One Year on…

One year on since the closure of the SSI steel making site at Redcar and the sun now rises over a town that continues to feel the impact following the closure and the local economy struggles with the loss of so many well paid jobs and the lower spending power that people now have. Around three thousand jobs were lost from the site and from the supply chain when the site closed.

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Harvest Moon

The harvest moon rises into the evening sky behind the EDF energy wind farm near Redcar…

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First light

The first light of day rises up into the sky over the beach and cliffs at Saltburn by the Sea…

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Clifford’s Tower

English Heritage re-enactors prepare to leave Clifford’s Tower in York on foot and horseback as they follow the 300-mile route of King Harold to the site of the Battle of Hastings. The journey marks the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in 1066 where the forces of King Harold and Duke William of Normandy met in battle on October 14, 1066 on the outskirts of Hastings. William won the battle and was crowned king on Christmas day 1066. The battle marked the beginning of the Norman conquest of England.

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Hadrian’s Wall Live

The lives of Roman Legionnaires were re-enacted during the Hadrian’s Wall Live event at Birdoswald and Housesteads Roman forts over the weekend. The event which was organised by English Heritage brought together over 120 re-enactors from around Europe to create a living history camp for visitors to the ancient Roman forts on Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland and Cumbria. During the weekend the sights, sounds and smells of Roman and Barbarian life from around 124 AD were recreated with battle tactics, patrolling, camp life, cooking skills and equipment demonstrated. Hadrian’s Wall stretches 73 miles from sea to sea across the north of England and is a World heritage site.

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Blyth Tall Ships Regatta

The bustling port town in South East Northumberland played host to the four-day long prestigious Tall Ships Regatta. Up to 30 of the largest and most spectacular ships in the world, some up to 100 metres long and decades old attended the event from Norway, Portugal, Belgium, Poland, the Netherlands and the UK before they finally depart on a 500 nautical mile race from Blyth to the Swedish port of Gothenburg.

The maritime celebration takes place during the 60th anniversary of the Tall Ships Races.

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Rosedale Show – 2016

The annual Rosedale show took place yesterday. Founded in 1871 the annual Agricultural, Horticultural and Industrial Society show remains one of the most popular shows in the calendar…

 

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Forward Assist Photo & Writing Project

Geoffrey Bennison (88)

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“When the war broke out I was working as a farmer. I wanted to join the RAF but farming was a reserved occupation so I left and got a job as a porter in Thornaby Hospital. That way I could enlist.

I was a driver in the army and stationed in Egypt for two years. I would often drive from Egypt to Palestine. You had to be careful not to get sunburnt – that was a self-inflicted wound and you’d be put on report. My rank was Leading aircraftman (LAC) and I was also stationed at Thornaby Aerodrome and Bicester Airfield.

I once went on a training flight and the pilot allowed me to take the controls for a while even though I’d never been trained to fly a plane. I also got to drop a bomb and I hit the target.

I stayed on after the war for a further 6 years.”

Joyce Millett (90)

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“I was in the Land Army. We worked out in the fields. It was hard work. We had to feed you lot!

I went to school around Grove Hill. My husband was in the RAF.”

Dennis Metcallfe (89)

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“When I was about five years old I remember going round the streets with the other kids looking for bits of shrapnel to collect. It was like finding treasure, and I’d keep it till it went rusty. We’d explore in places we weren’t supposed to go. I found shells and even part of a rocket once.

After the war I did my National Service in the Army and went to Italy and Egypt. It taught me to look after myself and keep my uniform smart. I thought it was smashing! The food was good but I couldn’t afford to drink because I would send most of my wages home to my mother.”

Alice Irving (94)

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“I served in London as an ambulance driver and remember all the bombing night and day. It was very scary. I treated lots of children, it was such a sad time.”

Vera Sparks (93)

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“I served in the Women’s Auxiliary Force between 1942 and 1946. It was a big thing to serve your country in those days and I wanted to do my thing. I was a cook at Thornaby Aerodrome. I enjoyed being with the lads, serving them their food. I would wave off the young airmen as they left in their aeroplanes, never knowing if they’d return again.

I was also stationed in Alness, Invergordon for about three years. The people were very sociable. The villagers used to come out and wave to us, I felt very safe there. I remember in August 1942 we had a very special visitor: Prince George, the Duke of Kent. We waved him off but were shocked to hear his plane had crashed further north at Caithness.

After the war I went back home to look after my father, but I missed the company.”

Marjorie Roberts (90)

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“My Dad served with the Bantam Regiment during World War 1. He was injured during the Battle of the Somme, losing a leg and sent home for medical care.

During World War Two I served in the Women’s Land Army. Once I was married I followed my husband Theo to his various postings, including Turkey. My Mam was a widow and I wouldn’t leave her on her own so she came with us wherever we went. She didn’t mind travelling as long as we went with her.

When I gave birth to our son Jeff, Theo came home to see his new-born. He was put on a charge of desertion because he hadn’t got permission to leave the base.”

Jimmy (90)  and Margaret Kirk (90)

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“Just after the war I was in an Able Seaman in the Navy. I went to Jamaica, Halifax, Nova Scotia and Gibraltar and served on the HMS Paladin. They were happy days. We’d get a small cup of rum every day, which we called sippers or grog.”

“I was a volunteer Police woman in lodgings in Bedale.”

Joan Forman (94)

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“I was underage when I joined up. I was supposed to be 18 years old but they just turned a blind eye. I joined up at the start of the war and stayed in service for four and a half years – the whole tootie!

I was in the Women’s Auxiliary Force and I served with Bomber Command at Bicester Airfield doing accounts. The lads there bet me five shillings to jump from the parachute trainer platform. I did it more than once.”

From the opening today:

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Labour Leadership Hustings

Owen Smith MP and Jeremy Corbyn MP go head to head during a debate at the Hilton hotel in Gateshead in the second of a series of leadership debates. The result is expected to be announced on September 24…

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Hinderwell Show – 2016

The Hinderwell show in north-east Yorkshire has been held since 1868 providing family entertainment and fun with opportunities for people to show their skills and animals.

This year was the 147th show…here’s a few pictures from the day:

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

Hinderwell Show © Ian Forsyth 2016 No usage without arrangement

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English National Sheepdog Trials

Some 150 of the best sheepdogs and handlers in the country competed in the 3-day English National Sheepdog Trials on the Castle Howard estate near York this weekend to try and win one of 15 places available in the national team. The winners will go on to represent England at the International trials.

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Kynren – An epic tale of England

Taking its lead from the Puy du Fou theme park in France the Eleven Arches production of KYNREN takes the audience on a journey through 2,000 years of English history as seen through the eyes of Arthur, a 10-year old boy from the North East. He encounters myth, legends and history encompassing Roman times, the Viking and Norman invasions, St Cuthbert and the Lindisfarne Monks, medieval feasts, the Elizabethan era, Georgian Renaissance, the Industrial Revolution and the World Wars.

The spectacular event will be performed for the public on certain nights from July until September – see here for dates – and takes place on a 7.5 acre stage. The event involves more than 1,000 volunteers from the local area as the cast and crew who have all been professionally trained.

I photographed at the press evening performance in June ahead of the opening night which is where these pictures are from but after watching it again last night as part of the regular audience the show is a great spectacle and well worth making the effort to go along and see if you can.

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2016 Borrowby Show

Borrowby Show near Knayton in North Yorkshire was first held in 1949 and is now a regular feature in the show calendar. Field classes cover most farm animals including cattle and sheep and tent classes and exhibits range from farm and garden produce, flowers, cookery, wine, arts & crafts and children’s competitions. The popular event also includes show jumping, a gymkhana and a fancy dress parade and of course the best scarecrow competition!

Here’s a few from today…

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The 150th Ryedale Agricultural Show

The Ryedale Show was established in 1855 and is a traditional agricultural show renowned for its very high standard of entries in all sections. The show is run with both the farming community and townspeople’s interests in mind with eight show rings running throughout the day exhibiting prime cattle, horses, pigs and sheep along with many other attractions for the thousands of visitors who attend the one day long show.

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2016 Sunderland International Air Show

Thousands of people attended the 28th Sunderland International Air Show on July 23, 2016 in Sunderland, England. On and above the seafronts at Roker and Seaburn on the north east coast of England it is the largest free air show in Europe. The spectators are entertained by an impressive display of aircraft from across the world along with a simulated beach assault where Royal Marines Commandos assaulted from landing craft launched from HMS Bulwark and attacking an enemy position, simulated by the Army on the beach. The show is held over three days.

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Some of the pictures from the day also ran here Daily Mail and here Northern Echo

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Saltburn Steampunk

A few from the Saltburn Victorian Steampunk event earlier today…

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2016 Great Yorkshire Show

The annual Great Yorkshire Show now in its 158th year is the UK’s premier agricultural event and brings together agricultural displays, livestock events, farming demonstrations, food, dairy and produce stands as well as equestrian events to the thousands of visitors who attend the popular show over three days to celebrate the farming and agricultural community and their way of life.

Here’s a few pictures from the first day of the show this year…

First day of the Great Yorkshire show

First day of the Great Yorkshire show

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First day of the Great Yorkshire show

First day of the Great Yorkshire show

First day of the Great Yorkshire show

First day of the Great Yorkshire show

First day of the Great Yorkshire show

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First day of the Great Yorkshire show

First day of the Great Yorkshire show

First day of the Great Yorkshire show

First day of the Great Yorkshire show

First day of the Great Yorkshire show

First day of the Great Yorkshire show

First day of the Great Yorkshire show

First day of the Great Yorkshire show

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The 132nd Durham Miners Gala

More than two decades after the last pit closed in the Durham coalfield the Miners Gala or the Big Meeting as it is known locally remains as popular as ever with over 150,000 expected to attend this year for the 132nd gala. The gala forms part of the culture and heritage of the area and represents the communal values of the North East of England. The gala sees traditional colliery bands march through the city ahead of their respective pit banners and pass the County Hotel building where union leaders, invited guests and dignitaries gather on the balcony before then heading to the racecourse area for a day of entertainment and political speeches. Beginning in 1871 the gala is now the biggest trade union event in Europe and many thousands of people continue to attend each year.

Here’s a few from today…

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Under marble shields

Today marks the anniversary of the start of one of the most bloody battles of World War One. The Battle of the Somme. The battle took place between the 1st of July and the 18 November in 1916 and which by the end of the battle the British Army had suffered 420,000 casualties including nearly 60,000 on the first day alone and the French lost 200,000 men and the Germans nearly 500,000.

The vast majority of those Commonwealth soldiers who were killed were buried either where they fell or in hastily prepared graves nearby. The practice of non-repatriation of the dead was established during the First World War and meant that servicemen and women who died on active service abroad, were buried abroad. The countryside of France and Belgium is peppered with the immaculately maintained cemeteries that are looked after by the CWGC – The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

But closer to home there are many headstones from soldiers of the First World War that are scattered in cemeteries all over the country. The majority of those buried in the United Kingdom are predominantly the men and women who died at home in military hospitals after evacuation from the front. Others may have died in training accidents, some were killed in action in the air or at sea in our coastal waters.

I’ve photographed the headstones of a number of World War One soldiers who have graves marked in cemeteries near where I live. I visited Saltburn, Brotton, Skelton and Guisborough and through the project I made a record of a number of graves of those killed during or soon after the end of WW1.

 

The headstones of all British and Commonwealth are maintained and funded by the CWGC – The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Facts about the Battle of the Somme:

  1. The Battle of the Somme was originally meant to be a French led offensive with the British in support. It was also initially planned for August 1916
  2. When the German army attacked Verdun in February 1916 it was clear that France would not be able to lead any major offensive in 1916, indeed a British diversionary attack was needed fast to take the pressure of the French and divert German resources away from Verdun. That diversionary attack turned out to be the Battle of the Somme
  3. The preliminary bombardment lasted eight days and saw over 1,600 pieces of British artillery fire 1.73 million shells on to the German lines.
  4. The first infantry attack took place in the early morning of 1st July 1916 – the battle continued until the 18th November
  5. Many of the shells that were fired in that preliminary bombardment were duds and failed to explode. Those that did explode tended to be shrapnel shells which had little effect on barbed wire defences, dugouts and enemy strong points
  6. The average British infantryman carried 30kg of equipment as he went over the top during the first phase of the battle
  7. Britain lost 57,470 casualties (killed and wounded) on the first day of the Battle of the Somme
  8. 19,240 British soldiers were killed on the first day of the battle
  9. The oldest British soldier to die during the battle was Lt Henry Webber, 7th South Lancashire Regiment. He was 68 when he died on 27th July 1916
  10. On 15 September 1916 at Flers-Courcelette the tank made its operational debut. Although they scared many of the German soldiers in the front line, a mixture of poor tactics and unreliability meant that overall they failed to make a great impact
  11. During the Battle of the Somme 51 Victoria Crosses were awarded – 17 of them were awarded posthumously
  12. During the battle between July and November 1916, the French and British armies suffered around 625,000 casualties
  13. Germany casualty figures for the battle are estimated at 500,000
  14. The furthest advance of any allied force during the battle was five miles

 

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Armed Forces Day – Cleethorpes 2016

Out and about at the National Armed Forces Day event in Cleethorpes. Armed Forces Day is an annual event that gives an opportunity for the country to show its support for the men and women in the British Armed Forces.

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