Are You In t’Club?

The standard Yorkshire answer to the question ‘are you in t’club?’ is ‘Christmas, Pudding or Working Men’s.’ So I will explore this a bit further.

Well Christmas clubs took a hammering with the bankruptcy of the hamper saving club Farepak members remain totally out of pocket and extremely dissatisfied. Park Hampers also ran into difficulties and seem to have disappeared. Even for Christmas 2023 Money Saving expert  issued this warning.

More interesting is the Pudding Club

Book Cover

In ‘The Yorkshire Pudding Club’ by Barnsley lass Milly Johnson we are told on the inside cover….
‘Three South Yorkshire friends, all on the cusp of 40, fall pregnant at the same time following a visit to an ancient fertility symbol.
For Helen, it’s a dream come true, although her husband is not as thrilled about it as she had hoped. Not only wrestling with painful ghosts of the past, Helen has to deal with the fact that her outwardly perfect marriage is crumbling before her eyes.
For Janey, it is an unmitigated disaster as she has just been offered the career break of a life-time. And she has no idea either how it could possibly have happened, seeing as she and her ecstatic husband George were always so careful over contraception.
For Elizabeth, it is mind-numbing, because she knows people like her shouldn’t have children. Damaged by her dysfunctional childhood and emotionally lost, she not only has to contend with carrying a child she doubts she can ever love, but she also has to deal with the return to her life of a man whose love she must deny herself.
Heart-warming, up-lifting, tear-jerking and lovely, THE YORKSHIRE PUDDING CLUB is the story of how three women find themselves empowered by unexpected pregnancy. How it revitalises one woman’s tired marriage, strengthens another’s belief in herself and brings love and warmth to a cold and empty life.’
Unabridged audio book  can be bought by clicking the book cover on various sites.

So that leaves us with ”are you in the Working Men’s club. My favourite club is in the Bradford village near where I played cricket  The Idle Working Men’s Club

Politicians love to interfere along with Tony Blair, Peter Mandelson need I go on? David Cameron mand the SNP look determines to put another nail in the coffin of well priced drink from Working Mens clubs with the minimum price on alcohol initiative. A Whitehall source said: ‘The Prime Minister has decided that when it comes to alcohol, something pretty radical now has to be done and he is keen on the minimum price.
Why since Maggie Thatcher has it all been politics and government by initiative? We need clear, honest, well thought out policies introduced in a timely and sensible manner for the long term good of our communities and country. We do not need knee jerks by political jerks from the Liberal Clubs, Conservative Clubs or any other self serving club for that matter. (Rant over for 10 minutes ed)

You can’t have too many Yorkshire Puddings

Darlington Buds of May a favourite book in the Northeast

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Ecology Building Society 43 Year Old

Up Date of post 15.11.2015 A Canny Yorkshire Building society formed in Silsden West Yorkshire with strong links to the Green Party.

Interest rates improved this week 10.2.2024

Scarborough Building Society was formed in May 1846 – making it the oldest building society in Yorkshire and the second oldest in the UK. The Ecology Building Society on the other hand is one of the youngest Building Societies starting trading in 1981. It was founded after a conference of the Ecology Party now called The Green Party. ( I don’t think they will be renaming the building society but you never know after the latest European Elections).

The Society is building a reputation in several niche areas adding to its original early strength with mortgages for ‘smallholdings’ and buildings in need of renovation. It works with Housing Associations and Co-operatives to encourage the refurbishment of terrace houses and the use of brown field sites rather than the indiscriminate new build we so often see.

They provide a series of interesting Ecology based pdf’s for those wanting more information The new head office in Silsden, pictured above, was designed to have an airtight structure, high levels of insulation and low energy requirements. Photovoltaic panels were installed to generate electricity from the sun plus a heat exchanger and a high-efficiency condensing boiler have been installed.
The sedum natural roof serves to replace bird and insect habitat and the surroundings were designed to protect bio diversity. Rain water harvesting provides the water for several purposes and the materials used were from renewable sources or recycled. If you are thinking of applying for a mortgage, addressing these issues in your application in relation to your property, may help you.

Savings accounts may also be available at the Ecology Building Society  which is authorised & regulated by the Financial Services Authority (registration number 162090). They subscribe to the Banking Code, copies of which are available from them on request and are covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Posted in Our Yorkshire, Yorkshire Business and Money | Tagged | 2 Comments

Active Hobbies and Costs

8 years ago Yorkshire Bank  were worried that we spend too much money  on our hobbies. That is a bit rich coming from a bank then owned by the Aussies National Bank. Within months Yorkshire bank with Clydedale were divested to CYBG plc only to then be taken over by Virgin money. They should have ‘stuck to their knitting’.

From 2015 figures and statistics they came up with the following list of hobbies, annual costs and number of active participants. Knitting was excluded.

Golf 1,457,347 £755
Gym (incl. exercise bikes/rowing machines) 4,722,762 £480
Tennis 874,040 £385
Badminton 900,332 £365
Cycling (mod intensity 30 + mins) 3,175,650 £330
Swimming 5,625,539 £176
Fishing 281,083 £148
Football 2,910,684 £88.95
Running 1,872,819 £70
Walking (mod intensity 30+ mins) 8,142,693 £0
Average Cost £279.79

No mention of cricket, bowls, field sports, rugby, bouldering, table tennis, netball, fell running, sky diving or other Yorkshire based activities.
Fishing numbers seem too low and at the risk of offending many fishermen they are hardly very active. Yorkshire Bank must be thinking of the River bank.
Thank goodness shopping isn’t on the list of hobbies, I am sure it costs me most and I cut up her M&S credit card a long time ago.

‘Yorkshire Bank’s top tips for saving money from your hobby:

1. Calculate how much your hobby is costing you every month – make sure this figure covers all your costs and use it in your household budget (but it won’t save owt)
2. Budget, budget, budget – include your hobby costs in your household budget to ensure you don’t have any nasty surprises at the end of the month. By writing down exactly what you are spending your money on, you might be able to cut down on things that are less important to you than your hobby (but it will probably save you nowt)
3. Assess the equipment you currently own – do you really need it all? Selling any surplus on the internet or trading it in for money off new kit could significantly cut your costs (or sell someone else’s equipment instead)
4. Shop around – if you hobby requires a particular venue or specific kit, make sure you have researched all the options and are sure you have the best deal before parting with your cash (play golf at the crack of dawn before the green keepers are awake).
5. Make ‘hobby’ buddies – club together with friends who share your passion and spilt the cost of everything from venue hire and membership fees to petrol and equipment. ( or better still find a rich buddy)’.

Do not forget, in competitive hobbies, it is not the winning that counts but how much you drink afterwards. (Or what happens in corporate takeovers.)
What do fish and women have in common? They both stop shaking their tail after you catch them.
The biggest fish ever caught in Yorkshire was 16 inches – Hmm not very big – well that was between the eyes.

Posted in Our Yorkshire, Yorkshire Sport and Pastimes | 1 Comment

Money Saving Tips for Gardeners

Yorkshire folk like value for money and why not? Southerners can buy there plants from Chelsea flower show or get the latest fashionable plants from foreign breeders. The doughty Yorkshire gardener will consider his options and grow accordingly.

spring 031

Best Money Saving Garden Ideas

  • ‘The best time to take cuttings is when no one is looking.’
  • Use what you have to increase you stock of plants.
    • Divide primulas and herbaceous plants.
    • Collect ripe seeds and sow them for next season.
    • Take softwood or hardwood cuttings to get more shrubs and save plants through winter.
  • Be careful buying and sowing seed. If you only get a few viable plants as a result you will be paying over the odds for you plant. Seed can be very expensive per plant grown.
  • Beg, borrow or steal (or not that one) from other gardeners. They often have more plants than they need and generally will help a new gardener with a cutting or excess plants.
  • Buy in bulk with a friend or neighbor. There are good deals at Horticultural clubs or for bulk purchases of spring bulbs from wholesalers.
  • Think longer term and buy good long living plants the give a good all round show of flower, fruit and colour.


Retailers for Savings

  • I favour buying from proper and often specialist nurseries. You want good quality plants or your money can be wasted. Dead or dying plants will not save you any money.
  • Second choice for me is farmers markets and markets with a high turnover of fresh looking plants.
  • Garden centers keep moving towards multi-product retailers and often sacrifice gardeners needs. Big pantechnicons from Holland only lead to big margins.
  • Yorkshire traders, Wilco, B&M’s and supermarket multiples who pile it high and seem to sell cheap are seeking to catch the impulse buyer.


Spring Blossom

Plug Plants

Mail order plug plants can be good value if you need quantities 160’s of 105 plants for just over a tenner seems to be good value.
Choose from a good selection, for spring you could opt for Auriculas, numerous Pansies or Rosebud Primroses. Sowing your own is labour intensive and seed is getting more expensive.
Wallflowers are only supposed to last one year but if you can put up with them being a bit leggy they will flower again. If you want new plants get them planted in summer and pinch out the growing tip to get a bushy plant.

Spring Blossom

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Yorkshire’s Antarctic Ancestors

If you are shivering and feeling the seasonal cold spare a thought for  our Yorkshire forefathers  who were early visitors to Antarctica. In 1525 a Spanish captain explored around the Horn. The passage of sea between antarctic and Argentina was named after Francis Drake after he demonstrated  that there was open water south of South America.

Sailors and Explorers

James Cook

Douglas Mawson born Yorkshire geologist explorer Macquarie island wild life sanctuary

William Scoresby scientist son of whaling captain William Scoresby, (born October 5, 1789, Cropton, near Whitby,  vicar in Bradford diocese

William Wales astronomer sailed on the Resolution with James Cook to observe the transit of Venus for the royal society

Frank Wild      Born near James Cook’s birthplace to whom he was distantly related. 1907 joined Ernest Shackleton for the second arctic expedition.

Whalers and Fishermen

Spare a thought for the various ship crews that set off from Yorkshire homes and ports to hunt whales, seals and Antarctic fish. They must have been brave to sail so far into such an inhospitable continental environment.

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Ee by Gum Bikes

Are E-bikes the end of cycling as we know it. Ee by gum Leeds council don’t think so as they have spent ages and a large fortune on reshaping the city center.  This picture highlights it is not the ‘end of end of’ but the start of an extended traffic free zone to make more space for dangerous e-scooters. Ee by gum who elected these numpties


Beryl Burton will be turning on her spinner as a firm using her name is running the Leeds Ebike loan rental initiative. ‘An estimated 300 e-bikes will be available initially, from conveniently located docking stations around the city. The bike allocation will double in size over the first 6 months of the service.’ How many will be out of commission or stolen in the first 6months of operation.

Local press comment

Apropos nothing but I don’t know what is going on; it is the first day this year that it is not raining buckets. Time for Yorkshire Water to introduce another hosepipe ban. Ee by gum floods are us in 2024.

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Titter and Twitter Ye Not

‘Why not settle all outstanding payments for Windrush, Post Office and Infected Blood scandals immediately. It would save a lot of unnecessary cost and pain (except for Lawyers).’  Why do independent public statutory Inquiry’s take so long and settlements become so protracted.

This was my first post on X since ‘twitter ye not’ as X may not be around next Xmas the way it is going.

Frankie Howerd of ‘titter ye not’ fame was born in York 1n 1917 and was famed as Lurcio in up Pompeii. He appeared in  Carry on Doctor but for some reason they never go around to filming Carry on Tyke where he would be a shoe-in for a big part.

In March 1999 The Dead Comics’ Society  and former colleagues and friends  attended a fund-raising weekend in York. Blue plaque was placed on the Cumberland Street entrance to the Grand Opera House where it was thought that the general public was more likely to see it, with the inscription: “Frankie Howerd OBE 1917-1992. Son of York”. On 26 July 2016, a York Civic Trust plaque was unveiled at at the house where he was born 53, Hartoft Street,

Thanks to CC and wikipedia

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Who are the Greatest Yorkshiremen?

Fred Trueman and Alan Titchmarsh fail to reach the top ten.

Book Cover

In his book Yorkshire Greats Bernard Ingham provides a fascinating selection of 50 great Yorkshiremen and Yorkshirewomen.

From Captain Cook to William Wilberforce, from John Wycliffe to Fred Trueman, Yorkshire has produced a surprisingly large array of people who have left a lasting mark on the world.

To view the 50 see: Great Yorkshire People at Biography Online.

To view the book review at amazon see :

Who would your choice be for the greatest Yorkshireman of all time?

Our Top 10 Yorkshiremen

  1. William Wilberforce
  2. Captain James Cook
  3. John Wycliffe
  4. Geoffrey Boycott
  5. Joseph Priestly
  6. Sir Titus Salt
  7. PM Asquith
  8. Brian Clough
  9. Alan Bennett
  10. David Hockney

Room for another on to the list? What about that Great and Fiery Yorkshireman. You guessed it Frederick Sewards Trueman

Book Cover

All Yorkshiremen have a favourite Fred Trueman story and mine goes something like this: Opening the bowling as usual from the Kirkstall Lane End Fred’s first ball rapped the openers pads and Fred bellowed Owzat only to get a firm shake of the head from the umpire, the next ball created an audible snick and firmly Fred appealed to get an even firmer ‘Not Out’, on the third ball Trueman flattened the middle stump and remarked to the umpire ‘Well umpire we nearly had him that time!’

Fred was a great raconteur and after dinner speaker amongst his sporting talents and this CD brings back many memories and the dulcet tones of a great Yorkshire personality and character.

Yorkshire Women!

  • Mothers of Yorkshire men obviously.
  • Hannah Hauxwell
  • Dame Janet Baker
  • Emily & Charlotte Bronte
  • Betty Boothroyd
  • Amy Johnson

Not in the Running
Alan Titchmarsh

Book Cover

The clever gardeners at Gardeners tips a Yorkshire based website have picked up on Alan Titchmarsh’s new ‘How to Garden’ books. Of course the former Ilkley Parks gardener (who else planted all that heather on the moors), Alan has many more strings to his bow nowadays including classical music. He also writes books of fiction although some of his garden exploits will remain fiction to me.


Barbara Castle the redoubtable labour politician fails to make the grade. Despite being educated at Bradford Girls Grammar school unfortunately she was born in Derbyshire and took on the title Baroness of Blackburn. It can be tough being a non-Yorkshire politician

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MPs We Voted In

To calm the Rwanda crisis  down we need an anti-inflamaTory? Chance would be a fine thing.

Yorkshire return 54 members of Parliament  and unless there have been any ‘overnight’ changes to party allegiances 24 are represented by Conservative MPs and 30 by Labour MPs. 

Lib Dems, Greens even SNP and Plaid Cymru fail to register a Yorkshire member -no surprise there. However more concerning is the lack of any ‘Independent’ MP. I am not advocating the Yorkshire Monster Ravers party but an MP without vested interests in anything other than serving our communities and Yorkshire interests would be a better bet.

We don’t get much of a say in who our MP’s will be!  Candidates are generally chosen from party faithfuls, committees or the Westminster select. Options are foisted on us under party banners, no wonder fewer people are choosing to vote.

“Politicians are like nappies. They should be changed frequently…..and for the same reason.”  Barry Crier

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Shout-Out for Towns of Yorkshire

A shout out should draw critical attention to someone’s unacceptable actions or behaviour.  At God’s Own County Yorkshire’s version we want to hold someone accountable for failure to acknowledge, promote and support our great towns. We don’t need regional mayors to tell us what is good and worthwhile. Get out and about to see for yourself.

Southern Yorkshire pilgrimages to these selected hot spots would be a good start for a shout out about day trips from the three original county ridings (towns in North East and West will feature nextmonth).


Yorkshire definitely has something to shout out so add your voice and support to out southern towns. I confess I have never visited a couple of these towns!

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