Friday, 31 August 2007

Taxman ditches legal action so can we have our 15 points back please?

The Yorkshire Evening Post reports that the taxman has pulled out of the legal action against Leeds United's administrators KPMG. Clearly they had no case and this must surely strengthen United's appeal to the Football Association. Surely they can give us the 15 points back now?

Running order for Atonement Regional Premier

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has announced the programme for the 1940's

spectacular street event celebrating the official regional premiere of Joe Wright's adaptation of Ian McEwan's 'Atonement' coming to town.

To really get that wartime feel, a living history camp will kick off the event on Wednesday, September 5, at 11am at The Esplanade in Redcar with live music whisking visitors back to the 1940's, complete with traditional tea dances from the era with bunting and trestle tables.

Hartlepool Military Heritage Memorial Society will set up a replica of an encampment, complete with field kitchen, mortars, sandbanks and ammunition including rifles, two 25lb guns, one 10lb gun and one bofer gun and members of the public will be able to take part in their educational section.

Live music will be provided by Musician Unlimited a 12 piece ensemble and vocalist who will be creating the sound of the Big Band. They'll be on stage twice during the event between 11am and 3pm.

Tea dancers from clubs across the Borough will be showing off their fancy footwork and inviting people to join them on the dance floor to foxtrot, Lindy Hop, swing and waltz the afternoon away.

And for those who need to rest their weary feet or who just want to sit back and relax in the nostalgic atmosphere - there will be a 1940's tea party with bunting and trestle tables, complete stickie buns to buy - why not bring a picnic 1940's beach style!

Director Joe Wright will unveil Lewis Robinson's sculpture at 12.30 on The Esplanade before introducing the afternoon screening which is taking place at the Regent Cinema at 3pm. Tickets are being made available through competitions in libraries, tourist information centres, the Kirkleatham Museum as well as the media.

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Dennis Wise is Manager of the Month

Dennis Wise is League One Manager of the Month but he is not too happy about it.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

That horrible motion - Labour are just having a laugh at the expense of residents

Posted by Chris:

I have now received an early copy of the agenda for the meeting on 6th September. The Labour motion to ditch Yorkshire is as follows:

Moved by Councillor Rudland and duly seconded by Councillor Dunning that:

"This Council is concerned that the inclusion of Yorkshire as part of the Council's postal address is contrary to this authority's commitment to economic development and strategic planning within the Tees Valley.

It would be in the interests of the Borough of Redcar & Cleveland to demonstrate our focus on issues that effect the Tees Valley by removing Yorkshire from the Council's postal address, and replacing it with Redcar and Cleveland.

This Council resolves to instruct the Chief Executive to arrange, at no additional cost, to delete Yorkshire from the Council's address as soon as practicable and replace it with the words Redcar and Cleveland."

This is virtually identical wording to the motion that included Yorkshire in the first place. They are simply being mischievous in doing this. The mover is particularly anti Yorkshire for some reason and it does not surprise me that he is the one who is behind it.

The people of Brotton, the ward he represents, are particularly strong in their support for Yorkshire, as are all the east Cleveland villages. 'Tees Valley' is nothing more than a group of Council's linked together for economic development purposes. Nothing wrong with that but It has nothing to do with geography and it is most definitely not a county. Having an address that includes Yorkshire has nothing to do with economic development or strategic planning and changing it to match the made up name of the Council is simply silly. The name of the Council has changed numerous times over the past 40 years.

The positive response from the public when we introduced the change four years ago was overwhelming and we hoped that this would give us back our identity. It is now hoped that the spiteful action of the Labour Councillors will backfire on them.

570 People sign Post Office Petition

Glynis and Ian with some of the petition forms
A petition, containing 570 signatures, pressing Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council to ensure that a post office is included in the new Roseberry Shopping Centre in Redcar has been collected.
Redcar Liberal Democrats started the petition when the post office failed to appear when the new development opened in July.

Newcomen Ward Councillor, Glynis Abbott, said:

“We were led to understand that the post office, which had been a vital service in the old Roseberry Square shopping centre, had been moved into the former Coast and Country Housing Office as a temporary measure before moving into the new Sainsbury’s Local Store. Even the staff were expecting this to happen as late as the end of June.

The queues at the main post office in Redcar town centre are long enough and many elderly people cannot stand for long in these queues.”

Ian Swales, Lib Dem Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Redcar said:

We have had an absolutely tremendous response to the petition in a very short time. People in the area want to see a post office re-opened as soon as possible. We don’t want this to be a casualty of the Government’s post office closure programme.

“We want to ensure that the Council do not let things lie and we need their help to ensure that the Post Office does everything it can to find someone willing to take it on.”

Bid to broadcast Council meetings

Liberal Democrats on Redcar & Cleveland Council have submitted a motion calling on the Council to broadcast meetings of Full Council on the Authority's website.

Councillor Margaret Wilson (pictured), the proposer of the motion, said: "The Council already has the technology to do this and it will give the public the opportunity to see the Councillors they elected in action. It will also provide an accurate record of the proceedings."

Seconder of the motion, Councillor Joyce Benbow, said: "We want the Council to be open and transparent. Most people are not able to attend Council meetings but will be interested to follow the debates on their PC in the comfort of their own home."

Ian Swales, Lib Dem Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Redcar said: "I am delighted that the Lib Dem Councillors are proposing the live recording of Council meetings. It is already done by Parliament and a number of other Councils. It is a step in the right direction."

We get an invite to regional premier of Atonement

Posted by Chris:

An invitation arrived today to attend the official regional premier of Atonement at the Regent Cinema on 5th September. It arrived, via Glynis, one hour before the RSVP deadline at noon today.

We are delighted.

Pompey 3 United 0

Who cares? The priority this year is to claw back them 15 points and climb up League One, answering those who voted to impose this unfair penalty in the best possible way. We can forget about the Carling Cup.

Listening to the Yorkshire Radio commentary it was clear that the team played well despite the result so we can be content with that.

Why on earth did Gus Poyet have a go at the referee after the match? He now risks more unnecessary hassle from the Football League when we should be putting this match behind us.

Portsmouth 3 Leeds United 0

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Spiteful Labour to ditch Yorkshire

Posted by Chris:

I have it on good authority that the controlling Labour Group (majority 1) have submitted a motion to delete Yorkshire from Redcar & Cleveland Council's postal address, at the meeting of Full Council to be held on Thursday 6th September.

I will probably not get details of this spiteful action until the agenda is published on Friday but we know it is coming.

We have just had our most successful Yorkshire Day raising £667 for Redcar lifeboat. More and more people have started to use Yorkshire as part of their postal address and the Council had only last spring accepted an invitation to host the county-wide Yorkshire Day Parade on 1st August 2008.

This is purely a petty political stunt by a spiteful bunch of Labour activists who can't bear anything that was not their idea. They think being associated with our real county of Yorkshire is about political control and fear anything that is connected to the south of the borough. When Loftus held a referendum to transfer to North Yorkshire they went round campaigning that a "vote for Yorkshire is a vote for Thatcher."

They cannot grasp the idea that real counties are not about political control. They are about geography and retaining our history and heritage. They can exist quite happily alongside local government areas which need to change from time to time for economic development and demographic reasons. Areas for local government administration should not determine which County you live in. Our counties existed for more than 1000 years before local government, as we know it, came into existence.

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Forest felled by Mighty Leeds

Nottingham Forest had all the chances but failed to take them. Leeds showed once again that the tough pre-season training programme has paid off with another strong finish and a last minute winner from Jermaine Beckford.

We are now at minus 6 points and another tough fixture is out of the way. Dennis Wise has got to be Manager of the Month there is no question about it!

Listening to the match on Yorkshire Radio whilst watching Sky Sports News, muted, at 1-1, a caption came up 'Nottingham Forest 1, Leeds United 2. It took a few seconds for that to sink in and I was just thinking that Sky had got it wrong the when the Yorkshire Radio commentator exploded with the news that Leeds had scored. I hope someone will explain how it is that live commentary on a PC is at least 30 seconds slower than satellite digital TV?

Leeds in League One with a 15 point penalty and a payout from selling out of tickets to Leeds fans must be a bonus for any team in League One side but United are fighting back in the best possible way. There is no wonder the League clubs voted to uphold the decision to penalise Leeds. No-one likes us but we don't care. We are catching up and will soon be climbing up that table.

Nottingham Forest 1 Leeds United 2

Friday, 24 August 2007

Rumble under Redcar - was it an earthquake?

People have been phoning BBC Tees after feeling an earth shaking rumble in Redcar today. Glynis thinks it might have been a jet flying over but I think it was the postman dropping letters to the editor of the Evening Gazette from the Labour leader of Redcar & Cleveland Council.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Why has ALDC started to refer to me as Christopher?

Posted by Chris:

Why has ALDC started to refer to me as Christopher?

I have been a member almost since the beginning of ALC and have never referred to myself as Christopher on any forms, emails or letters. I know it is my name but only my mother calls me Christopher.

Come to think of it I got an email from Ming Campbell starting with "Dear Christopher" as well. What has gone wrong with the system I ask?

View of proposed new Health Village at Low Grange

Lib Dems Demand Better Bus Services for Ings Farm Estate

Liberal Democrat Councillors in West Dyke Ward are demanding a meeting with Arriva bus company bosses to discuss improving bus services to the Ings Farm Estate in Redcar.

Councillors Joyce Benbow, Mike Carling and Mary Ovens recently carried out a survey to every home in the Castle Road area. This follows numerous complaints about unreliability of the 22 service, and the condition of buses.

The survey reinforced the dissatisfaction of many residents, particularly the elderly.

Councillor Mary Ovens said:

“We had a very high number of survey forms returned, and this confirmed the view that the bus service is unsatisfactory in many ways.”

“Many users are unhappy with the number of late and cancelled buses, whilst others are concerned about the condition and cleanliness of the vehicles. On occasions the attitude of some drivers towards elderly customers has been highly questionable.”

Councillor Joyce Benbow added:

“The Arriva Customer Promise refers to a comfortable journey, being helpful and courteous and treating people with respect and says that “we try to run all our buses on time”. It appears that they are falling well short of their own targets.”

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Time that fenced off area was sorted out at Redcar

This time last year Redcar was heaving with visitors enjoying the town's transformation into Dunkirk for the filming of Atonement on the sea front. This year the view that welcomes people is the fencing around the boating lake.

Ian Swales, (pictured) Liberal Democrats Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Redcar has hit out at the lack of action being taken to finish the improvement work started on the site in April this year.

"The lake was drained and fencing put around the area but as soon as the Council elections were over the work was put on hold. What a dismal experience greets visitors staying at the caravan site or walking from Coatham car park. Can you imagine this happening at Torquay or similar resorts?

"This work was supposed to go ahead regardless of any legal action being taken by protesters against the Coatham Links Scheme and it is time this was sorted out as a matter of urgency. Tourism is supposed to be one of the main activities in Redcar."

Monday, 20 August 2007

Anyone for Tennis?

Redcar and Cleveland Council has installed a new £26,000 playing surface for the tennis courts at Locke Park, Redcar as part of the continuing environmental improvement works.

The work has been financed in a partnership with the Council and the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, which complements resurfacing work recently undertaken in Borough Park, Redcar to offer the community free access to the courts in all three major parks in Redcar, including Zetland Park.

Locke Park has already benefitted from the building of a new tennis pavilion and seen new fountains installed in the lake, while all the park's paths have been resurfaced and gates and fencing replaced or painted.

Proud Neil is ready for the Regent's big day of Atonement

When the lights are dimmed at Redcar's Regent Cinema and the regional premiere of the £28million blockbuster Atonement hits the screen on Wednesday, September 5, it will be an extra special moment for one man and his family.

But Neil Bates, once the fresh-faced volunteer who took charge of the reels as an enthusiast teenager and now the manager of the town's independent cinema, promises to do his best to keep control of those emotions.

Determined to be the projectionist on the big night, he says: "I'll think 15 years ago I brought the cinema back from the brink of extinction, now it's actually part of the film world. There will certainly be a sense of emotion, a sense of delivery."

His own personal credits would naturally involve mum Pat, 71, and dad Bob, 74, whose front-of-house dedication remains as strong as ever and whose £5,000 advance of Neil's inheritance allowed him to revive the Regent on August 21, 1992.

He had been part of the Cleveland Cinema Co-operative who ran the cinema for ten years from 1989, then when that folded, he drew up his own one-man rescue plan as he worked part-time in the ice-cream shop next door.

Batman Returns heralded the Regent's return, but it has been a rocky road. " There have been long periods when accounts went down and down, films where you expect to take money fail abysmally and you know it's a stress before the next one.

"I am very proud we have kept the Regent open. Now Atonement will be seen all over the world, it's being tipped as Best British Film of the Year and Redcar's got a starring part."

He still can't resist a chuckle with the memory of when Atonement and its director Joe Wright first came to town. "I was upstairs assembling reels for King Kong and my dad came up and said some people were in the foyer wanting to talk about making a film.

"I thought it'll be more students wanting to do another History of the Regent film, and then when I came down to meet them I thought at least they're mature students!"

He'll admit he didn't recognise director Joe, either. "I wanted to ask, I was curious, then when he came down the second time, I asked everyone what their names were. He said: Joe Wright and I was just about to say, No, I mean your name! Then I realised. But he was so unassuming"

He was equally starstruck by leading man James McAvoy. "He made my day - seeing him having a bottle of beer at the post-film party on the steps of the Regent, so down to earth."

Now he is so excited at the prospect of Atonement coming to life on his screen. "It means an awful lot to me. After being witness to the film and the shooting of those scenes, the premiere brings it full circle as you realise you're not detached from the industry, you're part of it.

"It definitely makes you want to continue. There's been a surge of interest in the past 12months largely due to the interest that's been focussed from the film."

*Redcar and Cleveland Council is organising a day of celebration and nostalgia around the Regent Cinema from 11am onwards on September 5, leading up to the 6pm screening, complete with red carpet.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Shrimpers first to shrivel under the heat of passionate fans

Leeds United are top of League One, that is if you disregard the little matter of the 15 point penalty.

Ken Bates letter to members and season ticket holders clearly sets out a strong case for encouraging the feeling that Leeds have had a raw deal and Ken is the man to lead us back to the glory days, that is if you disregard the petty digs he can't resist having at his rival bidders.

His promise of investment in the youth policy and his realistic assessment of the way forward is encouraging.

Listening to Saturday's game against the Shrimpers, on Yorkshire Radio, was like going back in time. The crowd were back to their noisy and electrifying best and when Southend drew level Leeds responded like a team carried by the passion of the fans and the will to win against all the odds.

The 15 points penalty will inspire the feeling that Leeds have had a raw deal for a long time to come and if it leads to ruthless performances like the one yesterday it will not be long before the team are climbing up the table.

Leeds United 4 Southend United 1

Saturday, 18 August 2007

More Atonement Pictures

We mentioned that the premier of Atonement is coming to the Regent Cinema, Redcar on 5th September, at the meeting of Newcomen Ward Community Forum, earlier this week. The Chairman, Ray Hall, has given us a disc of pictures from last summer's filming, when Redcar sea-front was transformed into Dunkirk during July and August.

Here is a selection.
Local stars - our boys Mark Abbott (left) and former Green Howard, Steven Abbott

Movie Star - James McAvoy

Local Star - Nick Murray


A Platoon of French soldiers

The former Olympia Fitness Gym transformed.
Now waiting to be demolished and be replaced by flats.

Newcomen Terrace transformed

Another view of Newcomen Terrace

Friday, 17 August 2007

Yorkshire Day pictures from Scarborough

Margaret Pitts has sent us the following pictures of the Yorkshire Day celebrations in Scarborough on 1st August, where £600 was raised towards disabled facilities at the local church. The guest of honour was Belinda Evans a direct descendent of Sir George Cayley the ‘Father of Aeronautics’:

Michael Pitts reads an Old English Version of the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity

Chatting in the garden

Love the t-shirt worn by Rob Chambers

Keith Bennett raises the Yorkshire flag

The Yorkshire Pud supper is highly recommended

The day I met Fiery Fred

Posted by Chris:

I was looking at the match reports on the Yorkshire County Cricket Club website and I came across this link to the appeal for a statue to the world's greatest ever fast bowler. The 'Memories of Fred Trueman ' section reminded me of the day I met up with Fiery Fred:

In about 1964 or 65 we won the Championship at Harrogate, where I was born. I was about 14 or 15 at the time. My dad and I arrived early at the ground and were walking around the perimeter when a red open topped sports car drew up. Fred Trueman got out of it and said "good morning" to my dad as if he knew him. I was well impressed. Fiery Fred has spoken to my dad.

Those were great days. We used to get the three days off school when Yorkshire played at Harrogate and I was allowed to take advantage of it.

Living now in Redcar I had the pleasure of debating with Fred, along with Richard Whiteley, on Radio Cleveland, a year or two before Fred died, about our campaign for recognition of the continuing existence of the Ridings of Yorkshire. Fred was a staunch supporter of real Yorkshire.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Help for would-be historical novelists

Has all the Atonement activity in Redcar inspired you to start your own historical novel or maybe you have reached a sticking point and need a creative boost?

Author Wendy Robertson will be running a half- day writing workshop entitled "The Historical Imagination," at Redcar Library on 15th September.

Booking forms will shortly be available from all Redcar and Cleveland Libraries, so if you really want to get that book published, why don't you pop into your local library for a form. The cost will be £5 which will include the highly necessary tea and biscuits to keep up the energy levels!

If you want more information, phone Sandra Reddie on 0191 222 1332.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Redcar's Regent Cinema to host regional premier of 'Atonement' and rightly so...

(Picture by Colin Crawford)
Working Title and Universal Pictures International UK in association with Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council, Northern Film & Media and BAFTA are pleased to announce the regional premiere of Atonement in Redcar at 7pm on Wednesday, September 5 2007.

Atonement - Joe Wright's spectacular adaptation of Ian McEwan's novel starring Keira Knightly and James McAvoy will receive its regional premiere in north-east coastal town of Redcar.

Director Joe Wright will return to Redcar, where he shot a number of the film's key scenes using 1,000 local extras, to attend the premiere screening which will take place at The Regent Cinema, The Esplanade, Redcar.

On general release from 14 September 2007, Atonement used Redcar's fantastic beach for scenes depicting the evacuation of Dunkirk, with The Regent Cinema, surrounding nature reserve and Corus steelworks also featuring in the movie.

Northern Film & Media, the Regional Screen Agency for the North East of England, worked with Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and Working Title through its dedicated Location Service to arrange the use of Redcar as a location for Atonement.

Tom Harvey, Chief Executive of Northern Film & Media said: "The entire experience of Atonement has been fantastic for Redcar & Cleveland.

"Securing the regional premiere is a great way to celebrate the release of the film, but the event is also a celebration of the hard work and commitment of the local authority and community who pulled out all of the stops to make this happen in this region. Of course, such commitment to film and TV production pays dividends for communities.

"In the last three years, productions spent an average of £6.9m in the North East of England. This translates to over £19,000 a day being generated by film and TV production in the region."

Based on Ian McEwan's best selling novel. In the summer of 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her older sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house.
Watching Cecilia is their housekeeper's son Robbie Turner, a childhood friend. By the end of that day the lives of all three will have been changed forever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had never before dared to approach and will have become victims of the younger girl's scheming imagination, and Briony will have committed a dreadful crime, the guilt for which will colour her entire life.

Celebrating the 1940's setting of the film, the red carpet premiere will form the climax of a nostalgic public street celebration to be held during the day on The Esplanade, Redcar.

And that's why the scaffolding is up around the Regent, it must be getting a much needed facelift. Well done to Neil Bates and his family who have put so much love and care into preserving Redcar's last remaining cinema.

Have your say on Low Grange Farm future

Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council wants you to have your say about a Planning Guide for the new district centre, health and social care village and housing at Low Grange Farm, South Bank.

Proposals for a new district centre, health and social care village and over 800 new homes at Low Grange Farm, South Bank have been agreed following a public examination earlier this year.

The Authority has now drawn up a planning guide - the Low Grange Farm Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) - setting out the Council's requirements for the design and layout of the scheme.

To find out more visit one of the drop in sessions between 2pm and 8pm at:

Grangetown Neighbourhood Centre on Wednesday 15 August
South Bank Women's Centre on Tuesday 28 August
James Finegan Hall on Thursday 30 August

The Low Grange Farm SPD can be viewed here or at the Town Hall, Eston; Belmont House, Guisborough and libraries in South Bank, Grangetown and Ormesby.

Closing date for comments is Friday 14 September 2007.

Monday, 13 August 2007

That Hovercraft Tour - How Punch saw it

Liberal Burblings interesting piece about Jeremy Thorpe's hovercraft tour in Devon and Cornwall, during the summer of 1974, gives the impression that it was a rather odd thing to do.

But according to Jeremy in his book, In My Own Time, it was rather successful with some 10,000 people at Plymouth and he reckons to have "addressed over 60,000 people during the course of the tour."

Kelly and Ashley's wedding pictures

Our daugher Kelly got married, a week last Saturday, to Ashley Seaman and Colin Crawford took the pictures. A selection are displayed below:

The Bride and Groom

Left to right Chris, Ashley's mum Carol, Kelly, Ashley and Glynis

The cake created by Glynis

Two lovely bridesmaids Charlotte (left) and Jessica.

Signing the Register

Best Man Paul Mellor

Sunday, 12 August 2007

Haddock and Chips with salt and brown vinegar

Posted by Chris:

I love fish and chips. I prefer haddock to cod and here on the north east coast of Yorkshire the fish and chip shops sell mainly cod. Most do haddock as well but you have to wait for them to cook it and many of them leave the skin on for some reason. Glynis, originally from Whitby, prefers cod.

It is therefore a highlight of our fishing trips to the Thirsk area, visit to parents in Harrogate or to the Yorkshire Ridings Society meetings in York, that I get a portion of my favourite haddock and chips. For years we got them from the fish and chip shop in Thirsk that was just off the Market Place, on the road leading to the Herriot Centre. We turned up there recently and were horrified to find that it had turned into a Chinese takeaway. We now need to find an alternative in the Thirsk area - any suggestions? The other one we use regularly is just off Knaresborough Market Place, I forget the name but it almost backs on to the bus station.

One way of telling a good fish and chip shop is often by the colour of the vinegar. Some of them water it down and the paler the colour the more they do it. The fish and chips are usually dreadful as well.

Why does Netto sell stale sliced bread?

The opening of Netto in Roseberry Shopping
centre at Redcar has been a great success.

The first day, a couple of weeks ago, was marked by the number of people queuing around the corner to get in. The queues were there all day long and I am told there were people outside in the early hours to make sure that they got the bargains that were on offer.

The car park, even on a wet Sunday afternoon, is always packed with cars. It was hardly used when we had the shabby and now demolished Roseberry Square. I have not had to drive to Tesco once since it opened. Glynis seems quite content to get most of her shopping at Netto now.

One concern we have is that, not unlike many other supermarkets, the sliced bread is often stale. Why do these stores sell sliced bread that could be as much as two days or more old? When you get it home it is only good enough for toast. Perhaps Netto will explain?

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Leeds United get off to the best possible start

The 2-1 win at Tranmere gets Leeds off to the best possible start with fans singing, at the end. "we're gonna the league."

Listening to the game on Yorkshire Radio I got the impression that Leeds were a very different team and well fired up for the challenge. I don't know what Dennis Wise said or did at half time but whatever it was it did the trick.

Now we are only -12 points.

Tranmere Rovers 1 Leeds United 2

Friday, 10 August 2007


Recently published figures show a huge fall in average annual earnings in the Redcar and Cleveland area.

Earnings for 2006 are nearly 10% down on 2005, one of the worst declines in the country.

The national picture shows a 4% increase meaning that people in Redcar and Cleveland have fallen dramatically behind. Average earnings at £18,556 are now 26% behind the average for England of £25,008.

Commenting on the figures Ian Swales, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for Redcar, said, "this shows just how much damage is being done to the local economy by job losses at the major employers. Good quality jobs are not being replaced and too many people are being forced into low paid work or Government schemes. The picture for the rest of the Tees Valley and the North East as a whole is also poor. This is more data to show that the North South gap is widening.

With the South East suffering from chronic housing shortages it's time that our local MP's attracted the well paid Government jobs to the area that they have been promising. Gordon Brown first spoke about this nearly ten years ago but so far there has been little sign of any movement that would benefit our area".

Quote from the website of Vera Baird MP for Redcar "The Government has plans to move well paid civil service jobs out of London which will create more opportunities. "

The figures are taken from the Office of National Statistics. See attached spreadsheet.
The only areas in the country showing a bigger decline are Christchurch, Mole Valley, Melton and Scarborough.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

Tornado hits Brooklyn

Posted by Chris:

My Uncle, Arthur Wilde, who lives in Bayside, New York, sent me these picures of the aftermath of a storm on Wednesday. When it happens in the states it happens big style.

Firemen clear storm debris. The National Weather Service said a tropical air mass caused the heavy rains. Source: AP

Chris Pellen carries his son Roman across the Brooklyn Bridge. Gov. Eliot Spitzer asked transit authority engineers to report back within 30 days with suggestions about how to deal with the
chronic flooding.

Commuters attempt to board a bus in Lower Manhattan after the subways flooded. The washout was the third time in seven months that the subways were disrupted by rain.

Morning commuters pack into a crowded train. Thousands of commuters were stranded for two hours

A portion of the sidewalk rises out of the ground in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn. The severe weather damaged at least 40 homes.
Daniel Chen removes things from the trunk of his car, which was damaged by debris from a collapsed roof. The storm system killed one motorist.

Commuters were forced to the streets after three inches of rain flooded subway tracks. The subway's drainage system can generally handle a maximum of 1.5 inches of rainfall per hour.

Workers survey the damage following a heavy storm that slammed into Brooklyn, N.Y., Wednesday. Officials believe a tornado hit just before dawn.

Leeds United 0 Taxman 1 (og Football League)

Leeds United have published an initial response to the "perverse" outcome of today's meeting of Football League Clubs.

Quote of the day: "Football Family seems to be driven by self interest."

League clubs kick United when they are down - so what's new?

Posted by Chris:

So the league clubs have voted to back the spiteful decision of Football League Chairman Lord Mawhinny - well they would wouldn't they.

How ironic that one of those able to vote was Peter Ridsdale, now at Cardiff, who was in charge at Leeds when we got into this mess in the first place. How did he vote I wonder?

Why would Mawhinny not say exactly which rules Leeds had broken when he made his smug comments on Sky Sports News after the event? If it is true what he says and Leeds cannot pursue this most unfair penalty through the courts then we are just going to have to get on with it.

Dennis Wise says 105 points are required if we are to get out of the third division and with the present squad this is probably an impossible task. But 'hot shot' Lorimer, my favourite footballer during the great years, has come out fighting and has shown the right attitude. So has good old Barry Fry who was at least sympathetic and encouraging. We need to use this to motivate both players and fans to fight back and be determined to win every game in League 1. Tell the League to stuff the Carling Cup this year Ken and concentrate on one thing and one thing alone - getting the points to get out of League 1 as fast as possible.

We don't care if the sun don't shine what the hell do we care?
For we only know if there's going to be a show that Leeds United will be there.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Ken Bates sets out the case to show that Leeds United have not broken any rules

Ken Bates has published his letter to league chairman on the club's website. His explanation of the facts is quite convincing. Clearly the Inland Revenue don't like the League's own ruling about paying football creditors first and their legal action is more to do with that than anything else.

I detect too that Mawhinny is seeking to punish Leeds for their clever move into administration before the end of last season, which the League admits was legal and above board. If Ken Bates is correct then Leeds have not broken any rules and the actions of the Revenue amount to "exceptional circumstances." There are no grounds to deduct 15 more points.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Leeds supporters mass letter-writing campaign

The Leeds United Supporters' Trust (LUST) is mounting a mass letter-writing campaign ahead of the Whites' appeal against the decision which could mean they start life in League One on minus 15 points.

Anyone who wants to get involved with the LUST campaign is asked to

Family Fun Weekend of nostalgia at Redcar

People will be able to relive their youth at the Kirkleatham Museum as it celebrates the success of its current toy exhibition with a Family Fun Weekend.

Toys, games and familiar objects from every decade from the 1950's to the present day are featured in the Memories of Childhood exhibition.

The exhibition features from: 1950's, Wells Fargo and Robin Hood board games; 1960's, Action Man, Cindy and Scalextrix; 1970's Star Wars and Sooty; 1980's Rubik's Cube and Transformers; 1990's Buzz Lightyear and Teletubbies; and examples of modern day toys like Bionicles, Dr Who and Sony Play Stations.

There is a living room setting where people can read newspapers from the 1960's and showings of children's television favourites Dangermouse and Rainbow.

The Family Fun Weekend takes place on August 11 and 12. There will be a 30 stall craft fair, bouncy castle, face painting, live music, miniature steam train rides, remote control car displays and children's craft activities.

On Sunday a collection of vintage and classic motorcycles and cars will also be at the Museum.

Children will be able to enter a competition to guess how many balloons are inside a Harry Potter type Ford Anglia car.

The event is open from 10am until 4pm on both days.

Entry to both the Museum and Fun Weekend is free

Monday, 6 August 2007

Should YOU TUBE be banned?

Posted by Chris

This blog has been given a fresh new look and a facility for readers to vote on topical issues has been added.

I have been interested in the debate about you tube and the dreadful pictures of youngsters being beaten up outside school. Having watched on TV the response from one of the owners of the site who appeared to over do the "we will not be sensored" bit I do think they need to introduce much firmer moderating. Showing anonymous films of kids being beaten up outside school is wrong.

Having been an enthusiastic contributor to a local website for three years I became more and more frustrated with the lack of moderation on the site. Political opponents were able to join in under various, anonymous, lables and slag the hell out of you with very little protection from the person in charge of the site. There are now hundreds of sites like this and many people, who would like to contribute are put off by the abusive and irresponsible posters.

Free speech is one thing but people should have the courage of their convictions and show good faith by saying who they really are.

To test out the new poll I have started with one on you tube.

Sunday, 5 August 2007

£677 raised on Yorkshire Day for Redcar Lifeboat

Sales of artificial white roses in Redcar town centre
reached a new high on Yorkshire Day, Wednesday 1st August when £677 was raised for Redcar Lifeboat.

Organiser of the annual sale, Mrs Nancy Hudson, Secretary of the Yorkshire Ridings Society's North Riding Group (pictured) said:

"The nice thing is that not only are people donating to a worthwhile cause they also make it very clear to us when they buy the roses how enthusiastic they are to show their pride in Yorkshire."

Chairman of the Yorkshire Ridings Society, Councillor Chris Abbott, said:

"Nancy and her team were assisted by the Ladies Lifeboat Guild and they sold out their entire stock for the day. We shall have to have another coffee morning or two to raise funds to buy more rose for next year's even bigger event when we host the countywide event for the Yorkshire Society, a separate organisation from the YRS."

Friday, 3 August 2007


This is a most ridiculous situation.

How can this be fair a 15 point deduction when they already had 10 deducted last season?

Obviously the Football League have acted in a petulant response to the fact that Leeds went into administration just before the end of last season to avoid the 10 point reduction being added at the start of this season. They have found a way round it to get back at Mr Bates.

I am glad to learn that Leeds are to appeal. Leeds supporters must wage the biggest and loudest protest ever against this absolutely outrageous action.

Very few teams have survived in a division with a 10 point deduction it will be a miracle if Leeds can survive this. How can they recruit decent players now?

We shall fight, fight, fight
for Leeds United.

Fiona's Little Helper

Posted by Chris:

When our three year old grandson, Daniel, asked to come with me this morning when I set out to deliver Focus and Fiona Hall MEP's Annual Report I readily agreed.

Carrying Fiona's glossy leaflet along with Focus is heavy work and by putting the carrier bag on the push chair solves that problem.

What I didn't expect was Daniel's willingness to help. We went on our delivery round with Daniel holding some of the leaflets in his lap and handing me one of each when we got to a garden gate.

He was happy as Larry singing Postman Pat and using his favourite cbeebies phrases like "we'll get the job done in no time."

With Focus No 255 now being distributed in Newcomen Ward we must be one of the most frequent in the land having delivered No 1 in October 1984, though I am sure someone will be along to say they have produced more in their Ward?

Kelly's Big Day

Our daughter Kelly gets married tomorrow so life has been a bit hectic lately, with all the Yorkshire Day events to organise as well, not to mention the delivery of Focus and the Post Office campaign.

We are looking forward to tomorrow. Her fiance, Ashley, is a nice lad and we are sure they are going to be happy.

It will also be nice to see family members together again, most are travelling from Harrogate, Whitby and Durham.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

...and they wear the rose the wrong way round as well

Lancashire Rose - Courtesy of the Friends of Real Lancashire

North Riding - West Riding - East Riding

Posted by Chris

Moaning about Leeds United in my previous posting, and as it's Yorkshire Day, reminded me that the rose on the team crest is shown point upwards which is the Lancashire way round. It should be point downwards in the West Riding -see illustrations.

I pointed this out to Peter Ridsdale, at a Supporters Club Meeting in Harrogate, some years ago and he promised to look at it but never did.
The rose is traditionally displayed point downwards in the North and West Ridings and point upwards in the East Riding.
Legend has it that the nobility in the East Riding supported the Duke of Lancaster in the Wars of the Roses. The College of Herelds will say that either way is correct but I prefer to go by tradition in this case.