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Following on from the success of Golden Clippings in 2016 Thirsk Write Now has published Golden Clippings II, a further collection of stories by local writers.

Golden Clippings II

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The 12th July 1911 and it was day nine of ‘The Prince Henry Tour’, an automobile race and one of the first international car rallies (though I suspect more of an endurance test for the 65 cars and their crews) starting in Homburg, Germany and finishing in London. The day’s stage was 129 miles setting off from Harrogate and ending in Newcastle upon Tyne motoring via Ripon – Thirsk – Helmsley – Easingwold – Thirsk – Northallerton – Darlington – Nevilles Cross and Chester le Street.

The route that day included a ‘loop’ from Thirsk to Helmsley to Easingwold before returning through Thirsk and onwards to Northallerton; presumably designed to take in the hairpin bend and severe gradients of Sutton Bank.

Sir Arthur described it thus: “My own little car did very well and only dropped marks at Sutton Bank in Yorkshire, that terrible hill, one in three at one point, with a hair-pin bend. When we finally panted out our strength I put my light-weight chauffeur to the wheel, ran round, and fairly boosted her up from behind, but we were fined so many marks for my leaving the driving wheel. Not to get up would have meant three times the forfeit, so my tactics were well justified.”

It sounds quite frightening! His car was a sixteen horse power, green Dietrich-Lorraine called ‘Billy’ which he drove himself accompanied by his second wife, Jean, and the observer Count Carmer, Rittmeister of Breslau Cuirassiers, and Alfred Stiller, ‘the chauffeur in the back’. (The Tour was organised by Prince Henry of Prussia as a gesture of sporting goodwill between Great Britain and Germany, in honour of King George V’s coronation. Thirty seven cars from the Kaiserlichter Automobil-Klub and twenty eight from the Royal Automobile Club, each car carrying an observer, an army or navy officer from the other team.)

The race, a total of 1516 miles, finished on 19th July in London at the Royal Automobile Club in Pall Mall with the British the victors and the two teams joining in a toast to the Kaiser.

The photograph show Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s vehicle No 52 parked on the cobbles in Thirsk Market Place in front of the Golden Fleece Hotel which hosted a grand lunch for the race’s many rich, powerful and well connected competitors.

Words Copyright © 2018 by Antony J Waller

Photograph courtesy of The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

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It’s here…

Available on Amazon from today

 

A specially selected collection of stories and poems, showcasing the talents of members of the thriving writing group, ThirskWriteNow, produced in celebration of the group’s fifth anniversary in September 2016.
Covering virtually every genre, this eclectic mix is guaranteed to delight the most demanding of readers. Step inside and prepare to be be transported, tantalised, amused, intrigued.

Look inside this book.

 Golden Clippings

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Thirsk Market Place

 

 

 

 

 

Oh Councillor Robson what have you done

Where once stood five trees now there are none

A Market Place oasis, a pleasant leafy glade

Where people chatted and sat in the shade

But beneath this canopy a danger lay

To all folk sitting or passing that way

From bird poo and tripping or so it was said

Health hazards that filled our Leader with dread

So acting in haste this official who knows best

Chopped ‘em down to avert a public protest

And now he gestures and asks what can be done

To make good this vandalism that he has begun

Well be upstanding Councillor, admit you were wrong

Otherwise come next election you might just be gone!

 

Article from the Darlington and Stockton Times:-

Leader of council defends decision to cut down five established trees in market place.

THE LEADER of a district council has defended a decision to cut down five established trees in a market town after stunned residents said it had spoilt the appearance of the market square.

At a meeting of Thirsk Town Council on Thursday, April 17, councillors heard Hambleton District Council had decided to cut down the five trees, which were planted in the heart of the historic square in 1981, beside the clock tower, without consulting its counterpart.

The town council was told the district authority took rapid action due to health and safety issues, including fears of people tripping over tree roots and the profusion of bird fouling in an area featuring benches where people eat.

Councillor Mo Penson said she had been stunned to find just five stumps remaining of the trees, which despite not have tree preservation order protection, had been a key feature of the square for decades.

She said: “It was an absolutely awful shock.

“The roots are not a trip hazard, and people sit under the trees in the park and have their picnics.

“It has spoilt the centre of Thirsk and I am just appalled.

“Within hours of the trees being cut down I was stopped time after time by people asking why has this happened.”

But leader of Hambleton District Council Mark Robson said the trees had to be removed because they were a threat to public health and safety – and he did not have to consult the town council because it was district council land.

He said: “I had received complaints about bird droppings making the area slippery, and tree roots were getting under the stone flagging, making it unsafe.

“We had to move quickly because of health and safety – and if we had consulted it would have been a very slow process.

“The district council has spent around £200,000 on improving Thirsk market place – more than most other market towns – but I intend to consult with the public, Thirsk in Bloom and the town council to find the best way forward.”

 

Photograph is from Thirsk Tourist Information website

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The Olympic Torch passed this way today on its journey across the United Kingdom and the streets were lined with cheering crowds. Here are a few images from the day the torch came to Thirsk.

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No, let me say straight away I am not a ‘pluviophile’, or one of those folk who stands with arms outstretched to the skies nor even, heaven forbid, someone who dances naked in the rain!

I was referring to my local cafe which happens to go under the name of ‘Bliss’.

You see it’s hardly stopped raining here for the last couple of days, the local ducks are waddling up to higher ground, and staying in can send you stir crazy. So, this morning it was coat on, collar up, out with the brollie and into town for the local weekly paper. It was also a good excuse (not that one is needed) to pop into ‘Bliss’. A most friendly and welcoming refuge away from the rigours of any day be it wet or otherwise.

Now please excuse me in a moment’s indulgence. Rock cakes, or should that be rock buns? I am not sure and don’t know if there’s a difference (no doubt someone will let me know). All I do know is that freshly baked by Jacqui and served warm with butter they’re quite mmm!!

One could almost be tempted to say ‘Bliss’.

So if you are ever in Thirsk, drop in too, but PLEASE don’t eat all the rockcakebuns!

As I write it’s actually stopped raining and the sun is shining through, ah bless.

PS. Yorkshire Water has now lifted its drought status. Wonder if that’s because the Environment Agency has put out some flood warnings?

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