Category: Living

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Three Polish memorials

John Cornwell

John Cornwell recalls three Polish war memorials from the city of Bolesławiec in Poland, the site of a former concentration camp. “It was sad reminder of how history, once so furious and meaningful in a place, moves on and what was once so vitally significant is now just a footnote in a peaceful neighbourhood.”

GameStop vs Wall Street: ‘r/freemarketfailure’

James Powell

The American videogame retailer ‘GameStop’ was trending in the news and on social media recently. This was the result of millions of, mostly young, members of online forum ‘Reddit’ uniting to talk up the value of GameStop after realising that hedge funds such as Melvin Capital Management had bet against the US retailer.

Let a thousand European links blossom

Michael Hindley

Former MEP Michael Hindley discusses how we can stay close to Europe: “the way back to the EU will be facilitated by maintaining and even furthering such initiatives. Labour needs to explore which EU projects are still open to the UK’s participation.”

Let’s do away with food banks

John Cole

John Cole questions why we have foodbanks in such a prosperous society, and how austerity led to divisions in this country. “Austerity has a lot to answer for and we may note that the two leading protagonists were David Cameron and George Osborne (both dismissed by a third Conservative MP Nadine Dorries as ‘two arrogant posh boys who don’t know the price of milk’).”

Lockdown battles: painting the blues away

Amy Day

So, if I cannot roller skate around the park then I will navigate this new lockdown with my tiny army by my side. I shall continue to gaze longingly at my skates whilst I paint away my lockdown blues … with a fabulous shade of Warhammer Blue!


Pie of the week: from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Jimmy Andrex

Jimmy Andrex reviews the pie of the week – this time from the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. “At the end of our walk, seeking refuge from a grim sense of foreboding, I greeted the news that my favourite pie – steak, ale and Henderson’s Relish – was on the specials board with the same relief as when I heard about the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.”


The BBC, the right wing and the people

Pauline Allon

The BBC faces a rocky road ahead, with the Dowden enquiry and the appointment of the new chairperson – former Goldman Sachs banker, and Conservative Party donor. Richard Sharp. And Cummings’ departure will not make a difference to its survival, the damage has been done. The lies spoken and the criticism will continue.

Where no woman is allowed to boldly go?

Dr Pam Jarvis

Dr Pam Jarvis looks at how Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor has been treated differently to her male on-screen predecessors. While an advancement for gender equality in science-fiction, Whittaker’s character has been plagued with maternal stereotypes, gendering the treatment of the character in a role which had the opportunity to escape such shoehorning.

Book Review: How to Be A Liberal, by Ian Dunt

John Cole

John Cole reviews Ian Dunt’s book, How To Be a Liberal. The book stretches back as far as Aristotle to draw a history of liberalism over millennia, examines the personal lives of many of the early liberals, and offers advice for all readers to help create a better world.

Norky’s ramblings: episode 10

Peter Norcliffe

Peter Norcliffe reminisces about biplanes, old money, and ‘Doctor Dan’s Health Drink’ in his latest column. ” Not for me a train driver or firefighter – both very noble causes, of course, but I’m sure you will agree, not in the same league as a milk man with a black and white horse.”


Pie of the week: from William Noble Family Butcher, Busy Corner, Wakefield

Jimmy Andrex

Jimmy Andrex reviews the pie of the week – this time from William Noble Family Butchers in Wakefield. “A Noble’s steak pie is an everyday celebration of wholesome certainty; like a grittier version of The Waltons. They’re freshly made every day, the oven’s in the shop and the smell when they open the door should be regulated by some sort of statute”.


Books we enjoyed reading in 2020

Yorkshire Bylines

There are no recommendations for plague books, or books on Brexit, yet all of the books we recommend are very topical and touch on current anxieties about the environment, right-wing populism, religious and racial identity, mental health, and current politics and economics. There is also hope, warmth, optimism and practical suggestions. This is, by no means, a gloomy reading list!

Here comes the sun 2021: the darkest hour will soon have passed

Dr Pam Jarvis

Dr Pam Jarvis reflects on the meaning of the Winter Solstice, as we move from the shortest day and into the light. So, what of our duplicitous government, fractured nation and spoiled Christmas? As the New Year dawns, the time to silence, to uproot and to tear down will be coming to an end, and the time to speak, to plant and to mend will be coming around.


Pie of the week: from the Seed Room, Overton

Jimmy Andrex

In troubled times, with rampant division, there remains one part of our culture about which there must surely be widespread unity, especially in the forgotten land of the North of England: Pies.

“Primarily drinking British gin”: admissions to an 18th century York asylum

Pen Hemingway

Pen Hemingway looks at the history of The Retreat, an 18th century Quaker-run asylum in York which pioneered treatment for the mentally ill. Hemingway writes about some of the patients admitted to the hospital, and how they were treated. “The Retreat may well have been a pioneer in terms of its treatment of its patients, but many of us will be grateful of being born in somewhat more enlightened days that allowed us to avoid ending up there.”


Vital venues: Hyde Park Book Club

Marcus Cain

Marcus Cain visits the Hyde Park Book Club in Leeds, one of many venues impacted by the pandemic. He speaks to HPBC’s owner Jack about his work keeping the venue alive in such extraordinary times, along with a local performer.


Wife for sale

Pen Hemingway

Pen Hemingway looks at the 19th century practice of ‘wife sales’. Looked down on by middle-class journalists of the time, the act may in fact have been a way for women, still the legal property of their husbands, to escape abusive or unhappy marriages.


Roller skating – it’s not just for kids!

Amy Day

Along came the pandemic … life stopped. Eating biscuits became an Olympic sport. We were all doing our constitutional walks, but in terms of getting my jeans on and buttoned up, walking on its own was never going to cut it …

Covid doodles do make an impact

Jimmy Andrex

What did you do in lockdown? Bradford-based Trapezium Arts is hosting a brand new exhibition of one artist’s response to the coronavirus crisis. Sue Wilde’s show, entitled The Covid 19, is based on road maps, using the routes, towns and coastlines to create a vivid picture of life in lockdown.  “During the first lockdown, needing to […]

A tale of three Yorkshire lord mayors

John Cornwell

With the focus these days on executive mayors, the role of the traditional mayors and lord mayors can get overlooked. Here John Cornwell recounts the challenges that three Sheffield lord mayors had to face while discharging their civic responsibilities. For almost two decades I was a local councillor in South Yorkshire. I soon discovered that there were three givens about the […]