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Friday, 15 November 2013

The 'My North Yorkshire' interview with Hannah Ostapjuk

Hannah at work.
There's something in the air in North Yorkshire. One breath is all that is needed to feel at ease, according to Hannah Ostapjuk, a North Yorkshire based autobiographical figurative oil painter. 

York-based Hannah focuses on colour and chiaroscuro lighting effects combined with techniques employed by the old and modern masters. 

The county provides her with both a relaxing and a stimulating environment. Here, she explains what's so inspiring.


Friday, 8 November 2013

The 'My North Yorkshire' interview: with Matthew Lightfoot

He's driven: Matthew Lightfoot.
The Dales are the best place on earth. Just ask Matthew Lightfoot. Our latest guest interviewee is the name behind DriveTheDales.com which spotlights the many amazing driving routes and walks the area offers.

Friday, 24 May 2013

The 'My North Yorkshire' interview with Heidi Johnson

Heidi Johnson: passionate about county's 
culture but also aware of its challenges.
Heid Johnson is director of NYMAZ, a youth music development charity that champions the transformative potential of music for children and young people. Beautiful North Yorkshire finds out how the county inspires her.


Friday, 25 January 2013

The 'My North Yorkshire' interview with Andrea Denniss

A passion focused on the county:
photographer Andrea Denniss.
Andrea Denniss lives in York where she runs Pink Lily Photography. Her signature portraits capture the freshness, spontaneity and fun of life’s special moments and North Yorkshire naturally offers a diverse range of locations where couples, children, dogs and horses can be themselves in front of the camera.

Friday, 19 October 2012

The 'My North Yorkshire Interview' with Sandra Kendrew

Firmly rooted:
Sandra Kendrew.
Sandra Kendrew is firmly rooted in North Yorkshire but, as The House Healer, works with people and properties all over the world. She uses dowsing techniques to rebalance energies within properties and their occupants and to help people live happier and healthier lives through living consciously. Her first book The Power of Conscious Living: How to Recreate Your Life and Find the Key to True Happiness was published earlier this year.

So, Sandra what does the county of North Yorkshire mean to you?
North Yorkshire is like a little haven in the centre of England. There are so many contrasts. There is the outstanding beauty of the Yorkshire Dales, then the elegance of the well renowned spa town of Harrogate, which I will definitely never leave – it is home. Add to that the more bustling and historic city of York, with all its ancient cobbled streets and cathedral, this is an area that is very special.

Where is your favourite place and why? 
Sandra at work dowsing.
One of my favourite places has to be Helmsley and the small village of Boltby a few miles away. We have built a log cabin there overlooking the most stunning scenery towards Sutton Bank. We are now regulars at the local pub, The Carpenters Arms at Felixkirk, which I strongly recommend for good food, atmosphere and pleasant staff.

What role does the county play in your work?
As a ‘house healer’ worldwide, much of my work is carried out distantly through information I receive at my desk, but I also travel throughout North Yorkshire and relish the different feelings and atmospheres I pick up from the properties I visit.

The different characters of people are reflected in their homes and surroundings. Sometimes the energy of a property changes and I can feel this as soon as I go in – we all can. We all recognise when we feel comfortable and at ease somewhere or wishing we could escape. This is where my work begins. I show people how to rebalance themselves and their homes and how to move forward to recreate a life they want.

What role does it play in your relaxation?
Going by the book:
Sandra's first book was
published this year.
I particularly love driving and walking in the Yorkshire Dales. Being in nature rebalances your energy and you feel more invigorated after a walk in such beautiful countryside. I never tire of exploring the landscape and I love the way the distinctive white drystone walls form a criss cross along the hillsides, whilst beneath the surface there is a hidden world of potholes and caves. The spectacular features we have here, such as Malham Cove and Howstean Gorge are places I enjoy visiting.

What slogan would you use to market the county?
The English Retreat.

If you were a castaway and allowed one image/item from North Yorkshire on your desert island what would it be?
 It would have to be the spectacular sight in the evening, sitting on the deck of our log cabin, watching the sun go down, followed by the infinite depth of the black sky, no light pollution or noise, looking at thousands of sparkly stars: absolute heaven!

Further information about Sandra's work can be found at www.thehousehealer.co.uk

Friday, 3 August 2012

The My North Yorkshire interview with Elisa Cirulli

Originally from Rome, Elisa Cirulli has lived in Harrogate since 2002 where she runs her own interior design business. North Yorkshire’s varied landscape and dramatic views continually inspire her creative imagination and influence her work. She thrives on spending time in some of her favourite places and absorbing the shapes and colours she sees.

She has designs on North Yorkshire ... Elisa Cirulli.

So, Elisa what does the county of North Yorkshire mean to you?

I love the contrasts I find here. I’m an eclectic person and I love combining opposites in my interiors – old with new or putting unusual colour combinations together. Harrogate is an elegant, classy spa town but right on the doorstep we have a vast, rural landscape. The two opposites create a perfect balance, almost naturally in this part of England. Then add the friendliness of the Yorkshire people and ... I'm at home!

Where is your favourite place and why?

My absolute favourite spot has to be Bolton Abbey. I love the walk from the Devonshire Arms Hotel (where one day I hope to spend a relaxing weekend) all the way to Appletreewick. The Craven Arms pub is full of character and the open fire in the coolest months is very welcoming.  If I want to get my creative mojo fired up, I need to be overlooking the river and the abbey, preferably drinking tea and taking in the magnificent view.

What role does the county play in your work?

The county is really a reflection of my design style. There are the curves of the Dales and their vast brown flora, the shapes made by the many rivers and reservoirs, the striking green of the pastures, the ancient Yorkshire stones, the elaborate Gothic details in the churches, the Roman remains! All of it together might sound like a contradiction and yet it survives in perfect harmony. All my rooms and schemes are a combination of opposites  curves and sharp corners and angles, new and old, neutral and vibrant colours, shining and matt but when it is all put together in the right way it makes a striking statement that works for that unique space.

And what role does it play in your relaxation?

 In Italy, I associate one element with relaxation and for me it is the sea and the turquoise and aqua colours of the Mediterranean. Here in Yorkshire, the abundance of green has exactly the same effect. On a sunny day, I really enjoy the drive from Harrogate to Skipton. A pit stop at Fewston Reservoir for a short walk around, followed by lunch at the Hopper Lane Hotel, where the friendly staff always make me feel very welcome is a perfect way to relax and unwind.

What slogan would you use to market the county?

Definitely La Toscana Inglese  The English Tuscany.

If you were a castaway and allowed one item/image from North Yorkshire on your desert island, what would it be?

Without hesitation it would have to be the sun setting behind Bolton Abbey. A combination of ostentatious natural beauty and a remarkable man-made creation ... a perfect balance.

Further information about Elisa Cirulli’s work can be found at www.elisainteriors.com

Friday, 27 January 2012

The 'My North Yorkshire' interview: Simon Pearson

Living just outside Pateley Bridge, in some of the most beautiful Nidderdale countryside, Simon Pearson is managing director at the community website Nidderdale Pages and is also business development director of the recently-launched smartphone service business Harrogate App. Both initiatives have been established to seek out and preserve heritage stories from across the region.

So, Simon, what does the county of North Yorkshire mean to you?
It means everything. From the spectacular scenery through to the amazing people who make North Yorkshire so special. North Yorkshire is where my heart will always lie.

Where is your favourite place and why?
Gosh! Difficult question. There are so many favourite places. If pressed, I would say that Fountains Abbey is probably my favourite place, somewhere my children and I have visited hundreds of times.  However rushed and challenging and stressful your life feels, a trip to Fountains Abbey enables you to recharge and the chaos of the modern world is mercifully left far behind.

What role does the county play in your work?
North Yorkshire encapsulates everything that I love about being a Yorkshireman – it is central to everything that I do and I will continue to push and promote the county that I am so passionate about.

And what role does it play in your relaxation?
As I look out across the Nidderdale landscape, I can’t help but feel blessed to have been raised in such a wonderfully rich part of North Yorkshire.

What role does it play in my relaxation?  
Spend a week exploring the wonders of North Yorkshire and you will have your answer.

What slogan would you use to market the county?
It would be unfair to single out any one catch-word, or to conjure up a simple slogan, as everything that is North Yorkshire is what makes North Yorkshire so special.

If you were a castaway and allowed one item/image from North Yorkshire on your desert island, what would it be?
Yet another question to which I could provide so many answers. I would choose to take Bettys Tea Room with me as I could continue to enjoy my beloved Yorkshire Gold Tea and I could eat, and work on becoming, the Fat Rascal, one of Bettys’ most scrummy snacks! Does that count as an item? No? In that case, I would take a weekend edition of the Yorkshire Post to remind me of what I’ve left behind.

NOTE: further information about Simon's work can be found at www.nidderdalepages.com and www.harrogateapp.co.uk 

Friday, 2 December 2011

The 'My North Yorkshire' interview: Susan Briggs


Susan Briggs is director of the Tourism Network which provides marketing advice, training services and publishing for the tourism industry.

She is currently working on "her great passion", Dales Tourism, a major project involving the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority and Nidderdale AONB and several local tourism businesses. 
The project identifies the qualities that make each place distinctive and how visitors can truly enjoy their time there – without damaging the special nature. 

Susan lives and works in the Old Mill in Masham and loves the strong sense of place and community.


What does North Yorkshire mean to you?

Freedom! I moved back to Yorkshire from London six years ago and feel so free – everything is much easier here, whether it’s working with friendly, easy going, positive people, trying to get somewhere (no traffic) or finding interesting things to do.

Where is your favourite place and why?

A secret little valley not far from Masham (I’m not telling you exactly where because I’ve never seen anyone else there and that’s why it’s so special) with a beautiful walk by a clear stream, surrounded by ferns and ancient trees. There’s a fascinating old ruin and the walk up the hill is rewarded with a wonderful view.

What role does the county play in your work?

It’s essential – North Yorkshire embodies all that’s best about Yorkshire and has so many of its best tourism treasures which I love to help promote.

And what role does it play in your relaxation?

I rarely go anywhere else!

If you were marketing the county, what slogan would you use?

It’s impossible to use just one “slogan” for such a vast and distinctive place. Yorkshire is so special – you really have to be here to feel it, understand it and enjoy it.

If you were a castaway and allowed just one item from North Yorkshire on your desert island, what would it be?

A mysterious artwork by Josie Beszant who also owns Masham Gallery. I love her collages and the stories they don’t so much tell as hint at.

NOTE: further information about the Dales Tourism project is available at http://www.dalestourism.com/

Friday, 25 November 2011

The 'My North Yorkshire' interview: Elizabeth Jackson

A bonnet worn by her fisherwoman grandmother is a reminder of the enduring influence of North Yorkshire's landscape and seascape on the life of psychotherapist and author Elizabeth Jackson. The proud half gypsy can be caught this evening (25 November) at Thirsk’s White Rose Books signing copies of her latest novel Language of Thieves between 5.30pm and 7.30pm.

What does North Yorkshire mean to you?
I have lived in North Yorkshire my whole life. It is my homeland, native soil. North Yorkshire’s vast, rich, rural landscape; is where my roots are deeply entrenched for eternity.

Where is your favourite place and why?
My favourite place has to be Helmsley Moor.  We usually go in our campervan so that whatever the weather, we can sit in comfort and appreciate the magnificent view looking across to the Tabular Hills.

What role does the county play in your work?
The dramatic landscape of North Yorkshire plays a huge part in my writing.  The novel I am writing at present is set in the North Yorkshire Moors; embracing, Helmsley, Thirsk, and the surrounding area.

And what role does it play in your relaxation?
The county plays a major role. We often take off in our campervan for the day – summer and winter alike. We might head to the East coast, Staithes being a particular favourite. My paternal grandmother was a Staithes fisherwoman and we still have her Staithes bonnet, or we’ll head to Whitby or Runswick Bay. Then we trundle home from the coast via the magnificent North Yorkshire Moors. On another day we’ll head West to the county’s spectacular dales; peppered with  numerous picturesque villages to visit.

If you were marketing the county, what slogan would you use?
Well, personally, it would have to be: North Yorkshire – A Writers Paradise.

If you were a castaway and allowed one item/image from North Yorkshire on your desert island, what would it be?
Without hesitation it would have to be the view from the top of Sutton Bank. Looking across the Vale of York and Mowbray; scanning and pinpointing familiar places and landmarks; where people live and work; people I’ve known all my life – and welcome me.

Friday, 18 November 2011

The 'My North Yorkshire' interview: Stuart Howat

Award-winning photographer Stuart Howat spends his time between London and his native North Yorkshire. He specialises in various types of photography but enjoys drawing upon his experience as a former teacher to relate to people, particularly youngsters, an ability very much evident during his recent three-month exhibition of Dales life at Reeth's Swaledale Museum with black and white photographs that could have been taken many decades ago.

What does North Yorkshire mean to you?

North Yorkshire to me means stunning scenery, and some of the kindest, friendliest and most welcoming people I’ve ever met.

Where is your favourite place and why?

It’s so hard to choose just one favourite place as I could literally choose a hundred. Roseberry Topping is pretty special especially early on a snowy morning when you’ve got the whole place to yourself and amazing panoramas. You literally feel on top of the world. Its majestic shape reminds me of my five years spent in Japan and Mt. Fuji.

What role does the county play in your work?

The countryside continues to inspire. Driving around the Yorkshire Moors or Dales it’s often difficult to keep your eyes on the road due to the beautiful scenery all around especially when then sun illuminates it.

Lately, the people of this county have been my subject matter and inspiration. Their warmth, personality and unique characters seem to shine through my photographs.

And what role does it play in your relaxation?

North Yorkshire plays a huge role in relaxation. You forget all your cares when strolling on a blustery hill or jogging through rugged scenery. Sipping a pint in a log-fired inn or tucking into some wholesome and heart warming local food is a real treat.

If you were marketing the county, what slogan would you use?

Unspoilt, Understated, Unsurpassed

If you were a castaway and allowed one item/image from North Yorkshire on your desert island, what would it be?

It would have to be Yorkshire Tea. I can barely manage a day without the perfectly blended tea. I take some whenever I travel and do my best to convince the world that it’s the best! Some Yorkshire parkin or tea loaf would be the perfect accompaniment.

Friday, 11 November 2011

The 'My North Yorkshire' interview: Michelle Sands

This week, we catch up with Michelle Sands, owner of The Bridge Gallery and Tea Room which she opened in April, this year, at Bedale. She tells us why the county's landscape holds so many happy memories.

Blessed by surroundings: 
Michelle Sands.
What does North Yorkshire mean to you?
Home. I have lived all over the UK and abroad and yet I keep coming back. North Yorkshire is where my heart is. Every day I feel blessed to live somewhere so beautiful.

Where is your favourite place and why?
My favourite place in North Yorkshire has to be Bolton Abbey  it's where I got married and is home to many happy memories for my family.

What role does the county play in your work?
As the owner of an art gallery, we are surrounded by beautiful pieces of art depicting all the wonderful parts of North Yorkshire  watercolours showing the dales, photography featuring the delights of the area and acrylics of beautiful cows. We are very lucky!

Even as part of our tea room, North Yorkshire plays a part with Wensleydale cheese being served with delicious fruit cake (and it's probably our best seller too so it just goes to show that our customers love the Yorkshire traditions too).

And what role does it play in your relaxation?
Sundays are family time. We love nothing more than taking the children to Aysgarth Falls. Our children are five and three years old and they never tire of all the wonderful walks and beautiful scenery. We can take them to see some of the most stunning sights in the country for free and they are only round the corner.

What slogan would you use to market the county?
North Yorkshire – the place where memories are made.

If you were a castaway and allowed one item/image from North Yorkshire on your desert island, what would it be?
It would have to be an image of the view I have seen many times when visiting Filey. There is a secluded spot by the beach and on a stormy day when the tide is in, its probably the best place in the world.

Friday, 28 October 2011

The 'My North Yorkshire' interview: Paul Judges

When locals tell you to get lost, they're doing you a favour, says Leavening-based Paul Judges. The poet and author of Whitby, I Could Be Happy There and other books explains.

So, Paul, what does North Yorkshire mean to you?

Paul Judges ... at the York City
play-offs at Wembley 2009.
A vast expanse of countryside and history to explore. I was lucky to be born in York, with the glorious Minster and extensive city walls.

As a young man, I took part in the Coppergate Viking dig and also a castle defences excavation near Clifford’s Tower.

Where is your favourite place and why?

Markenfield Hall, near Ripon. A fully-intact moated hall dating from the 13th century – a truly magical survival. It has limited opening times, but is perhaps best approached at any time of year on public footpaths from Ripon. A chance to abandon the car for once.

What role does the county play in your work?

I am always inspired by the natural surroundings, particularly places like Whitby and Staithes – a unique seaside village north of Whitby.

And what role does it play in your relaxation?

We often go out as a family off the beaten track, accompanied by our Tibetan Terrier, Bertie.

What slogan would you use to market the county?

When a local tells you to get lost, it’s just an invitation to explore England’s largest county

If you were a castaway and allowed one item/image from North Yorkshire on your desert island, what would it be?

A picture of Staithes harbour under a smugglers’ moon.

Friday, 21 October 2011

The 'My North Yorkshire' interview: Jackie Jefferson

We find out why the stage at Richmond’s Georgian Theatre has precious memories for Jackie Jefferson, who works as volunteer manager at The Station visitor attraction, and she tells us why the market town is such a great place.

A county with something
for everyone, says
Jackie Jefferson, volunteer
 manager at The Station.
What does North Yorkshire mean to you?
North Yorkshire is my home where I live with my husband and three boys. We love it here and spend our weekends exploring the local countryside, visiting towns and other attractions. All our boys go to school here and we wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

Where is your favourite place and why?
I would have to say The Station at Richmond. Apart from being a manager here, my family and I also use The Station for the Cinema, Archers Ice Cream Parlour (which also does amazing celebration ice cream cakes) and Seasons Restaurant. We also like to visit the art exhibitions we have here and special weekend events such as book fairs, craft fairs and rail fairs.

Apart from that, Reeth is a gorgeous spot for a picnic and an ice cream in the summer, and you can't beat The Wensleydale Creamery and the fish and chip shop at Hawes for a day out!

What role does the county play in your work?
I work in Richmond, about a 20 minute walk from my home. I can easily drop all the children off for school and be at work by 9am – it's terrific!

And what role does it play in your relaxation?
Richmond is a wonderful place for nights out, and I actually moved here two years ago because of the wide range of activities on offer. We have a two-screen cinema at The Station, and also Richmond Georgian Theatre, which is the only fully-restored, fully-operational Georgian Theatre in the world.

I am a volunteer at the theatre, and also visit it regularly as a patron with my husband and children. We actually got married on stage there in August of this year, and it was an absolutely delightful setting. It is a wonderful place and something that makes Richmond unique.

We also have a good selection of pubs in town, including a big new Wetherspoons. The restaurants are what really make Richmond fantastic though – we have a divine French restaurant called Rustique, which is my favourite. Also two Indian restaurants, a Chinese, a Thai and an Italian, as well as lots of pubs offering good quality traditional fayre.

On Saturdays, the children attend Burst Camp at the local secondary school, where they get to play games, go for adventure walks and go swimming, for a very reasonable cost, which gives us time to do shopping and chores. On Sundays, we like nothing better than to get out in the Dales for a picnic or to a local attraction such as Wensleydale Creamery. Sunday teatimes are for a walk to Richmond Cricket Club where we can enjoy a relaxing drink while the children play in the park behind the cricket grounds.

If you were marketing the county, what slogan would you use?
There's something for everyone.

If you were a castaway and allowed just one item/image from North Yorkshire on your desert island, what would it be?
The beautiful interior of Richmond Georgian Theatre.

Friday, 14 October 2011

The 'My North Yorkshire' interview: Annette Petchey

Annette Petchey is chief executive of New Lights, a charity that supports young professional painters from the North of England with an exciting new art prize, and runs workshops, lectures and exhibition tours for the wary. After spending many weekends and holidays in North Yorkshire, Annette and her husband moved from London to Ripon in 2007.

What does North Yorkshire mean to you?

North Yorkshire is fresh: the air, the ideas and the people. Even the ancient buildings have a special freshness about them.

Where is your favourite place and why?

Either the chair next to my log-burner on a winter’s day or Hackfall Woods, early on a May morning. The bluebells and anemones are amazing.

What role does the county play in your work?

It was the inspiration for setting up the charity. The county has a record of producing superb artists, and the latest generation of talented painters are maintaining the tradition. Sadly, many are being forced to move south to get the recognition and exposure their work deserves, or are giving up painting professionally altogether. This is why I set up New Lights. Through financial support, mentoring and exposure we will help produce the great artists of the 21st century.

And what role does it play in your relaxation?

Where do you start? On my horse on a winter’s day, playing hide-and-seek with my children around Fountains Abbey, looking at the excellent art collections in galleries and drinking tea and eating (too much) cake with my husband in tea rooms.

If you were marketing the county, what slogan would you use?

“Don’t forget to breathe”

If you were a castaway and allowed just one item or image from North Yorkshire on your desert island, what would it be?

Ripon Cathedral in that peculiarly purple light you get when the sun shines on very dark rain clouds, with my family playing on the old tombstones and walls (sorry, Dean Keith!).

NOTE: an exhibition featuring shortlisted entries for the £10,000 New Lights Award is being showcased at the Valeria Sykes Prize Exhibition at Harrogate's Mercer Art Gallery and runs until  8 January 2012.

Friday, 7 October 2011

My North Yorkshire interview: with Ian Scott Massie

This week, we're speaking to Ian Scott Massie, an artist who is never lost for inspiration with the Dales on his doorstep. 

His latest exhibition, Magical Landscapes, runs at Fountains Hall, Fountains Abbey, near Ripon, until 16 October.


What do you do?
I paint atmospheric pictures of Yorkshire trying to portray the personality of the landscape.

What does North Yorkshire mean to you?
North Yorkshire is the most beautiful place in the world to me. I grew up in London and Slough but moved north to be a student in Durham which is when I discovered the Dales. I can’t imagine wanting to live anywhere else.

Where is your favourite place and why?
Masham, in Wensleydale, is just about prefect. It’s a beautiful town and a warm, vibrant community, surrounded on all sides by great countryside. The Dales are on the doorstep and the Moors a short drive away. Added to that there’s the beer, the history of the place, the fairs and festivals. It’s like nowhere else.

What role does the county play in your work?
I make my living portraying North Yorkshire. I occasionally paint elsewhere but the dales, moors, abbeys, castles, hills and forests are so varied, beautiful and full of character that I always have a list of places to go and paint.

And what role does it play in your relaxation?
I like walking up big hills, particularly Penhill, Great Whernside and the others around Colsterdale and Coverdale. There are few better days out than a drive up Wensleydale, a walk, a beer at a great pub like the Kings Arms in Askrigg and an ice cream on the way home at Brymor’s near Masham.

If you were marketing the county, what slogan would you use?
It’s the county with everything except crowds.

If you were a castaway and allowed just one item/image from North Yorkshire on your desert island, what would it be?
Jervaulx Abbey. The greatest picnic spot, jam session location, Easter egg hunt venue and overwhelmingly peaceful place.

Friday, 30 September 2011

My North Yorkshire: interview with Helen Venus

Helen Venus wears many hats. But whether it’s raising awareness of the local mountain and cave rescue team, sitting on Ingleton's festival committee, guiding women walkers or marketing her partner’s camper van business, the North Yorkshire landscape is a major influence.

Tell us about all these roles, Helen

Helen Venus ... discovering as much as
 possible about her native North Yorkshire.
I’m using my marketing experience to help my partner with his business Freedom Campers. He restores, services and hires out classic VW aircooled vehicles. We’re based in Settle and we’re really excited about showing our clients that North Yorkshire is a totally unique and fascinating place to visit.

In addition, I’m the media officer for the local mountain and cave rescue team in the Three Peaks area, the Cave Rescue Organisation. We don’t get any funding from the government so it’s imperative that we raise awareness of ourselves to raise essential funds to keep the voluntary team functioning.

I’m also on the committee for the Ingleton Overground Underground Festival.  Last year was the first event celebrating the landscape above and below ground around Ingleborough and it was a tremendous success. Next year the event runs from 26 May to 5 June and is going to be even bigger and better.

What does North Yorkshire mean to you?

There are so many amazing things to do and beautiful places to visit and I’m still discovering them. I feel so lucky that it’s my birthplace and my home. And, of course, Yorkshire folk are the friendliest people around.

Where is your favourite place and why?

I’m so lucky to live here and I love the area between Settle and Malham. It’s a totally unique and stunning landscape and I never get tired of the views. I guide walking holidays around here for a company called Walking Women and I love sharing my passion for the area with the people I’m walking with.

What role does the county play in your work?

The first view you get of the Freedom Campers workshop as you travel down the A65 has an incredible backdrop of Ingleborough, which always takes my breath away. We hope that people hiring out our vans will enjoy their time exploring North Yorkshire and spread the word about how fantastic it is.

And what role does it play in your relaxation?

I’m a keen walker obviously but I also love to mountain bike and I’m learning to climb. In addition, we’re excavating a cave on the side of Ingleborough, although I’m not sure if that counts as relaxation! I love going to the theatre and in Settle, we have Victoria Hall and the Richard Whiteley Theatre, which both have fantastically varied programmes.

If you were marketing the county, what slogan would you use?

We have it all, why go anywhere else? Or the Freedom Campers slogan – Let the journey begin…

If you were a castaway and allowed just one item/image from North Yorkshire on your desert island, what would it be?

Just above Settle, on the back road to Malham Tarn, there’s a spot where we take our border collies to play. The view is across the Ribble Valley and you can see all the Three Peaks together. In the early evening light, it’s just absolutely breathtaking.

NOTE: The mountain and cave rescue team receives no government funding so relies heavily on pubic support. Anyone interested in fund-raising activities or how to make a donation can find out more at the website:  www.cro.org.uk

Friday, 23 September 2011

My North Yorkshire: interview with Lorraine Jennings

Writer and groom Lorraine Jennings is at home in the outdoors. She has written articles for several equestrian magazines and provides advice and insights for horse riders through her blog www.schoolyourhorse.blogspot.com. 
She looks after horses on a private estate and is writing a book School Your Horse – there’s more than one way


In awe of the county's
beauty ... Lorraine Jennings.
What does North Yorkshire mean to you?

Everything.  I adore the Moors. They’re bleak, desolate and absolutely beautiful. The North East coast line is breathtaking – as is the temperature of the water unfortunately.

Where is your favourite place and why?

I love the Newton Woods at the base of Roseberry Topping. It’s off the beaten track and I walk my three terriers there every day. This is where I do all my thinking and planning for my writing.

What role does the county play in your work?

I’m a Yorkshire girl first and a groom/writer second. My passion for the county is what drives me to promote myself and my writing ideas. Not all writers come out of Oxford and Cambridge.

And what role does it play in your relaxation?

Without it I would never settle. The peace and space I get here keeps me relaxed and that’s what helps me to get words on a page.

If you were marketing the county, what slogan would you use?

Mother Nature at her best.

If you were a castaway and allowed just one item/image from North Yorkshire on your desert island, what would it be?

The view from Roseberry Topping down towards Great Ayton. Every day I walk home I’m grateful and amazed to live somewhere so beautiful.

Friday, 16 September 2011

My North Yorkshire: interview with Brett Butler

Skipton town centre manager Brett Butler tells us why childhood memories have had such a major influence on how he regards North Yorkshire today.


What does North Yorkshire mean to you?

I am slightly biased here as I would say Skipton sums it all up – it’s the Gateway to the Dales, a place where you can just come to soak up the atmosphere in any of North Yorkshire’s towns which are full of heritage, or take a stroll up the magnificent dales only minutes away.

Passionate about Skipton ... town
 centre manager Brett Butler.
Each place is unique and they have their special traits that attract not just the millions of visitors each year but also make residents want to come out and spend locally supporting the economy in this ever-changing economic landscape.

Where is your favourite place and why?

Ok, so you’d probably be guessing that I would mention Skipton again ... and I probably would, but to save this interview from being totally one-sided towards my passion for the town, I will give you a place I used to frequent regularly as a young boy wanting to explore and have fun – that was Bolton Abbey; a place my parents would drive to and park the car next to the River Wharfe and then get the disposable BBQ out. While the meat was cooking, I’d go with my brothers and sisters to play some football or Frisbee and, when it was a little warmer, blow up the dinghy and head for the river. Those are my memories and they live with you forever and will not be forgotten.

Now I go to Bolton Abbey to enjoy the walks in the Strid and the magnificent sights of the abbey itself – but just to get that little plug in for Skipton and a thank you to the Estate, the Duke of Devonshire does provide Skipton with our Christmas tree which we place outside our town hall every year so I return the favour spending my £6 every now and again to go and soak up the great outdoors just six miles from my doorstep.

What role does the county play in your work?

As far as tourism goes, it plays a huge part promoting what we have in the county. People are holidaying closer to their own homes recently due to the recession, and we have found more and more are coming to Skipton and our local area from North Yorkshire itself and Yorkshire to spend their relaxing time ... and, seriously, what better place to actually relax and recuperate. I work closely with Craven District Council and North Yorkshire County Council to help economic development in my town to maintain its vitality and vibrant heritage.

And what role does it play in your relaxation?

I tend to spend probably 90 per cent of my time in the county due to the nature of my job, so therefore, it plays a huge part. Whether to go strolling up the Dales, taking my motorcycle out on the amazing twisting roads or when I’m heading up the High Street in Skipton to Stanforths to grab a warm pork pie savouring every little bite. From a trip on the Leeds Liverpool canal to purchasing my weekly groceries on the market...it’s the passion I have for our area and I can relax thinking that I’m also spending my money locally, helping businesses to sustain themselves in difficult times. I spend 80 per cent of my salary in Skipton and another approx ten per cent still within Yorkshire, so that’s 90 per cent within Yorkshire itself. I know it may seem funny, but knowing I’m helping locally is what makes me relax and enjoy life...

If you were marketing the county, what slogan would you use?

There is only one that is supposed to encapsulate the whole of Yorkshire, but very apt for our beautiful county too and that would be: ‘God’s Own Country’ or ‘England at its best’

If you were a castaway and allowed just one item/image from North Yorkshire on your desert island, what would it be?

There was a song in the 80’s by Paul Young as I remember, called – ‘Wherever I Lay My Hat, That’s My Home’ – so it would most definitely have to be a picture of my home town Skipton – otherwise I would miss it too much and become a little homesick. Either an aerial photograph or one taken at the very top of Holy Trinity Church looking down the High Street.  Pure bliss.

Friday, 9 September 2011

My North Yorkshire: interview with Graham Rhodes

We catch up with artist, photographer and scriptwriter Graham Rhodes who talks about how the desolation of a cliff top walk and the county's varied landscape inspire his work. He owns the Aakschipper Images Gallery on Scarborough’s West pier.

What does North Yorkshire mean to you?
Man behind the lens ...
Graham  Rhodes
.
I lived in Harrogate in the early 70’s and one night went to bed in West Yorkshire and woke up in North Yorkshire. Since then, despite living in London for many years, I have always regarded North Yorkshire as home.

My parents lived near Filey and I would visit them at least four times a year and use the time to travel around North Yorkshire and learn about it. When I left London, I had job offers from companies all over Great Britain but I chose the one that brought me back to North Yorkshire. I lived in York for a number of years before moving to Scarborough in 2001.

Where is your favourite place and why?
Ravenscar and the cliff top walk because it reminds me that the Victorians didn’t always get things right and I like the desolation.

What role does the county play in your work?
I photograph it and sell the resulting images to both visitors and residents – oddly enough my work sells very well in Germany where they obviously appreciate the beauty of North Yorkshire.

And what role does it play in your relaxation?
A great place to walk – whether you like forests, beaches cliff tops or moors, there’s more landscape variety in North Yorkshire than most places in the UK

If you were marketing the county, what slogan would you use?
Real people – real countryside – real heritage –  a real treat!

If you were a castaway and allowed just one item/image from North Yorkshire on your desert island, what would it be?
A Frank Meadow Sutcliffe photograph of Whitby Harbour

Friday, 2 September 2011

My North Yorkshire: interview with Faith Roskrow

As curator of Thorp Perrow Arboretum, Faith Roskrow has an understandable fondness for the county's trees along with rolling countryside, the occasional cosy village pub and a bit of Wensleydale cheese.

Big tree fan ... curator
Faith Roskrow.
What does North Yorkshire mean to you?
When I think of North Yorkshire I think of; green hills, trees and crags, walks in the country, wildlife and market towns, cheese, farms and village pubs. To me North Yorkshire is home.

Where is your favourite place and why?
My favourite place has to be my home village Snape. I love the friendly locals, the sense of community and basic village life. We are lucky enough to be surrounded by beautiful unspoilt countryside. We are minutes from the arboretum so we have a wonderful amount of trees around. And, of course, we are on the edge of the Yorkshire dales and when I walk my dog I can see the wonderful Yorkshire moor in the distance – perfect.

What role does the county play in your work?
I am very proud to be curator of North Yorkshire's finest collection of trees at Thorp Perrow Arboretum. We hold some of the champion trees in North Yorkshire and hold five national plant collections which North Yorkshire can be proud of. We are lucky enough to be able to grow a huge range of trees from all over the world – with careful planning and a brilliant shelter belt even the harsh but wonderful North Yorkshire weather doesn’t put us off.

And what role does it play in your relaxation?
As a family, we love to walk. We love rolling hills and cosy village pubs. We are regulars to the dales and have a soft spot for Askrigg and Wensleydale (may have something to do with the cheese).

If you were marketing the county, what slogan would you use?
I would probably steal my business logo – (Hocus Pocus Plantssprinkling magic into your garden) and say: “North Yorkshire – sprinkling magic into Great Britain.”

If you were a castaway and allowed just one item/image from North Yorkshire on your desert island, what would it be?
Arrgh! One? It would be a toss-up between a beech tree and Wensleydale cheese.