Re-grouped and refreshed, McFly are ready to rock York Racecourse gig on Saturday

McFly: McFlying out of the starting stalls at York Racecourse on Saturday

THE glorious summer weather may be on the downturn by the weekend, but McFly’s Danny Jones will be hoping for more clement conditions than on one past visit to North Yorkshire.

“When we played Dalby Forest [June 26 2009], if I remember right, there was a huge, thick fog all around us that night, and people at the back could hardly see a thing,” recalls the re-grouped London band’s lead guitarist and co-lead vocalist, ahead of Saturday’s post-racing concert at York Racecourse.

McFly, the boy band formed in 2003 by Bolton-born Jones, Tom Fletcher, Dougie Poynter and Harry Judd, returned last year with album number six, Young Dumb Thrills, after a ten-year gap and a detour into boy-band supergroup McBusted.

Why “Young Dumb Thrills” when Danny, for example, is 35? “I think it’s partly about reminiscing, but you know what, we always say ‘what do we want to do, where do we want to go with our music’, just as we did when I was 17 when I moved down to London, and Dougie was 15, and we thought we knew it all,” he says.

“But when we-reformed and we were making the album, I said, ‘Guys, we’re still young; we could still be a young band starting out’.”

McFly’s Tom Fletcher and Danny Jones performing at the York Racecourse Music Showcase Weekend concert in July 2012

Danny never doubted McFly would return one day from their hiatus that began in 2016. “I knew it was never going to stop. We just needed a holiday; after 13 years you need a break, after 13 years of carnage, you really do, but this way we can come back for 15 more years,” he says.

In the boy-band 2000s, McFly flew to the pop peaks regularly, making chart history as the youngest ever band to have a debut album go straight to number one in the UK, when July 2004’s Room On The 3rd Floor beat The Beatles’ long-standing record, set with Please Please Me in March 1963.

They have chalked up seven number one singles and ten million album sales, and their high-energy York Racecourse set could parade 5 Colours In Their Hair, Obviously, That Girl, All About You, You’ve Got A Friend, I’ll Be OK, I Wanna Hold You, Don’t Stop Me Now, Please, Please, Star Girl, Baby’s Coming Back, Transylvania and One For The Radio.

Saturday’s set definitely will combine past and present, after their 2020 renaissance with the singles Happiness, Tonight Is The Night and You’re Not Special from the number two-charting album Young Dumb Thrills.

They are busy recording again. “Young Dumb Thrills was more ‘one song is this, one song is that’ stylistically; it wasn’t sonically together, but now I’m finding the new album we’re working on is more collective sonically,” says Danny.

Bridegroom Danny Jones leaves St Mary’s Priory Church, Old Malton, on his wedding day after marrying Malton model Georgia Horsley in August 2014

“It’s still in the really early stages. We’ve built this amazing studio in West London, where we used to rehearse downstairs, and after the business run by the guy who owned the building didn’t survive, we’ve taken over the rehearsal room to make a recording studio down there with a hang-out space upstairs.

“We’re working with friends and new people to find our new identity for the new record, and it’s kind of ’70s and ‘80s’ rock.”

Why draw on ’70s and ’80s rock, Danny? “We’re working on that line of ‘where do guitars belong in the pop world now?’, and we thought we should be influenced by pop bands who do ‘rock’ really well, like The Who and Oasis, because though we all have such different musical influences, we can agree to pull on Springsteen, Bryan Adams and Van Halen,” he says.

McFly, who had to forego playing Scarborough Open Air Theatre last July in the first Covid-crocked summer, will be returning to York Racecourse after their previous Music Showcase Weekend show in July 2012, having played York Barbican already that April.

Lancastrian Jones is no stranger to the Broad Acres of Yorkshire. “My sister Vicky lives in Leeds and my in-laws are in Malton,” he says.

Rick Astley: Opening the York Racecourse Music Showcase Weekend tomorrow evening post-racing

Should you need reminding, he is married to Malton model Georgia Horsley, a former Miss England, their wedding ceremony having been held at St Mary’s Priory Church, Old Malton, on August 2 2014.

Malton, of course, is synonymous with racing or, more precisely, racing stables. “Behind my in-laws’ house are the stables of a really well-known Irish trainer [although the name escaped Danny’s recollection,” he says. “I’d never seen a racehorse before or seen the veins on a horse close up. Amazing!”

Don’t bet on Danny having a bet on Saturday afternoon. “I’m just not a fan of losing!” he says, but McFly fans will be on to a winner. “You give them what they want. We’re not self-indulgent. If they’re not having a good time, we’re not having a good time, and vice versa.”

That rules out any colts bolting out from the latest studio sessions but guarantees plenty of favourites coming home triumphantly.

Rick Astley plays York Racecourse Music Showcase Weekend tomorrow evening post-racing; McFly, Saturday late-afternoon, post-racing.

Tickets for these combined racing-and-concert events are on sale at yorkracecourse.co.uk. As well as free car parking, no booking fees apply, but please note, admission is not available on a concert-only basis; the gates will be closed at the time of the last race.

Copyright of The Press, York

Earth Photo exhibition of world’s beauty and fragility to go on show in Dalby Forest

Blue Pool, by Markus Van Hauten, from the Earth Photo exhibition at Staindale in Dalby Forest

FORESTRY England will exhibit a selection of Earth Photo images in Dalby Forest, near Pickering, from June 28 to September 19.

The outdoor exhibition will display 24 of the final shortlisted entries in the beautiful forest setting of Staindale.

Earth Photo, an international competition and exhibition created by Forestry England and the Royal Geographical Society, in tandem with the Institute of British Geographers, showcases photographs and videos that document the natural world, both its beauty and ever-growing fragility.

The selection of images encompasses the Earth Photo categories: People, Place, Nature and Changing Forests. A Climate of Change, the competition’s newest category, marks the United Nations climate-change summit COP26, to be held in Glasgow in November.

Petra Young, Forestry England’s funding and development manager for the Yorkshire district, says: “We’re delighted to be once again one of three of the nation’s forests hosting the selected Earth Photo exhibition. This is a crucial year to shine a light on the natural world, our relationship with it and how we can better support it.

Coffee Or Tea Study, by Yi Sun Sun, from the Earth Photo outdoor exhibition in Dalby Forest

“COP26 will focus minds on the pressing issues that face our environment. The last year showed so many of us just how much we value and need nature to restore our wellbeing. Being able to see these Earth Photo images in the heart of Dalby Forest is a very special experience and we welcome everyone to visit safely and see them.”

This is the latest exhibition in Dalby Forest’s arts programme to showcase art that interprets the landscape, wildlife, heritage and people, created by Yorkshire, national and international artists.

The full Earth Photo exhibition will share the June 28 opening date at the Royal Geographical Society, Kensington Gore, South Kensington, London, for a run until the end of August before touring Forestry England forests at Moors Valley in Dorset and Grizedale in Cumbria.

Category winners and the overall winner will be announced on August 19 at an awards event at the Royal Geographical Society. More information on the Dalby Forest exhibition can found at: forestryengland.uk/forest-event/events-dalby-forest/earth-photo-exhibition-2021-dalby-forest.

Did you know?

FORESTRY England, England’s largest land manager, cares for the nation’s 1,500 woods and forests, drawing more than 230 million visits per year.

THE STORY BEHIND ROSIE HALLAM’S EARTH PHOTO EXHIBIT, A RIGHT TO AN EDUCATION

Selamaw studying at home in Ethiopia, by Rosie Hallam

“EVERY child has the right to go to school,” says Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO. “It is the responsibility of all of us to make sure that happens.”

UNESCO contends that education is both a basic human right and a smart investment, being vital for development and helping to lay the foundations for social well-being, economic growth and security, gender equality and peace.

Education is the frontline of defence in tackling diseases such as Ebola, by teaching children about how they can protect themselves and their families.

Rosie’s photograph captures the story of 14-year-old Selamaw, the first person in her family to stay on at school past primary age. Her parents, Marco and Meselech, are subsistence farmers in a village near Aleta Chuko, Sidamo, Ethiopia.

They are part of a programme designed to help children from the poorest Ethiopian families remain in school while assisting the mothers to set up a business with a seed fund made up of a small donation and savings.

While Selamaw goes to school, her mother, Meselech, is learning literacy and numeracy skills and attending business classes. She hopes to set up a business selling crops and flour.

Through this programme, Meselech aims to earn enough money to keep Selamaw in school and to allow her other children to receive an education, eventually breaking their cycle of poverty.

Peter Heaton’s photos and Peter Maris’s sculptures go on show at Dalby Forest

Dalby, by Peter Heaton, from the Residuum exhibition at The Courtyard, Low Dalby

PETER Heaton’s photographs combine with Peter Maris’s sculptures in the Residuum exhibition on show at The Courtyard, Low Dalby, Dalby Forest, near Pickering, until the end of August.

“All the work pretty much has been made during the lockdown period,” says artist/photographer Heaton. “It’s quite different for me, as I usually work in black and white, but as normal for my work, it’s heavily atmospheric, and this time it’s a collaborative project.”

Inspired by a particular forest environment and how it has formed, flourishes and changes through natural processes and human activity, Heaton and Maris’s “rich and sumptuous” exhibition” presents multi-layered photographs alongside intriguing carved stone sculptures that took the micro-climate and life within the forest’s small glacial valleys as a focal point for examination and creative exploration.

Sculpture, by Peter Maris, from the Residuum exhibition

Residuum is among the outcomes of an artist residency commissioned by Forestry England and supported by Arts Council England, wherein Maris invited Heaton to engage in a collaborative programme.

Heaton’s striking images were all made in a small area of the forest at High Staindale that contains a complex of several short steep valleys known locally as Griffs and Slacks. These features were created by glacial melt water and lie close to the prehistoric Dargate Dikes linear boundary.

“In this most ancient area of the forest, sunlight very rarely penetrates the valleys that seem to exude their own pale, green light,” he says. “They are full of fallen and decaying trees that are passing through continuous transformation as they moulder into the rocky forest floor. In my images these are atmospheric spaces, dominated by mosses, ferns, deep shadows and …silence.”

“Quite different for me, as I usually work in black and white, but as normal for my work, it’s heavily atmospheric,” says photographer Peter Heaton

In The Courtyard gallery, two large panoramic compositions flank either side of the exhibition space, examining and celebrating the rich array of minutiae that makes up the ever-changing forest floor, all photographically woven into complex, layered tapestries that reveal unexpected detail, colour and textures.

In contrast, four images printed onto Light Sheets on the gallery’s main wall alternate between illuminating the space with that “pale green light” and then darkening, shifting to reveal the woodland’s mysterious, primaeval qualities.

“There is constant change at work in these valleys, but it’s imperceptible, a slow decomposition and green rebirth brought about by nature’s agents of change,” says Heaton.

Forest, by Peter Heaton, on display at The Courtyard, Low Dalby

The sculptures are inspired by the same subject matter but, importantly, are also a creative response to the photographic compositional processes. “They are intentionally focused towards a ‘picture-plane’ presentation and deal with the surface issues in sculptural composition,” says Maris.

“These new pieces use the very rugged, textured, natural ‘bed’ surface of the stone as an appropriate visual metaphor in which to explore with a range of mark-making techniques, but that also refer to natural growth forms, decomposition and human activity.”

In this project, Maris has found the opportunity to broaden his sculptural expression beyond the boundaries of conventional stone-carving practice and introduce a greater spontaneity in approach and response.

The Residuum exhibition at The Courtyard, Low Dalby

“In these sculptures, I wanted to develop new creative routes in stone and I felt free to compose and draw with the chisel in a very loose and painterly manner,” says Maris. “Colour has been introduced too, both by chance discovery and by deliberation.”

The natural textures of the stones have given rise to imaginative and creative play in the carving process. “Surface features and shapes are undercut and pierced, revealing apertures in the stone, posing references to the earth’s surface as a fragile membrane that can be broken or eroded through human activity and natural environmental processes.”

Heaton concludes: “With people becoming increasingly appreciative of the benefits of spending more time outdoors, perhaps a visit to the exhibition combined with walk through Dalby Forest would be just the ticket in the coming months.”

The exhibition poster for Residuum



Getting mighty Crowded at Scarborough Open Air Theatre next summer after Kaiser Chiefs and Bryan Adams confirm dates

Kaiser Chiefs: Never missing a beat at Scarborough Open Air Theatre next July

I PREDICT a trio!

First came Crowded House’s confirmation for June 8, next, Kaiser Chiefs for July 11, and now, this new rising morning, Bryan Adams for July 1, as Scarborough Open Air Theatre announces another burst of big signings for Summer 2021.

New Zealander Neil Finn’s re-grouped Australian band Crowded House will open the British leg of their first European travels in more than a decade on the Yorkshire coast to showcase Dreamers Are Waiting, next year’s fruits of Lockdown labours: their seventh studio album but first since Intriguer in June 2010. The release date is yet to be confirmed.

Leeds lads Kaiser Chiefs promise a “no-holds-barred rock’n’roll celebration” on their much-requested return to Scarborough OAT after their May 27 2017 debut. “We cannot wait to get back to playing live shows again and it will be great to return to this stunning Yorkshire venue,” says frontman Ricky Wilson. “We had a cracking night there in 2017, so roll on July 11!”

Expect a Sunday night of such Yorkshire anthems as Oh My God, I Predict A Riot, Everyday I Love You Less And Less, Ruby, Never Miss A Beat and Hole In My Soul from the Chiefs, whose last album, 2019’s top-five entry Duck, marked their return to their original label, Polydor.

Crowded House: Always take the Scarborough weather with you next June

That summer, they played Leeds United’s stadium, Elland Road, and this summer they were booked in for another open-air headliner at Dalby Forest, near Pickering, until Covid-19 said “No”.

Scarborough OAT venue programmer Peter Taylor, of promoters Cuffe and Taylor, says: “Ever since their show here in 2017, fans have been asking for us to bring Kaiser Chiefs back to Scarborough OAT.

“We are delighted to oblige, and this is going to be another all-action rock’n’roll show that no fan will want to miss.”

Completing the new additions to Scarborough OAT’s ever-expanding 2021 diary, Canadian singer Bryan Adams will play there as part of his ten-date UK outdoor tour that will conclude at Harewood House, near Leeds, on July 10.

Adams, 61, will be making his second appearance at the Scarborough arena after his sold-out debut on August 8 2016. Once more, he will do Run To You, Cuts Like A Knife, Summer Of ’69, I Do It For You et al for you.  

Bryan Adams: Scarborough return next July after 2016 show

Programmer Taylor says: “Bryan Adams is one of the world’s best-selling artists and an international music legend. We are beyond thrilled he is returning to Scarborough Open Air Theatre next summer.

“Bryan joins an incredible line-up of headliners for 2021 and we cannot wait for the season to start!”

That list now runs to: June 8, Crowded House; June 12, Lionel Richie; June 13, The Beach Boys; June 19, UB40 featuring Ali Campbell and Astro; June 20, Ru Paul’s Drag Race: Werq The World; July 1, Bryan Adams; July 3, Snow Patrol; July 7, Duran Duran; July 9, Keane; July 10Olly Murs; July 11, Kaiser Chiefs; July 25, Lewis Capaldi; August 17, Westlife, and August 20, Nile Rodgers & Chic.

Still more artists and dates are to be confirmed. Meanwhile, tickets for Crowded House, Kaiser Chiefs and Bryan Adams all will go on general sale at 9am on Friday, December 11 via ticketmaster.co.uk and scarboroughopenairtheatre.com.

Tickets for Adams’s Harewood House show will be available from the same time at ticketmaster.co.uk/bryan-adams-tickets/artist/734390 and aegp.uk/ba2021

Bryan Adams’s poster for his July 1 concert in Scarborough

Gerry Judah’s Indian-inspired Four Elements sculptures go on show at Dalby Forest

Rob Herdman, arts co-ordinator for Forestry England, hanging one of the framed drawings in Gerry Judah’s Bengal exhibition at the Courtyard, Dalby Forest. Pictures: Tony Bartholomew

SCULPTURES by Gerry Judah go on show from tomorrow in the Courtyard at Dalby Forest, near Pickering, in his solo show Bengal: The Four Elements.

Known for his monumental Central Feature car sculptures at the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed for the past two decades, he will show pieces inspired by his childhood in India until October 31.

Built over nearly a decade and originally commissioned by Arts Council England, who fund Dalby Forest’s arts programme, Judah’s Bengal body of work comprises five sculptures, shown alongside his framed drawings.

One of Gerry Judah’s exhibits at the Courtyard, Dalby Forest

Visually forceful and sensitively crafted, Judah’s works poetically engage with prescient concerns over climate change in India while exploring the artist’s personal history. Drawing on essential natural elements in his detailed sculptures, Judah “constructs the intangible” as clouds shift, waves splash and smoke rises.

Petra Young, Forestry England’s funding and development manager for the Yorkshire Forest District, says: “We’re thrilled to host this exhibition, last seen at Grizedale Forest [in the Lake District]. It brings together a significant body of work that has been developed by Gerry Judah since returning to India in 2013.

“Visitors to the gallery will gain insight into a sculptor’s process, from thinking through ideas and forms through drawing to the production of beautifully crafted sculptures.

Man at work: Rob Herdman walks through Gerry Judah’s Bengal exhibition with a drill in his hand

“A common theme is the rickshaws from which each response to the individual elements flow as the artist brings together his childhood memories and thoughts on climate change into dynamic drawings and fascinating forms.”

Work from the Bengal series has been exhibited at the High Commission of India, in London, and Wolverhampton Art Gallery, while other Judah works are on permanent display at the House of Wisdom in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, and international sculpture parks.

Judah was born in Calcutta – now Kolkata – in 1951 and grew up there before his family moved to London when he was ten. As a boy, the dramatic landscapes of India and the ornate architecture of its temples, mosques and synagogues, with their theatrical rituals, had a profound effect on his developing psyche. These elements would resurface in his own later work.

Taking shape: Rob Herdman putting the finishing touches to mounting Gerry Judah’s exhibition in readiness for tomorrow’s opening

The austerity of post-war London was a shock to the young boy, who chose to spend as much time as possible in his bedroom conjuring up, with pencils and paper, imaginary landscapes, architectural fantasies and futuristic cars, leading him to want to become an artist.

Judah gained a double first-class honours degree in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and studied sculpture as a postgraduate at the Slade School of Fine Art. He was taken with the public nature of this work and decided to find settings for his own art in more public arenas than the rarefied spaces of conventional galleries.

He has created work for the BBC, the British Museum, the Museum of Mankind, the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Tolerance, as well as for such musicians as Paul McCartney, the late Michael Jackson, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, The Who .

Shadow play: One of Gerry Judah’s Four Elements sculptures at the Courtyard

Judah was commissioned by the Imperial War Museum to create a large model of the selection ramp in Auschwitz-Birkenau for the Holocaust Exhibition opened by The Queen.

His work has been exhibited by the Saatchi Gallery, London; the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, near Wakefield; Camden Arts Centre; the David Roberts Foundation; the Royal Institute of British Architects; Cass Sculpture Foundation, the Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania, and the Louis Blouin Foundation. In 2014, his two monumental sculptures commemorating the First World War were placed on permanent display in St Paul’s Cathedral, London.

Gerry Judah’s Bengal: The Four Elements exhibition at Dalby Forest is free to enter and is open from Tuesdays to Sundays, 11am to 4pm.

Theatres, cinemas and concert venues are still closed, but Lockdown is easing. Here are More Things To Do on days in and days out, courtesy of The Press, York. LIST No.8

Can’t wait to get out, like these sled dog racers in Dalby Forest from Tony Batholomew’s online exhibition Forest 100: A Year In The Life? If so, read on…

METRE by metre, Downing Street daily briefing by catch-you-by-surprise Downing Street daily briefing, we are moving closer to the beginning of the end of the 10 Things To See Next Week In York shutdown.

However, there is still no theatre, concert venue or cinema re-opening for the foreseeable future, although cinemas are making plans to do so in July. Watch this ever-shifting space.

In the meantime, amid the loosened-lockdown dawn of summer, when football and horse racing are back, albeit with no crowds, and beaches are back, but too crowded, the search continues for entertainment, enlightenment and exercise at home and farther afield.  

From behind his door, increasingly ajar, CHARLES HUTCHINSON makes these suggestions.

Drive-In Cinema parks up in York next month, but unlike in this poster, viewers will have to stay in, not on, their cars throughout each screening

Daisy Duke’s Drive-In Cinema, Knavesmire, York, July 3 to 5

STATIC cinemas, no, but Boris Johnson’s Government has given the green light to drive-in cinemas with social distancing rules in place.

North Easterners Daisy Duke’s Drive-In Cinema have been quick off the mark to announce a Drive-In Saturday (one for David Bowie fans), and a Friday and Sunday too, from July 3 to 5.

Interaction between staff and customers will be kept to a minimum, with cars parked two metres apart and those attending expected to remain within their vehicles for the duration of the screenings on LED screens with the sound transmitted to car radios.

Four screenings a day are in store, with the film line-up taking in The Jungle Book, The Lion King, Mamma Mia!, Frozen 2, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Greatest Showman, A Star Is Born, 28 Days Later, Pulp Fiction and Joker. Tickets can be booked at dukescinema.epizy.com.

Oh, and if theatres are still closed come December, would there be any takers for a drive-in pantomime?

Rosy Rowley: Reprising her role in the 2012 York Mystery Plays as Mrs Noah in the York Radio Mystery Plays

York Radio Mystery Plays, on BBC Radio York, Sunday mornings throughout June

YORK Theatre Royal and BBC Radio York are collaborating to bring the York Mystery Plays to life on the airwaves on the Sunday Breakfast Show with Jonathan Cowap.

Working remotely from home, a cast of 19 community and professional actors has recorded four 15-minute instalments under the direction of Theatre Royal associate director Juliet Forster.

After Adam And Eve and The Flood Part 1, the series continues with The Flood Part 2 this weekend and Moses And Pharaoh on June 28. Hear the earlier ones at bbc.co.uk/sounds.

York In Flood, 2019, taken by Museum Gardens, from Katherine-of-Yorkshire’s exhibition at Village Gallery, York 

Galleries re-opening…

NO, not the big ones yet, such as York Art Gallery, but among those to announce the re-opening of doors in York this week are Simon Main’s Village Gallery, in Colliergate, and Ann Petherick’s Kentmere House Gallery, in Scarcroft Hill.

Village Gallery is presenting a photographic show by Instagrammer Katherine-of-Yorkshire until August 2. “Katherine regularly posts photographs on Instagram, mainly of York, and usually in black and white, using the camera on her phone to take the photos,” Simon says.

“She manages to convey a deep feeling of peace, even when documenting the major floods in York that happen all too regularly, as well as showing a different perspective of well-known places.”

Open by appointment only until further notice, Kentmere House is displaying A Life In Colour, Work from the Studio of Jack Hellewell, 1920-2000, including unframed pieces never seen before, to mark Hellewell’s centenary. 

North York Moors, by Jack Hellewell, at the re-opened Kentmere House Gallery, York

Mother Shipton’s Pixie Village Trail, Knaresborough

HAVE you ever dreamt of stepping into an utterly enchanted realm, deep in the captivating woodland, filled with fairy rings and secret doorways, where pixies are waiting to play?

If so, at Mother Shipton’s you can tread carefully through the land of the woodland people and keep your eyes peeled as you follow the trail to see their tiny houses.

Visitors will be provided with a trail sheet to explore the natural woodland at their own pace. Please note, open to pre-booked car admissions only, this Pixie Village event will not include any confined spaces and the actors will not be interacting with visitors, in order to reduce large gatherings of crowds and physical contact.

Shed Seven: Rearranging two big outdoors concerts in Yorkshire for their 2021 diary

Seek out the good news

NO York Festival with Madness, Westlife and Lionel Richie at York Sports Club from tomorrow until Sunday. No revival of Alan Ayckbourn’s Just Between Ourselves opening at the SJT tonight for a summer run. No Ronan Keating: Twenty Twenty gig at York Barbican tomorrow.

However, one festival is going ahead, albeit in revised online form, namely the York Early Music Festival, from July 9 to 11, with York countertenor Iestyn Davies’s concert with lutenist Elizabeth Kenny as the stand-out.

Keating’s Twenty Twenty show will now be in Twenty Twenty One, on January 13 to be precise. Meanwhile, York’s Britpop alumni Shed Seven have re-arranged two 2020 outdoor concerts for next year, now playing Doncaster Racecourse post-racing on May 15 2021, rather than August 15 this summer, and headlining an all-Yorkshire bill at the Piece Hall, Halifax, on June 26 2021, instead of the same date this year.

The artwork for Bob Dylan’s new album, Rough And Rowdy, out tomorrow

And what about…

79-YEAR-OLD Bob Dylan’s first album of original songs in eight years, Rough And Rowdy Ways, out tomorrow, on Columbia.  Phoebe Bridgers’ Punisher and Maccabees frontman Orlando Weeks’s solo debut A Quickening as further album recommendations. Spike Lee’s new Vietnam War film, Da 5 Bloods, streaming on Netflix. The Salisbury Poisonings, on BBC iPlayer, York actor Mark Addy among the cast. Talking Heads, Alan Bennett’s isolation monologues re-visited in Covid-19 times with two new additions, on BBC One from Tuesday.

Gardens at National Trust properties re-opening, such as Beningbrough Hall; bookings only. Val and Emma Carr’s Stanley & Ramona dinky coffee house, in Bishopthorpe Road, serving up coffee and cake again, hurrah.

Walks through the rhododendrons at Forestry England’s Wheldrake Wood and watching out for the tiny toads and frogs at the RSPB’s Fairburn Ings. Tony Bartholomew’s Forest 100: A Year In The Life online exhibition of Dalby Forest from spring 2019 to spring 2020 at forestryengland.uk

York countertenor Iestyn Davies: Performing at the revised 2020 York Early Music Festival on July 9. Picture: Benjamin Ealovega

Copyright of The Press, York

When photographer Tony Bartholomew went down in the woods for a year, this is what he found…UPDATED WITH INTERVIEW

Forester Isobel Wilson during a break in a morning of tree felling. Picture Tony Bartholomew.

A YEAR in the life of Dalby Forest and surrounding North Yorkshire woodland is captured in Tony Bartholomew’s online photographic exhibition on the Forestry England website.

His photographs portray activities in the forest, near Pickering, ranging from bird ringing and harvesting to rallying, alongside portraits of forest workers and scenic views.

Long-snapping Scarborough editorial photographer Bartholomew took all his images for Forest 100: A Year In The Life within the boundaries of forests managed by Forestry England in God’s Own Country. They can be seen at: forestryengland.uk/forest-100-year-the-life

“I approached Forestry England with the idea in early 2019 once I realised that it was their centenary year,” says Tony, whose news-driven photographic patch has taken in Yorkshire and the North East since the early 1980s.

Sled dog racing in Dalby Forest. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

“The Forestry Commission was founded in 1919 to replenish the nation’s supply of timber after World War One. The Forestry Act was passed that same year, turning the riggs [higher ground] and dales that form the landscape of Dalby into today’s forest cared for by Forestry England.”

For one year, from spring 2019 to spring 2020, Batholomew recorded the flora and fauna of the forests, the people who work and play in them, and those who shaped their past and now protect their future.

Images from Forest 100: A Year In The Life were shown first in an outdoor display around Staindale Lake, near the visitors’ centre in Dalby Forest, and now comes the online exhibition.

Delighted by Bartholomew’s photographic documentary of Forestry England’s 100th anniversary landmark, funding and development manager Petra Young, says: “The centenary gives us time to reflect on our achievements and on the breadth of activities taking place in our nation’s forests. Tony’s work shows the range of special aspects the forest has to offer.”

Saskia Pilbeam in Guisborough Forest at the site of a fire earlier in the year. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

Here Tony Bartholomew leafs through Charles Hutchinson’s forest of questions.

What were your initial thoughts on what you wanted to portray in a year of forest photographs,Tony?

“My first thoughts and proposals were to try and show the breadth of activity that goes on in the day-to-day running of a forest.

“It’s a huge operation on both a commercial scale with timber operations and also on an ecological, recreational and cultural level. The project was to be basic reportage and Forestry England let me lead on what we should look at photographing.”

Forests are so much more than their trees, for all their beauty and mystery and history, but representing human activity in woodland must have been vital to your project?

“In any project or commission I undertake, it’s the people that really interest me: some of the stronger images in the project were of the people working and playing in the forests.”

A night-time rally stage in Dalby Forest. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

What did you learn about woods that you may not have appreciated before doing Forest 100?

“The cycle of planting, growing and harvesting trees in the forests was amazing to see, from tiny seeds being sorted in the nurseries, to planting out saplings and then the final process of felling.”

What are your earliest memories of woods playing a part in your life?

“When I was around the age of four, we were living in a small town in Dumfries and Galloway called Dalbeattie. The end of the road we lived in bordered a large forest and I had wandered off into the woods on a mini-expedition of discovery. Luckily I didn’t get too far in before my somewhat worried mother discovered me standing on a large stone.

“The forest is managed by what is now Forestry and Land Scotland and is home to some amazing mountain bike trails known as the 7 Stanes. Even though I grew up after that in inner-city Liverpool, I always had an affinity with green spaces and woodland.”

Planting out trees in Cropton Forest. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

What is your idea of a perfect day out in woodland?

“A crisp early-morning autumn start, a couple of cameras and probably a dog for company. Just setting out on a trail not knowing what you might photograph or come across.”

Do you think we appreciate woodland sufficiently and, in our age of climate change, will our response become even more important?

“I do think we are becoming increasingly aware of the role green spaces and especially woodland and forests can play. The need to plant more trees to offset our carbon footprint is obvious and we need to plant more than we currently are.

“Other benefits include providing a habitat and increasing bio-diversity. One thing which I think has come to the fore recently [in the Coronavirus lockdown] is people feeling the need to escape and find a place of relaxation and inner peace. Just find a quiet patch of woodland and sit beneath a tree for five minutes.

Duck down: Synchronised duck dabbling on Staindale Lake in Dalby Forest.. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

“If you go down in the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise,” as the song The Teddy Bears’ Picnic goes. Did anything surprise you in your year of woodland photography?

I was out in Wykeham Forest on a very wet summer Sunday afternoon and was walking down a very narrow deeply wooded trail.

“I came around a bend and saw straight ahead an adult roe deer. We stopped and observed each other for a few seconds, but as soon as I reached for a camera she was away into the woods.” 

Did the differing seasons have an influence on your photography?

“The different seasons do have an influence and effect on your work, especially if you return to a similar spot or viewpoint and observe it at different times of year.

A long-tailed tit is released after being ringed, weighed and logged in Dalby Forest. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

“Most people imagine that as photographers we are always craving blue skies and bright sunshine but many of the best pictures are taken in adverse or unusual weather conditions. Early spring and autumn can give spectacular light.”

What are the specific challenges of photographing in woodland?

“That’s an interesting question and one I haven’t considered. On thinking about it, part of the problem of photographing in the woods is the trees: that old saying “you can’t see the wood for the trees” can ring true at times.

“Making things stand out in what can be a uniform landscape is the answer.”

A mini-whirlpool and fallen leaves in a beck near Dalby Forest. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

Should we ever be able to visit galleries again in these Covid-19 lockdown times, where might your photographs be exhibited?

“Let’s be positive and say when we are back visiting galleries again! In this case, it’s not an issue as the exhibition of work was split into three different parts.

“The first two were physically exhibited outdoors in Dalby Forest around a beautiful, flat, accessible trail at Staindale Lake. Dalby is now open again with limited facilities, so check the website, but the second set of pictures are still up around the lake, and we’re talking about what might happen from there.”

Reflection on an autumn day in Dalby Forest. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

Did you know?

Forestry England, an agency of the Forestry Commission manages and cares for the nation’s 1,500 woods and forests, drawing more than 230 million visits per year.

As England’s largest land manager, it shapes landscapes and enhances forests, enabling wildlife to flourish and businesses to grow, as well as providing enjoyment for people. For more information, visit forestryengland.uk. 

Autumn funghi on a moss-covered fallen branch in Wykeham Forest. Picture: Tony Bartholomew

OFF. Kaiser Chiefs and Will Young/James Morrison gigs at Dalby Forest cancelled

I predict a quiet night: Kaiser Chiefs will not play Dalby Forest after all on June 26

DALBY Forest’s summer concerts, featuring Leeds band Kaiser Chiefs on June 26 and a double bill of Will Young and James Morrison the next night, are off.

Indeed, the entire Forest Live series presented by Forestry England nationwide, has been cancelled, yet another summer calendar regular chalked off by the Coronavirus pandemic lockdown. Ticket holders will be refunded automatically.

A Forestry England statement released today explains: “We are sorry to disappoint the Forest Live fans who were hoping to see bands in the nation’s forests this summer, but we have cancelled Forest Live 2020 to keep everyone safe, in line with recent Government guidance on the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak. 

“We really hope that everyone’s support to fight COVID-19 means the situation will have improved by the summer. However, as well as our valued customers, we work with a large number of volunteers, artists and contractors, to make these concerts happen and have taken this decision in the interest of safety for everyone involved.” 

Will Young: double bill with James Morrison

 The statement continues: “Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to reschedule our concerts. Ticket holders will be contacted by their point of purchase and will be automatically refunded. We ask for your patience and understanding at this busy time.

“We would like to send our deepest apologies to everyone who was hoping to see a Forest Live 2020 show. We were very excited to welcome you into forests across England to see some incredible live music.

 “Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to welcoming you back to Forest Live in 2021.”   

Nationwide,Forest Live 2020 would have featured headline performances by Madness, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Keane, Jack Savoretti and Rag’n’Bone Man, as well as Kaiser Chiefs, Morrison and Young.

James Morrison: No Forest Live return after June 27 cancellation

These June concerts would have been spread between Dalby Forest, near Pickering; Bedgebury Pinetum, Kent; Cannock Chase Forest, Staffordshire; Sherwood Pines Forest, Nottinghamshire; Thetford Forest, Suffolk, and Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire.

Income from Forest Live concerts helps to sustain Forestry England’s woodland for people to enjoy, wildlife to flourish and trees to grow.

Forestry England, an agency of the Forestry Commission, manages and cares for the nation’s 1,500 woods and forests, welcoming 230 million visits every year and shaping landscapes as England’s largest land manager. For more information, visit forestryengland.uk; for further Forest Live details, go to forestryengland.uk/music.

Did you know?

KAISER Chiefs previously played Dalby Forest in 2016; Will Young in 2012 and James Morrison in 2007.

Kaiser Chiefs are off to the woods this summer for Dalby Forest return gig

Kaiser Chiefs: striding out for Dalby Forest on June 26

KAISER Chiefs are to return to Dalby Forest, near Pickering, for a Forest Live open-air gig on June 26.

The Leeds band played there previously in 2016, and once more Forestry England’s conservation projects will benefit from the concert takings, as they will from Will Young and James Morrison’s Dalby double-header on June 27.

Tickets go on sale from 9am on Friday (February 7) on 03000 680400 or at forestryengland.uk/music. 

Frontman Ricky Wilson says: “We’re chuffed to be playing a home-county gig in Dalby Forest this summer. We last played there in 2016 as part of Forest Live series and it’s an amazing location to perform deep in the woods, so we hope you can join us on this escapade.”

Chief hits Oh My God, I Predict A Riot, Everyday I Love You Less And Less, the chart-topping Ruby and Never Miss A Beat will be complemented by album selections off Employment; Yours Truly, Angry Mob; Off With Their Heads; The Future Is Medieval; Education, Education, Education; Stay Together and last July’s Duck.

Kaiser Chiefs previously took to the Yorkshire great outdoors to play York Racecourse in July 2016 and Scarborough Open Air Theatre in May 2017.

From December 2018 to March 2019, they brought a new meaning to Pop Art when curating When All Is Quiet: Kaiser Chiefs In Conversation With York Art Gallery. Exploring the boundaries between art and music in this experimental exhibition, they used their position as pop musicians to rethink sound as an art medium.

Did you know?

More than 1.9 million people have attended Forest Live concerts in the past 19 years. Ticket-sale income goes towards Forestry England looking after the nation’s forests sustainably, helping to create beautiful places for people to enjoy, wildlife to flourish and trees to grow.