So…David Parkin has a surreal experience

So…David Parkin has a surreal experience

WHEN I started working at the Yorkshire Post one of the first contacts I made was a larger than life public relations man called Andy Green. A West Ham fan, when Andy spoke his mind moved so quickly and he knew so much that words seemed to just tumble from his mouth. As Eric Morecambe might say, they were all the right words, but not necessarily always in the right order. I remember taking part in a seminar on journalism and public relations and I had to follow Andy, a self-anointed ‘creative guru’ as a speaker. I don’t think anyone listened to what I said as they were still getting their heads around Andy’s speech. Over the years I’ve bumped into Andy many times and he is always great company and has a new idea or story to tell. I once saw him at a PR awards event and Andy, a big man, was wearing a white tuxedo. I told him he looked like the star of a film. When he asked which one, I said it was the iceberg in Titanic. Like many deep thinking, creative gurus, Andy decided to go off and seek calm and inspiration in a far off place. But rather than going to a remote retreat in the foothills of the Himalayas he chose Barry Island in South Wales. Andy recently had a letter published by the Financial Times, part of his new campaign to ensure the correct use of the word ‘surreal’. I would never describe Andy as a pedant, but he is deadly serious with his latest campaign. The letter read: “Sir,...
David Parkin finds Hollywood in the Yorkshire Dales, ducks Mad Friday and meets a music legend

David Parkin finds Hollywood in the Yorkshire Dales, ducks Mad Friday and meets a music legend

WELCOME to Yorkshire held its latest dinner for its Y30 corporate members in the wonderful surroundings of the Swinton Park Estate this week. I always enjoy the venues and the company at these events, but this was even more special – given the timing and surroundings, it felt like someone had flicked a switch and turned on Christmas. Driving up past the huge Christmas tree outside Black Sheep Brewery, through the characterful market town of Masham and then turning into Swinton Park, a luxury hotel with a brand new spa set in 20,000 acres of the rolling Yorkshire Dales, I felt like I’d driven straight onto a film set. And when a porter greeted me with a cheery smile and offered to valet park my car I was proud to give him the keys of the new Mercedes I’ve leased from Harrogate business Synergy Automotive. Synergy is one of those Yorkshire companies worth watching given its rapid growth under founder and managing director Paul Parkinson, who has made sure the business balances its growth alongside valuing and developing its people and putting something back into the local community. Entrepreneur Andrew Cope, who built Zenith Vehicle Leasing into a £750m business, has invested in the company and he is one of the shrewdest judges in business that I know. I don’t think his judgement is as good on the style front given the tartan trews he sports at the annual Firecracker Ball. Synergy Automotive is the latest firm to join the Y30 scheme, an exclusive business club for companies that want to back Yorkshire and the great work that Welcome...
David Parkin on the Tour de Yorkshire, Forward Ladies and growing Chinese links

David Parkin on the Tour de Yorkshire, Forward Ladies and growing Chinese links

IF the Tour de Yorkshire doesn’t go past your house then the chances are that the cycle race will not be too far away. The annual event, the legacy of the county hosting the phenomenally successful Tour de France Grand Depart in 2014, will be bigger, longer and more challenging than ever when it takes place over four days in early May next year. The full route for the 2018 Tour de Yorkshire was unveiled at a packed press conference amid the spectacular surroundings of the Piece Hall in Halifax this week. Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity announced the routes joined by the Amaury Sport Organisation’s Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme. Mark Cavendish – winner of 30 Tour de France stages, a UCI Road World Championship and numerous other accolades – was one of the many star riders in attendance along with a host of Yorkshire cycling legends such as Brian Robinson, Malcolm Elliott and Denise Burton-Cole. The fourth edition of the race has been expanded from three to four stages and will take place between 3-6 May 2018. It encompasses all four corners of the county and takes in 169 villages, towns and cities along the way. Inviting Dimension Data team mates Mark Cavendish and Scott Thwaites to the stage, Sir Gary asked Cav, who memorably crashed when launching his trademark sprint for the finish at the Tour de France Grand Depart in Harrogate, what he made of the punishing Tour de Yorkshire route. “It’s hard, innit,” replied the cyclist. Fortunately Big V’s old pal Christian Proudhomme, who runs the Tour de France, was...
David Parkin starts feeling festive, misses an invite from a Legend and sees Yorkshire food and drink take off

David Parkin starts feeling festive, misses an invite from a Legend and sees Yorkshire food and drink take off

IF you are anything like me you’ll have been trying to avoid Christmas for the past month. Much to the annoyance of retailers, who now switch to festive sales mode as soon as Halloween has gone. While a near two month window of opportunity to push their goods is great for shops, it does leave many of the rest of us feeling a bit jaded by the time we reach Christmas Eve. So I spent November avoiding tuning to the Christmas channels on the radio and not thinking about presents or decorations. But something’s got to give and so I decided that the Michelsberg Tailoring Christmas Party last night would be the perfect time to start getting festive. James Michelsberg is a warm and generous host, serving drinks and nibbles, including mulled wine and mince pies, outside his showroom in the Victoria Quarter. And what a way to feel festive, surrounded by the impressive Christmas decorations in the historic arcade while the Tingley Brass Band played carols. And while I, and I’m sure many other guests, were wearing our Michelsberg suits, they were muffled under overcoats and scarves given the plunging temperatures outside. And the Victoria Quarter doesn’t have underfloor heating so guests hopped from one foot to another on the ice cold mosaic flooring. Two of his customers took the sensible option and were wearing parka coats with huge fur-lined hoods. “Don’t they remind you of East 17,” said lawyer Richard Larking as he sipped a Hellfire pale ale, resplendent in his new Michelsberg blazer. He had opted for mother-of-pearl buttons on the jacket rather than brass, despite...