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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Gingerbread or Parkin

Parkin and Gingerbread are two famous Yorkshire favourites with their own local recipes and variations. Which do you prefer? Perhaps like me are you partial to a bit of both?

Book Cover

Gingerbread distinguishes itself with golden syrup and brandy in a Wakefeild concoction that sounds almost too good to be true. In North Yorkshire the Startforth version of gingerbread in the book ”Yorkshire Teatime Recipes’ uses black treacle, brown sugar and a good pinch of bicarbonate of soda plus the usual suspects. Bi-carb dates from the 19th century when it was first used for aeration to produce light cakes.

Parkin is a Yorkshire favourite containing oats or oatmeal and in my favourite versions with far more ginger than in gingerbread. Sticky Parkin was made by my mother in law but I hanker for the fresh irresistible parkin made by my own mum. I can’t be waiting a week or so before sticky parkin has matured in a tin to become truly sticky.

Rhubarb Gingerbread has the normal attributes of it’s kind with the added attraction of a layer of crystallised ginger and rhubarb pieces like a rhubarb sandwich. Wakefield, the home of the rhubarb triangle, has its own local version of gingerbread worth tracking down in a local cafe.

I tried to drop subtle hints in the last paragraph combined with the absence of full recipes which could be found in the amazon book. Why bake yourself? Instead, enjoy yourself tracking down as many varieties of homemade gingerbread and parkin in tea rooms and cafes around the county. You could be in for a ‘reet treat’!

Ginger Sponge and ‘Soggy Moggy’  are variations on the theme which can combine elements the products above. I like a bit of plain cake containing a generous portion of dried ginger, I’ll leave the fresh ginger to others.

To go with custard, a good Ginger Pudding can’t be beaten especially if there is some golden syrup at the bottom of the pud. I don’t think I have ever had a ginger suet pudding but now there is an idea for the chef to ginger up desserts.

 

 

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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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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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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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Re-homing Hens and the Cock of the North

Yorkshire is a significant producer of eggs and chickens. It is also as humane as practical in the way it treats the flocks including some re-homing of aging birds.

The British Hen Welfare Trust have regional co-ordinators to help with ‘Hen Re-homing’ when the birds get past the age to lay eggs. All commercial laying hens are sent to slaughter at around 78 weeks old when their working life reaches an end unless they can be re-homed. The British Hen Welfare Trust work with schools and 92% of the hens they find homes for come from formerly caged birds not free range chickens. Very occasionally they take barn hens but supporters prefer to offer the old birds a life they previously didn’t enjoy.

Ikkle Chooks Yorkshire Rescue is a re-homing hub. for ex battery hens or ex-commercial hens, with a no cull policy. All rehomed birds are as pets not for commercial activity.

How Long Do Hens Live

  • Birds grown for meat are culled at around 6 to 8 weeks
  • Poultry producers slaughter battery hens or egg layers when they’re between one and three years old. This is when the cost of egg production out weighs the income from egg sales.
  • Free range or garden birds can live beyond 5 years.
  • One of the oldest pet hens was 16 years old when it passed away. Age for a pet hen will depend on the care provided and the breed.
  • The average life of an ex-battery hen could be from two to 12 months as they are about worn out from high egg production when they are 72 weeks old.
  • ‘Free from harm’ a USA charity reports ‘Male chicks born to egg-laying hens can not lay eggs, and are not the breed used for meat …. so they are worthless to the egg industry’ and are disposed of as soon after birth as possible.  The RSPCA says ‘meat chickens are bred to grow large breast muscle and legs  but surplus newly hatched chicks (including males bred for egg laying) that are destined for disposal must be treated as humanely ….. they must be destroyed promptly by a recommended humane method such as carbon dioxide gassing or quick maceration. ‘

 

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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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