Yorkshire Day

Image by Faye Mozingo. Flickr.com Creative Commons

Yesterday was Yorkshire Day. Always special for an exiled tyke, but of special relevance to Blessed Assurance with two of the main protagonists growing up there and a bolt hole for one of them in Nidderdale. So the image of a White Rose is the right one for this week’s blog.

It’s also a timely reminder of the importance of the regions. I was reading today about the cuts in local authority spending over the last few years. Some frightening statistics, if hardly surprising ones. The last 30 years have seen local government progressively sidelined and the centre grabbing more and more power. The results are disaffection, loss of services, social deprivation, alienation. I could go on – and I’m trying not to mention the B word. So, to be positive, I’d want to celebrate Yorkshire in all its beauty, character and history; its people, pride and friendliness. And I’d extend that to counties and regions around the UK.

There is also much to celebrate in the artistic life of the country. I spent time in Weston Super Mare recently, where Terrestrial are doing a great job of involving local groups with visiting artists, co creating projects. In the Surrey Hills, a project has just been launched to open up an overgrown part of the North Downs Way with an art project that will be accessible to people who do not normally access the countryside with an interactive sculpture seat (https://www.surreyhills.org/product/inspiring-views-in-the-surrey-hills/ ). Crowd funding rewards will include a collection of poems to which I have contributed. At Leith Hill Place, on the North Downs, a project on autumn will combine local visual artists with local writers, myself included. There is a lot going on.

So, a positive message this afternoon. Celebration. Much needed.

Tony Earnshaw

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