Bag yourself a bargain at the great vintage shopping event heading to Hull

Head into Hull to find plenty of fine fashions at the vintage shopping event coming up

Anyone in the area who is looking to add a bit of retro style to their wardrobe will love this new shopping event set to arrive in Hull very soon.

The Vintage Weigh & Pay vintage sale is an unusual shopping experience that allows customers to take part in an affordable shopping spree by asking them to pay only for the weight of items that they wish to purchase.

The city centre of Hull is set to see this brand new and exciting shopping adventure make its way to The Guildhall on Saturday the 16th of September.

How the Vintage Weigh and Pay Sale works

The concept and execution of the Vintage Weigh and Pay Sale is actually pretty straightforward.

The idea is that tonnes of vintage clothing and accessories from decades like the 1960s right through to the more modern 1990s is brought along to the vintage sale and then customers are free to delve through the offerings and pick out what they would like to take home with them.

Each kilo costs a set price of £15 but with no minimum spend set or expected, shoppers are free and able to buy as little or as much of the vintage finds as they want to.

This means that especially thrifty fashion fans with an eye for a vintage bargain can potentially bag themselves a unique retro item for as little as just 75p.

One of the founders and organisers of the event, Lou Glover explains the appeal of the Vintage Weigh and Pay sale, stating that: “Our event offers something different from the normal shopping experience. It’s much more sustainable and ethical by giving vintage clothing a new lease of life,”

“It also allows people the opportunity to fill their wardrobes with pieces that are individual, stylish but also affordable.

“The rummaging element of the event makes it really exciting and allows shoppers to be more creative as they experiment and buy things that they normally wouldn’t even think to try.””

First organised by an award-winning events team in 2016, Vintage Weigh & Pay has gone on to become a fixed favourite with troops of retro loving customers as the event travels to a multitude of cities each weekend with simply rails upon rails of affordable and much sought after vintage fashion items and accessories.

Doors are set to open for the event in Hull at 11am with an additional early bird special hour for keen shoppers and bargain hunters costing just a £3 entry fee. General public entry on the day is from 12-5pm and costs just £1.50 for entry for the entire event.

To find out more about the Vintage Weigh and Pay Sale which promises to be a must attend event, visit the Facebook event page and grab the information you need.

City of Culture Hull to create spoof play

When Hull was christened UK City of Culture for 2017, it provoked a wave of unpleasant jokes about its cultural class.

Well the jokes are set to start again in 2018 – but this time they will be in a satire about the City of Culture, ordered by the bid organisers themselves.

This year’s cultural events will be trailed in January by The Culture by a work by one of the UK’s leading playwrights, James Graham.

In the style of the BBC comedy Twenty Twelve, which spoofed the London Olympic Games, Graham’s work will satirise Hull 2017.

Graham, known for political West End plays, insisted he was “”laughing with”” Hull City of Culture, not laughing at it.

“As soon as it was announced that [City of Culture 2017] was going to be Hull, everybody turned their nose up and sniffed and went, what the hell, why’s it going there?” he told BBC News.

“I was immediately thrilled but I think we can embrace the fact that there probably were patronisingly low expectations about how this was going to go, and then embrace and enjoy how well it’s gone.”

Graham studied drama in Hull and imagined the new play – which has the full title The Culture: A Farce in Two Acts – with Hull Truck theatre artistic director Mark Babych.

“We settled on this idea of a satire of the City of Culture – following slightly, and probably too closely, the tradition of things like Twenty Twelve, where they use satire as a way to access something that feels quite far away, and to enjoy the self-deprecating nature of that British humour.”

He took this proposal to Hull 2017 planners. “They were well up for it – I think in the spirit of both this city but also the ethos of the entire year, which has been to not take themselves too seriously,” Graham said.

As part of his research, the writer has spent a lot of time in the Hull 2017 office and has interviewed numerous people involved from the council leader to the local volunteers and residents. He said of the experience that he has found sources of comedy for the play absolutely “everywhere”.

“When you are organising a big event like this [it is in] the structures, the hierarchy, the bureaucracy, [and] the challenges when it comes to mixing art with government and police and funding and local media.”

Graham’s previous works have included This House, about the Labour government in the 1970s, which opened at the National Theatre before moving on to the West End in the capital; and Ink, a play about the birth of The Sun newspaper in the 1960s.

His next play, Labour of Love, follows the course of the Labour Party over the last 27 years and is set to star Martin Freeman and Sarah Lancashire as lead characters when it opens up in the West End later on this month.

Hull’s newest restaurant already getting rave reviews

Having lately eaten in the Edinburgh branch of Zizzi, I skipped with delight when I found out it was coming to Hull.

The Italian opened in St Stephen’s Shopping Centre last month and it has already won rave reviews so we decided to check it out for ourselves.

The interior of the restaurant edges on industrial elegance – wooden walls, shadeless lamps, wooden boxes with flowers etc.

The staff were delightful from the start, fetching my mum a free glass of Prosecco because it was her birthday.

The rest of us chose a stunning bottle of wine and swiftly got to selecting our food.

With the aromas of Italian food drifting through the air I was voracious, and the great thing about Zizzi is that there is more on offer than just pizza and pasta.

To start we went for calamari as well as butterflied king prawns pan-fried in garlic butter, smoky pepper pesto and white wine, served with watercress and fresh “little souls” breads.

The calamari were just how I liked them – not oily and not tough. With token coating to them you really got the taste of the squid, and the complementary lemon aioli was heavenly.

The prawns were served soft but the star of the entrees was the smoky sauce they were smothered in. Garlicky, nourishing and flavoursome, it was hurriedly mopped up with the warm bread rolls.

I ordered the classic Italian hot on a rustica base. It’s incredible and if you haven’t tried Nduja sausage yet then you basically have not lived.

The rest of the group chose chianti shoulder of lamb, slow-roasted with garlic & rosemary, and pan-fried seabass fillets with zingy lemon & herb salsa verde.

The best thing about Zizzi is if you are watching your weight, you can get all the taste for lower than 600 calories.

When you go for the mixed tomato summer salad instead of potatoes your meal is guaranteed to be under 600 calories, and you can add the option of a skinny pizza.

The salads were beautiful and you get excellent helpings, but nothing could stop me eating those rosemary potatoes. There were so many we unapologetically took them home and had them for dinner the next night.

Zizzi was a genuine pleasure, and I look forward to going back.

The atmosphere makes you so relaxed and the staff are so helpful.

It is great that Hull is beginning to get better restaurants and Zizzi is a place to go for lunch, a light bite, or a full-on feast.

Where we were sitting in the restaurant we could watch the deserts being created, and if I hadn’t eaten myself silly I would have demolished the mini banana and white chocolate sweet calzone.

As well as salted caramel brownies, gelato, sticky chocolate & praline torte and raspberry, white chocolate & pecan blondie, you also have the option to get vegan puddings or a nice coffee to finish.

Why Hull planners decided to reject proposed £32m expansion of Kingswood Retail Park

It is the prickly problem that has set a city centre against an out-of-town expansion, but developers nominated on Wednesday afternoon to discard plans for a £32m expansion of Kingswood Retail Park.

The planned 10-unit expansion, proposed by Kier Property and Kingswood Parks Development Company, would have provided 250 jobs and brought “high-brand” shops to Hull and was broadly supported by inhabitants of the estate.

However, say those unsupportive of the scheme, it would have come at a high cost to small, independent retailers in the city already in trouble because of the recent city revamp.

Hull BID, representatives of city centre businesses, put forward a petition of 298 signatures calling on planners to refuse the plans.

Ensuing ardent representations by 17 businessmen and women, the city council voted six to four to refuse the scheme, to the relief of the packed public gallery.

Many of the speakers had closed shop for the afternoon to guarantee their voices were heard. Many advised the recent developments would have been wasted had the plans been permitted.

Emily Taylor, of Johnston’s Butchers, revealed her recent 30 per cent drop in takings, and reduced staff hours.

“This development would stop people coming into the city centre,” she said
“I am concerned about the future of my business, my staff and the fact this improvement in the city centre will go to waste.”

Rob Niklas’ business, Thearne Pet Food Store, has been trading since 1946.
“We have been hanging on by the skin of our teeth,” said Mr Niklas,
He warned the committee: “If this development is allowed, I cannot see us surviving.”

Brian Freestone of K2 said: “Hull City Council has spent huge amounts investing in the city centre. We do not see the point in having another development outside of Hull.”

Nick O’Connor, of Berry’s Jeweller’s suggested the decision-makers look at what has happened in other towns and cities.

“Development out of town do work in some aspects,” he said. “But take Sheffield as an example. It’s city centre is only just becoming successful following the impact of Meadowhall.”

Kathryn Shillito, city centre manager for Hull BID, revealed that overall footfall in the city shops has dropped by 2.5m since 2012.

More than 250 people, from over 200 companies, signed a petition calling on city planners to cancel the plans.

“People are alarmed at this application,” Ms Shillito told the planning committee. “Many of these businesses have been in the city centre for generation.

“The city centre is the beating heart of Hull. But it is fragile.”

Councillor John Fareham emphasised the benefits the arrangement would bring to the area, including much needed jobs and investment into Hull city, but associated committee member Cllr Christopher Sumpton argued the council would be “incredibly short sighted” to favour the plans.

He said he was not against the plans per se but added: “Let’s allow our city centre time to grow and develop first.”

Making it: Paul Cooke to back the Hull FC to reach the top four

The rugby league columnist Paul Cooke provides his point of view on the crowded race to reach the top four

The Castleford team have already secured a semi-final victory at home and now it is looking very likely that they will be joined by the team of players from Leeds after having won against Hull FC after they were placed a sorry third after the last time out.

The contentious battle for the top four is now set to be between the teams of Hull, Wakefield, Wigan and the Saints as well. This weekend looks like it is going to be vital for the final race with all four of the competing teams ready to face off against each other on the upcoming Thursday and Friday.

Many have been forecasting a Wigan charge to take a spot for themselves and another fall from grace is predicted for the Black and Whites.

Many football fans believe that Wakefield are not going to make it, though they seem to keep proving everyone wrong on a weekly basis over the past few matches. Chris Chester’s team are undoubtedly not going anywhere based on the strength of the signals that I’ve been seeing.

Meanwhile, the Saints have now become an outsider’s bet after having lost poorly to the Wigan team last weekend in a characteristic bloody contest.

The Saints are going to have to win on Thursday night at Wakefield, or else the players will be left with their only strategies being the old-style end of the season Mad Monday!

I reckon that with Wigan and Wakefield back at home that FC will take their position in the semi-finals before heading over to Castleford in about round 30.

Should they do this they will then have avoided two trips to Castleford on consecutive weekends with the chance of a go at the semi-final at Headingley secured instead.

Both the Leeds and Castleford teams will be frantic to steer clear of the Black and Whites. Lee Radford’s men have exposed enough against both the Tigers and the Rhinos in 2017 alone to make them both very wary of their team’s capabilities.

Going into the week ahead then, there are so many questions floating about and waiting to be answered. To start with, can Wakefield hold on, crack on with their stunning results so far and claim that all important third spot? Will FC fall off the cliff again? Can Wigan keep on in the quest to regain their Super League crown? Will the Saints amaze all of us and win all three games and claim a play-off place?

All these questions with just three games left for the players to have a chance at Old Trafford glory! It’s all set to be both exhilarating and captivating. Enjoy the games this weekend everyone!

HS2 information events announced and dates confirmed

The bosses of the proposed new high speed rail system are all set to hold a number of public information events and displays for those individuals living near to the route of the controversial HS2.

HS2 Ltd have prepared its newest series of information events along the route of the second phase of the multi-million pound infrastructure system that is set to run between the West Midlands and Leeds.

A drop-in assembly for people living in the Crofton area is set to be hosted by the Cedar Court Hotel on Denby Dale Road, Wakefield, between the hours of 2pm and 8pm on Monday September 11. A comparable occasion in February drew disapproval after the HS2 organisers moved it from the Crofton Community Centre to this same hotel at very short notice.

For persons residing near the projected route in Hemsworth, an event will be held the following Monday, September 18, between the hours of 2pm-8pm at the Burntwood Court Hotel on Common Road in Brierley.

Leonie Dubois of the HS2 committee has said that: “HS2 is Europe’s largest infrastructure project, delivering major benefits to Yorkshire.

“It will transform rail travel between the Midlands and the North, as well as to the South, boosting capacity, improving connectivity and helping to rebalance the national economy.

“We want to involve the public as we deliver it, so we are holding 28 public events for people to find out about HS2 and what the next steps are now that the Government has confirmed the Phase 2b route.

“I’d encourage anyone who would like to know what happens now on HS2 to come along.”

Back in March, the Express discovered that information proceedings held by HS2 Ltd were actually costing around £10,000 per meeting in publicly funded money. Additional claims were also made that complaints or concerns about the proposed HS2 line were not being listened to at the organised events.

Opponents to the £56bn HS2 system argue that in reality it will carve up the towns and villages of the district area, destroy a vast number of wildlife habitats and considerably drive down property prices, all whilst doing very little to actually benefit the economy of the area and more widely across the country.

HS2 have expressed that a group of experts on the project will be accessible and glad to answer any queries or concerns on the project and its potential impact at the 28 separate information events that are set to be held during the month of September all along the Phase 2b part of the HS2 project.

To gain access to and read the comprehensive timetable of the registered dates and times for the information events on HS2, please click here to find out the information that you are hoping to find: https://www.wakefieldexpress.co.uk/news/dates-of-hs2-information-events-announced-1-8740384

SHARING THE MUSIC OF THE PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRA WITH NEW AUDIENCES

We are thrilled to have united with The Philharmonia Orchestra on their latest new enterprise to reach out to a wider audience than ever before in Bedford, where the orchestra has been inhabitant of The Corn Exchange since way back in 1995. The Youth Participation Producer of the company Kayte Judge has become one of the Community Ambassadors for the Philharmonia Orchestra and is currently running ‘The Guest List’ initiative for the 2017/18 musical season. With the challenging but very worthwhile goal of reaching a more diverse audience with the music of the orchestra, an audience that more widely represents the local community, The Guest List is a ballot scheme that is set to offer a series of free and simplified experiences of The Philharmonia concerts for first timers to the world of classical music.

The first performance of the season took place on the 20th of October 2017 to great success, and was the initial test of The Guest List enterprise. Kayte and all of the guests were treated to a heartfelt welcome from the Philharmonia crew, they were also provided with priority access to the musician’s Virtual Orchestra experience and got to experience a live selection of classical tunes from famous composers such as Aaron Copland and Eric Wolfgang Korngold. For all in the group that attended, with organiser Kayte included, this was their very first experience of attending a classical concert.

Roxanna Forth, one of the pupils from The Hills Academy located in Bedford, was the youngest person in attendance to come along with the Guest List initiative as she is aged just 8 years old. Despite her young age, the student seemed very much to enjoy herself at the event and wrote the following review for us: “I went to The Philharmonia Orchestra concert with my mum and dad… It was like a wonderland and it made me feel so excited, happy and full of joy. My favourite part was the Virtual Reality because you could see how it happens and how they do it!!! …I do think people my age would like to go. I think I could persuade other people by telling them all the exciting things that have happened, I would love to go again!”
– Roxanna Forth – student at The Hills Academy

Mast Aladewolu, an additional Bedford occupant also came along to gain some insight and enjoy the exciting world of classical music:
“Wow I didn’t know what to expect, when I was invited along by Kayte and James, the Virtual Reality and Philharmonia Orchestra totally blow me away. I have never experienced anything like it, after the Virtual Reality tour it was great to see The Philharmonia Orchestra up close in reality, I will definitely come back and bring my family and friends.”
– Mast Aladewolu from Mastroe charity

If you would like any more information about The Guest List, or to put your name forward to be included in the ballot, please email kaytej@bedfordcreativearts.org.uk.

Fryer fire destroys takeaway restaurant and flats in Bedford

A ferocious fire that started at the well known Al Badar restaurant in Midland Road of Bedford has left the building critically damaged.

A takeaway restaurant and the flats that resided above it have been almost completely destroyed in a tragic fire that started in one of the deep-fat fryers on the property in Bedford.

A small team of firefighters were called to the location of the Al Badar restaurant in Midland Road after reports of an outbreak of fire on Sunday afternoon.

The fire was very ferocious in nature and as a result the flames had spread to beyond the kitchen area of the restaurant and had managed to make its way into the ducting of the building before subsequently getting into the roof of the two and three storey terraced property.

The threat of the fire was increased further as the flames extended beyond the confines of the restaurant and also spread to the residential flats that are in place above the restaurant.

Four fire engines were called to the scene of the fire and it took a total of more than three hours from start to finish to the firefighting team to be able to comepltely put out the fire.

One of the firefighting team involved with the attempts to extinguish the blaze was Watch Commander Steve Duffy, a well known and respected member of the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service. In a statement on the fire, he explained the exact dangers and difficulties of dealing with this particular blaze and the environment that created it. He explained that: “This was a complex building to fight a fire in and the rapid offensive actions of first crews that arrived prevented the fire spreading to the surrounding buildings and the probable loss of the terrace, which included several businesses and homes.

“The crews did well to contain this serious fire and I would like to thank them for their swift actions.”

The voracious fire left the entire ground floor of the building a staggering 75% damaged by the fire, and the accompanying heat and smoke that can often prove just as deadly or damaging.

The first floor of the building and the roof void above it were graded as being 50% damaged by fire, heat and smoke following a thorough examination of the whole property that was carried out by a number of crew members from the Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue service team announced that after an investigation they were able to confirm that the fire had been started accidentally in the kitchens of the restaurant and that thankfully there had been no casualties associated with the blaze.

Central Bedfordshire – ideally positioned for business

Central Bedfordshire is perfectly positioned within the UK. Just 30 minutes north of London and in the centre of the Cambridge to Oxford innovation corridor, the area is also seeing key infrastructure investment counting the East-West Rail link and Oxford to Cambridge Expressway.

Central Beds can also boast of its proximity to major airports and the budding, accomplished and flexible workforce on offer.

The area has an urban and rural selection of industrial and commercial sites and developments across local transport paths.

Central Bedfordshire is a fast-growing area of the country and there are thousands of new homes and occupations planned.

Across the area there are a range of strategic development locations and Central Bedfordshire Council has made businesses high priority and is ready to enable investment.

Of the 12,645 businesses based in Central Bedfordshire, 99.6% are SMEs so the Council are experts in getting you the support you need.

The specialised council website www.becentralbedfordshire.co.uk has the info you need to grow your business. Ideal for business owners like Andy Collinson who used the provision to transfer his business from London to Central Bedfordshire.

Former bartender Andy formed Ace Bar Events Ltd in 2008 in the capital, and organises high end private and corporate events for high net worth clients.

In 2011 Andy and his family moves an hour’s drive north of London to Dunstable, in Central Beds, where he built his business.

Andy’s family found property prices in Dunstable to be highly competitive and he loved the atmosphere of the area.

He was approached by fruit puree and syrups producer ODK in 2013 to import and sell their products. He sold a pallet to the West End and the business has blossomed from there.

In need of additional space, he viewed a sign for commercial property units to let in the Houghton Regis area and made contact with the local council.

Andy said: “Central Beds has a very caring attitude and was very helpful in making sure that the property was suitable for my business needs. I needed a mezzanine floor and the council made sure that could happen.

“I would recommend that people looking for commercial properties try their council first. Their motives are not just to fill space but to make sure businesses succeed.”

Following the move into the property in Houghton Regis, near Dunstable town centre, in Bedfordshire, Andy has shaped industrious business associations with other residents on the Townsend Industrial Estate.

Andy currently has a team of five workers and is looking to generate additional jobs in and around Bedfordshire as the business expands.

His medium-term strategies include the option of taking more commercial space in Central Bedfordshire. He said: “I definitely want to stay in the Dunstable area and work with the council on apprenticeships, property issues and the possibility of holding World Flair Association events in the county.”

Want to know more? Contact the Be Central Bedfordshire team on +44 (0)300 300 8272, info@becentralbedfordshire.co.uk or visit www.becentralbedfordshire.co.uk.

More than £1.4m made by Bedford Borough Council from car parking charges alone

The Bedford Borough council made a surplus figure on parking charges over the last year.

Almost £1.4m was raised through the collection of parking fees throughout the town of Bedford, according to a newly released set of recent figures. Bedford Borough Council are reported to have raised £1.4m in surplus costs via the car parks across the area in the years 2016/17 alone. This impressive figure has left the council ranked the 128th highest sum to be collected in the UK.

This new figure of car parking income marks a significant increase of at least 18 per cent from the previous years 2015/16, where the council gathered in around £1.18m, and it’s a hugely significant increase compared to figures collected three years ago, which gave a total income raised from car parking charges in Bedford of £641,000.

Just to give an idea of how the sum collected by Bedford Borough Council compares to neighbours of the town, the nearby authorities such as Central Bedfordshire brought in a total amount of just £468,000, other nearby community Aylesbury Vale brought in a total figure of £1.2m, whilst Milton Keynes brought in an astounding £11.2m.

The newly released figures have come in from the RAC Foundation, which found that English councils collected a record high of £819m from their parking operations in the last financial year alone. Westminster had the largest excess in England at £73.2m, a figure up 31 per cent on the previous year, whilst the North Yorkshire council had the biggest deficit at approximately -£1.646m.

Steve Gooding, a local charity director said the record sums will be spent on cultivating the network of roads in the area. “The upward path in profits is in part a reflection of the record number of cars and volume of traffic,” he stated.
“The silver lining for drivers is that these surpluses must almost exclusively be ploughed back into transport and as any motorist will tell you there is no shortage of work to be done.

“We welcome the fact that councils are increasingly investing in technology to help make parking easier and less stressful. Westminster, for example, has created an app which directs drivers to free parking bays, helping to end the motoring misery of prowling the streets looking for a space.

“We urge motorists to take the time to read their own local authority’s parking report so they can see both the rationale for charges in their area and how the surplus is being spent.”