Bacon and Egg Butties

I set a mission to champion the best of post lock down sandwiches and started to focus on Yorkshires ‘bacon and egg butties’. So far I have gained another couple of inches and a renewed taste for this morsel. Today at the Refresh Cafe Manor Row Bradford  I had a great butty with 3 slices of bacon, a perfectly fried egg in a simple tea cake with no extraneous grease, fat or dripping. Still it was an 8.7 on my unctuousness scale.

A previous effort in Baildon was less well received with a thicker and dry bread cake which I am scoring 5.8 for effort rather than unctuousness. The best cafes are those catering for building and outdoor workers who know a good thing when they are served it. Lower Baildon has such a cafe and I have returned a couple of times so it must have been alright.

Top of my favourites is where the bacon is slightly over cooked so the fat seems to be slightly caramelised but the meat remains dry and of good substance. A slight crunch adds a new texture to go with unctuousness.The worst sarnie is ‘assembled’ from bacon that has been precooked and kept warm creating a cardboard effect that even a free range egg can’t correct. Cafes in supermarkets and M&S suffer from this 3.0 score.

I prefer a sit down cafe so I can have a cuppa and read any free paper. It is no fun outdoors in the cold with yoke running down your chin.

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A Different York Pub Crawl

From Leeds to York it is only 22 minutes on the train and the near-by Maltings awaits the thirst traveler. On Tuesday 20th July train enthusiasts steamed in for a quick lunch before a trip back north on the  LNER Peppercorn Class  60163 Tornado a 4-6-2 steam locomotive. They filled the pub but the Scottish accents failed to put me off my pint.

The day before I had been on a walking tour of 15 or so of York’s historic pubs. At £6 a head it was good value (less than a glass of over priced wine for my wife in a trendy bar) and all money raised  goes to support Keep Your Pet, a charity scheme run by Age UK York a project which helps older people look after their pets at times of ill health or other difficulties.

The walk was led by a knowledgeable guide who knew all about the age, historical links and ghosts of the various hostelries we saw. Regrettably we didn’t have time for much sampling so when we got to my favourite watering hole I dropped off and dropped in to the Blue Bell on Fossgate. A small but great pub with all Edwardian features including hatches to serve the beer through and a chatty atmosphere enhanced by your proximity to other drinkers. The beer selection is second to none but because it was so hot I settled for cooling cider.

We stayed over for a couple of nights but on a less successful evening we ventured up Micklegate not enjoying the Artful Dodger and found only Wetherspoon’s Punch Bowl was serving food at 8.30 but no grills. Still walking one section of the wall then down to the Golden Ball welcome us with fiddle music 3 pale ales but sadly no singing this Sunday pre- freedom day. Sam Smith came to the rescue as the Kings Arms were relieved to serve us at the bar and had abandoned table service ( that would have been impossible on such a hot day).

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Wait for Old Yorkshire Music

Royal courts may have had their fools and jesters, Robin Hood had the  wandering minstrel Alan-a-Dale  and Yorkshire’s mayors had their ‘City Waits’.

What was a Wait

  • From medieval times groups of musicians were sometimes organised as waits. The York Wait is one of the best documented dating back 9 centuries.
  • As professional musicians their purpose was to play music at civic entertainment, ceremonies, parades and city related events. They also had duties as night-watch an early neighborhood watch. In York the Wait  also augmented the Minster choir.
  • They used instruments  including flute or oboe like Shawms, Curtal, Saggbut, bagge pype and by the 18th century oboes Cornetts even trumpets and drums.
  • In 1829  at the Spotted House Bradford they elected municipal bandsmen including 4 blind players led by Sam Smith ( a good name for a man elected in a pub).
  • By 1836 politics and a history of ‘begging badly’ brought about the demise of these publicly funded waits. The 1836 Municipal Corporations and Reform Act couldn’t wait to change our Waits. The Christmas tradition of musical busking still continued in many areas.

Spelling of Wait

  • There are many spellings  and versions of Wait some of which predate most written records.
  • The most common alternative name is  Waites or Waite and Wayte, Waytes
  • International Waits included in Holland where they were called stadspijpers, in Germany Stadtpfeifer and in Italy pifferi ( wikipedia)

Acknowledgement and thanks s to James Merryweather and his ‘York Music The Story of a City’s Music from 1304- 1896’

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Yorkshire Before 1066

Yorkshire folk are a hardy species with a long and fascinating historical past these are just some indicative seminal times.

  • Jurassic period 140 million years ago between the Mesozoic era, Triassic and the Cretaceous period with marine conditions in Yorkshire but no human life.
  • Paleolithic man      10000 BC  some indications in Victoria caves Settle
  • Mesolithic man         7500 BC Stone-age possibly spreading around Pickering
  • Neolithic man            3000 BC      farming in the Wolds and potentially elsewhere
  • Bronze age                  1800 BC     ‘beaker folk’ nicknamed for the first pottery. Baildon Grassington and henges near Boroughbridge
  • Iron Age              500 BC Celts around the coast at Hunmanby and near Scarborough
  • Romans                80 AD came north to quell the local Brigantes and Parisi tribes fighting on North York moors,  Stanwick, & Scotch Corner as a protection from the Scots. Constantine       306 AD Emperor of York during the development of many religions and the introduction of Christianity. Withdrawal of Romans to defend Rome
  • Synod of Whitby    664 AD.  Saxons and Angles arriving from Germany and Denmark named villages with suffixes ham, ton, ley.
  • Viking Invasion     866 AD York and villages in the dales with names ending in thorpe, kirk, wick and by.
  • Stamford bridge  1066 AD King Harold Godwinson led English army in a battle against invading Vikings whilst William was conquering.
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Tykes Don’t Talk Daft – New Culture

I am self identifying as having micro-aggression over woke wonkery and would like to exercise white privileged before returning to traditional old tyke speak.

I am partnered with a gender fluid Karen from the snowflake generation who is gas lighted as a QAnon & XR supporter.

Due to cultural appropriation the trope of a typical Yorkshireman or Womxn ignores my birth cisgender.

Before I am decentered and no platformed under cancel culture for manspreading I will succumb to ghosting as a hot airblower.

The Infodemic has led to victimology for my chumocracy that is part of a generation Z…….. sufferer to say nothing of an incel terrorist.

Fat-shaming of a tyke wont work for it is he ‘who eat all the pies’   #octothorpe #

In the fake-news land of USA a try hard, Donald Trump, believes he is entitled as a  purveyor of doxing so becoming a meme and covidiot. He needs defunding and humility in defeat ‘Gotcha’.

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Let’s Hear It For Kingston upon Hull

Kingston upon Hull the 4th largest Yorkshire city is better known as Hull. As we move into a post pandemic era I would like to think Yorkshire folk will help support our less fortunate communities and that would certainly include Hull.

Issues for Hull

  • Hull is commercially and socially poor with higher than acceptable unemployment.
  • Since the damage caused during the blitz Hull has experienced intermittent decline over several decades. This has led to systemic deprivation, low educational attainment and high levels of crime in comparison to other cities.
  • Transport links do not match the aspirations of a a thriving port and a city once the UK’s capital of culture (2017).
  • Hull feels though it punches below its weight (despite John Prescott). It should move from the lightweight to the super heavyweight division

Positives for Hull

  • As a port on the humber estuary Hull has strong links with Europe and fishing industries. An idea place for a Freeport?
  • The location augers well for development of ‘green industry’ to augment existing employers and technology work.
  • William Wilberforce was a leader in the abolition of the slave trade. A first BLM advocate.
  • The Museums Quarter and civic art galleries show that culture can be found in and around Hull There is nightlife and excellent football and rugby teams. The cities facilities should help it be a more attractive holiday and trip location.

Give Hull your support as a visitor or tourist,  we will be there again soon

Old Light Ship on the River Hull

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Farmers Markets Post EEC & Brexit

As the common agricultural policy disappears into the bureaucratic distance is a great time to focus on local produce and local markets.

In Praise of Farmers markets

  • These markets are sociable and help rural economies
  • They offer home made products often cooked on site
  • Local meat and veg can be fresher, more tasty than supermarket products packaged in plastic
  • They tend to supply produce that generate less food miles or eco-unfriendly miles from farm to plate
  • They will show Europe we can supply great Yorkshire food without their bureaucratic administration

Farmers’ Markets a selection in Yorkshire

  • Driffield Farmers’ Market at the The Showground, 1st Saturday in the month
  • Grassington Farmers’ Market, 4th Sunday in the month
  • Harrogate Farmers’ Market, Cambridge Street, 2nd Thursday in the month
  • Holmfirth Farmers’ Market, Market Hall, 3rd Sunday in the month
  • Malton Monthly Food Market, Market Place, 2nd Saturday in the month
  • Sheffield Farmers Market
  • Rotherham Farmers Market
  • Doncaster Farmers Market
  • See more Dales markets on GOC

Buy British Buy From Yorkshire Farmers Support local economies

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RHS Harlow Carr – Corporate or Charity?

The Northern Horticultural Society based in Harrogate was in a bit of state in 2001 when it was subsumed by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS). The grounds at Harlow Carr could have benefited from more investment but what garden couldn’t? Still the RHS had the muscle to boss the ‘merger’ and take the lead in changing Harlow Carr.

I volunteered for a few years but progressively became less impressed with the political nature of the RHS. To a volunteer it appeared to be run very much as a business but with some of the waste and excesses of poor organisation. On my Gardeners Tips website during 2017 I posted the following comments:

‘Negatives or ‘What The RHS is not Good For’

  • As a charity benefiting from the tax breaks and ‘public’ support is it fulfilling all the requirements to enjoy this support.
  • The society has £96 million held in cash and investments which is well in excess of the annual income of £73m. Even bearing in mind the new garden in Salford this seems excessively conservative.
  • On one level the RHS is a glee club for the county and wanabee set. Evidenced by all the luvvies at Chelsea where social climbers out number horticultural climbers and scramblers.
  • There is an appearance of commercial and personal vested interests & cliquishness.
  • The Chatsworth flower show could be renamed a clothes show with flowers.
  • My experience as a volunteer at the RHS was frustrating due to the corporate ethos and management of the time (2005-2009).’

Humble Pie New Thoughts

  • Compared to other charities and public organisations RHS have avoided negative publicity. They have not fallen into ‘woke’ and culture issues that detract from the core purpose unlike the National Trust, Oxfam or Education establishments.
  • The Harlow Carr grounds continue to improve every year and are a gem in the Yorkshire gardening tradition.
  • In 20 years much has been achieved with buildings and extensions to the facilities. If that was at a cost to old traditionalists then so be it, we await the next decade with more anticipation.
  • During the 2020 Covid crisis members have had as many opportunities as could have safely been made available.
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Electricity Power Politics

The old Yorkshire Electricity Board (YEB, 1948-1990) is long gone as is its initial successor Yorkshire Electricity Group. It now resides under the sobriquet npower. The YEB was formed from an amalgamation of local and municipal power companies shortly after WW ll. It succumbed to privatisation in 1990 along with the rest of the electricity generation and distribution industry.

Shocking news for customers of Yorkshire Energy a very young company has just been published on their website:   ‘After 2 and a half years in operation we sadly have begun proceedings to cease trading….’ Ofgem, the energy regulator,will appoint a new supplier for customers, which will be announced on Saturday 5th December.

Yorkshire Energy was also known as Daisy Energy and as one bright spark said it is now pushing them up.,

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Dales Cyclists and Cycling

For the novice cyclist the climb from Silsden to Embsay Moor is quite steep and the bends can be sharp. It’s not  a good descent for experts as these dual signings warning of ‘slow’ and ‘max speed of 15mph’ for the sharp switchback show.

Expert cyclists born in Yorkshire will have ridden more miles in the dales than you can imagine. It is a sport that requires extensive training and that means getting miles under your belt. There are numerous young talented cyclists from Yorkshire pedaling towards success. Congratulations to Harry Tanfield who will join Qhubeka Assos at the world tour level next season. Good luck to Burley-in-Wharfedale cyclist Scott Thwaites with his team, NetApp Endura.

Below you can see some of the best  Yorkshire cyclists according to other sites but they are a ever increasing list.

Cycling Legends
Yorkshire top 10
48 Yorkshire Cyclists from Wikipedia

It is not only the hills where the dales offer a challenge the weather can also be a bit wet!


so it pays to keep dry!

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