David Parkin finds a summer flourish at York, naked ambition in Hull and a cycling legacy to be proud of

THERE’S been a worrying feeling of autumn in the air for the last few mornings.

So if there is one place to go in an attempt to celebrate summer and stave off a change of season, then it’s York Races.

The annual Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival is a four-day extravaganza that brings together some of the world’s best flat horses, jockeys and trainers with owners who number some of the wealthiest people in the world, along with high fashion and hijinks, well certainly on the champagne terrace.

The sun came out in time for the first race at York yesterday on the second day of the Ebor.

Not content with a runner in one of the races, Yorkshire entrepreneur Steve Parkin (no relation) sponsored a race through his stock market quoted Clipper Logistics business.

Saying Clipper is involved in transport is a bit like saying Usain Bolt is quite a fast runner.

These days it isn’t just about shipping stuff from A to B, Clipper works for some of the biggest names on the UK high street and does everything from putting the tags on clothes to handling the garments that are returned by customers.

It didn’t surprise me that Steve’s horse running yesterday was called Fashion Queen.

It made me start looking at other horses to see whether their names had connections to their owners.

But Stop the Wages wasn’t owned by Mike Ashley of Sports Direct and You’re Fired didn’t belong to Lord Alan Sugar from The Apprentice.

York is so busy on Ladies Day that you always end up bumping into people you don’t expect to see and never meeting up with the people you planned to.

An invite from Peter Dodd of Welcome to Yorkshire meant I was able to escape the organised chaos of the champagne terrace and head up to the top floor box where tourism supremo Sir Gary Verity and his team were entertaining the great and good of Yorkshire.

Does Geoffrey Boycott qualify?

Gary and his team were clearly buoyed by yesterday’s news that Prime Minister Theresa May has underlined her support for the Northern Powerhouse and Yorkshire’s place at the centre of it as well as prioritising a devolution deal.

On top of that, she has thrown her weight behind Welcome to Yorkshire’s ambitious plans to build on the legacy of the Tour de France Grand Depart two years ago and the subsequent success of the Tour de Yorkshire.

A £24m investment package to bring cycling’s World Road Championships to Yorkshire and develop new cycle networks was also announced yesterday.

It should hopefully ensure a truly golden future for cycling in the region.

Meanwhile, talk in the box overlooking the Knavesmire moved to the Far East, yes Hull.

I used that line on someone yesterday and they hadn’t heard it before, so I’ll keep it in my repertoire.

I joined a conversation on the balcony involving Hull-based businessmen Shaun Watts of Chameleon Business Interiors, Nicholas Oughtred, chairman of William Jackson Food Group and Tim Wheldon, Hull-born head of the Leeds office of law firm Addleshaw Goddard.

I was intrigued to find out whether they felt their home city being the UK City of Culture 2017 would make a positive difference.

The answer was a resounding yes, with Nicholas saying his firm was a sponsor of the year-long event and even revealing he took part in a mass nude photograph in the city last month.

Internationally-renowned photographer Spencer Tunick is creating a new work in the East Yorkshire port city to celebrate its year as UK City of Culture.

Thousands of people gathered in Hull in the early hours of July 9 where they stripped off and were painted with blue body make up to become part of the work entitled Sea Of Hull.

Participants formed the multiple colours of the sea and created abstract shapes for the camera.

New York-based Tunick has created more than 90 similar human installations worldwide, including at the Sydney Opera House, Place des Arts in Montreal, Mexico City and Munich in Germany.

Apparently the turnout in Hull was one of the biggest he has had.

Fortunately Nicholas didn’t have any of his own photos from the event.


THE British team’s incredible performance at the Olympics in Rio has rightly been lauded and excited the nation.

Someone said to me the other day that the BBC’s coverage of the Games has been energetic, enthusiastic and entertaining.

But that’s not very surprising. If someone sent me to Rio to report on the Olympic Games then I’d be enthusiastic too.


I STILL shudder when I remember A level results day. Thousands of teenagers and their parents probably went through similar experiences yesterday, wondering if they would get the grades needed to get the job or place at university that they had set their heart on.

Given my A level results I avoid offering advice when it comes to academia.

However another one-time journalist who did equally badly in his exams did offer his thoughts to those collecting their A level results.

Former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson made the following comment on Twitter:

“Don’t worry, I got a C and 2 U’s and I’m currently on a super yacht in the Med.”

That’s helpful, Jeremy, thanks.

Have a great weekend.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top