David Parkin enjoys a day out with a moody bird and a good slap and welcomes another event ban

David Parkin enjoys a day out with a moody bird and a good slap and welcomes another event ban

WHEN you put on the biggest agricultural show in Britain every summer, it must be difficult to find things to do in between times. But the Yorkshire Agricultural Society, whose Great Yorkshire Show is a three-day annual extravaganza every July, has created its smaller sibling in Countryside Live. The event takes place at the same venue in Harrogate and attracted more than 11,000 visitors over two days at the weekend. There were plenty of stalls selling arts, crafts, food and clothing, and appearances from Yorkshire Vet Peter Wright and shepherdess Amanda Owen and for the farming community there were also competitions for a variety of animals including cattle, pigs, poultry and sheep. The marquee housing the cattle show was packed with spectators watching several large beasts being paraded around the ring while a stocky man with mutton chop whiskers circled the cows squinting intently at them. He was judge Wilson Peters (his name sounds like a firm of agricultural machinery auctioneers) and occasionally he slapped them on their hind quarters – I once saw that happen in Purple Door but the individual was swiftly defenestrated from the networking venue. Celebrations ensued when, with a final slap, Wilson Peters signalled that a British Limousin heifer called Midnight Star from Pickering had won the Supreme Champion Beef Beast title. Overcome by the bovine jubilation, I wandered out of the tent towards a birds of prey demonstration where a handler was explaining the challenges she had to overcome with a Tawny Owl called Colin. Apparently Colin can be difficult, moody and doesn’t have a great deal of success with the ladies. I...
David Parkin on the rich list, looking at birds and critical feedback

David Parkin on the rich list, looking at birds and critical feedback

GLANCING at Insider magazine’s recently published Yorkshire Rich List I wasn’t surprised to see that there is no change at the summit for the umpteenth year. Brothers Malcolm and Eddie Healey once again top the table, with a combined fortune of £1.65bn. Malcolm Healey’s York-based West Retail Group includes Wren Kitchens and the electronics retailer Ebuyer. Sibling Eddie is best known for the Meadowhall shopping centre, which he developed alongside Paul Sykes. To my knowledge the brothers don’t work closely together and are not siamese twins. So why lump them together in the rich list? Surely they deserve to be listed separately. Although I’m sure they would rather not be named on the rich list. Any genuine tycoon worth their salt hates being included in such a register. Whereas I’ve heard tell that some nouveau riche flashy upstarts actually campaign to be included. ::: DESPERATE to keep people busy on its platform, Linkedin giddily tells its users whenever any of their connections have a birthday, work anniversary or have been mentioned in the news. We slightly tweaked the name of our business a year ago and so it prompted a flurry of congratulations. Among the clutch of: “Congrats on your work anniversary” messages, one in particular stood out. It was from someone I’m apparently connected to in Germany. “Gratuliere zum Firmenjubiläum!” he joyfully proclaimed. I clicked on his profile to try and find out more about my well wisher. “Geschäftsführer und Vertrieb bei Saar Lagertechnik GmbH “Lagern und Fördern in ALLEN Dimensionen”​. Gesundheit. ::: I PAID tribute to my late father in last week’s blog. At the time I...
David Parkin on a funny old week

David Parkin on a funny old week

IT’S been a funny old week. That was one of my Dad’s regular expressions and given he died on Sunday, I think he’d agree. Some people choose sports people as their heroes, some choose leaders of nations, for me it was my father. He inspired me to go into journalism and certainly has to take a fair share of the blame for my taste in films, music, books and clothes. And my sense of humour. When I was younger and my parents attempted to discuss a future when they weren’t here I would not want to consider it. Now I have to face up to that reality with my Dad gone. That’s my parents with me just after I was born. My girlfriend says I still sleep like that. At times like this some people try to offer comfort by saying “they were a good age” or had “a good innings”. But for those left behind the time you had with them was never enough. Dad had a bleed on the brain five-and-a-half years ago which, very like a stroke, severely affected his ability to speak and walk. That alone was enough but the doctors told us about a catalogue of other health issues and how he lived so long was testament to his strength and spirit – and unbelievably devoted care from my Mum. Leslie Charles Parkin, better known as Les, was born in Cardiff before the Second World War (he didn’t like his age being disclosed so I won’t start now) and his brother Jack, who was considerably older, joined the army at the outbreak of the war...
David Parkin on more Ivy experiences, joining the culture club and being James Bond

David Parkin on more Ivy experiences, joining the culture club and being James Bond

REGULAR readers will know of my frequent visits to Hull and my enthusiasm for this historic and welcoming East Yorkshire city. It has seen me invited to take part in an annual pageant celebrating the culture and rich history of Hull. It involves a group of Hull businessmen, led by Shaun Watts of Chameleon Business Interiors, inviting guests from outside the city to spend a day touring Kingston-upon-Hull. However some people have failed to grasp the significance and majesty of such an event because when I explained the format to them they described it as a “glorified pub crawl”. Heathens. When we met for breakfast at Thieving Harry’s on Humber Street, overlooking Hull Marina a couple of Fridays ago, we were met by local historian Robb Robinson – who joined us before he heads off for the Caribbean where he lectures on cruise ships over the winter. We then set off around the marina, through the Old Town before getting a rare tour of Trinity House, a seafaring organisation dating from 1369 which includes a charity for seafarers, a school and a guild of mariners. Similar to the tradesmen’s guilds in the City of London, Trinity House has an incredible collection of artwork and other items showcasing Hull’s maritime history, from harpoons used by its once huge whaling fleet to drawings from Captain Cook’s expedition to discover Australia – as well as his original rifle. We we taken round by Captain Charles Anderson, a Hull seafarer who became the captain of a cruise ship. The 86-year-old was a fount of knowledge and has written a book about his career....