As I was walking back to my old school today on a bright and sunny morning it occurred to me that it is now 40 years ago since I left on a similar sunny day to head off university, the big wide world and the rest of my life.
Well, today was Dinnington’s turn so I went along to help.
It was moving to see so many enthusiastic youngsters grab hold of the engineering challenge posed in an introductory video featuring Ricky Feather. The teams had a really busy day – starting with a design brief and producing working prototypes by early afternoon.
Although I was delighted that in the opinion of the judge my old school house Osborne had won the day (and the chance to visit the National Cycling Centre in Manchester), I’d like to congratulate all those who took part. I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did and that you will remember this experience for many years to come. I’d also like to thank Deputy Head Chris Eccles for taking up my suggestion of holding this event at Dinnington and the support provided by the teaching staff.
The Faraday Challenge Day mini-season is being held at a number of schools in the Yorkshire region over the next few weeks, and will go nationwide to visit another 60+ schools from September. If you think you can assist the delivery team as a volunteer or would like to find out how a school near you might host an event please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
With the recent announcement of the Tour De France route for 2014 we’ve now just one room left for the weekend of the Yorkshire Grand Départ in July 2014.
If you would like to stay at Throapham House for the nights of the 4th, 5th and 6th of July 2014 and experience any difficulty with using our on-line reservation system then please contact us directly (01909 562208) to avoid disappointment.
During this period we will require you to book a minimum 3 night stay which includes all of the nights of 4 through 6 July.
Breakfast will be served earlier on 5th and 6th July to allow guests to travel to the race routes.
I’m looking forward to playing in Doncaster tomorrow night (19 October) with Hallgate Chamber Orchestra in a concert with Hatfield Colliery Band at the United Reform Church. It’s a varied programme of music and includes one of the favourite pieces from my teenage years – “The Great Gate of Kiev” from Mussorgsky’s “Pictures At an Exhibition”. Back then the Dinnington High School orchestra used to perform a simplified arrangement of this but I preferred the Emerson, Lake and Palmer (ELP) version – one of the tracks that inspired my career in electronics and love of ‘prog rock’. I last heard this played by the Carl Palmer Band at Clumber Park in 2012.
Tomorrow’s performance will be the first time I’ve played the full piece and with orchestra, brass band and church organ – something like 60 musicians in total. In a fairly small venue this should be good fun and very loud!
It will also be nice to accompany Vanessa Frampton again following a lovely concert at the Mansion House earlier this year.
We have already booked our tickets for The Old Dance School – a seven piece band (6 November) and The Happy Cats (26 November), led by ex Lindisfarne front man Marty Craggs. We saw The Happy Cats last year and had a fantastic night of entertainment and can’t wait to see them again. Letwell Village Hall is an intimate venue seating approximately 80 people and offers a selection of refreshments. The concerts are very popular and tickets sell very quickly. Anyone interested in purchasing tickets for any of the forthcoming concerts should contact Andy & Steph 01909 540694 email: email@example.com or Martyn Sharpe 01909 731626 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
We had a wonderful evening with friends at Letwell Village Hall recently when the hilarious and very talented New Rope String Band took to the stage. We were entertained with fiddles, banjo and accordion and would you believe plastic pipes and metal bars. There was a mixture of beautiful music plus lots of fun and laughter. We came away with lots of ideas to make music with our 3 grandchildren and are now looking forward to the next event which is The Old Dance School – a fantastic seven piece band on 6 November. Letwell Village Hall is wonderful intimate venue which makes the evening more special.
We’ve had some lovely summer weather at Throapham House this year, with a bumper crop of fruit – including around 20 pounds of grapes from our one and only outdoor vine – and we now have a good stock of home made jams and preserves in the cellar. Meanwhile I’ve been busy with my camera in our garden watching the progress of the seasons and managed to capture this stunning sunset over the village of Laughton-en-le-Morthen. It reminds me of a Saturn V rocket leaving the launchpad. The village forms part of a nice walk from Throapham taking in the English Heritage property of Roche Abbey.
Ann and I are currently working with partner organisations on some exciting educational opportunities for young people in the region. We’ll add updates on here as these projects develop.
We’re naturally both delighted that Yorkshire has landed this opportunity to showcase what the region has to offer and to be part of something which should bring lasting benefit to local people for years to come.
We’ve had a busy few days at Throapham with many of our guests attending the St Leger Festival taking place at nearby Doncaster Racecourse this week. Over breakfast I’ve been telling some of the local history associated with the oldest of Britain’s five classic horse-races and it now seems that Frankie Dettori will be in nearby Firbeck on Saturday morning ahead of this year’s race to unveil a plaque to commemorate Anthony St Leger’s connections with our area.