Casa Rosales

Casa Rosales

Monday, 23 July 2012

Signing off - amended to 'in defence of Skelmanthorpe!'

This post was intended to be a brief two liner explaining that for a little while I would be 'offline' as we're off where there's no wifi, no internet connection, a deadzone. (FR's parents' house, where the internet connection we had when we lived there has been withdrawn - and then to his grandfather's house, where there is no wifi and no mobile signal either!)  However, events overtook me, as usual.

I wanted to put something like 'where the sun don't shine' for no internet access but of course, the sun will be shining, so that wouldn't do at all! So I popped onto the Urban Dictionary to check out synonyms for 'deadzone' - and found something that made my eyes pop a little.

Entry number 7 under 'Deadzone' reads thus:


Skelmanthorpe
The only place in the world where there is literally nothing of interest whatsoever.

Located 6 miles south-east of the town of Huddersfield in West Yorkshire, Skelmanthorpe is said to hold 4000 old people, out of a total population of 4000.

Ask yourself; How dull and uninteresting can it be here? Surely this is an exaggeration. Well no, dear reader, I cannot put into words how unbelievably lifeless and dead it is, since i cannot describe nothingness.
Man 1;
'Skelmanthorpe is where i'm taking my kids on holiday!'
Man 2;
'You sick, demented bastard.'




And instead of telling you what we are going to do on our visit of undefined length in northern parts of Spain, I feel I must right the wrong of this dictionary entry! Skelmanthorpe is a lovely place I know well and visited often. It has a wealth of interesting facts and features associated with it and I have friends who live there. I very nearly bought a little apartment there once, in a beautiful converted church - though in the end I didn't (NOT because it was a dull and uninteresting place full of old people but because it was the very week I met FR and our immediate intention and desire to reproduce could have meant a one-bed, bijou apartment would prove very impractical!)

It's very name is interesting, conjuring up a Viking history, which indicates it dates back to around the 9th century. Locally, it goes by the unusual, if not very pleasant name of 'Shat' - no idea why and don't like to ask. It was pretty much destroyed during the Norman Conquests - he had a lot to answer for did Norman - but sounds like it bounced back to become the place to be for rowdy revelling in the 1770s, when the Skelmanthorpe Feast was held, complete with bull and bear-baiting, gypsy fortune telling and a fair bit of drinking...

And in 1934, a cinema was built in the village! How many villages can claim this, I ask you? Agreed, it turned to hosting wrestling matches in later years to boost revenue (given the village's lively history, perhaps this is not surprising) and then, later still, a bingo hall and then a squash court. And to completely refute the entry in the Urban Dictionary, it is now a Youth Club - so much for only old people in Shat!

It has a very nice Mediterranean restaurant, called 'Volare' which has been seen in sunny weather, to sprout cosmopolitan tables on the pavement outside its doors. And being a good Yorkshire village, it has an excellent chippie. At least one.

There are two very good primary schools, no less than five churches, cricket and football teams - and heavens, the Kirklees Light Railway runs through the old station.  (And that does Santa Specials!)  It also has one of the oldest established brass bands in the whole country and they're good, very good.


 (....and 'Oh no, it's Selwyn Froggit' was filmed there too..but perhaps that's not one of the pluses..)


There, I feel I have done by bit to right a wrong. How is the world wide web going to manage without me in the next few weeks, I wonder? What have you read or seen on the internet that has shocked, outraged or merely made you tut at its inaccuracy?

I might manage a sneaky peak at what's going on because all being well, I will be meeting up with my sister and family on the north coast of Spain for a 'prehistoric day' - we plan to visit caves in Puente Viesgo and then to retread dinosaur footprints on the beach at Colunga - she's bringing me a very special present I purchased with my birthday money - a tablet! Not an iPad, couldn't run to buying one of those, but a rather nice little android. I am ridiculously excited about it.

See you anon. Happy holidays - and remember, if you're visiting the north of England, give Skelmanthorpe a turn of the head and a cheerful wave - I'm sure you'll get a friendly response.

18 comments:

  1. Hello Annie:
    We really do hope that you will have the most wonderful of holidays. We will miss 'Moving On' greatly but will be happy in the knowledge that you will, almost certainly, be having a splendid and relaxing time with your family in what is surely some very beautiful countryside.

    And how very kind of you to hold a torch in support of Skelmanthorpe. Each one of its inhabitants should immediately sign as a Follower!

    Have great fun and we shall look forward to your return.

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    1. Hello Hattats! Welcome back and thank you for your lovely words - so pleased to see you again. I hope I'll get chance to find out what you've been doing before we leave tomorrow! Love, Axxx

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  2. I, of course, am also a great supporter of all things Skelmanthorpe. I am horrified that anyone is able to post such nasty things about what is a very pleasant spot in a wonderful part of the world. Looking forward to hearing from you again soon Annie, lots of love Janice xxx

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    1. Awful, isn't it! I am absolutely incensed - but at least we know better.
      Been meaning to tell you about green figs - here in Spain, fig trees fruit twice and the first crop are green and don't ripen into the purple figs. They are called brevas, which I interpret as meaning 'brief', not lasting very long - and it's true, they are a short-lived crop and when we went back to pick again from a very laden tree, we could see the new, purple fruit budding ready for the second crop in September. DOn't know if the same is true of all fig trees but would love to know how your's is doing.
      Hasta luego, un abrazo (Until later, a hug) Axxx

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    2. Sorry, that 'yours' in the last line should be without apostrophe - can't think how it got there, don't know WHAT came over me!

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  3. I wonder what happened to that person in Skelmanthorpe....only trauma could produce that much unpleasantness....had to queue in the chippy, perhaps?

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    1. Lol - or kicked off the Santa Special at the station one chilly day back in the 70s?? Whatever it was, he needs to let go and move on - Skelmanthorpe obviously has. Axxx

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  4. I've never seen Skelmanthorpe though I've been in the area many times - we must see if it lives up to its name next time we're down Huddersfield way!

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    1. I may have slightly oversold it - it's possible to drive through it, blink and miss much of it - but it is a perfectly pleasant, thriving little village with many good points. Can't think what happened there for someone to be so vitriolic! Do say hello from me if you pass by! Axx

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  5. I've never even heard of Skelmanthorpe, I'm afraid, but your spirited defence makes me want to visit it one day, Annie. :-) Have a wonderful holiday in what will doubtless be glorious weather and enjoy your new tablet. Such excitement..... Pxx

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    1. It's a good name, though, don't you think! I was definitely 'pricked' by what I read and felt it was most undeserved.
      We will have a lovely holiday - I'm looking forward to glorious damp and chilly weather!! And the new tablet...well, I'll try and contain myself til it's in my hands.
      Axxx

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  6. May I digress, via the comments, and ask about the green figs ... do they taste very different?

    Have a lovely time away :D

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  7. Eyup Annie,received your blog from a friend.We have been in Spain 6 years 12 miles from Alcala.We know Skelmanthorpe very well,dined in the "Volare" and supped ale in the "Chartist" and "Grove" pubs.Now has 2 chippies as Chi Chicken is now also a chippy!"Shat" got its name in victorian times when the railway was being built(Now Kirklees Light Railway)due to the local quarry men being very efficient with their picks(I mean pickaxes & shovels) hence "Shat" or "shattering" the rocks in the cutting down Station Road which proved too hard for the railway labourers employed by the railway company,Since then,all Skel folk are from SHAT.
    This is not a past tense of a bodily function which some folk(not from Shat) may find offensive.
    Gracias for the good comments on Skel and we may meet sometime in Alcala for a chat(not shat).

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    1. How fantastic to hear from you - so near to us here and in the UK too! Thank you for the enlightening information too about Skelmanthorpe. Hope we do find each other in Alcala one day soon - who shall I look out for??? Axxx

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    2. Mick & Julie1 November 2012 at 22:34

      We did meet by chance...at Toni's hair salon..remember? You can normally see us at the monthly car boots at Tu y Yo and Sabariego selling jewellery.
      regards Mick & Julie

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    3. I will look for you one day - I keep meaning to come along to one of the car boot sales. I would like to do a chocolate stall there as we get towards Christmas. It shows what a small world it is! Axxx

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  8. Hi there, I'm the 'author' of the Skelmanthorpe urban dictionary entry. I love your defence of Skelmanthorpe and please know that I bear no ill will towards it! I wrote it as a way of annoying my friend who lives there, i honestly didn't expect the folks at urban dictionary to even validate it!
    Anyway, your rousing defence made me smile, I agree with everything you wrote about Skelmanthorpe! It is a lovely village with amazing countryside, and more history than i gave it credit for apparently!
    Keep on fighting the good fight and righting the falsehoods that people like me have imposed on innocent yorkshire hamlets online ;)
    My most humble apologies!
    Jim

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    1. Dear Jim, apologies accepted! This post has turned up some wonderful little oddities as a result of your entry on the Urban Dictionary - so really, I should thank you! I've met people here in Spain who used to live in Skelmanthorpe - and we see each other quite regularly, which is lovely. And I suspect we've said the village name often enough now to boost its appearance in web ratings...So glad you commented - you've made me smile! Axxx

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