireworks are now part of the same group as Standard Fireworks but have their admin base at Lawkholme lane Keighley. Both brands are owned by the Chinese firecracker business Li & Fung company.
It now costs a lot to see your money go up in smoke but that cost or pleasure is generally shared by at the larger displays with bigger audiences.
Around our home bonfires of childhood, a rip rap or rocket in a milk bottle probably also seemed a costly part of a family’s November budget.
I was stimulated to write this page after receiving some direct mail from Jimmy’s Fireworks at Tankersley and Epic Fireworks. It is good to see a Yorkshire business thriving, as they must be to afford a large 16 page highly glossy catalogue posted to an unsolicited address. Still it gets them this mention and a web link. They claim to be the largest wholesaler of Fireworks in the country.
Review of Firework Prices
In the brochure, Penny bangers have now been replaced by 50 shot ‘Nuclear Weapons’ only £64.95!. And Rockets are still available in packs of 38 for £84 Mmmmm
Selection boxes like Vendetta can cost £595 for 11 fireworks or the Ultimate for £2000 which has 80 fireworks delivered to your door. (I would expect an Exocet for that money). I was looking for the little kids version of snow storms, roman candle and volcanoes without avail until I spotted a 36 firework pack for £44.95 that included a good old Standard fireworks selection box called ‘Cliff Hanger’ (but I will be kept in suspense to see what that contains.)
For local bonfires rather than formal displays I like the historically named packs called Guido’s, Cateby’s Revenge, Plotters Party, Treason and the simple Plot Night. Getting down to basics ‘Penny for the Guy’ is a better priced option for £44.95 with a free Chinese Flying Lantern to set fire to your local woods.
I think I will stick to Indoor Fireworks which came up first on this list of fireworks you can buy from amazon. Obviously the price of rocket packs and other products ascends but I remember Christmas time with simple yet different indoor fireworks to let off around the dining room table. For less than £7, compared to the prices above, I think they will be better value for a tight Yorkshireman.
Indoor fireworks have their own genre and nomenclature and types include blazing bengals, snakes alive, flash gordon, sizzling strobes, ice fountains, fun snaps, puff the magic dragon, disco inferno and indoor sparklers.
New Years Eve Fireworks by robynejay CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Firefalls by Chip_2904 CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Heworth York
Swimming is the first of the 3 events in the Triathlon. For the Olympic triathlon, the swim section is 1.5km about 0.93 mile. This is followed immediately by a 40km or 25 mile bike ride at a frenetic pace. The last section is the 10km 6.25 mile run and all three are completed in around 1hour 45 minutes.
This weekend’s World Championship win in Hyde Park London sends the Yorkshireman Alistair Brownlee to the top of the world rankings. “I can’t believe it. It was tough”, said Brownlee from Leeds, after his performance. It’s great to win at home but it is on to Australia for the final of this years World Championship series. Let us hope a Yorkshire man is crowned World Champion and that he goes on to win a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics. Alistair is only 21 and it must be a young mans game as his younger brother Johnathon also competed at Hyde Park and is ranked 49th in the world.
A shorter approved Triathlon the ‘Sprint version’ is a good way to get into the sport. Many events are organised for charity purposes and it is also a good way to get fit. The sprint triathlon involves a 0.75km (0.46 mile) swim, a 22km (13.75 mile) bike ride and a 5km (3.12 mile) run. Try a local event if you think you can finish or want a challenge, a pdf of some events in Yorkshire can be found here.
There is a World Kids Triathlon in Yokohama at the end of the month. I doubt I could beat any of the entrants even over the short distances of Swim: 100m, Bike: 5km, Run: 1km . The distances double depending on age. At the other end of the scale is the Ironman competition which involves a 3.84 km (2.4 mile) swim, a 179.2 km (112 mile) cycle and a 41.6km (26 mile) run so I am off to get in training ( for the sitting, snoozing and sleeping triazzzzzzzz.)
Honolulu Triathalon 2008 by rcastag CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Beating the established sporting powerhouses of countries like Australia, Japan, South Africa, Germany and Cuba, the independent Republic of Yorkshire are currently 7th in the Olympic medal Table! Not even Usain Bolt and the Jamaican track team have been able to overtake the incredible small country of Yorkshire. Disconsolate Australian athletes have apparently been heading up the M1 looking for the recipe for Yorkshire puddings. However, Supreme athletics coach Geoff Boycott claimed 12 hours a day down the mine does great things for your long-term fitness.
As the England team come to Headingley to start the 4th 2009 Test and the 24th Ashes Test on this ground England are looking for an eighth win. Australia boast eight wins to England’s seven, while a further eight matches have been drawn. The ground is part way through a major redevelopment but the playing surface looks grand.
Amazing Feats and Triumphs in Headingley Tests
It is hard to believe it is 32 years since Geoff Boycott scored his 100th first-class hundred at his home ground in 1977.
Don Bradman stands tallest among those who have graced the Headingley turf, having scored 963 runs in just four Tests at an average of 192. The 334 he made in 1934 on his first Test appearance at the ground included 309 runs in a day, and he scored another triple century in 1938. Returning in 1948 Don Bradman scored an unbeaten 173 to a final-day pursuit of 404 to help Australia chalk up one of the eight wins.
Fred Trueman was the hero in 1961 when in one spell he claimed 5-0 on the way to match figures of 11-88. Having bowled Richie Benaud, he consoled (or is it sledged) him in inimitable style saying “Don’t worry, sunshine. It would have knocked over even a half-decent batsman.”
Imagine Headingley in 1981 with England forced to follow on 290 runs behind and 135 for seven in the second innings and yet contrived to win by 18runs. Ian Botham’s scored an unbeaten 149, and pushed the score up to 420 leaving Australia chasing 130 to win on the last day. Enter Bob Willis with a spell of 8-43 in 15 overs and our tight victory.
The scene is set for another epic battle with our old foes those Yorkshire men in exile the Aussies. The Western Terrace is no more but the support will be there. Let us hope for a great game and an England victory despite the lack of Yorkshire born talent in the England team.
The only weather forecast I have seen is that there will be ‘no change in the changeable weather’ so no draw I hope.
Photo credit Headingley by clumsy_jim (CC BY-NC 2.0)
Anita Lonsbrough was born in Huddersfield in 1941 (sorry about that Anita but I will send you a birthday card next year saying ’69 – last year’.)
Arguably Yorkshire’s best swimmer Adrian Moorhouse not withstanding.
Anita Lonsbrough Firsts
First in the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome where she won gold in the 200 m breaststroke gold.
Anita was the first female Olympic Flag bearer for Great Britain 1964
Anita was the first woman winner of BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 1962. (the runner up was Dorothy Hyman from Cudworth Barnsley 100 meter Olympic silver medalist).
First in the 220 yards breaststroke and the medley relay 1958 Commonwealth Games where she won gold.
Free Wedding Reception
Anita was married to Hugh Porter, the 4,000 metre cycling champion and 4 times world pursuit champion, in 1964.
As a tribute the Town Hall at Huddersfield was made available for the reception at no charge – true Yorkshire hospitality.
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
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.
Horsey reprise of 2011 for the show jumpers of Yorkshire
In summer 2011 Bramham horse trials had some good weather for a change and record crowds of over 50,000 attended to see a German winner Kai Rueder. The only solace is that he is trained by a Yorkshireman Chris Bartle from Markington
In the European championships Yorkshire folk came home with a couple of bronze medals. Nicola Wilson and John Whitaker will now be looking forward to the Olympic selection and competitions
The Hull show in East Park organised by the British Showjumping area committee was an unqualified success in August when over 20,000 visitors attended the show. Yorkshire riders did particularly well with Karl Fuller of Otley winning twice in the grand ring. He was riding his own horse Wet Wet Wet.
The Great Yorkshire Show introduced a new Mini Major class to add to the existing highly acclaimed show jumping competitions. Sponsored by Yorkshire Dales Ice Cream it is open to junior riders aged 12 and under. It gives an opportunity for the winning pony riders from three Yorkshire qualifying shows to partner up with some of the (major) top riders in the country.
A first for Yorkshire when Eldwick Riding Club won the quadrille of the year title at the British Riding Clubs event with their Riverdance routine. Read more background and see an international Quadrille below.
Steven Beane from North Allerton captured his third consecutive global title at the Calgary Stampede’s 32nd annual World Championship Blacksmiths’ Competition during 2011. Steven has joined the elite as a competitor who has won back-to-back-to-back world crowns at Calgary. He picked up the winner’s cheque for $10,000, as well as a gold-and-silver Stampede championship buckle.
Due to a lack of sponsorship and poor ticket sales the international showjumping event planned for April 2011 at Sheffield arena had to be cancelled.
For details of forthcoming events check out the Riding Diary
Port Royal EEC, claims to be the premier northern equestrian center at Holme on Spalding moor with two main arenas. For events see
Safe by Katy Wrathall CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Quadrille by Princes Milady CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Show Jumping at Olympia by Jessicamulley CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Jill Armstrong at Yorkshire Post for inspiration
branches of the Embroiderers guild around Yorkshire include, City of York, Grassington, Halifax, Hallam, Harrogate, Huddersfield, Hull and East Riding, Lower Airedale, Nidderdale, Penistone, Ryedale, Leeds, Selby & District, Sheffield & District and Skipton
The celebrations for 75 years the Embroiderers Guild of Yorkshire was led by an exhibition at the University of Leeds Textile Archive. This is located at St Wilfred’s Chapel Moorlands Road Leeds and is open University times.
Yorkshire is the longest serving branch of the Embroiderers Guild in the country. Yorkshire was fortunate to have as first president, Louisa Pesel who’s notes designs and collection from all around the world features in the exhibition.
Under the title ‘Natural Fibers are the Fabric of Society’ there are silk shawls from the Qing dynasty, Javanese cottons, Mediterranean embroideries and exhibits from Malaysia, China, New Zealand and Yorkshire.
There are branches of the Embroiderers guild around Yorkshire including Ackworth, City of York, Grassington & District, Halifax, Hallam, Harrogate, Huddersfield, Hull and East Riding, Lower Airedale, Nidderdale, Penistone, Ryedale, Leeds, Selby & District, Sheffield & District and Skipton. They run competitions and for 2010 they will be judged at Regional Day at Riccall, Selby, on 12th June 2010 the themes include DeDenne Competition for Young Embroiderers – “Imaginary Animals” , Challenge Cup – “My Backyard” and Coats Anchor Award – “Animals”. See more on their web site
Pontefract Museum, Salter Row, Pontefract, event Going for Gold Textile Art Group Until 28 January 2012.
York Quilt Museum Embroidered and Embellished Collections to view click here
It is 19th April and the top Yorkshire football teams are striving for Premiership football next season. Hull City AFC deserve to succeed after promotion last year and warming the cockles of so many hearts at the beginning of the season as they triumphed over complacent so called top teams. Unfortunately the great start faltered a bit in 2009 but I have every confidence that they will get the points to keep them up.
Sheffield United are in touch with an automatic promotion spot but have the play offs as a fall back position. Sadly Sheffield Wednesday can’t now get into a play off spot so ‘Come on The Blades the premiership needs you!’
Ten days ago it looked all over for Middlesborough but a doughty performance in the last couple of games gives them every chance of getting away from relegation. So my prediction is ‘3 Yorkshire teams in the Premiership’ but even if it is none the supporters will remain loyal.
Now it is off to the cricket with Yorkshire threatening to demolish Durham this afternoon! Well sporting enthusiasts live in hope.