Thursday, 29 September 2016

A Yorkshire Tragedy via Essex

I've always thought that Yorkshire and Essex have quite a lot in common. Both have very clear identities and pride themselves on telling it like it is and being slightly different to the rest of the country. So it's interesting that Wivenhoe-based author Anthony Clavane has just published A Yorkshire Tragedy, a book about the demise of several Yorksire sporting institutions since the 1980s. There's an Essex link too, for Clavane, a long-term Essex resident who is a sports writer for the Daily Mirror, has plenty of revelations about the impact Essex businessman Anton Johnson had on Rotherham. 

The Guardian review of A Yorkshire Tragedy comments: "A tender and often terrifying tour of some of Yorkshire's — and England's — most cherished sporting institutions and the communities that surround and succour them, and how their experience reflects the nation's swaying fortunes since the 1980s. A Yorkshire Tragedy is compelling, illuminating, very human and often quite moving." Well worth a read.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Fighting hate crime in Harlow

Following the death of Polish resident Arkadiusz Joswik after being attacked in Harlow — and another case of assault on Poles —  there's a good overview of the situation by Stephen Bush in the New Statesman. Credit to the town's MP Robert Halfon for talking a lot of sense. Halfon says:  “I genuinely believe that the vast majority of people voted [Leave] because they just believed we were better off out. They didn’t like the bureaucracy of the European Union. The only thing I would say is that the Brexit thing allowed a small minority of horrific people to come out of the sewers and exploit division and hatred.”

He also points out that the Poles embody the spirit of Harlow, as a place for people in search of a better life. “They are regenerating local areas. They are ‘doing the right thing’: they are working hard, educating people; they fill up the churches. For them to feel frightened is terrifying.” To read the full article click on the link.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Things can only get Bata

There's a very interesting piece in the Guardian celebrating the architecture of the 1930s Bata factory and its workers' village at East Tilbury. It's billed as a "modernist marvel on the marshes of Essex". Sadly the Bata factory closed in 2005 and is now looking very dilapidated. It's Essex Architecture Week from Sep 10-11 and tours will be offered around the Bata village. There's also the Estuary Festival from Sep 17 to Oct 2, celebrating the area from Tilbury to Canvey Island. The days when a company would build flats, a cinema, shops and a hotel for its workforce seem long gone, and even though Amazon is opening a new warehouse in Tilbury you can't imagine them doing the same as Bata. Click on the link to read the full article.