FREE TO A GOOD HOME
Life Is Short Take It Slow
FEATURING: Discovering The Slow Movement, Going Vegan, Re-Read, Donny Hunters & Greenjacker
Editorial Warren Draper
Be More Tortoise Warren Draper
Peckish Scarlett Lee
From seconds to Seasons Jamie Brookes
A Slow Grown Revolution Greenjacker
Pull-Out Al Heighton Poster Alan Heighton
Well Read Mick Bailey
Run with the Hunters Myles Grayson
The Guide -
Fine Folk Michael Jenkinson
Jamie Brookes Greenjacker
Hilary Cartmel Myles Grayson
Rachel Horne Warren Draper
Paul Dyson Rob Johnson Sarah Villeneu
With Special Thanks to:
Right Up Our Street
Arts Council England
NOW THEN Magazine
Martin Pick Arissa Draper Photography: Warren Draper David Goehring Chris Preen Duncan Stafford Dell Inc. Mark Loraine John Fuller
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EDITORIAL Warren Draper This month we’re taking our foot off the accelerator - quite literally in Jamie Brooke’s case - as we take a long, hard look at the Slow Movement. The cult of speed has dominated much of human life for the last 150 years, demanding us to go faster and faster. Speed can indeed be a lot of fun at times, and certain things are much improved by it. But when we apply it to areas which are not suited to rushing, or when we go beyond our limits, the results can be devastating. We live in times dominated by widespread stress, anxiety and depression. How much of this is due to the speed at which we now live our lives? More and more of the things we own lack quality. Could this be because they were made in haste? Going slow is not about moving at a snail’s pace. It’s about moving at the right pace, a pace which suits the job in hand. It’s time we found the right pace for life. So in this issue of the Doncopolitan we examine how slowing down can improve quality, reduce stress and make our lives healthier, greener and more enjoyable. After introducing the Slow Movement (page 6) we hear from some of the people who have chosen to leave the frenzy of ‘normal’ life and walk their own path. In ‘Peckish’ (page 10), Scarlett Lee takes us on a gastronomic journey of discovery and introduces us to a forgotten local hero. In ‘From Seconds to Seasons’ (page 14), the aforementioned Jamie Brookes describes his own road from the manic pace of motor racing to the slower, but equally demanding, stride of farming. And our old friend the Greenjacker (page 18) describes revolution which is taking place at the speed of seed. One group who show no intention of slowing down though are the Donny Hunters (page 26), a local scooter club who are about to celebrate their 45th birthday,
making them the oldest scooter club in Doncaster. Elsewhere we hear about an amazing local project called Re-Read (page 22) which is helping to fight both illiteracy
and the devastating effects of austerity. We also get a sneak preview of what we can expect from this year’s Doncaster Folk Festival (page 38), which promises to be bigger and better than ever. This issue’s cover artist is the amazing Alan Heighton (alanheighton.co.uk), who has created works for everyone from Dazed & Confused to The Artic Monkeys. What’s more, he’s Donny born and bred and studied at Church View before getting a first-class honours degree from the University of Salford. I think you’ll agree that for an issue which has quality at its heart, we couldn’t have found a better local talent. When he’s not producing beautiful illustrations for prestigious clients (and us), he likes cycling, drinking cups of tea, films, galleries and reading books, which sounds like exactly the right pace of life to me.
ABOUT This magazine aims to provide an independent voice for Doncaster. We will big up anything which has the potential to add to Doncaster’s metropolitan appeal and strengthen the local economy - or as we call it, the Donconomy. We’ll celebrate Doncaster’s culture, arts, style, music, people, fashion, lifestyle, architecture and even, its coal-black underbelly. To remain as independent as possible this magazine is completely self-funded, relying on advertising and generous donations to stay afloat. If you would like to advertise with us, or if you’d like to support our endeavours through subscriptions or donations please call us on: +44 (0) 7846 439982 If you’re a local artist, musician, writer, photographer, fashionista, socialite or social commentator, and have something to contribute to this magazine, please get in touch. Online: www.doncopolitan.com email@example.com Write to us: Doncopolitan Magazine c/o Church View Centre Church View Doncaster DN1 1AF Social Media: Twitter: @doncopolitanMag #DoncopolitanMag Instagram: @Doncopolitan #Doncogram Facebook: facebook.com/doncopolitan YouTube: youtube.com/user/Doncopolitan
#Doncograms - 1. “Embarking on his Dream” by David Goehring 2014 2. “Time in a Bottle” Chris Preen 2012 3. Jay Williamson of the Sleaford Mods photographed by Duncan Stafford ©2015 4. Doncaster Mansion House photographed by Warren Draper 2015
BE MORE TORTOISE THE STRUGGLE TO TAKE IT SLOW
Warren Draper “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” So said Ferris Bueller as he took his famous Day Off back in the mid-eighties. Thirty years later, I’m guessing Ferris is now a high-powered marketing executive working a 50-plus hour week with kids who are way too busy with social media and online gaming to bother to bunk school and drown a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder. The pace of life was as fast as a Ferrari back then, but it just seems to keep on getting faster. Take a quick look at the adverts we’re bombarded with. They always seem to equate a free life with a fast life, encouraging us to go hard at it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But don’t forget to post it all online on the latest tablet, smartphone or smartwatch they happen to be advertising. According to the ad men, freedom is seen as the ability to work more, play more, do more and, most importantly, buy more. But the very definition of rebellion is not to follow the crowd. If you really want to be a rebel, take it slow.
Illustrations: Al Heighton ©2015
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not advocating shirking here, although as a regular contributor to the Idler magazine I am more than familiar with the benefits of constructive laziness. Taking things a bit slower actually has the opposite effect to not doing things at all. In the superfast modern world, a lot of people, even those working for the supposedly ‘highend’ brands, seem to do just enough to get the job done and no more. Very few people are prepared to go the extra mile, because that extra mile would just waste time. Real quality demands time, or as Voltaire put it “Perfection is attained by slow degrees; it requires the hand of time.“ Which is why the ongoing revolution to bring back quality is known as the Slow Movement. The Slow Movement began in 1986 (coincidentally, the year Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was released) when Italian food writer Carlo Petrini staged a protest against the opening of a McDonald’s restaurant in Rome’s stunning Piazza di Spagna. In retaliation to the idea of ‘fast food’, Petrini went on to create the Slow Food movement (slowfood.com), which strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine, encourages the use of
locally grown food, preserves heritage seeds and educates people about the need for slower, more localised food systems. Over the last three decades, millions of people have embraced the principles of Slow Food as it has expanded to become a global movement. As Carl Honoré writes in In Praise of Slow (Orion Books, 2004): “Across the world, food makers of all stripes are proving that small and slow are not only beautiful, but profitable, too. Fifteen years ago, for instance, two large companies, Miller and Busch, dominated the US beer market. Today fifteen hundred craft breweries make beer following Slow Food principles.” There’s a similar story going on in the UK. If you take a trip to Doncaster’s Marketplace Alehouse & Deli, you can see an eye-boggling sample of the fantastic array of craft beers being produced in Britain today. There’s very little in life which cannot be improved by slowness – except, perhaps, motor racing - and over the years the Slow Food movement has expanded to touch on virtually every aspect of life. I
first became aware of the Slow Movement in relation to clothing (Slow Fashion) when I came across a Wath-Upon-Dearne born Saville Row tailor by the name of David Saxby. David is very highly regarded for his sporting tweed and formal wear. His London and Harrogate shops are the first point of call for many an English gentleman and his work embodies everything which has made Saville Row renowned the world over for craftsmanship, quality and design. But David has seen Saville Row decline over the years, as skilled artisans have been replaced by trendier (a very telling word) fashion brands like Gucci, Armani and Prada. These boutique brands are all very nice, but they don’t offer the same level of artisan skill and personal service as the traditional bespoke English tailor. David laments the unique relationship which could be built up over time between a tailor and their client, which could be further developed as the customer had their clothes altered and repaired over time. David also believes that if you haven’t got much money,
then you really can’t afford not to buy quality goods. By this he means that you’re better spending what you have on something which will last (and which can be repaired) rather than spending less on a product which you have to replace more often. The initial overhead may be higher, but in the long run you save money. This is the slow way. As a man of few means myself, I know that some people will be frustrated by this comment, but it is possible to buy quality clothing without leaving yourself completely skint. One way is to buy high-quality second-hand goods. David also runs Old Hat, a shop which supplies second-hand bespoke suits and clothing for prices well below the equivalent high street prices for mass-produced items. Even if you need to have the piece altered once you’ve bought it you can still save money. One thing’s for sure - that Harris tweed is going to last you a lot longer than a polyester mix. Such is the quality of well-made second-hand that the Japanese routinely send scouts to trawl the UK’s charity shops for quality English shoes which are then sold for a small fortune back in Japan.
If you’re not into second-hand clothing, don’t worry. When it comes to high-end English shoes, one of the world’s best suppliers and repairers is right here in Doncaster. Shoe Healer on Scot Lane sell the best shoes money can buy to clients all over the world. Being the best, they’re not cheap, but Richard at Shoe Healer offers an old fashioned – and decidedly slow - service which should be re-adopted by any retailer who offers a high-end product: the ability to pay over time. You can call into the shop, get a fitting and pay what you can afford each month until the shoes are paid for. It may take more time for you to get what you want, but ultimately you get something which was well worth the wait, and you’re not left paying interest to a credit card company. This is the slow way, and it’s a way which is gaining momentum. Take a look at your life and see what you can do to slow down. Stop being busy and get busy being. End
PECKISH Scarlett Lee ‘Peckish’ was how a friend’s mum described me as a child and I’m still getting over it. I think she meant ‘greedy’. I was always into food. I still love food. Eating out or in. Being creative. Showing love. Exploring a place when I visit for the first time. I always remember what I ate.
Doncaster Market, 1990. The fishmongers bit. I’m there with my brother and my dad. Cute little plates on the counter. Cockles with vinegar. Happiness. I’m standing up like you do to eat there. Mind the gritty bits.
Conisbrough, 1997. School dinners. Margarita pizza every day (in) or chips and curry (out). Mr Lau’s polystyrene cones of goodness. Always exactly one ladle of curry. Never more. I always hoped. Lots of vinegar. Sometimes ham, finely sliced by the machine, on white from the bread shop. One time I got the end of the ham and it reminded me of a little hamster carcass and I couldn’t eat it. Slowly things changed.
Doncaster town centre, c. 1998. A wallpaper table set up in the high street with that awful poster of the cat with the bolt through its skull. The animal rights people have interesting hair. I’m there in my army surplus camo combats my dad bought me from the shop near the market. Felt super cool. Spice Girls and All Saints.
2009. Commuting in the car. There’s a news item on the radio about dairy calves. This is the reason many of us vegans are vegan. To get milk you have to have a recently pregnant cow. Enter the baby. Useful? Not really, so off to the slaughter he goes. Sitting in the car, I know this and I’ve known it for ages. I am a hypocrite. I’ve been a vegetarian for years by now yet I know I’m contributing to misery and death. I stop. I do research. I watch films online but stop short of Earthlings. It feels exciting and right eating new types of foods. My diet expands. I can still eat cake. I’m glad.
I’m not the first vegan in the village. We have a star of the vegan hall of fame to call our own - Donald Watson, founder of the Vegan Society, no less. Donald was born in Mexborough in 1910. He was the son of the headmaster of Denaby Main School. He had an epiphany at 14 and stopped eating meat. He didn’t do badly on his innings, living to old bones of 95.
Back when Donald was young, things were different. In fact, Donald and his gang were so radical they had to decide how they were going to describe this new, compassionate lifestyle. According to the Vegan Society, I could well be calling myself a ‘benevore’ or a ‘vitan’ had they opted for one of the other suggestions. The latter sounds to me like a person from the planet Health. To be fair, ‘vegan’ is a funny word and has always made me think of Spock and Vulcans. Live long and prosper, and eat cruelty free.
Aged 92, Donald was interviewed in 2002, still going strong and with a lot to say (the transcript is 34 pages long) - remembering childhood, sowing seeds in the yard of his South Yorkshire “row house”. He became a carpenter by trade and wrote the Vegan News, a hand-printed early ‘zine predating the Vegan Society (est. 1944). He gave his thoughts on everything from political activism (direct action: “I’ve respect for all the people who do it, but my own personal feeling is that I wouldn’t do it…”) to being a conscientious objector in World War 2 (“Suppose they sent me to a slaughterhouse? Or anywhere else where I’m expected to conform to orders from above?”). I wonder what he would make of Donny and all the good stuff that’s happening there now.
Back to 2015. I live in Nottingham now. Not far, but I’m proud to be from South Yorkshire. I miss our green hills and woods sometimes. Tyrion Lannister, aka the actor Peter Dinklage, Woody Harrelson and Russell Brand are famous vegans. It’s not really ‘outsider’ any more. It’s accessible. Food blogger Jack Monroe is posting vegan recipes. She’s not vegan but she likes them. My friends (not vegan) have me over for dinner. No, it’s ok, I don’t need to bring my own food,
they tell me. They are good friends, kind and inclusive, but mainly they are just familiar by now with what I don’t eat. They don’t have to think about it so it’s no bother, and their food is often vegan anyway. It’s cheap – see Jack Monroe’s recipes – healthy and local. My mum, unsolicited, recently produced a surprise Pyrex filled with a favourite childhood stew and dumplings. She used vegetable suet in the dumplings. It’s a winter cuddle straight from the 80s.
So thanks Donald Watson. We have a proud food heritage in South Yorkshire. We also have a proud activism heritage. We stand up for what we believe in and it feels good - the miners, the unions, the women, the workers and the vegans. I’m proud. End
vegansociety.com Recipes. Information. Campaigning. Shop.
a ni m a l a i d .o rg .uk Resources, free talks and cookery demos to schools.
happycow.net Enter your location – anywhere in the world – and you’re given veg friendly cafes, restaurants and hotels. The first thing I look at when travelling anywhere.
theppk.com Post Punk Kitchen. For the attitude and food porn. Isa is American. There are plenty of UK blogs, but this is worth a look.
veggierunners.com Leeds-based mother and daughter. More on the health angle.
a g i r lc a l le d j a c k .co m Not vegan, but anti-poverty and feminist campaigner, and Best Blog winner. Lots here for anyone wanting to leave out the animal products.
CAN’T WAIT For
This year’s DNweekeND will be bigger and better than ever. As well as the Frenchgate, Waterdale and Sir Nigel Gresley Square we will be putting events on at the Market and at a number of ‘surprise’ venues.
Visit the website at rightupourstreet.org.uk/dnweekend for more information about the exciting things we have planned for the town.
The next DNweekeND will be animating the town centre of Doncaster 19-21 June 2015, from the historic Mansion House to the bustling Market Place, surprises and curiosities will be waiting around every corner.
Wonder ART Dance Technology Magic
Right Up Our Street is led by a consortium of Doncaster arts organisations and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England until 2016
To SEASONS. An insider’s journey from on-grid to off-grid
Jamie Brookes “That one sounds like a bloody Spitfire!” I only just notice the increasingly frantic gentleman’s words over the thunderous roar of 14 rip-snorting race trucks barrelling down the home straight of Pembrey race circuit. While my driver relays vital information through the two-way radio headphones, my visual attention is divided between the stopwatch in my right hand and my left, vainly trying to shield the team’s timesheets from the piercing Welsh wind, constantly threatening to tear them from my grasp. I dutifully relay the last lap time to my driver. Another best. We’d managed to knock off another 0.3 seconds, bringing the total lap time to just over a minute. But the qualifying time limit of ten minutes expired somewhere around the penultimate corner, meaning that the lap time was the one we’d be judged on. I tell him to back off and pull in for postqualifying testing. We hoped to get in first, so we could be back in the paddock preparing to do it all over again an hour later.
This frenetic pace was my life for a number of years in the world of motor racing. It became second nature, synchronising watches and executing meals with military precision. The clock was king and no exemptions were given. It leaves a mark on a person’s soul. About a year after this I changed pace and moved into a vegetarian, organic, mostly off-grid community. In the heat of racing I had always neglected to sit and watch the seasons change, to notice when the first daffodils bared their delicate heads, or to spend time trying to decode the chattering of our indigenous birds. It was here that I got my first taste of a different method of managing workload, one I have come to call ‘rhythmic planning’. Rhythmic planning relates to identifying the ebb and flow of nature. One must look at the patterns of weather. Too wet, and digging is turned into a futile, sinking endeavour. Too dry, and one risks losing carefully managed food stocks to the unrelenting drying force of sunlight. Too cold, and your plants will succumb to devastating ice crystals. Too hot, and,
Photography: Dell Inc., 2011. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License.
well, let’s be honest - this is Britain. What are the chances of that? Joking aside, dear reader, I must be honest with you. At first, a part of me hoped that I would find myself with ample free time with which to frolic with our resident cow, pull a blanket onto the bottom field, surround myself with good beer and watch the clouds lazily pass overhead. In this respect, I regret to report, I was wrong. My version of slow living seems to counter-intuitively involve more work than the life I left. There is a difference, however. Nature has no real use for the human construct of time. It is rare the rhubarb asks me if it is time to bare its crimson crowns, or the chickens check how long it is before bedtime. Instead, they exhibit a natural tendency to know these things, taking clues from the environment around them. We have this feeling within us, but modern living has a way of taking precedence over our daily activities. We are required at work for 9am, regardless of the warmth or light conditions around us.
Rhythmic planning dictates a differing schedule. The jobs which need doing are arranged according to the ambient climate. One learns that an early riser in winter will face terrifying cold and little light to work with, and even the birds seem to echo the authors sentiment of ‘F*** that!’ The summer months, in contrast, may favour an early riser. The necessary work may require long hours in a growing patch, which in the heat of a July day might (and let us be honest, probably will) entail sunburn, dehydration and carnivorous insect attention. Getting that work done early in the temperate heat will alleviate some of these nuisances. Racing life might see a need to recalibrate the suspension settings to adapt to weather conditions. It’s unusual for one to have a great deal of time to accomplish this. It’s high pressure with little room for dalliance. The task will need to be completed to a high standard for safety, but longevity is rarely a concern. Working with the Earth has different priorities. Building a raised bed may need to be
Photography: Warren Draper ©2014
completed sometime before the warmer seasons. Ideally this raised bed should be designed to last at least a few years with minimal maintenance. The timeframe for the build may take place over an expanse of time at the leisure of the constructor. What is important in this case is the ability to resist weathering, the ceaseless entropic process to which all man-made efforts will one day succumb. Both jobs require finishing to a high standard and must be suitable for their allotted task. However, one is time pressured and has little need to consider the effect of age. The other is completed at a far more leisurely pace and as a consequence will take more overall time, but will only need to be done once for the foreseeable future. The real difference comes in the lifestyle. Racing is high adrenaline and demands on-point thinking, intense concentration and keen reflexes. Land work can be much more of a meandering process, prone to distraction and mucking about (as I am often told I do). I’m not here
to pass judgement on either of these lifestyles, because differing approaches to life are what create our wonderful diversity and never-ending new experiences. But having lived both I can tell you, I will never regret swapping oil for soil, and the peacefulness, reflection and ponderous nature of existence that comes with it. End
P.S. It did indeed sound like a bloody Spitfire.
A Slow Grown Revolution
Greenjacker “If you’re not busy being born, you’re busy buying.” So raged the urban guerilla group, the Angry Brigade, back in 1971 as they blew up the stock room of a trendy BIBA fashion boutique in London. As a guerilla of the gardening variety, I think seed bombs are far more productive than the type that go bang, but I do have some sympathy for the Angry Brigade’s frustration. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not anti-shopping, or anti-fashion for that matter – I often dig in a classy pair of bespoke wellies – but the more we rely on buying, as opposed to growing, making, building or crafting, the more we rely on other people for our basic needs. The more we rely on others, the less independent we are, and the less independent we are the less freedom we have. For all their talk of ‘revolution’, the politically-minded don’t seem to grasp the simple truth that the only way to bring about real change is to grow it ourselves. We love the ‘convenience’ of our supermarkets. Run out of apples? No problem. Just drive to the 24-hour MegaSupa-Ultra-Co store and buy some generic crunchy things which are flown in from New Zealand, stuck on a polystyrene tray and wrapped in plastic. We swipe them through an unmanned check-out, pay with plastic, stick it in a bag made of yet more plastic and drive home again. Convenient, cheap and utterly dependent on oil.
The sad truth is that oil companies make
more money from our food than our farmers do. From fertiliser to freight, every part of the modern industrial food system relies on oil. What’s more, the system is so efficient that if the oil were to run out, the supermarkets would be completely empty within days. This situation was brought to light by the fuel protests back in 2000. Emergency measures were introduced because just four days of action had brought the country to the brink of collapse. Efficiency may be great for profits, but its rubbish for resilience. As John Micheal Greer points out in his book, Green Wizardry: “What makes a system resilient is the presence of unused resources, and these are inefficient by definition. A bridge is resilient, for example, if it contains more steel and concrete than is needed to support its maximum load […] Unnecessary strength comes into play and keeps the bridge from falling down.” Societies, like bridges, are weakened when efficiency is given greater importance than resilience. Farms used to be resilient. They had a diverse range of crops, which meant they had more options (resilience) in case some failed. In many cases the farm had its own orchard. We keep hearing about how supermarkets offer diversity, but there used to be literally hundreds of varieties of apple (and pear, and plum, and medlar) grown around the country. Now supermarkets limit our choice to a dozen or so varieties at best. It’s crazy that our apples now
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travel further than most of us do in a year, especially when you consider that we’re surrounded by the things. Nobody in Donny is more than a couple of miles from an apple tree, yet most non-farmed apples are left to rot. Abundance Sheffield have the right idea. They collect fruit from the city’s many trees and turn them into delicious chutney. We should do the same in Doncaster. There are certainly plenty of fruit trees (if you’re interested, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org). If apple trees are not grafted then you never know exactly what you’re going to get, so picking self-seeded apples is full of surprises, which is why it’s so much fun. If you do want a certain variety then your best bet is to grow your own. Which brings us back to resilient farming. We live in a very fertile part of the country with one of the best micro-climates in the north of England. Virtually all of us have access to somewhere suitable for growing - even a humble window box allows you to grow your own herbs - so we can easily begin to build an urban farming network like the one designed by our good friend Fenrir (self-reliance-skills.co.uk). Doncaster Council is incredibly landrich. We should put pressure on them to establish community farms in each of Doncaster’s satellite towns. Widespread Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) would not only help make Doncaster more resilient, but it would supply much needed jobs and access to fresh, healthy food. A recent report from Friends of the
Earth Europe showed that this kind of small-scale, community-based resilient farming is the only viable means of supporting the global population in the long-term. It said that policy makers should: “...recognize the multiple benefits of short food supply chains for people and the environment. Locally-produced and affordable agroecological food should be the backbone of a food system that
increases our food sovereignty. The ‘business-as-usual’ model can no longer be considered an option for a wellfunctioning food system in the future.” We don’t have to wait for the policy makers, politicians and bureaucrats. As we saw with Ron Finley way back in issue one of the Doncopolitan, we can begin to plant wastelands and disused green areas with good food and make it freely available to everyone who wants it. The
Food Is Free Project is doing exactly that in over 200 cities worldwide. If you want to make a difference, check out their website – foodisfreeproject.org – and get digging! A combination of free food projects and CSA can make a real difference to our town. But be warned, this is nothing short of a revolution, and resistance is fertile. End
ÂŠ Alan Heighton 2015
Well READ. INTRODUCING Re-Read Mick Bailey The first book that I remember receiving was Brer Rabbit by Enid Blyton, which I was given by my book-mad parents for my seventh birthday. I also received Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson and a forgotten football annual, but it was Brer Rabbit which made an impression on me. Being given a book to keep was a luxury in a highly populated household, short on money but long on adventure. The cheeky rabbit who tricked all the other animals was my first literary hero. My Dad was a seaman and, in common with many like him who undertake long journeys, he always had stories to tell. I remember my Mam reading to us every night while my Dad was away at sea, just before we said our prayers. A particular favourite was Kim by Rudyard Kipling. For a family obsessed with stories and reading but with little spare money, the
local library was a treasure chest. My siblings and I didn’t go to Eton, unlike many of the people who have ordered the closure of the libraries. It must be difficult to understand for people who have never had a problem accessing books, but then again not that many people from Stainforth go to Eton. On a Saturday morning we would all walk the mile or so to the other end of the village. We were allowed three books each. It felt like Christmas day every week to a family who were not used to having any valuable possessions. Fast forward 40 years and, because of the austerity measures of the current government, local libraries are closing all over the country, as local authorities have to decide between keeping libraries open or caring for the elderly and other essential services. Some libraries are closing, leaving no access to books for children from families like mine all those
years ago. Nowadays it’s more likely to be the children of people who have had their benefits sanctioned or families who don’t prioritise books who suffer from a lack of access to reading material. But necessity is the mother of invention, and one Doncaster social enterprise is bucking the trend for devaluing the written word. Re-Read have taken over the running of Askern Library and are bringing to life yet another community facility that was facing closure forever. Working with Doncaster Council, Re-Read have successfully managed to turn a flagging library into a focal point for local people and membership is thriving. Re-Read’s Enterprise Manager, Jim McLaughlin, has a deep love of books which prompted him to set up the organisation. Re-Read’s business model is simple but, like most things of beauty, highly
effective. They take donations of discarded books and hold them in their units. They grade the books according to condition, genre and age, before listing some on several online sales platforms, such as Amazon. But children’s books have a very different journey to make. Children’s books are graded in their unit in the north of Doncaster and distributed to a range of outlets, such as children’s centres, schools and community events. The books are then given free to children attending the events.
Their plan is to bring all of their books, grading and listing activities into one unit. They are working from three separate units at the moment and this is not the most cost effective way of running the organisation. They are working to increase book related activities within the library, such as the lost art of storytelling and creative writing classes. A drama workshop has already taken place at the library and the scope for providing other activities for the children of Doncaster is huge.
Staffed mainly by volunteers, the Re-Read team have coined a phrase for the feeling of giving books away to children – the ‘Santa effect’. I imagine it’s the same feeling the librarian must have had 40 years ago in Stainforth as I picked my three books. I have never witnessed a greater need to get books into the hands of children living in deprived communities. It’s a terrible thing to see our local voluntary sector having to fill a gaping hole left by our short-sighted Government.
Re-Read have been in the news recently, attracting two new patrons in Joanne Harris, author of international bestseller Chocolat, and Brian Blessed, the Mexborough-born actor and the booming voice from Flash Gordon. There can be few things more valuable than igniting a child’s imagination with a good story and expanding the minds of our young people. For a Doncaster social enterprise to be leading the way in undoing some of the damage done by library closures is a real boon for the town. As the famous writer Maya Angelou said, “Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of their deep and continuing needs, is good for them.”
What started as a project to stop books going to landfill swiftly developed into so much more. Long-term unemployed people are given a new opportunity as part of the operations, and a number of jobs have been created from Re-Read’s growth. With over 75,000 books listed online, they are increasing their activities at the now flourishing Askern Library.
It is through reading books that I have had some of my greatest adventures. I remember walking into a building one day. There was a poster on a window that read, “I have walked on the moon
and I have rode a horse through the desert. I have scored the winning goal in a World Cup final at Wembley and I have met kings and queens. I released the prisoners from Auschwitz and I have travelled to the moon and gone back in time. I have sung in the Albert Hall and swum the Pacific Ocean. And I have done all these things in this building.” The poster that I read was on the window of my local library. Re-Read is an example of the power of a small group of determined people to change children’s lives for the better. In households where, for whatever reason, books are quite a way down the priority list, Jim and his team are ensuring that all children have access to the wonderful stories that are waiting to be explored by young impressionable minds. Books can change the world. They changed mine when I was a young boy. End
A big thank you to all at Re-Read; including Judith Smith, Tresa Morgan, Andrew Bailey, Melvin Hartshorn, Alan Spencer, Lauren Rose and Luke Duncan, and all the wounderful trainees such as Katey Byatt.
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Run with the
The scooter scene is coming back. It’s ever-growing. Northern Soul, parkas, Doc Martens and all things scooter are creeping back onto shelves and are bringing the culture with it. Doncaster has always had a strong presence. Men and women of all ages flock to the multitude of events throughout the year to celebrate all that is great about the scene. The Lambretta Club of Great Britain even hold their AGM here. The Doncaster Hunters Scooter Club was founded in 1970. It’s the oldest scooter club in Doncaster and is currently being run by chairman Craig Standeven. At one point it was a well-known fact that you could only sign up to the club if your Lambretta could get above 65 mph. It might not seem much, but even now that’s still a tall order. 45 years on, the spirit of our club is as big as ever and our open arms have invited over 50 members aged 18 to 60. We all get out on our Lambrettas and Vespas to spend the weekends touring the country and attending rallies. Along with thousands of other scooterists nationally,
Photography: Tprof, 2012. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported International License.
we touch the four corners of the UK year on year, from Cleethorpes to Tenby, Land’s End to John O’Groats. A few have even stretched as far as Central Europe. But we are coming back home to Donny to celebrate our 45th anniversary and we want you to join us. On Saturday 9th May you will find us, just like every year, at Parklands Sports and Social Club (Wheatley Hall Road, Doncaster DN2 4LT), where the grounds will be bustling with scooterists and enthusiasts throughout the day. There will be a marquee, stalls with all the scooterrelated merchandise at great prices, and we have young, up-and-coming band The Harringtons providing music in the afternoon. Hundreds of people will be riding from all over the country to create a vibrant diversity of scooters and join in on the fun. Some will be spotless, as if they rode out of the factory just yesterday, some will have custom paint jobs, and a few owners even get into the nitty gritty and engrave each part of the engine for that pristine, unique finish. A couple will be the complete opposite. On
the outside they’ll look like they’ve just been dragged through a hedge backwards - mine included, I admit - but most of these will shoot off like rockets. The clue here is not to judge a book by its cover. But it’s the night do when the Donny Hunters event really gets going. No matter what room, you’ll discover the sounds of the scooter scene. As well as our ever-popular room purely dedicated to Northern Soul, the main stage will have something for everyone. During the night we have special guests Style Selektors, a great ska/mod/indie band from the North East, blasting out tunes, followed by a mix of indie, reggae and ska, both new and old.
Weekend Ticket with camping facilities £10 Friday Night £3 with camping £5 Saturday Day £2 Saturday night £6 with Camping £8 For further details visit: d o nc a ste r hunte rs.co.uk End
So come along to what is always a fantastic event, discover the scene that’s been so strong in our town for so many years, and join in the movement and culture that is re-energising itself more each week.
27 26 27
MUSIC GUIDE GOD REST THESE ____________
Bang Bang Romeo
God Rest These Guts
Bang Bang Romeo - Johannesburg Available on iTunes
“Bluesy” Steve Keeton
This issue marks one year since we published the first issue of Doncopolitan. Back in May 2014, we asked Simon Saynor, boss and owner at Notorious Aardvark Record Store, to write a feature on Bang Bang Romeo, a band who formed at Doncaster Live sometime in 2011 and who have since been spreading their psychedelic sound all over the country. We hoped BBR would be destined for greatness. Thank you Anastasia, Ross and Richard for proving us right. In December 2014, BBR got signed by record label MadClubOfTwo and this year they have been filming in the deserts of southern Spain, recording their latest music video which premiered on GigSlutz.com at the end of April. As the location suggests, this is no lo-fi production. It’s a mini drama set in a western town. Frontwoman Anastasia Walker plays a rock ‘n’ roll goddess, complete with epic power notes and a signature floorlength Ossie Clarke style gown. It feels like BBR are starting to carve out their own unique style and the music industry is lapping it up. They’ve got a 60s thing going on, inspired by the likes of The Mamas and The Papas and The Beatles, but with a harder rock sound. After recently watching them perform at Priory, supporting Sleaford Mods, a friend commented that they are like a slowed down Skunk Anansie. It’s a good comparison, as Anastasia is just as fierce as Skin on stage.
Crisp and razor sharp, “Bluesy” Keeton’s newly released EP is like the battered old memoir of a dead man walking. Steve Keeton’s signature whisky slur and gravelly tones evoke the scene of a dusty saloon. A man of many tales, the bluesman weaves tunes of murdered wives and women deadlier than gators, and the songs take you away from Doncaster. You could be forgiven for mistaking Steve for a wanderer of the dry plains of Louisiana he sings of. Some tracks really stand out. ‘Die Like a Dog’ feels like a punchy introduction to the gritty protagonist of this album, and also a personal piece, like Keeton is revealing his true self, coming into his own. I feel like the entire collection is a personal memoir. The title track, ‘God Rest These Guts’, is a sober, pretty melody questioning a man’s mortality, and ‘Epilogue: Knocking’ is a track about a man who tells a tale of murder “if the night is dark enough and his drink is strong enough”. The lyrics are morbidly memorable: “Blood seeping through her wedding gown / He stood there where the blood stained the ground.” This is an album that takes you to a lowly drinking hole full of gunslingers and wounded hearts, and you just want to get another whisky. Jess Pagan, Sound Scoundrels
The band have been working closely with Chris Kimsey, a London-based producer with the likes of The Rolling Stones on his client list. Their new single ‘Johannesburg’ is super polished. Jo Good of XFM declared it “huge […] like a hard-edged Fleetwood Mac”. Listening to ‘Johannesburg’, you can’t help but feel this is the start of a phenomenal career for this band. Get your hands and your ears on ‘Johannesburg’. It’s a treat. Support BBR, because they are making music history for Doncaster. Make sure you can say we’ve been with them from the start. Arissa Draper Upcoming BBR Gigs 9th May - Cafe INDIEpendent, Scunthorpe 28th May – Plug, Sheffield (Photo credit Mark Loraine, 2014)
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Marketplace Alehouse & Deli 21 Market Place, Doncaster, DN1 1ND
Lalezar BBQ and Meze Bar Restaurant 78-80 East Laith Gate, DN1 1JD
In the case of Marketplace Alehouse & Deli, the phrase ‘perfection comes in small packages’ is one that fits the bill perfectly. Opened in 2013 by Kath and Rachel, this delightful café bar in the centre of Doncaster caters for an eclectic range of palates.
With an unprepossessing exterior and a seemingly non-existent publicity campaign, Lalezar’s reputation has grown quietly through word of mouth. The interior is equally modest, with minimal Turkish decor and the obligatory show kitchen, but this lack of showiness belies its true genius.
Together with their knowledgeable staff of Reece, Jack, Phil and Rebecca, a culinary journey of food and drink is created in this friendly atmosphere for customers of all tastes.
The menu, which you can ponder whilst munching on the complementary side dish of olives and deliciously moist warm flatbread, has all the usual Turkish delights: hummus, vine leaves, yoghurt, calamari rings, ke-babs, grilled fish, moussaka, falafels and pide (a kind of bread/pizza). What sets Lalezar apart is the sheer quality of the cuisine. Fresh, exquisitely cooked and beautifully presented, all meals are accompanied by a green salad, an onion salad and more bread - perhaps a different kind, always fresh and warm.
The setting has a continental feel, with a large collection of beers and lagers, including traditional and craft varieties, sourced both locally and internationally. The food is mainly tapas based grazing platters, created around nationally and regionally themed boards – Italian, Mediterranean, Spanish, French, German and Yorkshire boards. All are composed carefully and are really tasty, and at around £12.95 for four dishes, represent good value for money. I recently indulged in pre-theatre food and drinks, sharing a delicious Italian board, rinsed down with continental lager - a combination I look forward to revisiting very soon. There’s a fine range of baguettes too, served with many traditional and varied fillings and also available to take away. Reece told me how all the food is sourced locally, and how fantastic it is having the market, with all its fresh meat and vegetables, an infinite natural pantry outside their own front door. Open five days a week, it’s advisable to book in advance as tables at this popular eatery are quickly taken up. Plans for the future include a monthly beer and food tasting night for customers to enjoy and broaden their palates, discovering something new and different from the menu. Also, for this year’s DNweekeND, 19th-21st June, the Marketplace will be contributing live music performances to this busy festival of arts and culture. If you’re looking for that special intimate venue, with quality food and drink and excellent service, remember to include the Marketplace Alehouse & Deli on your list. This wonderful little gem is a must. You will not be disappointed. Paul Dyson
For starters, the Ezme (finely chopped salad) with pomegranate dressing is exquisitely delicate in flavour and the recommended warm version is a treat. As a lover of aubergine, for the main dish I tend to go for the Patlican (aubergine) kebab or Imam Bayaldi (stuffed aubergine). The aubergine is cooked to perfection and bursting with flavour. I also recommend the Coban Kavurma (Shepeherd’s Fry Up). My one criticism is the size of the portions. I hate to see food go to waste, but I have been sorely chal-lenged on more than one occasion to finish my meal. I have never managed dessert, apart from the com-plementary Turkish delight that comes with the invariably reasonable bill. A three course meal - if you can manage it - at £20-25 a head, including wine and a friendly, efficient and relaxed service, makes for an ex-cellent night out. Takeaway and delivery also available. Sarah Villeneu
Open Air Cinema
Alice in Wonderland
Open Air Cinema Paddington Comes to Mexborough
Jan Svankmajer’s masterful version of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ 24th April Phantom Cinema, Doncaster Brewery, DN1 3EL
Easter week arrived first class in Mexborough this year as Doncaster’s Right Up Our Street were back in town with another hugely successful open air cinema event. Not just a brief encounter, but a whole platform’s worth of entertainment was on offer, as Mexborough’s Hope Street was transformed into a railway station for the film Paddington. Members of the community group, dressed in authentic railway overalls, welcomed the arrival of Paddington to the town in a novel display of synchronised railway signalling with flags and whistles, tightly choreographed by community arts organiser Dominic Somers. Paddington himself made an appearance and proved popular with everyone, especially families who took advantage of the photo opportunity with this VIP. An endless supply of popcorn was also on hand to feed the appetite of the audience as we counted down to show time. It wasn’t just the two films, Paddington and Masters of the Universe, which were on the menu here. Two fabulous railway sheds, specially designed by Doncaster artist Dan Jones, brought further characterisation to the scene. These were put to fine artistic use as poetry sheds by the event’s poet-in-residence, Ian Parks. Ian Parks is a notable local poet with a national reputation and has achieved many accolades for his poetry. He is respected throughout the UK for his contemporary work and his emotive love poems. I met Ian inside one of the sheds. Dressed in period attire, he was offering masterclasses to budding writers and poets alike, inspiring them with one-on-one coaching and honing their skills under his tutelage. The event certainly went down a treat with the community in Mexborough. The sun came out, the rain stayed away and all was well. The audience left positive feedback on special themed luggage tickets that were tied to the bunting around the arena. These fluttered in the breeze like confetti, displaying colourful miniature artworks created by the children on the day. As yet, no dates are planned for the next open air cinema event in Mexborough, but the Right Up Our Street team have recently secured funding to keep the Cosy Cinema running at the Concertina Club, showing free films for the next 18 months. These are held on the first Thursday of the month at 8pm. Details of these and many other local community events can be found on Right Up Our Street’s website and social media pages. Paul Dyson
Being unfamiliar with Czech director Jan Švankmajer’s previous work and a bit patchy on surrealist cinema in general, I didn’t quite know what to expect when I sat down with a pint of Doncaster’s finest ale at Phantom Cinema’s latest screening. Švankmajer had made a number of celebrated short films during the 60s and 70s before he made his first feature film in 1988, Alice, a surreal and nightmarish take on Lewis Carroll’s classic novel. Švankmajer rejected the idea of Alice in Wonderland as a fairy tale, instead seeing it as a ‘realised dream’, and it is this theme that creates such a memorable adaptation. Alice definitely isn’t for everyone. Švankmajer continually uses extreme close-ups and jarring sound effects to drive home what Alice is experiencing, but as in the novel Alice remains calm and almost nonplussed during the most frightening sequences. Indeed, we see a lot more of Alice than in any other reworking and, ironically for such an unconventional take on the story, Alice is probably the most faithful to the source material. In recent adaptations such as Tim Burton’s, Alice has become almost a bystander in her own story, with the Cheshire Cat (notably absent here) and the Queen of Hearts taking centre stage. This is not in keeping with the original book, which went into great detail about how Alice felt about each new development in the strange world of Wonderland. Švankmajer’s take on Wonderland itself is unique. Gone are the colourful and beautiful landscapes, replaced instead by industrial household items and grey rooms lit by a single hanging light bulb. It is here where Alice is at its most dark and grotesque. The seamless mixture of stop motion animation and live action only adds to the dreamlike sense of unease and confusion. Stop motion animation is something commonly used by Švankmajer in his other works and it is really impressive in Alice, once again proving that just because new technology exists, it isn’t always the most effective method, as Wes Anderson’s brilliant use of stop motion in Fantastic Mr Fox also attests to. For all the creative use of animation and sound, the imaginative concept and fantastic ending, Alice is a success because it goes back to the roots of what made Alice in Wonderland so magical in the first place: Alice herself - the dreamer, not the dreamed. Rob Johnson (Photo Credit: John Fuller ©2015)
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Deep as England
Mouthy Poets On Tour
Englaland by Steve Ely (Smokestack Books, ISBN 978-0-9929581-4-5, £8.95)
Mouthy Poets on Tour Cast Theatre, Saturday 14th March
Hot on the heels of his first collection of poems, Oswald’s Book of Hours (Smokestack, 2013), Steve Ely’s Englaland deepens and extends themes already present in the earlier book. All the qualities that made that collection so memorable – the distinctive voice, the sensitivity to the landscape and the past, the intensity of language, and the passion for social justice – are here in abundance. If anything, Englaland is more ambitious in its scope and execution. Here are poems that well up from the popular consciousness with power and dignity, full of controlled rage and tempered with the fire of radical convictions.
The blurb promised: “Diverse young voices birth a truthful show...”
With a cast list that includes “Danish huscarls, Falklands war heroes, pit-village bird-nesters, aging prize-fighters, flying pickets, jihadi suicidebombers and singing yellowhammers”, the collection offers us a vivid and uncompromising portrait of Northern England, infused with the spirit of the people who made and continue to make it. The collection opens with a long narrative poem, ‘The Battle of Brunanburgh’, which deals with the decisive but now largely forgotten conflict in which the Saxon King Athelstan defeated a confederation of invading Scots, Irish, Britons and Vikings, somewhere in the vicinity of what is now the Meadowhall shopping centre. Ely’s monumental poem presents an unflinching view of the holocaust that was Brunanburgh without making his audience feel as if they are reading a poem about the past. This is the poet’s major gift, and he extends it into the shorter, lyric poems like ‘Monk Bretton Priory’. “The past is never dead,” wrote the great American novelist William Faulkner, “it’s not even past.” This truth runs like a rich seam through every page of Steve Ely’s collection, animating it and driving it forward at every level. Englaland is a place with an ever-present past. In his poem, ‘Pike’, Ted Hughes wrote about fishing in a pond “as deep as England”. In exploring that depth and bringing its forgotten secrets to life, Ely has done something remarkable. Ian Parks
“Truthful” and “young”, yes. And great. On reading the word “birth”, I paused. A local once described Doncaster as “a bread and butter town”. Like many Doncastrians, I love art but mistrust artiness. The performance by the 15 to 30-year-old Nottingham poets had a hefty slug of art, mixed with some confusing – to me and, I suspect, other audience members – artiness. The show began with the poets sitting, milling or buzzing about the stage. This led me to ask another audience member whether or not the performance had started. I’m glad I bought the accompanying poetry pamphlet. Several performances which puzzled me on stage worked well on the page. Hayley Green’s ‘How to Open a Can of Fish’ springs to mind. One of the poets who annoyed me most with her pre-act turned in one of my favourite performances of the night. Bea Udeh’s ‘Purple Plane’, a poem about a seven year old, was engaging and accurate, yet poignant in its child’s perspective of a house fire which killed six other kids. Another stand out was Neal Pike’s ‘Chugging Up Hills’. “Truthful”, indeed, in its passion, anger and humour. I enjoyed Honey Williams’ ‘This is How the Night was Made (Lord of the Night)’, which combined the element of surprise with another welcome dollop of edgy comedy. ‘Spoken word’ now includes music. Clearly performance poetry has moved on from when I used to watch it in the 80s and 90s. The two main singers – both women – were amazing in their own, very different, ways. Lass who sang, “Let me write down your commandments,” whilst playing guitar? You rock. Sheila North
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Art At The Deli
Scicluna’s Market Place, DN1 Doncaster
DNweekeND 19-21st June 2015
Scicluna Delicatessen is just off Doncaster Market . In the coffee bar is Doncaster’s newest and smallest Art Gallery. What is foundly now known as “Art in the Deli”. The artwork will change every month showcasing sometimes, work by local makers, sometimes artists working with food related subject matter, sometimes with seasonal themes and work by art students at The Hub. Every month there will be something different to see something and all the work is for sale. The Art in the Deli ( www.artatthedeli.com ) takes only 10% commission on sales and all commissions from sales will go to a charity which supports street children in Columbia. The administrator of the chairty is a friend of Josie’s the proprietor of Sciculna’s and so she knows that every penny raised reaches its destination www.letthechildrenlive.org. This month’s exhibition is themed on birds in keeping with spring time. Six artists have put together a show in this tiny space working in silk screen print, relief print, ceramics, felt and drawing. Philp Cox, Chris Campbell, Shaun Clark, Michael Johnson and Sheila Firth. Next months exhibition will be in May showing paintings by abstract expressionist Rama Ramski.
This June the second DNweekeND hits Doncaster town centre with an almighty boom! A cultural explosion will be lighting up the streets, inside and outside, for three days showcasing an eclectic mix of music, theatre, dance, installations, art, poetry, circus and spectacle. 2015’s DNweekeND is even bigger and better than last year, with some of Doncaster’s best local artists and groups plus national and international acts bringing their work to our town.
Scicluna’s Deli is an artwork in it’s on right, a treasure trove of produce from around the world. Every ingredient that you could possibly want is here. Wonderful bread is made specially by a master baker and delivered on Friday and Saturdays . there are freshly made cakes and frittata. Scicluna is owned and run by Josie, who used to have a small stall in the Market Hall and has been in the present premises for about 2 years. In the same shop there is also has a small coffee bar and fooderie where you can have the best coffee in town and some wonderful homemade soups, sandwiches and cakes. Don’t forget to stop by and enjoy this wonderful independent business and the artwork on show.
Empty and unused shop units will be transformed into unique and quirky spaces plus, to add to the mix this year, we’re going to be working in and with existing Doncaster businesses to create some truly exciting happenings- think cosy one-person performances in cafes, yarn-storming market stalls and dancing in pubs! Historic Doncaster spaces will be transformed into performance venues. The Mansion House will be opening its doors to site-specific theatre from playwright Richard Hurford who has been working with local writers and performers to create an original piece. The Marketplace will be host to No Fit State who will be kicking off their international tour right here in Doncaster with their quirky and vibrant street circus show Open House. The Doncaster Big Sing brings together singers from across the borough to perform a brand new composition inspired by the history and future of Doncaster, culminating in a powerful and celebratory performance. Over fifty acts will be illuminating the town from the Frenchgate Centre to Sir Nigel Gresley Square, from intimate one-to-one performances to large scale theatrical shows, from walkabout interactive street acts, to chilledout hammocks by the world music stage, the DNweekeND promises a weekend to remember here in our home town. The full programme will be announced soon, to be kept in the loop and for more information visit www.rightupourstreet.org.uk where you can also find out about becoming part of the festival assistant volunteer team. Rachel Ryan
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Art Takeover Rossington Labour Club, Gattison Lane, Rossington, DN11 0NR 22nd May, 2015 Rossington Labour Club was formed in the 1960s to provide a social centre within the expanding mining community, open to both men and women. Revolutionary in its day, the committee continues to take a progressive outlook and welcome the opportunity to showcase visual art exhibitions for local people in Rossington. Building on the successes of the 2013 Art Take Over, Rossington-based artists Caroline and Adam Ogden, in collaboration with New Fringe, are showing a poignant exhibition entitled ‘What’s Left?’ exploring the legacy of the South Yorkshire Mining industry in Rossington. The exhibition features, painting, drawing, photography and sculpture. Artist Adam Ogden states: “The opening day will be packed with creative activities, all of which have a contemporary art focus. It starts with an open photographic studio, collecting images and comment from people of all ages effected by the events of 1984. We then have practical drawing sessions for people to get involved with, followed by a series short talks given by local artists. The day culminates in the screening of the Docufest Award-wining film ‘Still The Enemy Within’. Thanks to the generosity of the Labour Club, the events are free and anyone will be welcome to attend. It offers a real opportunity for contemporary art lovers and those with an interest in the social history of our region to meet, share ideas and build creative collaborations.” Still The Enemy Within will be screened at the exhibition opening. It is a unique insight into one of history’s most dramatic events, the 1984-85 British Miners’ Strike. Thirty years on, this is the raw, first-hand experience of those who lived through Britain’s longest strike, following the highs and lows of that life-changing year. Opening Day Schedule: 11:00 to 12:30 13:30 to 14:30 15:00 to 17:00 18:30 to 20:30
Art for the Scared – Portraits from Rossington What’s Left? Open Studio – Tell Your Story Artists Stories (15 min from each) Introduction, followed byscreening of the film ‘Still the Enemy Within’ 20:30 onwards Open discussion. Martin Pick
Doncaster's Talking Shop Mental Health Awareness Week 11th to 17th May Rossington Mental illness does not discriminate. Neither should we. With this in mind, Doncaster’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) team at the Talking Shop will be celebrating Mental Health Awareness week, informing the public about the importance of maintaining good mental health and raising awareness about mental health difficulties. From 11th to 17th May, the Talking Shop will be giving information to the public and raising the awareness that mental health illness needs. The Talking Shop will be open for drop-in sessions, informal chats with psychotherapists, and information about the different types of mental health illnesses and available treatments. Mental health difficulties can range from mild depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and self harm. The Talking Shop team want to eliminate the social stigma that mental illness carries and encourage people to seek advice if they feel they or someone they know may have a mental health illness. Timothy Godley, IAPT Doncaster team manager, said: “It is really important for us to promote the awareness of mental health during the Awareness Week and beyond. We want to encourage people to come and see us, no matter how minor they feel it may be. We have exceptional services in Doncaster together with outstanding staff and therapists. We want to share that with the people of Doncaster.” Doncaster Mind, an independent local charity, said: “We believe that no one should have to face a mental health difficulty alone. Whether you are stressed, anxious, depressed or in a crisis, we’ll listen and offer support.” Since 2010, the RDaSH IAPT service has opened Talking Shops in Doncaster, Rotherham and Scunthorpe, providing services and treatment for mental health illness and advocating awareness. Treatments include individual therapies, group therapies, wellbeing and self help. Let’s get talking about mental health. For more information on Mental Health Awareness week, visit: www.mentalhealth.org For more information on IAPT services and the Talking Shop, visit: www.talkingsense.org (Picture shows part of a poster from a Cask Corner Mental Health Awareness event.)
24th April - The Clone Roses 26th April - Roxy Musique 2nd May - Coldplace 9th May - John McCullagh & The Escorts 16th May - Ginger Tom EP-II Launch May 29th - Youthman 5 th June - The ZZtops 6th June - Black Grape 27th June - Cast 10th July - The Jackobins 25th July - Stereo MCâ€™s 20th September - Raymond Froggat 21st November - Off The Wall
Box Office - 01302 965040
A Guide To the Doncaster Folk Festival
Michael Jenkinson Doncaster’s annual celebration of folk, roots, acoustic, blues and country music returns this year on the weekend of 15th to 17th May. From tentative steps eight years ago, it has slowly established itself on the national festival circuit and developed its credibility with the media, performers and audience. Recent years have seen high-profile artists like the multiaward winning Chris Wood, legendary songwriter Leon Rosselson, and younger breakthrough performers like Lucy Ward take the stage. If you’ve not heard of Doncaster Folk Festival, here’s your guide to what’s on where. The Main Stage – The Ukrainian Club Our centre of operations and main venue is the Ukrainian Centre on Beckett Road, a short walk from the town centre. The Ukrainian is a lovely, intimate and welcoming concert hall, with excellent sound and lighting, and is really appreciated by artists due to its excellent onstage and backstage facilities. It’s renowned for the quality of its cask beers and offers a mini-festival of rotating real ales, usually sourced from local Yorkshire breweries. Food is also a speciality and the festival has acquired quite a reputation for its homemade fayre. Our house caterers, Passion for Food, treat us to a range of stews, curries and pies, accompanied by marvellous home-baked bread. Touring performers often remark that it far exceeds the usual festival grub. Friday night will be headlined by The Jon Palmer Acoustic Band, who took the place by storm when they visited us back in February. We are also proud to announce our Saturday night headliners The Young’uns have just won the prestigious
BBC Radio 2 Folk Award for 2015 Best Band. Here’s the line-up: Friday Night Doors 6.30pm The Jon Palmer Acoustic Band | John Conolly & Rob Van Sante | Naomi Bedford Saturday Afternoon Doors 12pm The Danny Landau Band | Alistair Pearson | Murder at the Seaside | Plus the winner of the festival’s 2015 songwriting competition. Saturday Evening Doors 6.30pm for 7.30pm start The Young’uns | Hannah Palmer | Steve Turner Folk Festival Support Original Live Music An organisation like ours needs good partners, and local community radio Sine FM offer us invaluable media support, whilst The Notorious Aardvark Record Shop are acting as curators of our Saturday afternoon stage, selecting the performers and hosting. We invited musicians from across Yorkshire to submit original material for the chance to open the Aardvark stage on Saturday 16th. The shortlisted performers take part in a live ‘play off’ at Cask Corner Dive Bar in Doncaster, with a people’s ballot deciding the winning entry. Last year’s competition was won by local artist Jade-Lee Saxelby, who went on to deliver a stunning set, and the high calibre of entries this year promises a similar treat in store. The Day of Dance – Traditional Folk Dancing across Doncaster Town Centre. The festival now boasts a ceilidh, a
day of traditional dance, singarounds and musicians’ sessions which take place throughout the town on Saturday 16th. A couple of years ago, the festival commissioned Hallamshire Traditions to coordinate a Day of Dance, calling on Paul Davenport’s vast experience and knowledge of Morris dance. After some initial resistance – Morris sides prefer to congregate in towns with an established dance tradition – the event has gathered real momentum. This year we have planned the largest exhibition of traditional dance ever seen in town. The day will see a blaze of colour, ribbons, sticks and longswords - every style of Morris dance in the Market Place, High Street, Priory Walk and Waterdale from late morning to mid-afternoon, with all the teams descending on Sir Nigel Gresley Square for a grand finale at around 3.30pm. Doncaster Brewery Tap – Saturday Session 1pm, Free Entry Musicians and quality real ales from Doncaster’s own in-house micro brewery. There will also be a musicians’ session kicking off at around 1.30pm, which will offer good-time music for players and listeners alike, and as the Morris dancing comes to a close at around 4.30pm. Salutation Inn - South Parade Saturday Session 2.30 pm Free Entry. A singaround led by our ceilidh band, Alterego. Learn to Ceilidh Dance at Doncaster Deaf College, Saturday 7.30pm Alterego will decamp to Doncaster Deaf College on Leger Way, where the evening ceilidh will kick off at 7.30pm. For those not familiar with ceilidh, descending
from the Gaelic word for ‘gathering’ or ‘party’, it’s akin to a barn dance, where a caller shouts the steps and the audience/ dancers learn as they go along. The beauty is that everyone can take part, young or old, experienced dancers to beginners, even those with two left feet. It’s not complicated and pretty much guarantees a fun-filled night of wild dancing, good music and great company. Sunday Survivors at Masons’ Arms, Market Place 1pm, Free Entry A relaxed singers and musicians session with a few special guests dropping in. The survivors’ session is always quite an occasion, attracting performers from far and wide and creating a great atmosphere. It starts at around midday and carries on for as long as there is someone willing and able to perform. And finally… Because the festival is taking on a life of its own, other venues have begun approaching us to ask if they can stage events during festival week and have them advertised under the Doncaster Folk Festival umbrella. To me that is a great sign of progression and success. If the event can transform into Doncaster Folk Week, then that would be a real coup.
Full Weekend Ticket - £35 Friday Evening Ticket - £15 Saturday Afternoon Ticket - £10 Saturday Evening Ticket - £15 Saturday Evening Ceilidh - £6 Under 13’s go free! End
One to Watch Out For. Not technically part of Doncaster Folk Festival but coincidently on the following Sunday (May 24th) Cast Doncaster’s performance venue is hosting two phenomenal folksong voices from either side of the Atlantic perform songs with a rare, raw passion and tangible energy. Mercury Prize nominee Eliza is one of the most engaging performers of her generation and has recorded with a diverse array of artists including Paul Weller, Richard Hawley, Patrick Wolf and Peggy Seeger. Tim Eriksen is acclaimed for transforming American tradition with his startling interpretations of old ballads, love songs, shape-note gospel and dance tunes. Together they form a powerhouse duo that is, in turns, hilarious and heartbreaking, intense and joyful.
If any of this sounds like your cup of tea, all the info is at: doncasterfolkfestival.org.uk ...or you can drop us a line at: email@example.com and sign up to the newsletter.
Life is short, take it slow. Doncaster's most beautifully produced magazine is back with some sage advice and some sweet illustrations!
Published on May 1, 2015
Life is short, take it slow. Doncaster's most beautifully produced magazine is back with some sage advice and some sweet illustrations!