David Parkin tastes luxury on the coast and says farewell to a friend

David Parkin tastes luxury on the coast and says farewell to a friend

THREE months into his year as High Sheriff of West Yorkshire and Richard Jackson MBE admits he is busier than ever. As well as his voluntary role hosting High Court judges and welcoming royalty to the county, he is continuing his business projects. Richard’s Yorkshire Ventures business acquired the Raithwaite Hotel in Sandsend, near Whitby, out of adminstration and has embarked on an ambitious scheme to develop a luxury resort boasting not just a hotel and other accommodation in the Keep, Lake House and cottages but also 190 self-catering properties and an iconic sea view restaurant. After a long wait, earlier this month plans for the project were approved by Scarborough Borough Council. And that, says Richard, will mean a massive boost for the Yorkshire coast, creating plenty of jobs well as generating millions into the local economy. He said: “I would like to thank the councillors and officers of Scarborough Borough Council for their support of the development of the upmarket, ‘Raithwaite Bay Resort’, between Sandsend and Whitby. “Working closely with my colleagues and professional consultants, we have created an opportunity to meet the authority’s ambitions for enhancing tourism in the area. “Our consent will achieve that objective by creating 450 permanent year round jobs as well as generating in the order of £7m to £8m into the local economy. This, most importantly, is a real win for the families and their children in the local community by securing employment for many generations to come.” I got a chance to experience the Raithwaite Estate yesterday evening when Welcome to Yorkshire held its latest Y30 dinner for its corporate...
David Parkin on Sky presenting and a food challenge with a difference

David Parkin on Sky presenting and a food challenge with a difference

IT has been a busy but rewarding week with the high spot a day-long training session for Sky on presentation skills. No it wasn’t the Sky newsreaders who needed the benefit of my help but regional managers who work in the group’s home service division. We put together and I hosted the day called ‘Powerful Presenting – public speaking and media skills to become a better presenter’ in the very impressive and welcoming surroundings of Bowcliffe Hall near Wetherby. Involving some interactive sessions and some filming and feedback from broadcast journalist Simon Hare, we spent the day outlining how to create and present effective and engaging content to a very likeable and talented group of people who asked lots of questions and really threw themselves into the day. A memorable presentation is made up of many things but I believe the key is all about delivering your content with power and passion, inspiration and impact, authenticity and humour. Get those right and you can enthuse and empower your audience. I’m a great believer that audiences shouldn’t be feared, they want to get something out of the time they put in attending an event and not view it as a waste. As a journalist and writer you might expect me to also believe in the power of storytelling as a great method of getting a message across in a presentation. I recruited another former journalist, Scott Allen, who is now a children’s author, to come along and present a session for the Sky team. His second book, called Llamas Go Large – about a team of Llamas who represent England...
David Parkin on the danger of Leeds resting on its laurels, bolting in Brid and TV fame

David Parkin on the danger of Leeds resting on its laurels, bolting in Brid and TV fame

IN the last few weeks Leeds has hosted England Test Match cricket versus Pakistan at Headingley. Across the city international football was played at at Elland Road with England v Costa Rica plus boxer Josh Warrington won a world title in his home city front of 20,000 fans. Meanwhile last weekend millions of TV viewers enjoyed the World Triathlon Series while even more watched in person and on screen as the four day Tour de Yorkshire cycle race came to a glorious climax in blazing sunshine outside the magnificent Leeds Town Hall. Such a glut of sporting highlights have been rightly celebrated and together they gave truly international profile to the city. As one Twitter user proclaimed: “Leeds is superb, don’t be scared of being proud of it and shouting it out.” True. These are achievements to be proud of. But the city needs to be careful. I can’t help thinking back to another time when it was not just proud, but pretty pleased with itself. In fact it was downright smug. It was after Harvey Nichols chose to open its first store in its 160-year history outside of London – in Leeds. The 1996 opening in the impressive Victoria Quarter of the city centre rightly caused quite a stir and gave Leeds bragging rights over other UK cities like Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff, Birmingham and Manchester. When I arrived in Leeds in 2000 the city was pitching itself as Britain’s number one retail destination outside London. At the same time it was aggressively marketing itself as the legal and financial capital of the provinces. Well, why wouldn’t you? The...
David Parkin on being a Love Island virgin, Peter Stringfellow and a testing time at the cricket

David Parkin on being a Love Island virgin, Peter Stringfellow and a testing time at the cricket

UP to now ITV2 show Love Island has passed me by but I did notice the interest it has generated among viewers and the media. It seemed to attract an audience that wasn’t just the crowd who watch other reality TV shows such as Geordie Shore, The Real Housewives of Cheshire and The Only Way Is Essex. So when the latest series started on Monday I decided to see what I had been missing. Insightful, inspiring, intelligent conversation and sharp wit. Everything it didn’t have. It makes Big Brother look like Question Time. A bunch of narcissistic, surgically enhanced boneheads all vying to ditch their dead end careers for TV stardom. I thought the most popular word uttered by the contestants would be “me” but it turns out it is “like” I, like, counted eight likes in a, like, two sentence, like conversation. The producers have devised a format that keeps the audience entranced night after night. All the contestants are paired up to start with and then new ones are thrown into the mix at the Spanish villa with the opportunity to choose a partner to share a bed with. So one girl who had made a “connection” with one of the white-toothed, glossy-haired guys then has to leave him for the new arrival who has selected her. She appeared devastated and heart broken but after a cuddle between the sheets with her new partner – bigger with whiter teeth and glossier hair than her previous 24-hour beau – everything was fine. Among the motley crew who include a model, a West End performer, a student, an air...
David Parkin pays tribute to two top men, spots celebrities and encounters a naked lawyer

David Parkin pays tribute to two top men, spots celebrities and encounters a naked lawyer

FAREWELL then Brendan Ingle. The eccentric Irishman forged five world champions in his gym perched on a steep hill in the Wincobank area of Sheffield. “Prince” Naseem Hamed, Johnny “The Entertainer” Nelson, Clinton Woods, Junior Witter and Kell Brook were trained by Brendan in the St Thomas’s Boys & Girls Club along with talented contenders such as Herol “Bomber” Graham and Ryan Rhodes. But so were hundreds of others who never made it to the pinnacle of the sport but gained so much in life from their experience with him. Ingle died two weeks ago at the age of 77. I was fortunate to spend some time with him when I was a student journalist and I suggested to the editor of Boxing News, the late Harry Mullan, that I go to Sheffield and interview a three-fight novice called Naseem Hamed who had the skills and the cocky confidence of Muhammad Ali. His trainer, Dublin-born Ingle, showed me around his gym, making sure no photographs were taken of the lines and circles painted on the wooden floor – which he used for carefully crafted footwork drills. Brendan told me how he had first seen Naz as a seven-year-old. Ingle was sitting on the top deck of a bus and saw a fight going on in a school playground. Hamed, the son of Yemeni immigrants, was dwarfed by much bigger boys but was still giving them a pasting. Ingle persuaded his father to bring him along to his gym and that was the start of the story of one of Britain’s most talented boxing champions. Ingle’s love for his sport...