Ampleforth the Scandal Continues

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse the long running investigation into the sexual abuse and exploitation of children in residential schools still continues through November 2020.

An earlier report by (IICSA) said the school at Ampleforth was ‘secretive, evasive and suspicious’.  By the same token  ‘the perpetrators did not hide their sexual interests’ in a culture of blatant acceptance of abusive behaviour. Powerful Abbots and church officials seemed more interested in protecting the Catholic Church’s reputation than safeguarding children.

Latest Government Banning Order

Now, and belatedly some may think, the Department of Education (DfE) has issued a banning instruction to the school to ‘cease to admit’ anymore pupils as part of it’s policy of safeguarding the education and well-being of children.’ Apparently efforts to improve safeguarding in the wake of the child sex abuse scandal have been slow and insufficient according to the Education secretary. Without strict separation between the school and the abbey there are still conflicting priorities.

The DfE intervention may seem a lot too late but necessary never the less. However it will surprise no one that the school says it will appeal rather than spend efforts in putting things right.

From Charity Chit Chat 6th April 2018 Post

’12 months and 12 years on and Ampleforth Abbey and St Laurence Education Trust are still in the news over sexual abuse allegations. The charity commission has this month stripped both charities of responsibility for pupil welfare after last years inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The independent inquiry, set up by Teressa May, heard allegations  against 40 monks and teachers. An interim manager has been appointed to both charities.

In 2006 Fr Piers Grant-Ferris a Benedictine monk  and teacher at Ampleforth was jailed when he admitted 20 indecent assaults on young boys. Another former Ampleforth teacher, Gregory Carroll, was imprisoned in 2005 for the abuse of pupils but was ‘forgiven by the Ampleforth authorities’.’

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Cut to the Quick Scissors

I am always on the lookout for Yorkshire stories and there was a snippet in our paper about a scissor company in Sheffield. So I cut it out out of shear vandalism.

The thrust of the article was about the quality of Sheffield steel and it’s long use in the scissor and cutting implement industry. William Whiteley and Sons was established in 1760 and benefited from the invention of stainless steel and the development of craftsmen in Sheffield.

Nurturing the company successfully for 260 year through wars, pandemics and economic travails this family run company  is in good spirits. This year there has been a  5 fold rise in demand for scissors generated by lockdown crafting, mask making front line scrub cutting and new pandemic scissoring needs. The firm is still a family concern with a commercial appreciation demonstrated by it’s Christmas present range.

Old Garden Cutting Implements


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Kirkstall Valley Nature Trail

Where can you walk with children or grandchildern during tier 3 lockdown? We tried Kirkstall Valley one of Leeds best kept and free secrets.
Very few people are aware of this interesting and substantial area of open space so close to the city centre. Walking around you can see well cared for nature trails and  trains close up on the Leeds – Skipton railway, an old electricity power station now part of the grid and other examples of local industrial heritage.

Kirkstall Valley is currently experiencing a higher level of visitors and an increased amount of litter so the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust urge everyone to ‘follow the love and look after the area’  – take all your litter home.

Bird Life

Mallards and tuffted ducks appreciate the river banks and many common birds are resident most of the year round including ‘Kingfishers, Treecreepers, Sparrows, Greenfinches, Goldfinches, Wrens, Robins and Dunnocks. Sparrowhawks and Kestrels. We spotted a Heron flying above the river looking for a fish supper.

‘Down the stream the swans all glide
It’s quite the nicest way to ride
Their feet get wet their tummies wetter
I think after all the bus is better’

Spike Milligan




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Happy Thanksgiving

What do successful Turkeys say?                     Quack! quack!
If April brings showers what do May flowers bring?   Pilgrims
If anyone wants a copy of Osteopath weekly, I have back issues.

Pork Barrels

Trump goes back a long way but no pardon. The Yorkshire Association was formed in December 1779 to lobby for economic reform —a reduction of places and pensions—at a time of high taxation during the American War. Though conservatives denounced associations as potentially seditious, a number of other counties formed committees and joined with Yorkshire in petitioning Parliament.

The American Yorkshire Club was organised on April 1, 1893, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The office was first in St. Paul, Minnesota, and was moved to Valparaiso, Indiana in 1948. The first club was a stock company. In 1948, the American Yorkshire Club was reorganised and became a membership organisation.

The American Yorkshire, a breed of domestic pig, is the American version of the English Yorkshire. The American Yorkshire has smaller and more-floppy ears when compared to the English Yorkshire’s large, erect ears. American Yorkshires are the most recorded swine breed farmed for its meat in the United States. Yorkshires are white in colour and have erect ears. They are the most recorded breed of swine in the United States and in Canada. They are found in almost every state, with the highest populations being in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska and Ohio. The modern Yorkshire is very muscular, with a high proportion of lean meat and low backfat, in addition to being very sound and durable.

Was it a good job the Mayflower was on a one way trip?

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Excuse for Photos from National Railway Museum

The government funded £18m transformation of the National Railway Museum will include a new gallery and exhibition spaces, improved accessibility and the restoration of heritage buildings. Eventually both halves of the museum will be linked and provided with a smart new entrance. The museum would like to think of it’s self  as become the cultural hub of York Central.

Between lock downs I managed to visit the museum with a grandson. The exhibits were sparkling and the social distancing well managed. To get to and from home we needed four trains that all ran to schedule without fuss or bother.

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From Mytholmroyd to The British Library

The British Library is another institution that is letting down the silent majority and failing to focus on its prime purpose as a ‘legal deposit library’. It should facilitate research from the published works it maintains in London and Boston Spa North Yorkshire not be conducting its own slanted research. How do public bodies establish the right to extend the boundaries of their remit.

Why has the library commissioned a ‘slavery dossier’ as part of the work to make the it ‘anti racist’. How incompetent to name Lord Byron, Oscar Wild, George Orwell and Ted Hughes linked via his ancestor, as being ‘deeply involved’ with a slavery company. It has rightly led to an apology to the former Poet Laureate widow. Perhaps it should also apologise to the public who pay the wages of the organisation to maintain the British Librarys reputation and legacy of scholarship and uncensored thinking.

‘Winds stampeding the fields under the window
Floundering black astride and blinding wet’

from ‘Wind’ by Ted Hughes b. Mytholmroyd 1930  d. 1998

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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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