Nostalgia is Bigger Than It Used To Be

Reposted on VE day+1 with modifications in italic

Book Cover

Nostalgia is big business and isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. Alan Titchmarsh has latched on to the trend with his BBC book ‘When I was a Nipper’ available from amazon as paperback or hardback.

Why Nostalgia is Getting Bigger

  • The baby boomers are enjoying life and there are a lot of them around. Long may that continue despite the torrid time currently being experienced due to corona virus corvid-19
  • Old music acts from the 60’s and 70’s are touring and performing in ever growing numbers. I saw one of the Dubliners on a zimmer frame at St Georges Hall Bradford last year!
  • Discretionary spending on nostalgia increases year on year. Collecting memorabilia, old pottery, and modern antiques has been promoted by lifestyle programmes on TV.
  • Family tree compilation and ancestor research has joined the list of popular hobbies.
  • Themed holidays and a greater number of museums and local attractions based on nostalgia proliferate.
  • There is a demand for nostalgia because times were good. The supply of nostalgia based products, services and media is aimed at satisfying the demand.

Yorkshire Nostalgia

    • The Railway Children is running again in a live performance at Waterloo Station
  • Heartbeat of Aidensfield fame may have ceased production but it is still running on digital TV channels and dvds. How long before we are nostalgic for analogue TV?
  • Another show that runs and runs is the Last of the Summer Wine. I can even get nostalgic for the reruns!
  • If you want to keep up with nostalgia you can do a lot worse than read The Dalesman

original posted 15.2.17

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Why Walk the Yorkshire Way

In these corvid times Yorkshire folk have been given permission by the government nay, encouragement to walk (once a day keeping your distance etc). Walking is free, simple and health enhancing and in Yorkshire what is not to like?

Old Drovers Flags   Idle West Riding

The sun wasn’t cracking the flags when this snap was taken. If you stray off the path you will be in clover.

Almscliff Crags in light snow

North Yorkshire is anything but boring. The snow could have landed on this path up to the crag in any month but not on Christmas day.

Lone Walker at Ingleton Falls

Walkers of Yorkshire Quotes

  1. ‘There are few better things for toning your thighs and sorting your head’ Sarah Baxter
  2. …the beauty is in the walking  – we are betrayed by destinations.   Gwyn Thomas
  3. Walking is man’s best medicine  Hippocrates
  4. You don’t need a road map to know which way the feet go  Bob Dylan
  5. Oy! get back to Lancashire  Unknown farmer

Yorkshire & Humberside Distance Walks

Lest you forget ‘Why walk the Yorkshire way’

  1. I will remind you it is free! 
  2. There are so many great places to visit and views to admire.
  3. There is nowt like Yorkshire
  4. Did I mention walking is free
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Will They Reopen When They Think it’s All Over

Snooker and pool Cue re-tippers formerly or currently in Shipley

Uncomfortable shopping trolleys used as Pontefract Taxis. They are the only transport to be allowed to park ‘at any time’

In Leeds Harlie’s isn’t currently accepting orders but will it reopen via Just Eats or Deliveroo. They’d be silly burgers not too!

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Petty and Sons Printers of West Yorkshire

Petty & Sons was officially launched in 1865 by John William Petty at a Leeds base wence from it became one of the UK’s preeminent printers. During the 19th century the strong Methodism and Temperance principles of the Petty family helped the business to grow as they produced print for the Band of Hope and other similar movements.The founders son and driving force was named Wesley and this gives a clue to this lay preacher beliefs. Wesley recalled that the Leeds born painter of moonlight views Arnold Grimshaw was only allowed to sell his paintings on the clear evidence that they were not painted on a Sunday.

The companies early accounts books show that much of the initial printing equipment was bought from local Yorkshire engineers such as Otley based Dawson Payne (& Elliot), James  Mann (later to become Geo Mann) Sheffield engineers and type founder Stephenson Blake and fellow printer Geo Pallister. Waite and Saville machines were added later. To some extent the rise and fall of the printing equipment industry followed that of Petty & Sons. By the turn of the 20th century Pettys Southern printers in Reading was in significant production and there were operations in Cheapside London, Belfast and Dublin as well as new extensive premises in Whitehall Road Leeds.

TV Christmas Magazines

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Trees of Yorkshire Museum Gardens

St Olav’s Church – York Museum Garden

I intended to write about six Champion Trees of Yorkshire but discover the subject is fully covered in the Yorkshire museums own web site.

Champion trees are the biggest examples in Yorkshire identified by the Tree Register. However there are many ‘unusual large trees’ and ‘decorative smaller trees’ in the park originally established by the Yorkshire Philosophical Society in the 1828. The definition of our Yorkshire heritage is never ending and awe inspiring to visitors, residents and true born tykes. To be a Yorkshire heritage tree it needs to be a large, individual tree with unique value, which is considered irreplaceable, “The main criteria are age, rarity and size, together with aesthetic, botanical, ecological and historical value.”

The best way to appreciate all such trees is to get up close and look and compare. York is one of the great places to visit as soon as the lockdown environment is eased. Would that I lived close enough now.

On the Banks of the Ouse York

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Spectators on Yorkshire Puddings

With no live sporting fixtures or artistic performances where have all the spectators gone? Well one answer is on some form of ‘lock down’ even those who are doing sterling work to keep us live, fed and serviced in all sorts of ways are social distancing.
Did you notice the social distancing between the sweet potato and the traditional ‘baker’? A baked potato for dinner today will make an interesting change from Yorkshire pudding and roasts.

Interesting Facts about Yorkshire Puddings

  1. National Yorkshire Pudding Day is celebrated annually on the first Sunday in February. For some reason the Americans, who rightly revere the Yorkshire pud, use a date in October for a similar celebration but less reverentially they call them popovers. (We can’t pop over anywhere at the moment with the lock down.)
  2. The Royal Society of Chemistry claim that “A Yorkshire pudding isn’t a Yorkshire pudding if it is less than four inches tall.” Nor to my mind if it is called a Dutch baby , a Bismarck or a Dutch Puff.
  3. Yorkshire pudding do not rise as tall at higher altitudes but do brilliantly in the Pennines, the Yorkshire moors and our coastal regions.
  4. Morrisons supermarket have experimented with  a ‘Yorkshire pudding pizza’ but whata mistaka to makea.
  5. The weirdly named Toad in the Hole is one of my favorite ways of cooking up a good Yorkshire pud. Bang on or should that be banger on?
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Two Yorkshire Culinary Favourites Rhubarb & Ginger

It is the time of year when Wakefield rhubarb is in season and gingerbread is never out of season. So here is a combination of these two excellent local products brought together as Rhubarb Gingerbread. I use thicker stalks of the rhubarb as the forced pink variety is a bit wet.

Rhubarb & Gingerbread Ingredients

  • 11 oz  flour plus small teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 5 oz  butter, softened
  • 5 oz castor sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 6 oz crystallised ginger
  • 10 oz rhubarb cut into small pieces
  • 4 oz  golden syrup
  • 1 beaten egg & milk to mix

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Owzthat Yorkshire Against Surrey and the Aussies

One game that wont need to be cancelled during the period of social distancing is the old standby for wet summer weather – Owzthat!  Called a cricket dice game it is far more than that to me. As a youngster, then a spotty youth I reveled in the game that spoofed cricket.

Two metal slugs with a hexagonal cross section are engraved one for the runs made and the other for the method of dismissal. Numbers 1-4 and 6 and OWZTHAT  are engraved on the smaller there was no 5 as that is seldom a realistic score from one ball. After rolling an owzthat on rolled the umpire slug engraved with caught, bowled, run out, stumped, LBW and not out. With those two items you can roll on to your hearts content.

Initially I would compete with my little sister but her interest waned after a couple of minutes so I competed against myself. Or more accurately I set up competitions against the Aussies or Surrey and other nefarious counties. As a Yorkshire county cricket club junior member from about the age of 8 I sat at Park Avenue or Headingley with my owzthat and note book to keep me amused during intervals in the play. I filled up many silvine red note books with actual or dream teams – 60 years on I wish I still had them. I graduated to a proper score book for games at home but then realised I could get paid for watching cricket as a scorer in the central league. After that epiphany the owzthat was consigned to toy heaven but to me it was much more than a toy.


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Rainbows – Crock of Gold at the End of Lock Down



Yorkshire Rainbows

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Menston Garden Conifers












In addition to Gods Own County I also maintain a gardeners tips web site with over 2000 pages of photos, tips and quirk posts. One of my recent pages ‘Rock on with my Garden’ explained how my ‘Rock Garden’ effectively became overgrown with conifers.

Experience with a ‘Conifery’

  • Some conifers are out and out thugs like Cupressocyparis leylandii a tree sold for hedge growing. A suppliers quote that I found interesting was ‘height: easily maintained at 2-6 meters (I can’t reach that high) Very fast growing, expect up to between 70-90cm per year’. Don’t say you weren’t warned.
  • The large variety of colours and styles that are available at reasonable prices make some excellent evergreen plants for form and varied habit.
  • I like the prostrate forms that only grow about 1 foot high but cover a couple of square yards. There is an example of a spreading Juniper shown in the above photo from my back garden.
  • Dwarf conifers don’t stay dwarf for ever but you can clip them or restrict the root growth in a container and thus there exuberance. Failing that you have to be prepared to sacrifice them and dig out the stumps which tend to be shallow rooted. That is a job I started last month and have some more work to keep me occupied for the rest of April.
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