James Mason (James Mason!) gives a tour of Huddersfield (Huddersfield!)

James Mason shows us around his home town of Huddersfield, exhibits the classic north-speak trope: nostalgia.

james mason huddersfield

James Mason is probably best known to my generation as that guy from Eddie Izzard’s impression of James Mason. Unusually, his actual voice is more distinctive, more James Mason-y, than any impersonation. Watch the first 10 seconds.

What a voice!

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Culture’s diminishing returns and a visit to Cliffe Castle, Keighley

We can argue about what “culture” means. One definition is the stuff in museums and art galleries. Capital cities tend to have more of that.

But does having lots of museums amount to anything more than having lots of museums?

Here is a scientific graph (not to scale).

culture graph

In “culture” there are diminishing returns. The jump between a hole in the ground and Keighley (note to non-Yorkshire people: it’s [generally] pronounced Keithley)  is bigger than that between Keighley and Manchester, and that jump is bigger than between Manchester and London.

People still like going to pubs and watching Bake-Off, no matter how many “world class museums” and theatre companies are nearby. A little goes a long way.

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Alan Bennett’s “A Day Out” and the mainstream maverick

Alan Bennett’s first television play provides a platform for two mainstream stars/maverick geniuses.

A Day Out

My wife is wary of cyclists. She suspects that the appeal is less the cycling, and more the lycra and resulting genital display.

In A Day Out, Alan Bennett’s first television play, a Halifax cycling club takes a day trip to Fountains Abbey. It’s 1911, the First World War is round the corner, and soon this group of Yorkshiremen will be thrown over the top. It’s well worth 50 minutes of your time.

And the cyclists are respectably dressed.

Here it is on YouTube!

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