Leeds today: festivals, scarecrows, cycling (again) and giant vegetables.

Morning everyone – hope the weather’s a bit nicer where you are, it’s a terribly grey day here.

The rail strikes that disrupted many services yesterday will end today, with train schedules hopefully back to normal. The two unions, Aslef and RMT, will be continuing with strike action tomorrow: if you are intending on travelling, check before you go! These strikes are over a proposed pay offer and will dramatically affect those travelling across Yorkshire, including to Leeds Festival. Most notably altered services for Yorkshire yesterday were those of First Transpennine Express Trains so definitely double check if you intend on catching one of these tomorrow.

Talking of Leeds Festival, its organiser Melvin Benn (no relation to Mr Benn) has reassured fans that detailed safety precautions are in place in the event of an emergency, like the freak storm that hit the Belgian Pukklepop festival last week, in which over 100 people were injured. On the Newsbeat website, Benn said that safety was a major concern for all the UK festivals, including liaising with the emergency services. So if you’re going to Leeds, don’t worry – Melvin’s got your back. All you need to watch out for now is the copious amounts of booze e’s whizz rock and roll baby (after all, Pulp are playing).

We also had a question on Twitter (like a real newsroom!) from @seaneeboy, who asked: ‘Do #Leeds Businesses see benefit from Leeds festival? Or is it a case of no-effect-if-youre-not-there?’ If you’ve got an answer, we’d love to know – or give @seaneeboy a tweet.

Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th September will see the first ever national festival for disability cycling held in Leeds. The event, hosted by the Charles Centre for Sport (near Middleton Park), will have on display the various different adapted bicycles suitable for those individuals with disabilities, include trikes and tandems. There will also be expert advice on hand and activities like skills challenges and pedal-powered scalextric racing (!!).

Also in September near Middleton Park is the Friends of Middleton Park’s Annual Show, held on the 11th September. In classic flower and produce show format, you can enter different varieties of vegetable, flower, fruit, handmade craft and baked goods. There will also be activities throughout the day including pony rides, a miniature railway and hen racing (!! again). For more information check out the South Leeds Life website. I know that people always seem to say that things like this, or old school handicrafts, or whatnot, are all dying out – but they seem to still be popular in and around Leeds. What do you think – are people still interested in who’s grown the biggest courgette and whose jam didn’t make it through the first round this year? Are people still enjoying those traditional skills that urban life has all but removed the necessity for?

Emmerdale was the key to Anne Hathaway’s meandering accent in her latest film, One Day, reports the BBC. Hathaway said that alongside working with a voice coach she watched Emmerdale a lot in order to get a feel for the accent. While Suzanne Moore, on Front Row (BBC 4) said the accents were ‘all over the shop’, the author didn’t feel that this was too much of a problem:

“I understand the trepidation but British actors are constantly playing American roles and it’s always seen as a rather good thing, and I see no reason why it shouldn’t be a good thing working the other way.”

If he thinks that Brits playing unconvincing Americans is apparently a good thing, I have no idea who he’s been talking to. However, the entire debacle did make the film very intriguing, as we were left on a cliffhanger as to whether Hathaway was, indeed, the long-lost Dingle cousin*.

Finally, for a bit of Thursday cheer, Thomas Harvey shares his photos of Kettlewell Scarecrow Festival. Genuinely wonderful, and another weird British tradition that we all seem to love so much! In what other place would you be able to create a stuffed mannequin of Freddie Mercury from the I Want to Break Free video and it be an internet sensation. Hooray!

So that’s me (@ebsnare) signing off for a bit while I put my feet up, seeing as I’ve just written a 15,000 word dissertation on fashion blogging. Hells yeh. You can read it if you want. Anyway, do send us any news and fun stuff to @beyondgdnleeds or you can email us as well. Toodle oo!

*May not occur in actual film.

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