Author: Jimmy Andrex

Jimmy is a Wakefield poet who performs all over the UK. Co-founder of Red Shed Readings, he is a presenter on ELFM’s Love the Words, where he writes and produces the Jimmy Andrex Outside Broadcast, as well as co-curating their Writing on Air Festival.

Council draws line in the sand on Covid-19

Jimmy Andrex

East Riding Council decided last week on a novel approach to communicate their 3 Steps to Safety message. In a climate where covid confusion reigns every time Mr Cummings goes for a spin in his Range Rover, they decided to use local sand artist James Brunt to get their message across. As you can see, James […]

It’s not a Banksy … is it?

Jimmy Andrex

Is Banksy working in the Wakefield area? A series of clues and new street art has fuelled speculation that the legendary graffiti artist may be at work in our area. First, a local artist, Rachel Till was forced to tweet that some Pontefract street art depicting themes around the NHS and Coronavirus was definitely hers […]

EU cheese mountain may cause lasting damage to mental health, say experts

Jimmy Andrex

So, this dream I had, it was a film like Kill Bill, but with Emily Maitlis and Kay-Burley-off-Sky-News. Basically, they get so fed up doing clickbait interviews with whining trolls like Daniel Hannan or Darren Grimes, that they go on an intellectual Kung Fu Tag Team rampage, questioning right-wing dimwits to a pulp. In early […]

A little fright relief?

Jimmy Andrex

If you’re a writer in dark times what do you write about? Most choose to write about the darkness and tell you little else apart from (a) how dark it is and (b) that darkness is very, very bad.  However, Ossett poet Simon Widdop is bucking the trend. His new collection, Poet from the Black […]

Covid-19 and the arts: Hull snuggles up for digital bedtime stories

Jimmy Andrex

Are you sitting comfortably? This weekend Hull’s Back To Ours project is bringing bedtime stories and twinkling lullabies to people’s homes to spread family-friendly fun all over the city. In conjunction with the city’s Freedom Festival, they are reaching out with innovative events and activities to engage and excite people all across Humberside. Throughout the […]

Covid-19: four scenarios for our future

Jimmy Andrex

What might the future living with Covid-19 actually look like? STAT magazine, an online journal for health professionals based in Boston, Massachusetts, asked eminent epidemiologists for their best (informed) guesses as to how things might pan out: “Will it always have the capacity to make us so sick? Will our immune systems learn — and […]

Rugby league and the civil rights icon

Jimmy Andrex

Sunday 22 July 1972. Reigning Olympic 200m champion Tommie Smith is going through his pre-race stretch routine on a humid afternoon. A thunderstorm, which will later bring the racing to a halt, hangs around like the teenage boys who are hoping for an autograph. But this is not the Munich Olympics, or even a warm-up event. […]

Poet’s twilight moment crystallises life in lockdown

Jimmy Andrex

Like Dorian Grey without a painting in the loft, Laura Potts’ poetry has the insight of twilight. Echoing the lyricism of Dylan Thomas, she has a strong connection to Wales’ best-known poet and worked at the Dylan Thomas Society’s Birthplace Museum in 2016. However, she is Wakefield born and bred and, whilst she has a […]

Vera Lynn of the virus: saving lives with humour

Jimmy Andrex

Has the Vera Lynn of the virus saved more lives than Boris Johnson? It’s a funny old world, but no-one’s really laughing. Apart from the beyond-satire antics of government ministers (the highlight of which was surely the health secretary’s Reeves & Mortimer-esque parkour), the pandemic has been a miserable time full of fear, pain and […]

Artists rain on Dowden’s Glyndebourne parade

Jimmy Andrex

Culture secretary enthuses about champagne picnics while artists try to work out how to make a living. Forget the grassy knoll, 9/11 or the outbreak of WWII. Can you remember where you were when Oliver Dowden announced that “music lovers can attend Glyndebourne this summer”? This writer still has lacerations of the throat from choking […]

Facing Covid-19 with a ‘Happy Disposition’

Jimmy Andrex

How a Leeds songwriter is celebrating the city’s more isolated residents Has anyone ever written a song about you? Unless you’re Pattie Boyd or Dolly Parton’s love-rival, probably not, but that’s exactly what’s happening to a group of isolated older people in Leeds. Writer and poet Peter Spafford has already carved himself a niche as […]

Are you being gamed by the algorithms?

Jimmy Andrex

I can dance, I can dance in my new lockdown pants! Are your pants giving you hot, sticky torture? Looking for that ice silk feel from a unique rhombus vent design? Me neither, but Facebook appears to think I need lots of pairs of elasticated shorts. I can barely find my bubble of benign bigotry […]

Barnsley spoken word artist pays tribute to hospital volunteers

Jimmy Andrex

A Barnsley spoken word artist has produced a poetic tribute to the town’s hospital volunteers. Jeff ‘Jethro’ Platts was asked by Barnsley Hospital Charity to produce the piece as a way of saying thank you to a much valued, but sometimes forgotten, group of people who have continued to give their time in a variety […]

Yorkshire Rose reacts poetically to Covid-19

Jimmy Andrex

“Put it away, put it away, put it away now!” Spoken word artist Rose Condo wants us to put away our phones. For an hour at least. In The Empathy Experiment, the Huddersfield-based poet’s third spoken word show, shortlisted for Best Spoken Word Show at the 2020 Saboteur Awards, she asks the audience to hand over […]

Hull writer censored by Instagram

Jimmy Andrex

The strange tale of the banned poem. Instagram has transformed poetry. Rupi Kaur, the world’s biggest-selling poet, made her name on Instagram. Put #poetry in your post and you’re tapping into a worldwide audience of millions. Poems are short, often little more than aphorisms but the platform, owned by Facebook, has become the go-to medium […]

Yorkshire’s garden attractions wrestle with reopening in a pandemic

Jimmy Andrex

Come into the garden, Maud.  (But book in advance and wash your hands). As the UK stumbles into the open air, organisations and attractions all over the  country strive to create some sort of ‘new normal’ that works. Nowhere is this more true than with the many garden visitor attractions in our region. Normally, the week […]

Foodbanks in survival mode as Covid-19 causes spike in demand.

Jimmy Andrex

“A perfect storm.” That’s how Laura Chalmers, Yorkshire regional director of the Trussell Trust, who run 29 foodbanks in the county, describes the situation in Yorkshire.  According to a study carried out on the 28 March by the Food Foundation, 12 per cent of people nationally are feeding families by breaking the lockdown to go […]

Yorkshire’s mental health agencies respond to the Covid-19 crisis

Jimmy Andrex

Covid-19 doesn’t have to infect you to affect you. As the side effects of the Covid-19 pandemic begin to manifest themselves in the form of anxiety and stress, recognition is growing of the toll this is taking, particularly on key workers. Organisations in the NHS, public health and the third sector – that reeled like […]

Funerals: rituals and grief during the Covid-19 pandemic

Jimmy Andrex

Improvisation has replaced ritual for those whose job is to help us at times of grief. Locked down, we are robbed of our perspective. Some things become invisible. A few days ago outside a funeral directors in Wakefield, there was a sparse gathering, mainly dressed in black. They loitered: maintaining social distance, but unsure; their awkward body language […]

Chapel FM’s Shopping Forecast helps locals get their daily bread

Jimmy Andrex

How Seacroft’s Shopping Forecast is helping locals get their daily bread. Tesco Extra has plenty of everything today. Except flour. How do we know this? Because every day, Elliott Moon from East Leeds FM’s Keeping a Distance, Staying Close programme asks locals to text and phone in while they’re shopping. In fact, the other day, […]

Does a Sheffield think tank have the remedy for the coronavirus crash?

Jimmy Andrex

Universal Basic Income. At last year’s G8 summit, those three words were the big story. They came from UBI proponent Rutger Bregman, whose Taxes! Taxes! Taxes! speech was all over social media. UBI is a simple idea. You address inequality and poverty by giving every adult free money, with no conditions. That’s it. Coronavirus has brought UBI […]

Green New Deal training event goes online in lockdown style

Jimmy Andrex

Lockdown. 2020’s word of the year. The word that sent us into a toilet-roll stockpiling frenzy. The word which has brought the entire world to a standstill (apart, it would seem, from football in Belarus). Lockdown, which began the week before the first national organising training of Green New Deal UK. One might expect a […]

Yorkshire artists face lost livelihood under Brexit

Jimmy Andrex

The importance of freedom of movement for working musicians 3 chords and the truth. According to music legend, that’s all you needed. For Huddersfield Alt-folk artist Johnny Campbell, it’s held true for the last seven years as a pro musician.  Touring on trains and coaches all over Europe and the USA, guitar in one hand, rucksack of […]