Archive | April, 2013

Clandestine Cake Club – ‘Creative cakes’ (Cake & Craft) at Liversedge Parish Centre

23 Apr




We had a great time on Saturday morning (20th April, 2013)

Our cake club meetings are always good fun but this time we thought we would include a couple of hours of crafting, making a fabric flower which some made into brooches, some into hairslides and some into keyrings and instead of paying for the tea, coffee and soft drinks as we went along, we asked for donations which we gave to 2 good causes.

Helen and I have lots of trimmings of fabrics from different projects, loads of cotton bobbins in various hues and lots of crafty ideas!

I approached Starbucks at Jct 27, Birstall, Leeds who kindly and willingly, provided us with a free urn of filter coffee, milk, sugar, sweeteners and a raffle prize of a ‘Starbucks’ cup and saucer and some packs of coffee.

We knew as soon as the members and guests started to arrive that it was going to be a lovely friendly occasion. Everyone was chatting and the air was buzzing!  I make name badges for each person, I feel it helps everyone to get to know each other with your name on your chest!

We set out various tressle tables. A table for the cakes, one for the fabric, scissors, threads etc and one for the drinks which everyone served themselves from.

We also set out three tressle tables which the ’25 crafting cake eaters’ sat around rather than separate tables, as there were bigger groups of people to chat to and to help each other with the crafting.

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Whilst I am the named organiser of the group answering emails, taking bookings etc,  my daughter Helen does much of the organising,  finding venues, coming up with ideas for meetings and in this case, donating fabric etc, shifting tables and chairs and washing up too.

I am so pleased our idea was a success.

With the donations and raffle we collected £150 and we distributed it by giving £50 to Liversedge Parish Centre to help with it’s upkeep, as we were very grateful to them for letting use the venue and we gave £100 to ‘Mary’s Wish’ which is to raise money for an ‘infra red’ wheel chair, which Mary Hinde, who is severely disabled with Cerebral Palsy, will be able to operate herself. Mary is now 17 but used to be a Guide with the group which uses this Church hall and where Helen, until having Isaac, was a Guide leader.


These are the beautiful cakes

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and these are some of the fabric flowers that were made

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and some group photos

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We enjoyed delicious cakes during the morning and as ever we had lots of cake left overs to take home too.

I grew up in Ripon #1

13 Apr

I grew up in Ripon. The photographs are of me aged 4 and aged 10




From about 1951 when I was 5, until to 1957 when I was 11, my father was the Landlord of the St Wilfrid’s Hotel which was on the corner of  North Street and Allhallowgate .

Thinking about it now I realise how young they were. Dad was born in 1924 and Mum in 1925 so when I was 5 and he took over the pub he would only have been 27 and Mum would have been 26. This is their wedding photograph from 1945


Dad usually pulled pints behind the ground floor bar and worked there all the time in all the opening hours. There were cellars under the pub and the barrels were rolled down a ramp and piped up to the bar.


Our kitchen was on the ground floor behind the pub.

On the first floor was a large concert room with a bar which didn’t sell draught beer. The beer came in bottles and there were spirits, mixers and I remember the Babycham too! This Concert room was open on a Saturday night and Mum ran this bar.


There was a piano and a pianist playing all the popular songs of the time in this Concert room and it was very lively.  I remember Dad bought an electronic organ, a Clavioline and it played sounds of many different instruments. I believe it was a similar Clavioline which was featured on the recording of Telstar in the 60’s.

Ripon was, as it still is a Garrison town and there were usually lots of soldiers around and the pub was busy. Sadly I believe its just been announced the Army barracks is to close soon and I’m sure it will make a great difference to the City of Ripon.

Two floors up were our bedrooms and bathroom, with a gate at the bottom of the stairs on the first floor to let the customers know it was a private area beyond this gate. Thinking about it now this gate was really not much of a barrier as it was quite flimsy, only a yard high, with only a hook and ring to fasten it. Perhaps those were more honest times.

This photo is of me with younger brother Richard in about 1952 in the yard behind the pub

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On this first floor was a spare room. When we first moved in I remember having a birthday party in this room but later it became a bed sitting room as we had a ‘Paying Guest’ called Blanche.

Blanche was in her early 70’s. She had no children and was widowed from her 2nd husband. This husband had not left money directly to her but had left his money in trust and she had a monthly allowance which she quickly spent. Old Blanche liked her whisky.

The solicitor paid her bills. Her room rent was paid and she had an account at Brown Muffs in Bradford. She could buy what she liked from Brown Muffs and the bill was paid by the solicitor. I remember Blanche would buy something, perhaps a suitcase, from Brown Muffs and then sell it straight away to get  more spending money.

When we left the pub and moved to a private house, so as not to leave her without a place to live, Blanche moved in with us and our front room was made into a bed sitting room for her.

Blanche whiled away the hours doing beautiful embroidery and she taught me to embroider. She was extremely patient to me as an 11/12 year old and I remember learning lazy daisy stitch, french knots, satin stitch etc.

Somewhere in the house I still have items Blanche had sewn as she was always selling her beautifully embroidered pillow cases, table clothes, tray cloths, pictures etc.

I remember once when Mum had gone to Leeds for a day’s shopping,  Blanche was left in charge of making my tea when I came home from school. She made me very precisely cut chips and on breaking the egg and finding it was a double yolk, Blanche proceeded to separate yolk from yolk and save half in a cup. I was mortified. It was quite a prized moment to be presented with a double yolked egg but it was not to be!

One day Blanche must have decided it was much too quiet being away from the pub and decided to leave, packed up without telling us and we heard she had gone to live in a pub in Bedale and I never saw her again.

Our front room became a front room again. Cream carpet and a wine cabinet. We had a large mirror over the fireplace and I can remember Dad gilding it with sheets of gold leaf using a paint brush to pick up the fine fluttering sheets of gold. We hardly ever used the room. After Blanche left the fire was rarely lit. It was lit only on special occasions and it was usually cold in there.

The house was as the side of the river Skell and when I return to visit Ripon I always go for a look at the house and look at the river. The railway track ran close to the house too. I told the time by the trains and I had to be out of the house on a morning before the 8.20 am train went past or I would be late for school. Beecham closed this railway and where the track was, now holds a road, the Ripon bypass.DSCN1231