Club Roots of Yorkshire Bonsai

Yorkshire folk can be quite clubable and this is shown in their passions and hobbies. One of my examples facilitated beer drinking and snooker playing in my younger days when I was a member of a Liberal club, Conservative club and a working-mens club at the same time.

50 plus years on and I am more content with clubs that have their roots in gardening. I am a sometime member of Auricular, Cactus, Alpine and Cyclamen clubs amongst others. Until recently I have not thought about Bonsai but Yorkshire has its own thriving club and I may join the  South Yorkshire Bonsai Society if I can get to meetings.

 Maple Bonsai



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Tyre Fires In Bradford

Problems caused by the 2020 Bradford Tyre Fire

In addition to the social disruption to schools, transport and local residents all fires pose chemical risks from:

  • Particulates are deposited in the atmosphere and cause air pollution.
  • A large number of burning tyres produce around 25,000 gallons of run-off oil.
  • Noxious gases including carbon monoxide, sulphur oxides, and nitrogen oxides
  • Volatile organic compounds,  aromatic hydrocarbons
  • Dioxins, hydrogen chloride, benzene
  • Metals such as cadmium, mercury, chromium, and vanadium

Other Issues

  • 100 firefighters, 15 fire engines took 7 days to put the fire out. There is still a major clean up exercise to be completed.
  • It is illegal to burn old tyre and forbided to send them to waste landfill sites. There is a cost to correct legal disposal.
  • There is a commercial cost to businesses and insurers
  • According to the Bradford Telegraph and Argus ‘A man aged 59 and a 48-year-old woman were arrested in North Yorkshire last week in connection with the blaze.’
  • In June 2015 more than 1,000 tyres were burning in a car park  believed to be rented. Leeds Road was closed while seven crews tackled the fire.
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Yorkshire’s Most Easterly Pub

The Crown & Anchor at Kilnsea is a cosy local pub on the East Yorkshire coast 20 yards from the mighty river Humber. This location provides dramatic sunsets and great views including passing traffic on the shipping lanes.

Key Features

  • Beer is one of the attractions for me currently including Timothy Taylors, Pricky Back Otchan by Great Newsome, Frothinghams Best and Holderness Dark.
  • Spurn point is a fine venue for a bit of bird watching
  • The pub is residential  offering home-cooked food, real ale and stunning views across the Humber estuary
  • 300 year old pub with exposed beams and local characters including fishermen, lifeboat crews and pilots.
  • Monthly folk nights were held before lockdown and I hope they return in full voice.

When we can all travel give them some of your trade theses family pubs need our support

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Autumn Diseases & Times Past

‘Coughs and sneezes spread diseases – trap your germs in a handkerchief.’  This slogan was first used during the 1918-20 influenza epidemic. Other earlier measures and problems are reminiscent of our own corona virus problems.

Medically speaking November has never been a good month. Consider some of these reports from Leeds in the 19th century.

  • 1st December 1832 a lengthy cholera outbreak came to an end after the town suffered 1,817 cases almost half of which were fatal.
  • 4th November 1849 a bye law preventing hackney carriages carrying people suffering from Typhus fever led to a court case when a child was illegally carried to The House of Recovery.
  • 10th November 1854 scarlet fever outbreak created a plea for schools to close.
  • 18th November 1865  a doctor reported where some areas had ‘victims of fever with dead bodies allowed to remain in confined room with scores of visitors paying their last respects’

In the Leeds Intelligencer of 14 December 1801, it was reported that ‘…. there was also a leading article advocating the establishment of a House of Recovery in Leeds in which it is mentioned that in Manchester, as the result of an institution of this kind, the number of fever-patients was reduced during the first year from 2,880 to 1,759 and there was a decrease of 400 burials during the same period (but we do not know whether there had been a decrease in other places without such an institution).’

L0025314 A man in a canteen queue, coughing or sneezing over food to
Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images
[email protected]
A man in a canteen queue, coughing or sneezing over food to the disapproval of those around him. Lithograph after H.M. Bateman.
By: Henry Mayo BatemanPublished: [194-?]
Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

It is noteworthy that Leeds survived and thrived these and other infectious problems. Much of the control was locally generated resulting from local diagnosis and intervention.

Stay alert hands, face, space.

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Archbishop of York in Tangled Web

John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu  retired as the Archbishop of York on 7 June 2020. The Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Reverend Justin Welby’s confident  Stephen Cottrell was then appointed to be the 98th Archbishop of York, the second most senior cleric in the Church of England.

The Archbishop of Canterbury now announces that he is taking a four month long sabbatical in his french home for ‘spiritual renewal’. He was scheduled to take a sabbatical in summer 2020 when presumably John Sentamu would have stood in his place. Now it will be Stephen Cottrell who will act as interim Archbishop of Canterbury less than a year after his last promotion.

John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu was successfully adopted by many as a Yorkshire man. Despite his successful tenure in York his rightful place as a Peer in the House of Lords has  been withheld and he was not ennobled on retirement as expected. There are 794 peers in the House of Lords including sportsmen and spouses of the former prime minister but just 12 are Black.

The Church of England has been conspicuous in its failings under Welby’s reign. Who remembers financial issues, investments such as Wonga, sexual improprieties with lack of openness to say nothing of poor leadership during this year Covid crisis.

What a shame it is not John Tucker Mugabi Sentamu who will be interim Archbishop of Canterbury. Maybe Justin Welby should stay in France sine die.

York Minster and Garden

The Church of England and the House of Lords join a list of public organisations that demonstrate a lack of self-knowledge, realism and accountability. As we often say when things seem bad they are generally worse.

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Sex Work in Holbeck

Basis Yorkshire Ltd  – is one of those invaluable ‘hands on’, smaller charities that work with sectors of society that do not attract a great deal of charitable support. Its work is not helped by nimby protesters against Leeds legal red light zone in Holbeck

‘The charity’s principal activity is the protection and preservation of good health of women and young people who are, or who are at risk of becoming involved in prostitution in the city of  Leeds.  Information on the charities own web site  or get contact details from Charity commission reg no.1120350.

‘Helping with outreach in Holbeck – offering hot drinks, food, condoms and a friendly conversation – is my small way of making an active contribution to Basis’ incredible work. It is one thing to talk about an important cause, it is quite another to go out and meet the people you want to support’. A Current volunteer

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My View of National Trust Yorkshire

November 2020 have just cancelled my membership!

  • I gave it thought but the main driver was the abysmal management of the organisation.
  • It is nothing to do with the properties which include many national or international gems (including East Riddlesden Hall above)
  • It is time the executive and senior management woke up to the damage their ‘woke agendas’ are doing to the culture and all round appreciation of the National Trust.
  • A couple of years ago a National Trust  ballot of members  on a motion to ban barbed wire should have warned me. It took 50+ members out of a total membership of 5.2million to get this motion moving! It failed to pass but what other nonsense is driven by minorities.
  • The funding issues, many dubious activities, poor decisions and lack of clarity needs investigation.  When you think it is bad it is normally far worse! Good luck to the charities commission in getting to the bottom of this.
  • Is the NT with it’s mega  income and reserves too large, cumbersome and powerful.
  • The executive team grew by 33%  (reported in the accounts 2019) and while this was reversed by redundancy in 2020 the total pay for the reduced team still grew.
  • For more dissing read a post in our Charity chit chat site

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Peter Sutcliffe

No more oxygen of publicity for the Yorkshire Ripper

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Frank Brangwyn’s War Posters and Yorkshire Connections

Frank Brangwyn was a multifaceted artist-craftsman who created murals, posters, oils, watercolours and furniture, textiles, ceramics, stained glass and prints.

Among his significant body of work are many items  in the Scarborough art collection.

Commissioned to produce  posters to support the War Bonds Campaign Brangwyn created many poster designs during the first World War. Many were given free of charge to charitable groups such as the Red Cross, National Institute for the Blind  St Dunstan’s Hostel for Blinded Soldiers and Sailors , Belgian and Allied Aid Leagues and others. In 1918 his poster above ‘War Bonds 1’ was issued by the National War Savings Committee, and described  as ‘one of the most vicious posters that the war produced’ it was toned down slightly with’ War Bonds 2′  using landscape proportions and different expressions.

Dr Elizabeth Horner, the leading authority on his work, curated an exhibition of posters from the Harrogate Mercer Art Gallery collection in 2014 which led to the production of a well illustrated book ‘Brangwyn’s War – Posters of the First World War.’
Brangwyn borrowed uniforms of British and German soldiers from the Imperial War Museum to ensure accuracy.

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19th Century Leeds Lad John Atkinson Grimshaw

John Atkinson Grimshaw - Whitby [1883]Whitby Looking South 1883

FlicrAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

What would an artist want to be remembered for? An appreciation of his or her works irrespective of genre, perceived or intrinsic value? A combination of factors doubtless but that is probably not why they started painting.

JAG is remembered for his northern scenes with wet streets, winter afternoons, moon-lit nights and gaslit docksides. Perhaps we now think of his paintings as representing ‘it’s grim up north’. (but no it’s Grimshaw up North)

JAG died from TB at a relatively early age of 53. As a younger painter he was sponsored by the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society which still operates as a local charity and helps fund the Leeds City Galleries

Painting fresh air or wet smokey atmospheres  for that matter is reminiscent of JWM Turner who was renown for his landscapes and seascapes. Like JAG many of  his exceptional paintings were executed in Yorkshire.

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