Sunday, 27 December 2009
Friday, 25 December 2009
Wednesday, 11 November 2009
I must extend many thanks to everyone involved in the final events organised by the former club committee at Rolls Royce Leisure. Masterbrian was quieter than we'd hoped, but we did make over £350 for our chosen charity. Special thanks go to Stuart Hyde, deputy chief constable with Cumbria Police. He not only came along to present the trophies, but actually co-presented the quiz with me! John Middleton and Judith did the usual fantastic job with a very complex scoring system, and I reckon the whole thing went remarkably smoothly. Avril Hardisty and her family put in an excellent effort with their halloween outfits, and Avril won the prize for the best one, as voted by the audience!
I'm hoping to be able to sit back and relax for a while after the coming weekend, but I'm not holding my breath!
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Top; Buzz chats to Alf Bradshaw has he takes a bath.
Bottom; The Tempest Arms on one of those extremely rare occasions when there was space in the car park
POSTSCRIPT: It would seem (from a phone call I received this morning) that the gent in question DID enjoy the show - it's just the rest of the world as we know it above Doncaster that he despises (and Meir)!
Saturday, 10 October 2009
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
Sunday, 20 September 2009
Monday, 14 September 2009
Saturday, 5 September 2009
Once upon a time, on a dark and stormy night, a small thought festered in the broad forehead of a man named Buzz Hawkins. This thought skipped along terraced streets gathering up the memories that you left behind and so grew into The Bradshaws.
Now The Bradshaws are real people and anyone who thinks otherwise is ficticious. Now Buzz Hawkins is merely a figment of their imagination.
And don't forget, you can hear The Bradshaws every morning on Fresh Radio - go to http://www.freshradio.co.uk/ and check out the daily schedule
Thursday, 3 September 2009
The main attraction for me was the Farmers Market - we came across Richard Morphett, the Foodie Farmer from Hebden Bridge, (01422 845952) a guy we first met several years ago at a food festival at the Westmoreland showground. He makes soup to die for, our favourite being Lentil and Bacon. We also met up with the guys at Raydale Preserves, who gave me some great ideas for the forthcoming Chutney competition at the Tempest Arms in Elslack. We tried (and bought) fantastic sausages from Bowland, and soft goats milk cheese from Paganum Produce, which was absolutely delicious. The generous folk from Coniston Hall treated me to a glass of delicious red house wine, and superb canapes - my favourite being some fantastic smoked salmon.
My day ended co-hosting a cookery demonstration with Chinese chef Tim Lee and Chris Wildman of Paganum, based at Kirkby Malham. It was tough going for a while, as Tim (the chef from E-Pan in Skipton) spoke very little English. That meant the pair of us, joined on stage by Julian, had to second guess what he was up to while providing a running commentary.
Kilnsey Show wouldn't be complete without the Fell Race, and once again Bruce Elsworth of the Angel at Hetton competed. That was AFTER he'd served breakfast and done a demonstration for Real Food and Farming's Dales Kitchen, and before he went back for evening service. And he managed a very respectable fifth place in what must have been one of the most gruelling races of the season!
This was my first Kilnsey show in quite a number of years - but I'll be back again next year for sure! Coming up this weekend we hope to visit the Moorcock Show on Saturday, then on Sunday I'll be at the Great Milk Stout Ride at Bewerley Park, Pateley Bridge.
Photo (top): Chris Wildman of Paganum Produce, James Wilson, Julian Hotchkiss and Tim Lee of E-Pan in Skipton. For more pictures of the show, go to the Fresh Radio gallery
Sunday, 30 August 2009
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Sunday, 23 August 2009
Monday, 17 August 2009
Saturday, 15 August 2009
Friday, 14 August 2009
The vicar had done a superb job of researching my father's background, then my sisters both did a reading, and I was immensely proud of them both - if not a little ashamed of myself for chickening out. Flight Lt Tom Bailey from RAF Linton on Ouse laid a wreath on the coffin, and after the service the piper led us out again. After the coffin was laid in the hearse it was the pipes again, leading the hearse up the road and away from the church.
My father would have been so proud of his send-off, in a way it's a shame he couldn't have seen it all beforehand! Many thanks to all who packed the church today, for a very fine send-off which we will never forget.
On a lighter note our friends Yvonne and Hasse sent a large bouquet of fabulous flowers from Trosa in Sweden; I got a phone call from a bemused florist the other morning asking where exactly "Kirkstall Drive Road is?" - in Barnsley!
And on another note: I've just found my father's obituary in "Norway Banking News" and "Gun Service and Repair - Tampa FL - Florida"
Friday, 7 August 2009
When all of You are Dead and Gone
When all of you are dead and gone,
But the crafty old equine, it wasn't just fear,
His name was a legend, like Churchill or Beckett,
The river was fast and the river was deep,
Thursday, 6 August 2009
One of Nidderdale’s most fascinating characters has died suddenly aged 93.
Donald Wilson moved from Edinburgh to Dacre Banks in February 1950, having been stationed at RAF Linton on Ouse during the war. Don was shot down over Germany early in the conflict and was eventually imprisoned in the infamous Stalag Luft III, setting for the film The Great Escape. He provided invaluable information and advice for the makers of the film, having kept a detailed wartime log during his incarceration.
Having trained as a vet before the war Don took up a position as a veterinary services advisor with Hull-based Reckitt and Coleman, spending almost the rest of his working life with them. He was a friend of Thirsk-based vet turned author Alf White, better known as James Herriot, who he visited on a regular basis. During his career with Reckitt and Coleman Don became involved in the development of a new drug to be used in the rapid tranquilising of animals, and subsequently set up a rapid response dart gun service for the company. He appeared on TV’s Blue Peter and Magpie programmes, and helped out on the set of what was then known as Emmerdale Farm – in the days when it featured real animals!
When not working Don became heavily involved in local life, and over the years served on the local Parish Council the Village Hall committee and the Home Guard. He was extremely reluctant to accept becoming old, and walked down to his local, the Royal Oak most lunch-times until relatively recently, when he bought an electric buggy. He quickly got used to riding the machine, and almost as quickly – despite being by this time in his late eighties – decided it wasn’t fast enough, and went out and bought a “GT” model!
Don never forgot his time in the RAF and had been a long-time member of local branches of the RAFA, and the British Legion. Just a few years ago he accompanied his son on a news assignment to the Air museum at Elvington, and was delighted to be offered an exclusive look inside their recently restored Halifax bomber – once again, despite his advancing years, he was up inside the aircraft, as one member of staff put it “like a rat up a drainpipe”! More recently he had the pleasure of being introduced to the actor Sir David Jason, who’s a huge supporter of ex-RAF flyers.
Despite the privations Don suffered throughout the war years he never lost his sense of humour, and would often recount the tale of when he first moved into Dacre Banks and making friends with the Abbot family, owners of the local garage. One dark, windy night he visited Kit and Norah Abbot, knocking on the door and asking a bleary-eyed Kit, who at first hadn’t recognised him, if he could have a fill-up with petrol – for his cigarette lighter!
Over the last few years his ever-increasing family and friends have celebrated his birthday with the annual June Barbecue, which has recently become more like a United Nations event. Guests have represented Australia, Africa, Israel, Scotland, Norway, and of course his beloved adopted home – Yorkshire. Don’s only regret was that his late wife Vera, who died 16 years ago, couldn’t be with him.
He leaves six children, eleven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren, with another on the way.
Sunday, 26 July 2009
I wasn't particularly suitably dressed, having put on jeans, waxed jacket and wide-brimmed leather hat, but my companions on the walk, Tom Lister (Carl King on Emmerdale) and ITV weather man Jon Mitchell had obviously put more thought into their attire. Jon in particular was dressed in waterproofs from head to toe, I guess having had inside information! Another little secret I can let you into is that Jon has a personalised, weather-related number plate - I wonder if you can guess what it includes?!
Jon Mitchell (left above) and Tom Lister (right)
I met up with Tony Doveston of the Yorkshire air Ambulance, who told me - despite the lousy weather conditions - he was hoping the helicopter would fly in for the event - and it made it! The cloud base was obviously very low and there was driving rain, but the aircraft flew in virtually on time. We reckon somewhere approaching 4,000 people turned up to take part in what will be the final chance to walk over the viaduct for many years, which was simply staggering. Money raised from the event will benefit (amongst others) the Cave Rescue Organisation, the Air Ambulance and the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Railway. Other people I met on the day included old friends Keith and Linda, who reminded me the last time I met up with them was around seven years ago at Pateley Show, Ruth Annison of the Wensleydale Railway, and lots of the guys from Appleby Rotary who were doing a fantastic job of marshaling traffic. I was delighted to have been invited along for the day, and I must thank Keith Lumley of Network Rail for organising my visit. I'll find out how Julian got on in the warmth of Richmond Pool in the morning!
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
But all in all Julian, myself and the team had a great day out at the show, with lots of live inserts into our programs back in Skipton, on Steve Joy and Dave Metcalfe's programmes. It all worked very well technically too, so thanks must go the the YAS for the excellent facilities they provided for us, and to all who agreed to be interviewed.
They included Sir Ken Morrison who was great, as was Henry Aubrey-Fletcher from the CLA, who talked about the problems people in rural areas face when it comes to getting a decent Broadband connection.
Special thanks must go to Julian and Tiiu though - at one stage I lost my camera and the two of them scoured the showground to find it - and they did! Also to the people at the Rydale stand who looked after the camera; that's where I'd left it!
It's Jason's turn at the show tomorrow; he's got far more stamina than me, so hopefully he'll turn up with some more great stuff from one of the best shows in the country.
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
Sunday we headed up Nidderdale for Dacre Fun Day, an event I've compere'd for the last three years. This, however, was the first year without rain - and it was great fun! We had local group Rosie on stage, and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed their performances, at least some of which were a little tongue in cheek! Lots on offer elsewhere on the field, including a karate display, dogs display, and a fantastic barbecue. All the money raised is to go towards a new, much needed pavilion.
Julian and Tim were kept busy in Skipton, for Sheep Day, which this year was probably one of the most ambitious so far, with special guest of honour on the day Shaun the Sheep!
Sunday, 28 June 2009
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Tuesday, 23 June 2009
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Friday, 19 June 2009
Nigel has taken over the Bull at Broughton, just a few hundred yards down the road from our studios at the Watermill. It opens tomorrow having been shut for around six weeks for a third of a million pound refurbishment. Nigel, who's from Lancashire, told us about one of his special dishes he aims to introduce to the menu - chicken hotpot! He also revealed he's to be on Saturday Kitchen in August, where's he'll take on the omelette challenge. And coming up shortly - James Martin on Fresh!
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Thursday, 18 June 2009
Back to the Sitooteries event though, and it's a name that intrigued me for some time when I first moved over to this area - but now it's something we won't miss. Thornton in Craven has some of the most fantastic gardens you can imagine, but most are hidden from view. This weekend gives everyone the opportunity to see some of the very best, with a tour around lots of them. It's a pretty energetic hike too, with the majority on a steep hillside, and quite a long walk if you want to take in them all. The gardens and village hall are opening in aid of the local church, and for the most energetic if you make it to the furthest you'll be rewarded with a free glass of the most delicious home-made lemonade (you'll need to take your own hip flask if you want anything stronger!) There's always a plant sale where you can pick up some real bargains, and in the village hall there's a selection of home-made cakes, buns and cups of tea. Oh, and the name Sitooteries? Well I'd have thought it was fairly obvious - it's somewhere where you can sit oot - I mean out!
The Fun Day at Salterforth kicks off at Mid-day on Sunday, and I'll be providing the commentary as well as playing all the music. If you reckon you're up to it one of the highlights of the event is the annual run up what's known locally as the Salterforth Drag - I've entered Julian into it this year, as training for the Birdman Challenge at Broughton Game Fair the following weekend. Bet you he doesn't turn up for it though!
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Wednesday, 17 June 2009
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Tuesday, 16 June 2009
Sunday, 14 June 2009
Then - Saturday afternoon we went for a 14 mile cruise on the river Tees, from Stockton upstream to Yarm and back. Now I don't know what your thoughts are concerning Teesside, but I was filled with misconceptions about a stark industrial landscape, which couldn't have been further from the truth! Cost of the cruise was £7 (June 2009) which for three and a half hours was pretty amazing! A lot's been done to the Tees to clean it up, and the Tees barrage at Stockton means there's a controlled, constant level, making our cruise possible all year round. We picked the best time though; we saw wildfowl on and in the water, what has the makings of a quite beautiful wildlife area on the river bank upstream from Stockton, and even saw a deer running through the grassland. The crew on board were marvellous too - friendly, efficient and very helpful. And what about this for value for money - I ordered scampi and chips plus a ham sandwich and it came to only £6 - AND it was delicious! Again, if you get the chance, do it!
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We're into the beginning of June and I've not updated this blog since early May! As predicted Holker Festival was brilliant - a hot, sunny day at an excellent venue, with loads to see and do, and a great interview with Monty Don again. That evening we ran the Air Ambulance Race Night at Rolls-Royce Leisure, so by the end of the night I was pretty shattered. But it turned out to be a great night, where EVERYTHING worked perfectly, against all odds. Many thanks, especially to Steve Blake, Avril Hardisty and Steve Ansell, but not forgetting the fantastic job done by the Tote Girls. The band Glamourise were probably the best we've ever seen at Rolls, keeping the dance floor bouncing all night, and getting a standing ovation at the end. The only VERY minor irritation has been hearing a rumour in town that the event was a washout; don't believe a word of it, just ask anyone who was there!
Wednesday 10 May 2009
Very much looking forward to the Holker Festival at Holker Hall, and a day out fly fishing at the Bessy Beck trout farm in Newbiggin on Lune. We spent a very pleasant hour with Lord Cavendish at Holker Hall the other day, before heading for Ambleside where we met up with Cumbria's chief Constable, Craig Mackey. He took great pleasure in reminding me of the occasion when we first met, and I'd been invited to Kendal Magistrates Court to hear a presentation on domestic violence. A lady was just getting into a very harrowing tale when I received a text message on my mobile phone. Trouble is, on that particular mobile the tone is a very loud, bad taste, screeching laugh - and I couldn't find the damned thing! Craig Mackey found the whole incident hilarious!
That's not to say we find domestic violence in any way amusing, which brings me to another incident. we were discussing the split of Katie Price and Peter Andre on the Breakfast Show, when I made an off the cuff remark about Katie Price "needing a slap". Obviously I didn't mean it literally, just that she needs a good shake because of the abominable way she's treated her husband in public. Now he's seen sense, and he's had enough of what in my opinion was the worst kind of abuse from his wife. He dotes on their children - ALL of them, and has been a remarkable father to them. She really does need a serious METAPHORIC slap - in my humble opinion, like it or not!
Sunday 10 May 2009
Another busy week, and a sad goodbye to Catherine, who was on work experience for a couple of weeks. For a fifteen year old she showed remarkable talent, and in fact was on-air on day one. She wrote news scripts extremely competently - in fact I can't remember having to edit a single one! I was due to go to the launch of the 10th anniversary Calendar Girls calendar at Harvey Nichols tomorrow, but I suspect it may be a bit too hectic at work. Julian and I were due to go to Ingleton Primary School on Saturday, but ended up standing in fior Jeremy, who was called away at the last minute and couldn't do his show. I listened to the comments on Sunday when Jeremy returned - surely we weren't THAT bad were we Ellie??
Monday 4 May 2009
It's our 12th birthday today - and what a couple of years it's been since our landmark 10th anniversary. But we've put an awful lot of stuff behind us now, and yesterday's event at Broughton Hall brought home just what a loyal band of listeners we still have, despite the trials and tribulations of the last few months. The Duck Race was a great success, and it showed what a fantastic, supportive team we have at Fresh. Mike Hammond did an excellent job commentating on the races - and there was quite a lot of excitement during each event too! I think I'd rather watch ducks going down Earby Beck (or is it Broughton Beck?) than the gee-gees! Tim Finlay provided great off-course entertainment between each race too, and I think everyone was delighted (and more than a little relieved) that everything went more or less to plan, with no major glitches. I'm certainly looking forward to next years event!
I've been invited to the official launch of the 10th anniversary Calendar Girls calendar, to be held next Monday evening at "Harvey Nicks". Tricia Stewart (one of the original team) came along with husband Ian to the Duck Race. It was good to meet up with her again and reminisce about the launch of the first calendar! I have to confess to having had mixed feelings about "a calendar" when I was first let into the secret, and I remember Tricia being not a little nervous about it too. They hadn't ordered all that many, but of course were totally gobsmacked at the response, once the story was out. And as they say, the rest is history!
Saturday 25 April 2009
I've been fantastically busy since I last updated the blog. Been to Brussels (one of only two UK journalists out of fifty-five at the meeting at the European Committee of the Regions. It was incredibly interesting to me, but may well not be to you!
Got sick when I returned, so I had a couple of days off work. Yesterday Julian and I went to Brompton Lakes to meet William Hague MP and Gary Verity, chief executive of what was the Yorkshire Tourist Board. William was opening the Brompton Lakes lodges, which are simply fabulous! Then it was on to Marrick, near Reeth to deliver some flowers, and we got to meet an insane chicken that likes to perch on your head, and have a go on a quad bike (in my case, for the first time ever).
Today (Saturday) Judith and I went to the spring fair at Gayle Mill, where I met William Lambert for the first time in around eight years. He was doing a bit of wood turning at the mill - a far cry from watching his animals being slaughtered at the beginning of the Foot and Mouth outbreak in 2001. Pictures will appear in the gallery in due course.
Some that I can't wait to put on appear below though; I wonder if anyone knows the people in the 4 by 4 pictured? It had to be the most idiotic and dangerous piece of parking I've seen in years. Today was the Three Peaks race, and I would guess they were either involved in that or had been caving. The road from Ribblehead to Ingleton is a bit of a rat run at the best of times, with loonies using it as a race track; As you approach Chapel le Dale on the section called Low Sleights Road there's a slight rise, then the road drops quite sharply away. As you can see from the pictures this bunch decided to park right on the apex, forcing bikers and drivers to pull out blind into oncoming traffic. And they were there for some time too! Doh!
(To take the photographs we parked in a layby, which had available spaces, not more than 100 yards down the road)
Saturday 11 April 2009
Bit of a nasty incident today - our young 'un was walking along the canal when someone ran up behind him then punched him in the face! He had to go to hospital, more to keep the police happy than for his injuries, and he spent several hours there too. Not a good way to start the Bank Holiday weekend really.
I'm preparing to head off for Brussels on Tuesday morning, and it's an even earlier start than usual. My flight leaves Manchester at 06.40 and you need to be there at least an hour and a half before that. It takes over an hour to get to Manchester airport, so by my reckoning I need to leave home at around 4am. Jason's in charge at the Tempest this week and we're taking a night off at the Unicorn.
Had an interesting chat with Harriet Harman on Wednesday. Regardless of politics she's on a campaign to make sure as many people get off their bums and vote at the forthcoming European elections. A low turnout will always favour the extremists, and there are major concerns the BNP will get in if the polls are poorly attended.
Quite a week for news this week, with the anti-terror raid in Clitheroe. I went along to Homebase on Thursday, the day the store officially opened. It was phenomenally busy, which we put down to the fantastic publicity they received from the media!
Sunday 29 March 2009
Well, it's been quite a weekend so far. I've been off since Friday morning, working on a new kitchen. We were very much hoping it would arrive some time around lunchtime so that I would be around to help unload everything - but I got a frantic phone call in the studio before 8 o'clock to say it was here!
It was a cold, showery, windy day, but despite the horrendous conditions, by the time I got home the delivery men had struggled in with everything. One local gent though is extremely lucky to be alive; as these guys fought the awful conditions to bring our new freezer up the steps to the house the wind got hold of some sheets of paper and blew them up the street. It's not easy to chase pieces of paper in a gale-force wind when you've got both hands round an extremely heavy and expensive fridge freezer, so they were suitably grateful when someone came up the path clutching said sheets, having retrieved them. As it happens they weren't important, and could have been thrown into a bin, which he'd just walked past. But - he then started to bellow "What are you going to do about these then?" - or words to that effect.
The gent, who will remain nameless, then started shouting about the delivery vehicle causing an obstruction, and saying he was going to report the delivery men for littering. They, I'm told, remained remarkably composed, which I'm afraid is more than can be said for she who would like to be obeyed - 'er indoors that is. She told the gent in no uncertain terms where to go, in language not often heard in a Salvation Army citadel! He should be extremely grateful she wasn't holding a carving knife at the time, instead of her crutches!
What was even more galling though is that just a couple of hundred yards up the road there was genuine massive obstruction caused by dozens of parents in large people-carriers. They were dropping their little cherubs off at the local primary school, having driven (in some cases) less than 500 yards to get there - and there's SUPPOSED to be a (much publicised) walking bus scheme in place!
Many thanks must go to the delivery drivers at Wincanton Transport for their excellent efforts and patience under very difficult circumstances. Now - does anyone know a good plasterer-electrician-joiner-plumber-tiler-painter and decorator? 'Cos I'm absolutely knackered!
Saturday 21 March 2009
Another hectic week this week - we've had a couple of guests on the Breakfast Show, and I went off to talk to the Duke of Devonshire as he led his staff on a litter pick on the roads around the Bolton Abbey Estate. Last year the team shifted two industrial skips of rubbish, including a complete hifi system, dead animals, beer bottles and hundreds of Walkers Crisp packets!
John Helliwell, Supertramps saxophonist, proved to be a fascinating guest - what he hasn't done and who he hasn't worked with in the music industry just aren't worth mentioning! He's played with rock greats such as Thin Lizzy and Pink Floyd, so it was all I could do to hold myself back from bowing and grovelling at his feet! Although Supertramp still do the occasional gig John has his finger in several musical pies, including the latest project, Créme Anglais. Watch out for them on tour over the coming months, and for more information go to http://www.johnhelliwell.com/
Sunday 15 March 2009
Lots to talk about, but no time to do it at the moment! Just for the time being here's where the money from Masterbrain went this year, plus a couple of the fund-raisers at Rolls. The picture's been sprung on me at the last minute!
Recipients of the £500 cheque were BE Bosom Friends