Happy Yorkshire Day 2020

1st August 2020 could be renamed locked down ‘West Riding Day’ where you can’t even meet in your own garden.

During the first lockdown we missed 2 funerals, our golden wedding cruise and our grandsons 4th birthday. Just when we ‘thought it was safe to go out’ our three planned socially distanced events were zapped by the new regulations.

Still  Happy Yorkshire Day


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PPE Pathetic Plastic Environment

The Pathetic Plastic Environment

This is a small sample of the medical and safety waste that has been dumped on our local streets; it just doesn’t cover your nose it can get right up it!

Whilst walking our streets for lockdown exercise, seldom a mile has gone by without several instances of careless disposal or deliberate littering. Yorkshire you are better than this.

Refuse collectors in our met district have done a sterling job all through this difficult year but why should they be confronted by potentially dangerous, dumped dross like this?

Here is another example of people performing envorocide by placing plastic pollution alongside these wheely bins. At least it is better to dispose of PPE here than dropping it in public places.

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Ghost Hunting in Yorkshire

As you would expect Yorkshire has more than it’s fair share of ghouls, ghosts and things that go bump in the night. Numerous event organisations will help the hunting of the paranormal but there is more fun by ghost hunting on your own or with close family. Here are a few tips to get you and your imagination stimulated.

York Minster

 Top Ghosts  Locations

  1.  The supernatural are or have been ‘natural’ in a former life and visitations will come from those who have already lived and died.
  2. Castles and old abbeys are a good place to potential come across ghosts. Bloody battles have often been fought in or around castles and Richmond, Ripley and Scarborough castles are worth exploring. I have even hear of sightings at smaller castles and old buildings.
  3. The phantom drummer of Easby abbey is a young drummer boy who was sent by soldiers, to explore a tunnel connecting the castle and abbey, whilst they listened to his drumming  from above. When he was halfway the drumming stopped and he was never seen again but his drumming can still be heard during evenings and nights.
  4. Battle ground, graveyards and battlefields are locations where ghosts may deliberately appear so they are seen by the living.
  5. Locations that experienced crimes or unfortunate accidents are becoming popular sites for ghosts. Near Boulby Cliff near Staithes the ghost of a young girl has been seen walking along the edge of the cliff where many years ago a landslip took a girl to a premature death.
  6. Whitby and York are famous or should it be infamous for the number and variety of ghosts and apparitions. Enjoy a walking trip around either place but a warning, take special care you don’t know what you may come across.



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Logarithmic Log On for Digital School

As the time comes to return to school many people will be tackling the vexed problem of logarithms. For me it is  60 years too late but I recently logged on to computer based maths lessons to try get back on top of what vexed me whilst at school.

This led me to discover Halifax man, Henry Briggs (1561-1630) a Yorkshireman and mathematician instrumental in the functionality of logarithms originally invented by John Napier. Common logarithms are sometimes known as Briggsian logarithms so if you struggle with them you know to blame that Yorkshire bloke. If in later life you benefit from logarithms then you now know who to thank.

Uses for Logarithms.

  • Engineers use them to measure radioactive decay the brightness of stars and the decibels made by  noisy like Lancastrians
  • Logarithms can be used to measure earthquakes but we do not get many earthquakes in Yorkshire (fracking not with standing)
  • Bankers and actuaries use them to calculate annuities and compound interest over long periods.
  • Scientists use them modeling and medical analysis
  • Mundanely your log will help to calculate the pH of a fluid so I may use that in my log on password.




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Speleologists Visit Yorkshire

We are not talking about people spell incorrectly as speleology is the scientific study of caves and pot holes. Yorkshire has its fair share of such karst features, underground drainage systems, sinkholes and caves enough to interest most ardent speleologists.

Hardraw Force

Notable Yorkshire Sites to Study Speleomorphology

  1. What causes erosion around   England’s highest single drop waterfall at Hardraw Force hidden behind the Green Dragon Inn Hawes. It was water not beer or brass band music.
  2. Gaping Ghyll pot hole on the southern flank of Ingleborough was first decended on Yorkshire day 1895.
  3. At Giggleswick there is a well that displays sudden rushes of water. This is caused by two chambers eroded in to the limestone near Settle creating a syphon effect. It was first reported in 1612.
  4. White Scar Cavern has lakes and rock formations (stalagtites going down).
  5. I leave budding Speleologists to discover the location of other treasures like Rumbling Hole, The Fairies Workshop and Boggart Holes





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Stonewalled Dry Stone Walls

Cycling to the Wall

The best way to seek out and see Yorkshires best stonewalls is to get on your bike! Walking is the traditional way of getting around the dales and still to be admired. Cycling on the other hand lets you experience far more ‘wall vistas’ in less time so use two wheels rather than two legs (and no motor vehicles).

In Praise of Old Walls

  1. A well built wall will endure for centuries.  It is an investment of time and cash and have proved to be generationally long term investments.
  2. A hedge row is expensive to maintain and will eventually need replacing.
  3. Hedges need initial protection from grazing animals before it becomes secure and stable.
  4. Stonewalls are a picturesque part of the dales landscape that helped develop the tourist industry.

dry-stone-wallDales Dry Limestone Stonewall

 Reasons Farmers Need or Needed Walls

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Do You Latch the Sneck or Sneck the Latch

Painted Door and Sneck in Eccleshill

There is more than one way to ‘shut that door’ or gate including the use of a catch, bolt, bar, lock, hook, hasp or some other fastening. Here on Gods Own County we are ‘locked and loaded’ with a Yorkshire sneck. They are still in common use for outside lavatories, outhouses and garden sheds.

Construction of a Sneck

  • Used since the early 15th century a sneck is an iron latch made by a blacksmith.
  • There is generally a lever to lift a cross bar and then a catch point to sneck or latch into.
  • Importantly there is also a lever through the door on the inside or you would be in danger of ‘two old ladies stuck in the lavatory’.
  • The sneck can be used vertically but more commonly horizontally as above.
  • Further north in Scotland you can ‘sneck’ a window catch or use sneck as a verb when closing the lid of a tin.
  • By contrast a deadbolt latch has a bolt to slide into a strike plate.
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Morley Cholera and Collieries

Throughout Yorkshire there were primrose paths to brilliant primulas this spring. Apologies are in order as this picture in Morley is a couple of years old as I am confined to barracks at the moment.

Morley was a great coal mining town and in the 19th century there were many well-known Morley’s collieries and ‘British Mining No. 87 – Coal Mining in Morley‘ lists 87 pits in all. The Northern mine research society  ( nmrs) covers the impact of HM Inspector’s of Mines on the employment of women and children. There is a detailed account of the Morley Main explosion of 1872 which claimed the lives of 34 men and boys and many of the 42 horses that were also below ground at the time.

In 1849 there were 200 deaths in Morley due to Cholera and in 1901 Sewage Purification Works opened.

To demonstrate the towns motto Industria Omnia VincitIndustry overcomes all things’ there are over 5,000 individual stones in the mosaic. Many from local quarries that were  large employers since the 17th century.

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Open and Shut

Is York St Mary’s an entrance you can use or a no entry sign that you shouldn’t. This sign was erected for the Van Gough Experience. I tried to enter at the start of the exhibition but there was still erection work going on inside hence the shut signs. Regrettably I was unable to go and see the exhibition when it was open and now, as Visit York now say ‘we are following government policy and strongly advising all visitors to stay home and stay safe. This means not visiting York, even for the day, until the current situation has passed’. 

W Wells & Sons Ginger beer suppliers of Ripon has long been out of Fizz and I think it is one of the naturally shut places. I didn’t know ginger beer came from wells! As an aside this company was one of the licensees of the Codd patent of 1872 on a glass bottle, originally made at Hope Glass Works in Barnsley. A Codd bottle has a marble in the neck to keep it shut to retain the effervescence.

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Off The Wall

Who would have thought fire cement could have 101 uses? I was certainly sceptical until I came across a booklet published by the Pyruma people at Sankey’s in the 1950’s. They claim it was ‘Ideal for making – Model Railway Buildings and Accessories, Harbours, Ship Models, Airport Buildings and features, Houses, Bookends, Ashtrays, Animals and Figures, plaques, relief objects in addition to being an adhesive for ceramic fibre blankets

Signs on the Wall at Bradford Industrial museum.

The International Plastic Modellers’ Society (UK), is organised from Bridlington and on 8-9 November all being well it will run Scale ModelWorld show this year in Telford. Expect to see a lot more than a collection of Pyruma enthusiasts.

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