Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Tourism takes over

Enjoying a two week holiday in the north of England I am led to muse on how much the tourist trade has altered towns and villages. First we went to Skipton to see the statue of my hero. Fred Trueman. The town seemed to have a large number of tourist shops and a gross overdose of Halloween. I loathe this American commercial festival with its occult symbolism. I even had to endure BBC TV telling me all about modern witches and druids and what a wonderful pro-feminist religion it is.

But back to Yorkshire. If I give Skipton a 6/10 tourist influence, then Grassington is 9/10, redeemed from the ultimate mark only by one being able to enjoy a pint of Black Sheep Rigwelter strong bitter. A rigwelted sheep is stuck on its back and will die unless helped upright. Grassington is totally dominated by tourism. It has changed the village from the traditional place one would come to see.

My home town of Thirsk, at 4/10 is going that way too. Traditional newsagents and toy shops, Fox's and Dodsworth's are no more. Following the Herriot label one pub has become the Darrowby Arms and we have the spectacle of Rosie and Jim's Junk Shop. Richmond is 2/10 and seems to have escaped the trend.

Keswick is 10/10 tourist but Kendal I put at only 2/10. It gets top marks as a shopping centre and for informing the visitor of its history. Kendal is different for so much is old yards off a main street. We are staying 46 steps up above one such yard. At least that saved us from the pestilential trick or treaters. One shortcoming is the failure to identify churches on the street maps displayed.

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