6 August 2010


On Yorkshire Day, I referred to Benjamin Till's wonderful "A Symphony for Yorkshire". In the days since then, the accompanying film has been shown in its entirety on BBC Yorkshire. Now it's available on YouTube. Though I offered you a snippet last Sunday you can now see the whole thing - around twenty minutes. The participants are shown in a range of Yorkshire settings - some famous and some rather ordinary. I really do think that this work captures something of the spirit of this amazing county.

My one and only criticism is that cultures of Asian descent could have been celebrated more obviously in the piece. People with Asian heritage form a sizeable population group within our cities and towns - especially in Bradford, Huddersfield and Leeds where their contribution to the rich tapestry of the county's cultural life has been remarkable. In an email from Benjamin Till to yours truly, he accepted that this was an unfortunate omission - simply because no suitable Asian musical groups responded to the initial appeals. Personally, I think he should have been rather more proactive in ensuring Asian ingredients to enhance the final mixture.

Nonetheless, it's still brilliant:-


  1. This is good, I am feeling a little homesick after watching that....

  2. Yorkshire Day? I never realised there was such a thing. Fair play. I can't imagine there ever being a Berkshire Day (for instance), let alone a symphony.

  3. Elizabeth7:57 am

    Absolutely wonderful.

    I just wish I knew how to embed these things on my blog, so that I could post it, myself! x

  4. It's a very uplifting video and must have been a huge organisational task. Pity they had to include the hideous wind turbines which desecrate an otherwise beautiful landscape though!

  5. Anonymous11:03 am

    Personally speaking, and I am not racist, I feel your comments in fetching up and singling out the word "Asian" is unfortunate and racist by its comment alone, I feel that because of Britain now being multicultural the need to bring up at all times and comment upon the word "asian" at every occasion, outdated - did you ask if there were any polish people in the Symphony and if not did you feel the need to ask why no Polish people were in the symphony? Did you ask why there were no Moroccan musicians in the Symphony? I could say, "why didn't Jonathan Till go to Hebden Bridge where the musican talent and ethnicity is huge there" but that is not the point. There are quite a lot of different ethnic people now integrating in Britain and in my job I see and like a lot of asian people who are westernised but hide the fact because the asian communities by their own actions deny them the freedom to be westernised. Britain is a freedom country and every asian in Yorkshire, to which there are large communities of asians in Yorkshire like you said, SO THE POINT IS that every asian in Yorkshire had the freedom and opportunity to go to the auditions if they chose to do so but obviously did not. The new generation of Britain will naturally evolve itself but at the present time I am sick of hearing the word "asian" brought up at every occasion and hate the racism from every side.

  6. DAVID There's still a place for you in your homeland.
    MALC If there were a Berkshire Day, around seven people and a guide dog would turn up.
    ELIZABETH Embedding video on blogs is a highly technical process that only advanced computer users are able to master.
    JENNY I think the wind turbines and crumbly urban backgrounds help to give this film its authenticity - this isn't nostalgic chocolate box top Yorkshire - it's the real thing.
    ANONYMOUS Interesting response. The fact is that Yorkshire is home to a very large and influential Asian community whose exotic cultures have become an integral feature of the fabric of Yorkshire society. For example in Bradford alone there are over 103,000 people of Asian descent. It could easily be argued that a symphony which does not acknowledge this huge sector of the population is itself racist by default. The Polish population of Yorkshire is very much smaller. Besides - the main thing is that a bangla phase in the symphony would have been like putting a tangy herb in an already rich broth. By the way sir/madam/ms if you met me and were aware of my deeds you would know beyond doubt that I am not even slightly racist. Even so, as I say, an interesting if misjudged reflection so thank you all the same.

  7. Elizabeth7:03 pm

    Then, my blog will just have to do without visual entertainment, YP. I'm doing well to get words on the thing. x

  8. I am thinking of starting a Polish and Moroccan Awareness Society here in the states. You will be our poster child.

  9. Anonymous8:30 am

    Hi again,
    Thanks for reading my comments and for your response. I am sorry if you misunderstood, but I did not refer to you being racist and would not comment so because I do not know you personally. I advise you that I am not misjudged, you have embodied exactly what I said in your answer. As a minority, there were African and chinese people in the symphony , so as to the vast amount of asian people who are far more predominant as a majority now in Yorkshire as you agree in your answer, there should have been somebody with musical influence to come forward to the auditions but the sad truth is they obviously did not. I love Bangra personally and have seen 2 great Bangra bands on the circuit.
    Like I said, the sad fact is that the asian community, at the present time, are not integrating and westernised asians have to keep themselves underground and believe me they are scared to "come out". I am sure you understand the point I am making.

  10. Anonymous8:31 am

    To Rhythms with plague.

    When does the photographic session start?


Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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