Leeds today: Bingley Music, Yorkshire Paintings, barbers, conmen and Classical Fantastia tickets.

Sorry we’re late today; it’s been a bit hectic at BGL Towers. Today we have a lot of stuff from the YEP to cover – seems like the website problems they had last week have settled down. Good on you, YEP IT infrastructure staff!

A 19-year old case of bank robbery was closed when a tip off to Crimestoppers and an old evidence photo of a thumbprint were used to rebuild the case. The robbery from 1992 at the Northern Rock in Albion Place was solved despite the original evidence being destroyed in a flooding incident. Since the robbery Paul Hamilton had cleaned up his act and had a job helping disabled people get jobs, which helped mitigate the jail term, but he was still sent away for 21 months. Unduly harsh? Fair? Too lenient? Tricky one to moralise over, but the Police were happy with the conviction. DS Mark Bowes said:

“…criminals like Paul Hamilton who believe they can evade justice for their past crimes are very much mistaken. I am extremely pleased with Hamilton’s conviction, because it brings together detective work, the benefits of storing fingerprint evidence on a national database and public support for our efforts to detect serious crime.”

After the Opera in the Park paid ticketing… issue (I don’t want to say “fiasco”) there are calls to rethink the charge for Classical Fantasia. Normally crowds of 45,000 people attend Opera in the Park but this year the audience was only 6,596. Cllr Andrew Carter, leader of the Conservative group, led a blistering attack on the charging policy arguing that it was “voodoo economics”; Cllr Adam Ogilve has previously said that “We will of course review all the summer events at the end of the season, and we would like to thank everyone who was there and everyone involved in the event.”

On the same theme the YEP had a letter from a frustrated Party in the Park attendee, asking why people were prevented from taking soft drinks into the event. Cynics would say that it’s to protect the interests of concessions, others may argue that it’s to stop kids smuggling booze in, and bouncers will just say “policy, if you don’t like it you don’t have to come in”. But it is an interesting thought.

Again, YEP; a Leeds woman conned out of £45k by a witchdoctor. BGL mentioned this story some weeks ago; faith healers are targeting vulnerable people via leaflet drops and doorstep intimidation. The person in this article was taken in some time ago but has chosen now to tell her story in light of recent events. This is a dreadful story of the lengths people will go to for solace and the depth con artists will sink to in order to make a fast buck.

Finally from the YEP: Barbering is making a comeback. No longer are men satisfied with going to a hairdresser. Men want a no-nonsense barber, a quick trim or shave at a sensible price instead of a £35 cut-and-blow-dry, and slowly the days of there being a barber on every corner are making a small comeback. The article contains some great facts & figures and is well worth a read on the way home.

The Yorkshire Post reports that Eric Pickles MP has opened his gob again. He wants all councils and local authorities to disclose all of the assets they own, which is fine and I applaud this. What is slightly more chilling is the reason:

He said: “By cataloguing each and every asset councils can help Government find innovative new ways to utilise them, improve local services, keep council running costs down and save taxpayers’ money.”

Doesn’t this sound suspiciously like a business saying “we won’t strip your asset book, promise”? I await the “Local Government Minister wants councils to sell off golf courses and common land to property developers to reduce council tax bill” headline with a crushing sense of inevitability.

On a slightly cheerier note, The Guardian Notherner makes note of the “Yorkshire’s Favourite Paintings”, the digital archive that brings out paintings held in storage and makes them available to viewers of the website. A new series of images have been made available via the archive and are a joy to behold; Martin has picked out some lovely highlights, including Ivon Hitchens’ Poppies, which is lovely.

Purple Revolver previews The Bingley Music Live Festival being held in Bingley’s Myrtle Park over the first weekend in September. The headliners are a bit of all right – Fun Lovin’ Criminals, for starters – with support from The Stereo MCs and The Coral. Could be worth a night out.

Finally today, it seems there’s going to be another attempt a opening a fish restaurant in town. Cafe Fish is a Scots fish restaurant trying to make it big in England, and are opening branches in Leeds, amongst other places. BGL remembers Fish! trying to make a stand in Leeds, but alas. Still, it may open next year if all goes to plan. Let’s see what happens…

As ever if you have anything to say about these or any other stories then please get in touch. Mike will be on a train to Birmingham tomorrow morning at silly o’clock so you’ll be in the capable hands of Elly. See you then!

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2 Responses to Leeds today: Bingley Music, Yorkshire Paintings, barbers, conmen and Classical Fantastia tickets.

  1. Ian. says:

    So how come the YEP was claiming an Opera in the Park attendance of 50,000 initially (see BGL 2nd August edition)? A bit of a discrepancy there don’t you think? Any comment from the YEP?

    • To be fair it was the Yorkshire Post reporting capacity rather than the YEP, but this sort of thing is never really addressed. BGL: reporting what’s being reported 🙂

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