Thursday, 14 April 2011

Freedom of speech 1940's style

The Keighley News today published a piece about my opinion on The Haworth Village Association's minuted decision to charge a £1 admission charge to the village's Main Street during the 1940's weekend.
I, and by far the majority of people I have spoken to, think it is wrong.
An association member seems to think I should ask his permission before voicing an opinion and another churlish member has banned from from viewing the sparsely attended Facebook page of the association because I dared to express an opinion on there.
To both I say this. The Forties Weekend is a celebration of a time which changed the direction of not just this country but the world. One thing it brought about, in this country certainly, was freedom of speech without recrimination...but not if you cross the might of The Haworth Village Association.
Or to quote Corporal Jones of Dad's Army, "They don't like it up 'em Sir."

Monday, 11 April 2011

Who says ageism isn't rife?

I don't usually repeat a blog but this is worth reading. HERE

The oicks running broadcasting may refer to the "tea and wee" brigade but walking along the street yesterday I was followed by a youth and his girlfriend. He thought it insanely amusing to break wind very loudly and his overweight, pimply companion agreed.

I told him he was an ignorant pig. He seemed to have trouble understanding the three syllable word.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Voice over

I have just thoroughly enjoyed doing the voice over work for a local lady's project on the fascinating subject of hedge-laying.
Voice over work is one of Bronte Media's specialities. If you would like something special for your web site or in house audio please contact us on . We discount for local businesses and repeat business.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Haworth Villagers' Association

We're pleased to invite applications for FREE membership of The Haworth Villagers' Association. The primary aim will be to provide functions and events which benefit the village as a whole and are spread right through the year.
One of our first ideas is to launch a Haworth Carnival, probably in August of each year, and focussed in Central Park.
E-mail us at or call 07866 626090.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Haworth In Bloom

Had a great day with the judges for Haworth In Bloom today. The village is just short of reaching its Spring splendour but there was plenty of colour and great efforts have been made, particularly by Haworth Primary School and the Bradford Parks Department in Central Park.
Now we need a great push and community effort for the summer judging in July. Let's see everyone making a supreme effort, even if it's only a window box or planter outside your home.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

I have been banned!

I've now had it confirmed by the Haworth Village Association, most of whose members are there to promote their trade, that I have been barred from their Facebook page. What did I do wrong? Criticised them, and I dared to promote my business on their page without paying the £100 membership fee. Good heavens.
These are the people who are dictating who does what, where, why and at what cost in the village of Haworth. Such a shame. The real villagers and people with its best intentions at heart should be given a chance...but don't dare hold an opinion unless you've asked permission.

Media studies and journalism

Bronte Media is pleased to offer professional media studies, journalism, creative writing, social media and public relations training courses to individuals and groups in Keighley and the Worth Valley from the heart of Haworth.
All courses and material are provided by a qualified journalist. We can cater for groups on a regular or one off basis.
For full details call us on 07866 626090 or e-mail

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

My Twitter column from a UK magazine

A load of rhubarb
As a proud Yorkshireman I think the European Commission spouts a load of rhubarb and should be covered in manure similar to that used to cultivate the stuff.
These are the people who tried to take the wind out of Brussel sprouts, straighten bananas and standardise carrots.
Now the Yorkshire Rhubarb Triangle, yes it does exist, has been awarded Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) by these mentally unbalanced individuals who sit in judgement upon us. This means that the pink vegetable now ranks alongside champagne and Parma ham on a list of specially protected food and drink.
The Yorkshire Triangle from whence comes this weird vegetable is bounded by Leeds,Bradford and Wakefield. It’s like the Bermuda Triangle where aeroplanes and ships mysteriously disappear, but, as far as I know, the only things which have disappeared in the Yorkshire version have been a few pigeons and a motorised pudding last seen heading over Ilkley Moor.
The word “rhubarb” derives from the Latin rheum barbarum, meaning the barbarian from the banks of the river Rha (Volga), but the large leaved Siberian native was a welcome immigrant to the Yorkshire Dales.
Local farmers, and there are only 12 left, developed secret methods to produce the tender and sweet version of the rhubarb which has fans world-wide. I can reveal exclusively that the closely guarded techniques involve an upturned bucket and lots of manure, just like the European Commission.
Rhubarb was a secret weapon in schools in the 1950s. It has remarkable laxative properties and if your mother didn’t get a dose of castor oil down you the school dinner lady would get you with rhubarb and custard. This is why many children of the 50’s spent an unhealthy amount of time in the bathroom and I think that giving the damned stuff special status is a direct threat to human rights.
West Yorkshire once produced 90 per cent of the world’s forced winter rhubarb from the forcing sheds which were common across the region. That distinction now rests with honorary members of the Houses of Parliament and European Commission who produce enough rhubarb to feed the world’s population for the next 10 years.
Product designation means that all producers must not only be in the designated area but will be extensively audited to maintain standards.
Doesn’t it make you proud to be British?

Fat chance of beating obesity
Despite less visits to the gym and a love of high fat foods people in the 1960s were slimmer simply because they were more active, a new government report says.
Makes sense to me. We have become a nation of couch potatoes thanks to technological advance and the Internet age, and is it getting any better for all the hype about it? I think not.
Rates of obesity in adults have risen from 1-2% in the 1960s to around 26% today. Now that is one heck of a jump, but I think hardly surprising. There’s many a young mum today that thinks food grows in packets. Their idea of a balanced diet is walking down the street with a can in one hand and a fat hamburger in the other while you’re trying to plug your iPhone into every bodily orifice. Do kids sit at tables any more?
The figures say that in the 60s we walked more, did more housework and used the car less. In 1967 66% of those surveyed said they wanted to loose a stone compared to just 46% now. Which to me just shows that many of them couldn’t care less what they look like, and some even think they look attractive lugging around an extra four stone.
The supermarkets scream at us to have five portions of fruit and veg a day. Fine, I’m all for that, so why don’t they stop packing everything in plastic and making it look so unappealing?
Bring back brown paper bags I say, and in some cases not just for the veg. Oh, and if that doesn’t work revert to rhubarb in schools.

Try talking to your back
Don’t scientists talk some tosh?
The latest ramblings say that group “talking therapy” is better for a bad back than medicines and painkillers. Oh yes?
I suggest this particular boffin has never had a good dose of sciatica as yours truly has. It was four years ago and I tried talking to it in very strong terms, still do. I can’t describe the language in detail in a family magazine, but it’s similar to that heard at a Premier League soccer match every weekend. And, do you know, it didn’t listen?
Whether it was because I was talking on my own I don’t know, but I can’t think it would have made much difference with another half a dozen sufferers there.
There are various types of back pain. Disc trouble, sciatica, bone disease and muscular problems. None, I suspect, respond much to being spoken to. For a start, have you ever tried turning around and talking to your back? You could do yourself a mischief and then you would need therapy!

Barking up the wrong tree
There is to be a large, and no doubt barkingly expensive, government consultation about introducing competency tests for potential dog owners.
I think it’s rabid. There cannot be few subjects left upon which those who must be obeyed haven’t done a consultation.
The old dog licence, which had remained at 7s 6d in real money for years, was scrapped because it was costing them more to collect it than was gained in revenue. But competency tests, oh give over!
There is a problem in this country with irresponsible dog owners and dangerous dogs, it is a source of great annoyance to me as a dog owner.
I suggest the problem lies with the corrupt breeders of dangerous dogs, the idiots who keep them as status symbols and the authorities who turn a blind eye unless a pit bull bites them on the rear.
Compulsory micro-chipping is suggested, we all now trot around with doggy dropping bags and about the only place you can go in peace with a dog is into the countryside. I suggest the owners and breeders are given the treatment.
Microchip all owners found to be keeping dangerous dogs. By doing so if they ever acquired another dog the chip would alert the police who should go round with the largest police dog they can find and allow it to chew the owner’s differentials, slowly.
If that doesn’t work slap a collar on the owner with a large bell and a sign saying: “I am a half wit”.
They wouldn’t do it again.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Our forums are open

Our Bronte Media Forums are HERE and open for your comments and discussions.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Big hearts in the Big 10K

I am very privileged at the moment to be spending some time working on marketing and promotion at the Sue Ryder Hospice at Manorlands in Oxenhope.

Today I watched several hundred people take part in the Keighley Big10K run and between them they have raised in excess of £25,000 for that very worthy cause which nestles in the heart of our beautiful countryside and gives, and I stress gives, much needed care to people from a very wide area in their hours of greatest need.
Young, middle aged, old and even the odd family dog ran, walked and dragged themselves around the course. It was a selfless display of what the generosity of this country is all about even in times of recession and financial hardship.
(The smile of the young lady above left epitomises what it was all about)
The event is organised by a dedicated band of fund-raisers at Manorlands whose efforts often go unsung. They, like all the participants in today's run, are always prepared to go the extra mile to make sure that the hospice has the much needed money to carry on its inspirational work.
I felt almost ashamed as the backmarker of the runners arrived the the point where I was marshalling. A lady certainly in her seventies was completely undaunted by the fact she was bringing up the rear. She was graciously grateful for the bottle of water which I gave her and ran on steadily to do her bit for those less fortunate than herself. I was out of breath through carrying the water packs.
I salute each and every one of the runners and organisers of the event. We may be short of money and experiencing hard times in this country but we are still big at heart.

The Forties Weekend

Many thanks to Jonny Pulter of The Old Hall for his comments. Let me say any villager or trader is welcome here whether they agree with me or not!
I have been attending the Forties Weekend for longer than I have lived here in Haworth. It is the jewel in the events calendar of the village and I reiterate that I am of the opinion that they way the proposed charge/donation has come across to people could be to the determinent of the event's future.
However, I've had my say on that, but could I suggest that there is scope for many more smaller events throughout the spring and summer which would swell the Village Association coffers. I'm sure if these were to take place many true villagers, who do not necessarily trade on Main Street, would welcome it and become a part of the organisation.
There is tremendous scope for regular, if not weekly, weekend markets which would attract many visitors and regular traders would benefit from them. At the moment we only see them at Christmas time, by which time we are hearing the all too familiar complaints that half the Main Street is closed too often. Trade has gone, the word has spread, and coupled with our happy clampers reputation visitor numbers dwindle.
Whatever happened to Haworth Carnival? Surely a village setting such as ours is perfect for an August procession and even culminating in Central Park, where visitors would be a happy to pay a fair entrance fee to a properly organised and marshalled event with stalls and attractions. (Don't panic traders, they would still walk up Main Street!)
There should certainly be a Haworth Literary Festival on a par with Ilkley, probably in September, and I for one would wholheartedly participate in bringing some recognised names to the village to celebrate our literary heritage. I'll probably get my head in my hands again here, but some of The Parsonage stuff is a bit fringe. The majority of people today are more Alan Titchmarsh than Emily Bronte, although I'm sure there's room for both.