Saturday, 14 November 2009

Please pass the salt...

One of the advantages of an internet bibliography is that you can include books which you didn't use, but wish you had. Here is one such: The Hedon Silver (Hedon Town Council, 2000, Highgate Publications, 4 Newbegin, Beverley HU17 8EG). Hedon Town Council only has parish status, since the re-organisation (and further-distancing) of 'local' government in 1973/4, but it is an admirably gutsy body with great civic pride. This stems in part from the days when Hedon was the equal of Hull - indeed even more prosperous initially. Just look what today's little council has inherited in the way of civic plate! I mean, when can they possibly throw a dinner where you would need ten silver salt cellars? (But wait: see below...)
I didn't include Hedon in the book, through ignorance of these details which I only discovered when Penny went to do a feature on the place for next month's Yorkshire Life. But I have got a big section on exactly the same sturdy, Northern localism in Morley near Leeds and Richmond (North Yorks). I'm going to be meeting one of the book's characters, Judith Elliott, the Mayor of Morley, next week when I have to preside over Leeds Civic Trust's agm, cos this year she's Lord Mayor of Leeds, on whose council she sits as one of five Morley Independents. I will suggest a grand Dinner of Independent Places at Hedon where they can get out all the fantastic cruets and maces shown in this book, and have a feast of local activism and (soundly-based) pride.

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