Posted: 8/2/2010


      It was an interesting ride on the train from Oslo Sentral to Gardomean International Airport. Across from me were two Romanian pickpocket thiefs, on the way to steal from travellers.

    When the female conductor asked for tickets they shrugged and played dumb, saying that they were penniless. They probably do this on a daily basis. I spoke to them in Russian and then German a little and found out their nationality. They were thrown off the train half way to the airport at Lillestrom, but probably got on the next one.

     Yesterday was YORKSHIRE DAY. It's only been celebrated since 1975 but I had Sunday lunch: roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and all the trimmings at my favourite pub THE THREE HULATS.  At the Great York Maze they had a straw bale rolling competition with giant bales of straw. There is a new Yorkshire Symphony, only 15 minutes long and music by Benjamin Till with words from 98 year old Doreen Brigham of Harrogate. There are 3 more parts to be celebrated in the next few days.

     Of course, England's biggest county already has a 'national anthem'  'ON ILKLEY MOOR BAT' AT',(on Ilkley Moor without a hat).  One important thing that it does lack is a Premier League club. Hull City, Leeds United, Barnsley, Sheffield United, Bradford City, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United, Doncaster Rovers, Huddersfield Town are in the Football League, while across the Pennines in Lancashire there are no less than EIGHT EPL clubs: Manchester United, Manchester City, Everton, Liverpool, Bolton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic, Blackburn Rovers, Blackpool.

     5,000 WAGGS are camped out in the grounds of Harewood House near Leeds this week. (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts), from as far away as the Falkland Islands and St. Helena in the South Atlantic. The mother of Earl Harewood (president of Leeds United) was Princess Mary, who was president of the Guides from 1920-1965.

     My favourite crime writer is Peter Robinson who lived in Castleford and Armley and went to my alma mater, Leeds University in the '60's like I did. He started with 'Gallows View' in 1987 and his 19th title, 'BAD BOY', is due out this week, published by Hodder and Stoughton. Set in and around the fictitious Yorkshire Dales village of EASTVALE, he is about to have his Inspector Bates character, played by Stephen Tomkinson, make the TV screen in a number of episodes. He emigrated to Canada but has now bought a flat in Richmond, North Yorkshire.

      Yorkshire Pride at the weekend when Jessica Ennis of Sheffield helped Great Britain to a record haul of 19 medals at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona. She was the poster girl, winning the 7 event Heptathlon.  Meanwhile the popular Sheffield player and administrator DEREK DOOLEY MBE, who passed away in 2008, had his statue unveiled at Bramall Lane.

     He was a young star and scoring sensation at Sheffield Wednesday until he broke his leg at Deepdale in Preston on 14th February 1953 and had it amputated. He has scored 62 goals in 61 matches for the Owls. He worked in the front office at Hillsborough including manager until fired  Christmas Eve 1973. He later worked in many roles at Sheffield United and became President.  I had the honour of entertaining him in my house many years ago. A true gentleman.