Northallerton Lecture Hosted By Wakefield Historical Society

Written on 14 November 2013


Above: One of Northallerton’s historic buildings.

Yesterday evening I was fortunate to be able to attend a lecture organised by Wakefield Historical Society.  The lecture was delivered by Jennifer Allison of the Northallerton and District Historical Society in the ancient Chantry Chapel on the bridge next to the River Calder.  Its title was ‘Northallerton: The Evolution Of A County Town’.

It was well delivered and interesting to listen to and made the story of a town I have never visited come alive.  It was also interesting to see the similarities between Northallerton and my own home town of Wakefield which can also be described as a county town.

Its fortunes were in some instances shaped by its geographic position at the centre of the northern part of the North Riding of Yorkshire.  Since the time of King William II it was under the authority of the Bishop of Durham, the city where I myself studied as an undergraduate.  Due to its position on the Great North Road that linked London to Scotland it grew as a market town.  During times of war between England and Scotland, it was a stopover point for armies heading north to battles of historic importance in Scotland.  Its buildings in many ways appear to be similar to those in Wakefield.  The lecture also gave information about its many pubic houses, its race course, and its castle/Bishops’ palace.

Congratulations to Jennifer Allison on an excellent and informative lecture.


Pontefract Castle In November

Written on 10 November 2013

Today I went for a walk around Pontefract Castle and since it was a nice day took a few photos which I post below.  Wikipedia identifies the following historical anecdotes about the castle:

  • King Richard II was supposedly murdered there, a crime immortalised in Shakespeare’s Richard III.
  • Henry VIII fifth wife, Catherine Howard is said to have committed the act of adultery at the castle for which she was later executed.
  • Mary Queen of Scots stayed there in 1569
  • It was a Royalist stronghold during the English Civil War and it was then that it was reduced to ruins

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The Coming Information Revolution

It is around this time each year that I get the latest issue of The World In series, published by The Economist. THIS webpage and THIS one give information about The World In 2013 to give you an idea about what I am talking about. I find it both entertaining and informative to read people’s thoughts about what the next year may have in store for us. The other day I came across a very interesting presentation entitled Workplace 2020 Keynote at Leadership Summit 2013 by Dion Hinchcliffe, Chief Strategy Officer at Dachis. This looks a timespan greater than a single year but I found it interesting for similar reasons and therefore thought that I would share it here. It looks at the accelerating pace of technological change and how computer use will change by 2020

Workplace 2020 Keynote at Leadership Summit 2013 from Dion Hinchcliffe

It seems from looking at this presentation that change will become even more rapid and fundamental than it is today. This may result in institutional transformations on a scale that have never been known. Institutions that interest groups have taken decades to control may become irrelevant or disappear overnight. The technological changes outlined will, inevitably, have a massive impact on us bloggers as well as on how NGO’s and grassroots groups can impact on policy at local, national, and international level. It seems like the ‘Global Village’ may be transformed into the ‘Global Hamlet’ or even ‘Global House’.

It looks like the years ahead will be interesting.