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Yorkshire Day Out

It was a fine sunny August 1st 2018 and there were no hail stones, moorland fires or natural disasters in God’s Own County! A couple of organisations in and around Skipton earned a special mention when the grandson was giving two grandparents a rostered day out.

Skipton Fire and Rescue

Just by the railway station exit opposite Herriots hotel is the ‘fire station’ or HQ for the Skipton Fire & Rescue Service. As we arrived they were holding a charity and awareness raising event highlighting dementia. The active team arrange several events including this on Yorkshire Day and are holding an other open day on Sunday 17th August 2018 between 10am-4pm.

  • ‘There will be loads of fun activities for all the family including; face painting, a bouncy castle, inflatable maze and a tombola. There will also be a range of demonstrations throughout the day. Money raised will go to The Fire Fighters Charity.’
  • On Yorkshire day we were treated to tea and treats from Betty’s in Ilkley, collected by the fire chief on his way to work. The local folks home arrived in a mini bus with a hoist for wheelchairs that amused the grandkid.
  • There were no call outs whilst we were there but records show there were two later in the day to keep the retained fighters on their toes.
  • The photo shows an aspect of ‘service’ that is easy to overlook. The damage car was one of several that were held in the fire station yard after the rescue of driver and passenger had been completed.

Summary An impressive show of community spirit well done to the team. Help them by supporting future events.

Northern Rail

This outfit have been under the media and travelers cosh for several months. Strikes over driver operated trains, overcrowding, pay disputes and new timetables have contributed to the problems. Not on Yorkshire Day!

  • The local ticket office found the cheapest way to travel to Skipton with a combination of metro card and senior rail passes. It was well worth collecting 8 tickets for the 2½ of us.
  • Whilst I was struggling with the buggy the cheerful conductor hoisted the 2½ year old up on to the train.
  • Shipley was the 4th station and first change. Down the tunnel under the Bradford line to the Skipton platform left us one minute to wait for the on time train. The conductor walking down the isle niftyly side stepped the buggy which we still hadn’t worked out how to open and close.
  • Passing through Keighley we could see the Worth Valley railway had an engine in full steam and at least one of our party regretted not disembarking for a longer look.
  • Skipton station yard car park had a wazzock parked in a way that stopped the local bus making its normal turn.
  • The return journey was assisted by a ticket collector who recommended staying on platfom 1 rather than rushing to platform 4 for the stopping train to Shipley.
  • The both trains then arrived in Shipley at the same time but we had a dash across the car park to get the Ilkley train using  the 2 lifts and running across the cobble with the kid in the buggy.

Summary Northern Rail did Yorkshire Day proud. The staff were friendly, the services ran on time and the cost for 2 pensioners and the toddler was good value.

House of Fraser

Long ago Amblers Department Store on High Street was taken over by Brown and Muff’s. They sold off to Rackhams part of House of Fraser (HoF) in the 1970’s. Now the shop is shortly to be closed as HoF are in severe financial trouble. Here are some views as to why this has happened:

  • Department stores are having a hard time and many are jaded and passed their sell by date.
  • People with time and disposable income to spend often have enough ‘stuff’. The need for departmental stores is vastly different to the 1960’s when these shops were enjoying their hey day. In the Skipton store there is no ‘experience’ or sense of fun except watching 4X4’s fight for a space in the free HoF car park to avoid paying in the adjacent council car park.
  • Linea the House of Fraser own brand sounds more like a southern European bus network. Such own brands carry no intrinsic value.
  • The renovated cafe was light and airy with lots of tables crammed in. Shame it was only half full at the height of lunch time. That didn’t improve the service with 2 sandwiches and a kids meal taking over half an hour to arrive!

Summary Thank goodness the street market pulls visitors in to the town. If HoF is not rescued I hope good, successful new tenants for the shop are found promptly.

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Wapentake – Danish Pastry?

Yorkshire is renown for being divided into three Ridings, East, North and West. A Riding was derived from the Scandinavian word “thriding,” meaning a third part. The Danes had another smaller division called a Wapentake.

According to the new Leeds Cafe bar and bakery ‘the word may be derived from an assembly or meeting place, usually at a cross-roads or near a river, where literally one’s presence or a vote was taken by a show of weapons, where-in after a night of merriment would ensue.’ Perhaps a more feasible reference was to voting in an assembly by a show of weapons, a Danish tradition.

Wapentakes were shown on the map created for the replica doomsday book

Book Cover

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Sackville Street to Sunbridge Road Bradford

Sackville Street is as full of life as it ever has been but the nightlife businesses are a bit seedy. The street leads from Westgate down to Sunbridge Road. Or as some may have it from the Boy and Barrel James Gate to the Ambassador.

 

Despite some less salubrious buildings in this part of Bradford there is evidence of   former times when efforts were made to show the quality of the establishment one was entering. Now we see bricked up buildings and more graffiti below.


Billiard halls were oft times seen as dens of ill repute designed to lead youths astray by playing snooker, gambling and drinking under age. Many Burton shops has a snooker hall above the premises and as this photo shows the entrances were quite substantial and ornate.

Back to Sackville Street where I like the modern burglar alarm for the building with a breeze block as door stop and wire mesh for windows.  Perhaps it is a fire alarm in case the exposed electricity cable sparks off the flaking posters

What will happen to Bill Stickers?

 

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Count Your Chickens at Meanwood Valley Urban Farm

Easter Chickens at MVUF

Over the last five or six years the Farm (MVUF) has been fortunate to have support from second year Events Management students at Leeds Beckett University.  For 2018 they wonder if we might help with promoting the event?
Please could you pass on the details to your family and friends and perhaps display the poster on your work or community noticeboard, even better turn up between 10.30 and 15.00. Some of your old favourite activities including  eggciting Easter egg hunts, whack the rat, beat the goalie, face painting, crafts and a raffle will probably be rehatched so scramble down to the farm on the last day of March 2018.
All the usual animals should be on show for what is set to be a cracking Easter and a very Good Friday! You can also wear your best Easter Bonnet or’ titfa’ in honour of Brain Tumour Awareness one day late will not matter.
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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.

 

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Shipley’s Rubbish – Airing (or Aireing) a Grievance


Looking over the wall where Otley Road crosses the River Aire in Shipley makes you wonder about the rubbishy nature of our commitment to the environment.
There are at least two companies involved with sign manufacture advertising their wares on the edge of the riverbank. Many of the signs are in disrepair and about to slide into the river (plastic and all). It is a steep slope into the river and once over the weir the flotsam will drift down stream at a rate of knots especially after the recent rain.

Broken signage is not the only problem as pop drinkers and crisp eaters have found where to lob their rubbish just over the wall. It looks like this sort of rubbish breeds with itself. It  will soon be blown or washed into the river to become some onelse’s problem.

Turning on to Dockfield Road and heading  towards the Leeds Liverpool canal there is a turning circle for barges that also formed part of the spur to the Bradford canal. I think you could walk across the canal on top of the detritus that is so compact and noxious.

A little light relief was displayed by the parking arrangements in the middle of the canal.

All photographs taken on 13th March 2018 – how long before   Shipley Rubbish is cleared? From these few photos it is hard to disagree that Shipley is currently not much cop (Rubbish). I have fallen in to the trap of blaming authorities who should be cleaning and tidying up. The real responsibility is us the public and some businesses.

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Flat Caps to Help Brain Tumours

Have you got the brains you were born with? If so do you keep them under your flat cap?


March is ‘Brain Tumour Awareness Month’ in the UK and the charity Brain Tumour Research and Support Across Yorkshire,  at Wagon Lane, Bingley are urging the people of Yorkshire to join their Flat Cap Friday campaign to help raise vital funds and awareness for the Charity No. 1095931 . The flat cap is seen by southerners as the iconic hat of Yorkshire.

 Last March Sheffield Hallam Students’ Union took  part in Flat Cap Friday  With a whole host of Yorkshire themed activities going on including:- Yorkshire pudding burgers and real ale in Bar Phoenix and of course a Yorkshire edition of Friday night Karaoke,  Yorkshire toppings on Pizza’s  and a raffle  of Yorkshire foods up for grabs!  It’s was a reyt’ good day! Lets hope they do the same on 30th March 2018 and support this cause.

March is also the month of Wear A Hat Day and is the braintumourresearch ( charity number 1153487) biggest campaign. Wear A Hat Day returns on Thursday 29th March 2018 led by our patron Caprice, a survivor of the disease. Wear A Hat Day raises over £1,000,000

Related Brain Tumour Facts

  • Between 400 and 500 children are diagnosed with brain or spinal tumours each year in the UK.
  • Brain and spinal tumours account for approximately one quarter of all childhood cancers – the most common, after leukaemia.
  • Brain and spinal tumours are the most common cause of cancer death in children.
  • There are 25 registered charities aimed at Brain Tumours.
  • Specsavers become an official sponsor of Wear A Hat Day

I know it is a T shirt not a hat!

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Yorkshire’s Community Forest Expansion Plans

White Rose Forest plans are in place even if the trees aren’t yet but the plans are inspirational. In fact it will be many years before the plans are complete but by then there will be a continuous belt of trees across the county. The Woodlands Trust has received a welcome boost to membership and participation as a result of the publicity.

Plans to plant 50 million trees to create a “Northern Forest” include new woodland in and around Leeds and other major urban centres. Planting is planned over the next 25 years, beginning in March, across a 120-mile stretch of the M62 corridor between Liverpool and Hull. Its aim is to boost habitat for wildlife including birds and bats, protect species such as red squirrels and provide more public access to woodlands. The Northern Forest will connect the North’s five Community Forests, including the Leeds White Rose Forest, the HEYwoods Project in Hull and South Yorkshire Community Forest.

Community Forest is a partnership between local authorities and local, regional and national partners including the Forestry Commission and Natural England. The founding basis for each Forest is a government-approved Forest Plan, a 30-year vision of landscape-scale improvement

CFT Forest map of the UKmaps with thanks to Community Forest Trust charity no 1072706.

The community charity trust is an environmental charity passionate about community forests and the power of trees to transform places and strengthen and enhance communities.

A Bit More About Yorkshire Trees

  • The oldest living trees in Yorkshire may be the ancient yews at Fountains Abbey.
  • The new forest will contain  native species not more foreign firs! Oak, birch and beech will figure strongly.
  • The Wych Elm in Bainbridge is a survivor of Dutch elm disease it stands as one of only two elms that has grown to a girth of over 13 feet recorded in the county.
  • Yorkshire is proving to be a real treasure chest for tree hunters with magnificent trees ‘If I could spend a month tree hunting, Yorkshire would be my county of choice. Magnificent trees are coming out of the landscape all the time’ said David Alderman, Registrar of the Tree Register who is leading a hunt for old fat trees or Champion Trees.
  • Thorp Perrow aboretum near Bedale is the holder of five National Plant Collections  including Ash, Lime, Walnut, Cotinus (smoke bush) and Laburnum. Not all forest trees but worth a visit.
  • In York the Museum Gardens are home to six county Champion Trees including Alder and Hornbeam.
  • The Yorkshire Arboreturm is a large garden of trees on the Castle Howard estate maintained in partnership with Kew.
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