Farmer's Market

Saturday, 24th September 2005

Red Cabbage
French Beans (but locally grown!)
Potatoes, freshly dug
Early Savoy Cabbage
Early Sprouts
Conference Pears

MarketIngham's fruit and stall on the farmers' market in Ossett got a favourable mention from Rick Stein and very good it is too; everything here is locally grown and seasonal, which is unlike what you'd expect to find in a supermarket fruit and veg department, where, for example, the bobby beans are routinely flown in from Africa.

A woman spots me drawing and comes and sits next to me on the bench, she guesses it's me not because we've met before but because she's read my book, Around Old Ossett.

OssettShe tells me that a century ago a relative of hers, (and I think it was her grandfather's cousin) worked on the construction of the Town Hall, which overlooks the market place. The inquest found that he'd trodden on a plank that was not properly supported on the scaffolding and he'd fallen to his death.

It's said that his ghost still haunts the Town Hall. She tells me that people who work there find the place spooky when it's empty: they hear footsteps on the staircase and then hear a door slam.

Painted Lady

dragon carved on Town Hallpainted ladyThe Town Hall boasts some impressive stone carving, such as the dragons above the windows (right) but I'm very sorry to see some prankster has painted the face and legs of one of the caryatids supporting the pediment over the main door. As far as I'm aware, there's no way to remove paint from stone without damaging the surface. You either use powerful chemicals or some kind of abrasive, neither of which is likely to be kind to the coal measures sandstone that the figures are carved in.

Signs of the Times

signA month or so ago a new stone signs and flower tubs were constructed by the roads into Horbury. Already the one on the Ossett road has been partly demolished by vandals.

It seems to be what West Yorkshire is getting notorious for these days . . . vandals, suicide bombers . . . heigh-ho, you know: the kind of people who think their point of view, their wit and cleverness, their ability to determine what is best for the world, takes precedence over the lives, history and surroundings of the rest of us. But then there's this farmer's market . . . and the kite festival on Heath Common tomorrow . . . so maybe it's not all bad news!

Wish they'd go and fly a kite instead of bombing, daubing and destroying. Next Page

Richard Bell,