Huddersfield Train Station…….a model of equality and diversity

Meet Felix. A cat who has just proven that hard work does pay off.


After five years of service at Huddersfield railway station, Felix has been given a promotion. She’s now been given a proper job title (Senior pest controller at Huddersfield Railway Station), a high-visibility vest and a name badge.

The exciting news came last week when Transpennine Express decided to reward the feline for her service to the network. Pictures of the promotion were posted to her very own Facebook page and she can be seen proudly flaunting her new jacket and new job title.

In just a week, Felix’s Facebook page has got over 1,500 likes, adding to the 8,500 likes she has from fans all over the world.

The station even has its own catflap at the ticket barriers so Felix can move around whenever she wants. Felix was first brought to the station at just nine weeks old and since then, she has become a favourite with commuters and station staff.

Felix’ daily job includes patrolling the station platforms for any mice lurking around.

But she is often spotted going out of her way to help with customer enquiries. One of the staff members who looks after Felix said the fame ‘hasn’t quite gone to her head.’ They added: ‘As with most cats they already think the world revolves around them. ‘She’s getting more treats and more attention so all in all she’s very happy.’

Source: The Metro

Posted in Customer Service, Industrial Heritage, Pennines, Tourism, Travel, West Yorkshire | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cannon Hall………….one of Yorkshires hidden gems

IMGP7003.JPG Cannon Hall is a fine example of a grand stately home that was developed to its grand proportions through the riches gained by a family in the 18th Century. Officially it is situated inside the boundary of Barnsley, but is as far from the stereotype view people have of this northern town.


My first memories of the Hall go back over 25 years when my young daughter competed for Hallamshire Harriers in the South Yorkshire Cross Country League. I spent several grim, cold and wet Sunday afternoons supporting her as she ran around the country park. Just very occasionally you would get a decent day……….but not very often.


It is a good number of years since I visited the hall so yesterday, given that there was a hint of sunshine in the sky, I decided a little photography outing was called for.


On arrival I parked up and was taken aback by how much had changed. The car parks had been modernized and expanded (very reasonable parking fee of £3.00 for all day and you can get thus refunded if you spend £10.00 or more in the café).


The café had doubled in size and the delicatessen / meat shop had trebled in size. The choice of fresh meat, cheeses, and fresh bread along side locally produced “craft beers” was a sight to behold.


If you have kids then Cannon Hall has one of the best farm attractions in the country with a variety of animals that can be petted and fed.  Sheep, pigs, cows, donkeys, Shetland ponies, Llamas, rabbits and Guinea pigs amongst others. You can even visit at lambing time and stay until the early hours of the morning to see the lambs born.


The Hall itself is a wonderful piece of architecture and the view from the front is quite stunning. It is a wonderful open space and yesterday people were piling in by the car load to take advantage of the good weather and beautiful countryside.


The Hall is about 10 minutes drive from the M1 motorway, so if you are passing then do call in, it is well worth the visit…………..and you will never view Barnsley in the same light again!




Posted in Architecture, Arrival of Spring, blue sky, Culture, History, Industrial Heritage, North of England, Photography, Tourism, Uncategorized, West Yorkshire, Yorkshire | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome to the world of steam engines….


There are times in every small child’s life that they need to be introduced to our “industrial heritage” and today was one of those times.

I took my 2 year old grandson for a ride with the East lancashire Railway on a steam train from Bury to Rawtenstall. The weather was awful, wet and windy, but even this did not put a damper on the enjoyment of both of us. Along the route we saw “whales in the river” and a “sleeping dinosaur under a bridge” and unfortunately just missed fireman sam coming out of the firestation.

A one hour or so round trip found us back at Bury station and as we left the carriages for the steam train were rapidly filling up with families and rather more mature “rail enthusiasts” all clutching a camera to get shots of the train.

It is a wonderful experience for both children and adults, and even better in the summer when you can appreciate the countryside more (much hidden in mist today).

If you are interested go to for details.

Posted in Children, Industrial Heritage, Photography, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Ah, the Labour Party…….last bastion of equality and diversity (unless you are a female muslim)



Muslim women’s rights group has written to the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, protesting the “open secret” of large numbers of male Muslim Labour councillors blocking Muslim women from entering politics. They called for an independent review and accused the party of prioritising votes and being “complicit at the highest levels”.

Muslim Women’s Network UK (MWNUK) singled out the Muslim-dominated Peterborough and Birmingham councils as of particular concern. The latter is already embroiled in a sexism row, after the Lord Mayor-elect and chairman of Birmingham’s Central Mosque was forced to step down because he said forced marriage was not a problem and lied about dealing with horrific cases.

The MWNUK urged Labour leaders to investigate “systematic misogyny displayed by significant numbers of Muslim male local councillors” and suggested that Muslim men within Labour had been allowed to operate under the “patriarchal ‘biradari’ system”.

“They don’t like women to be heard, to be empowered,” the group told BBC2’s Newsnight, explaining how in Labour dominated councils talented Muslim women had been harassed out of top positions. In the examples given, the party had effectively allowed the men to enforce Sharia principles; ensuring women could not act freely without the permission of male guardians.

Optician Fozia Parveen claims her efforts to become a Labour councillor in Birmingham in 2007-8 were scuppered by Muslim men in the party: “At the time, I was aware of a smear campaign against me, they said that I was having an affair with one of the existing councillors. I was quite taken aback. People were turning up at my family home trying to intimidate my mum.”

She claimed Muslim men who were members of the local Labour party were behind the efforts to prevent her from standing.

Shazia Bashir was the first choice for Labour in a seat in Peterborough in 2007 but claimed that she was pressured “because I didn’t have my father’s consent and support, I had to step down”, adding: “I was pressured into stepping down.”

MWNUK’s chair, Shaista Gohir, demanded a full independent inquiry in her letter to the Labour leader. She said: “From our experience, Muslim women are most affected by Labour Muslim male councillors due to the latter’s number in certain towns and cities”.

Adding: “As this is an open secret and has been going on for decades, we can only assume that the Labour party has been complicit at the highest levels. How do men who do not want Muslim women to be empowered or have a voice remain in power unless the Labour party allows it?

“It appears that over decades senior Labour politicians have deliberately turned a blind eye to the treatment of Muslim women because votes have been more important to them than women’s rights.”

She claimed that “able, knowledgeable and independent-minded Muslim women have been undermined, sabotaged and blocked from becoming councillors”, with many selection “deals” stitched up behind closed doors.

“We would like the Labour party to hold an independent inquiry into how Muslim women are being marginalised by local Labour politicians,” she said.

A Labour spokesman said: “The Labour party’s selection procedures include strong positive action procedures such as all-women shortlists and rules to ensure women are selected in winnable council seats.

“We have the best record of any party in selecting women and BAME candidates, and we will continue to do all that we can to make sure candidates are representative of the communities they seek to represent.

“The Labour party has a fair, democratic and robust procedure for selecting council candidates. Local Labour party members select their local candidates within the party’s rules and guidelines. Those wishing to become Labour councillors are interviewed by an independent assessment team and unsuccessful candidates have a right of appeal to the regional party board.”

Remember in the run up to the last general election senior Labour figures were going to meetings with muslim voters where male and females were separated. Not one of them complained or said a word so desperate were they to get the vote of muslims in the UK. The Labour party (of which I was once a strong supporter) has become a laughing stock, they have regressed into leftist “Stalinists” and have learned nothing from history. During world war 1 there was a saying bandied about, “Lions led by donkeys”……..well god knows how one would describe Corbyn and his gangster inner cabal. Not long ago he was lauding the regime of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, just have a look at the state the country is in today.

Posted in 21st century, Abuse of power, abuse of women, Corruption, Criticism, Diversity, Equality, Islam, Misogyny, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Boss v Leader, oh, and there is Apple!



I came across the above on Linkedin and it conforms to the current thinking on what makes a good leader. I think we are being invited to view the second column as the desirable “skills and personal qualities” for todays modern leader.

What I find interesting is that if you look at “the boss” of the worlds most successful company i.e. Apple, the late Steve Jobs would probably have ticked most or all of the criteria in the first list.

Having read a variety of articles about Jobs and his very eccentric behaviour at times, and having watched the recent film about his life (even allowing for artistic licence) he comes across as a complete tyrant with very few redeeming features.

But then again he did tend to break all the management rules. Who else would have the temerity to launch the iPad onto the market without any market testing, allied to the fact that if you had a laptop and an iPhone, why the hell did you need a iPad?

Jobs created a cult about Apple products, and we are unlikely to see his like again. He broke most of the rules, challenged received wisdom about running a company but made the company a stunning success.

It remains to be seen how the company performs without this maverick genius to drive them forward.

Posted in 21st century, appalling behavior, Management, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Political correctness……………..




I recently received this from a very good friend of mine and I thought it worth sharing as it brought just the slightest hint of a smile to my face……………….

What is meant by the modern term referred to as ‘POLITICAL CORRECTNESS’.. Although I consider myself fluent in English, that term was not in my vocabulary. Someone found this definition in 4 telegrams at the Truman Library and Museum in Independence Missouri. The following are copies of four telegrams between President Harry Truman and Gen. Douglas MacArthur on the day before the actual signing of the WWII Surrender Agreement in September 1945. The contents of those four telegrams below are exactly as received at the end of the war – not a word has been added or deleted!

(1) Tokyo,Japan
0800-September 1,1945
To: President Harry S Truman
From: General D A MacArthur
Tomorrow we meet with those yellow-bellied bastards and sign the Surrender Documents, any last minute instructions?

(2) Washington, D C
1300-September 1, 1945
To: D A MacArthur
From: H S Truman
Congratulations, job well done, but you must tone down your obvious dislike of the Japanese when discussing the terms of the surrender with the press, because some of your remarks are fundamentally not politically correct!

(3) Tokyo, Japan
1630-September 1, 1945
To: H S Truman
From: D A MacArthur and C H Nimitz
Wilco Sir, but both Chester and I are somewhat confused, exactly what does the term politically correct mean?

(4) Washington, D C
2120-September 1, 1945
To: D A MacArthur/C H Nimitz
From: H S Truman
Political Correctness is a doctrine, recently fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and promoted by a sick mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end!

Now, with special thanks to the Truman Museum and Harry himself, you and I finally have a full understanding of what ‘POLITICAL CORRECTNESS’ really means…..

Posted in 21st century, Politics, Power, Prejudice, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla……front page of “The Times” newspaper



Classical music very rarely makes the front page of any newspaper but today The Times here in the UK, features a large photograph of Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, the newly appointed Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

There has been speculation for months about which candidates were in the running for the job and several fairly well known names (all men) were bandied about as leading contenders.

However, several months ago Norman Lebrecht on his blogsite “Slippedisc” suggested that one of Britain’s leading orchestras was about to appoint a woman as musical director.  In the discussion column someone wrote “it is the worst kept secret in Birmingham that Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla is the preferred choice of the orchestra.”

Everything then went quiet on the subject and some speculated that it would be a massive gamble to appoint not only a woman (shock horror!!!!) but one who had never led  a major orchestra. However, she had built a formidable reputation as an Assistant Conductor at the LA Philharmonic and her reputation in Europe was being recognised.

The CBSO have a track record of taking young and / or untried music directors in the past with tremendous success, think Simon Rattle, Sakhari Oramo and more recently Andris Nelsons (who the Berlin Philharmonic recently wanted), all of whom have turned into major conductors with international reputations.

So hats off to the CBSO for this very imaginative appointment, and hopefully Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla will just be in the vanguard of more women being recognised and given opportunities in what is still a male dominated profession.

It is important to mention Marin Alsop who for years fought to build a reputation for herself ( and acceptance of women) and get opportunities to conduct major orchestras. It should be noted also that it was another British orchestra that appointed her as their music director, the Bournmouth Symphony Orchestra, with whom she developed an excellent reputation.

I look forward to visiting Birmingham when Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla takes up residence to hear her and the orchestra perform. I will be sat in the audience with my little Lithuanian flag to show support.



Posted in Cklassical music. Female Conductors, Classical Music, Conductors, Culture, Lithuania, Music, Opera, Uncategorized, Women, women in society | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment