The IB Lifestyle

Ahh the International Baccalaureate… Basically, it’s been my life for the past 2 years and now it’s all about to come to an end. Exactly one week from today, well one week from this very minute really, I’ll have finished the IB forever. THANK GOD!!!!

It’s been sooooo hard. Easily the biggest challenge I’ve undertaken thus far in my little life, and I’d like to say it’s been worth it…. but I don’t really think it has.

The cold hard truth is: the IB sucks. It’s so much extra work to what actually needs to be done to get into uni, and even then, universities don’t even acknowledge the work you’ve done. If it’s not an A Level it just doesn’t seem to count! I will say this though – I’m glad I did it. 

Despite it’s ultimate suckyness, it was a laugh. Despite all the mental breakdowns I endured, I pulled through. And despite all the times when I literally wanted to beat myself to death with my text books, it’s almost over. 

I met some great people. 

I learnt some stuff too.

But all in all – DON’T DO THE IB. Or do… Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 

By Elle

Savile – Rest in Pieces – The follow up.

The story that I’ve chosen to cover is the current controversy over Jimmy Savile and the allegations being made against him. This is both a national and a local story for me as I live in Scarborough, where Savile had a holiday home and where he is now buried.


Savile currently lies in Scarborough’s largest cemetery, in a prime position which he chose himself, allegedly so that he could always look out to sea. Unfortunately more than one local resident has pointed that his chosen place of burial also gives an excellent view of a local school, and as the allegations get ever more lurid, people are starting to question whether he should still be buried in the town.


This is potentially hugely embarrassing for the local Council as many of its prominent members were at the front of the queue to be associated with Savile before the allegations came out. In addition to this, only six months ago in April, the Council were deliberating over whether or not to erect a statue of Savile within the town centre as a permanent reminder of his presence in the town.


As a result of this, a split is now developing on the local Council between those members eager to condemn Savile, and those who point out the benefits of his charity work and the publicity he once brought to the town.


This is causing a great sense of unease throughout the town as many citizens of Scarborough (myself included) have loved ones buried in the same cemetery in which Savile’s body now lies. However, the issue over whether Savile can be dug up and moved is a very sensitive one, as I and many others still believe he has human rights and should not be disturbed in death. However, many other residents simply want rid of him.


Nevertheless, no matter what the outcome, Scarborough will always be remembered for housing Savile in the first place, and whether the small town can overcome this bad publicity is another matter which will continue for many years to come.


Copyright Eleanor Richards 2013. No reproduction without permission.

By Elle

Savile – Rest in Pieces

Today, Jimmy Savile already lies in an unmarked grave, his tombstone taken down by his family “out of respect for public opinion”, but should his body also be moved from his grave? Feelings are running high in Scarborough as to whether the disgraced disc-jockey’s remains should be allowed to stay in the town. One local resident – who did not wish to be named – said, “We have to dig him up. Would you want your Mum buried next to him? Or even worse, your child?”


Discussions are now taking place amongst Savile’s family as to whether his body should be moved from Woodlands Cemetery, in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. Savile allegedly said he wished to be buried over-looking the sea, but with the recent accusations that have come to light, many now believe that the location of his grave was chosen to look over a local school in the area.


However, whether the body will be moved or not lies in the hands of Savile’s family, and the local council. “No-one is supporting what the man did,” commented a spokesman for Scarborough Council, “Never the less, the decision to dig up a man who has been dead and buried for almost a year requires certain ethical guidelines to be looked into beforehand.”


This is the issue which, at the moment is still very unsettled. Everyone still has their right to be untouched after their death, hence the repeatedly used “Rest in Peace”, found on most tombstones. Yet many people are claiming that due to what Jimmy Savile supposedly did during his life, his human rights should be taken away from him in death and his body should be moved, for the safety and satisfaction of those in the Scarborough area.


Whether this apparent “disregard for human rights” as one member of the public was quoted, will go ahead, is a decision which could take some time in being made, due to the extreme situation at hand. Still, rest assured that the feelings of not only Savile’s family, but also the local community will be strongly considered when finalising a decision.


Copyright Eleanor Richards 2013. No reproduction without permission.

By Elle

A Day In The Life Of Woodend

Built in 1835 for a civil engineer, no-one could have expected Woodend to become what it is today. The house was bought by the Sitwell family in 1870 and was then renovated, with a huge conservatory being placed right in the centre of the building, then being used to house Lady Louisa Sitwell’s tropical birds and plants, now taking a massive leap forward and transforming into Scarborough’s most visited art gallery, exhibiting work by many famous artists, most recently; David Hockney. The Sitwell’s later added a new wing, containing a library which now holds over a thousand books, fitting for how the building would later become a centre for creatives. However before the Sitwell’s house was transposed into the present workspace, it became a Natural History Museum, in 1934, run by Scarborough Borough Council which held many fascinating displays including prehistoric creatures and a terrapin pond in the middle of the conservatory. When this was eventually closed down in 2006 the future of the Sitwell family’s former home looked uncertain, until a proposal was made by Eileen Bosomworth, head of the Scarborough Council, to turn the building into the current Woodend Creative Space, a building now housing over 100 tenants with 50 different businesses all being ran from within.


Woodend Director Andrew Clay states, “When I applied for the job of Director of the building in 2007 I had no idea it would grow into the huge web of businesses it is today. Moving from the Round Foundry in Leeds I was excited by the challenge of helping Woodend excel in such a small town and reach its full capacity.  Which, although it took a while to get started, I am proud to say that the building is now at 100% occupancy and is thriving in the area, not only due to the many businesses, but also the numerous art exhibitions it has held, performances by local musicians and educational talks.”


So, what is a usual day like in Woodend? Well, hectic for a start; but the work always gets done, albeit with the occasional hiccup along the way.


With a branch of BBC Radio York being based in Woodend, the day quite often starts early for the local reporter Kat Harbourne as she rushes out into the surrounding area in order to scoop up any interesting stories which have occurred overnight. She can often be found wrapped in a duffel coat at 5:30 in the morning by the side of the harbour, or out on a country road translating a farmer’s strong Yorkshire accent in order to broadcast it on the radio the very same day.


First through the door of the building though, is one of the first tenants to decide to base his business here; Neil Fitzpatrick, of Fitzpatrick Designs. Neil has been here from day 1, expanding his business greatly with the opportunity of an office space, as opposed to working cramped up in his bedroom! Like many of the tenants of Woodend, Neil chose to base his company from Scarborough, instead of moving away to a bigger city like Leeds or Manchester because of two key reasons; firstly because Scarborough is known to be an idyllic place, with the long stretching beaches and iconic harbour, and most importantly because he was aware of the large creative community throughout the entire building.

Everyone knows each other, or at least is able to provide a friendly head-nod and hello when passing in the corridor, or reaching for a cup of coffee and furthermore, because of the connection between all the tenants, everyone is able to help one another; Neil designing promotional material for a press release company, and in return said company will write something on what Neil does. It’s a flourishing give and take environment.


Once all the tenants have arrived (bar the odd one or two having a Monday morning lie in) members of the public being to flock in to see the art exhibitions on display. The current exhibition is that of David Hockney’s early work, sketchings from his Blue Guitar and Brothers Grimm series, before his more famous landscapes hit the scene. With David Hockney not only being a very well known artist throughout the country, but a local artist to the area as well, the exhibition was a huge success, with record numbers coming to see it on the opening night and continuous streams of people marching through the door every day to see it, much to receptionist Kathy’s dismay as she struggles to find time for a sandwich at lunch.


And typically, while this busy period is going on, the quirky side of Woodend comes to life as Andrew Clay is called away to help free a bat caught in the back staircase of the building. A struggle which goes on for hours until the restless bat eventually hops into a shoebox and is able to be freed into the gardens which surround Woodend.


It’s around this time when the photographers of Woodend come to life, the sun is just peeking out from the clouds and they make the risky venture outside in order to capture their images before the rain hits again. One of the photographers of Woodend, is Tony Bartholomew, another tenant here right from the start, working mainly in PR photography, providing the pictures that manage to brighten up your daily newspaper, or try to. Scarborough seemed an obvious choice for Tony to set up his business because of the booming seaside life and all the photo opportunities that come with it. A recent call had him running out to capture his most bizarre photo yet; in touch with the Olympics coming to London, a story was being published on a penguin at the local Sea Life Centre and Tony was called down to capture a picture of this penguin, whilst it was holding the iconic Usain Bolt pose. Tony remarked, “This was by far the oddest thing I have ever been called out to photograph, and far from the easiest as well. I doubt many people have tried to make a penguin hold a pose for a photo, but I can tell you it is definitely not an easy thing to do and by the time I’d finally succeeded there was very little light left to do anything else!”


Lunchtime finally falls over the building after a very busy morning; however there is little rest for the receptionists as although the tenants are able to escape through the side door to refuel for the afternoon, the public again begin heading to Woodend, stumbling upon it through the gardens that lead to the entrance, from down by the South Bay. Many are coming with a purpose however, to listen to the lunchtime lecture, most recently being performed by Tim Tubbs on famous women in history, and various female authors; which connects nicely to the history of the house with Edith Sitwell, the eldest of the three literacy Sitwell’s being known for writing poetry throughout her life. This is only one of the many lectures which go on at Woodend; with a wide variety of people coming into speak about very varied topics, and always being very well received by the local community who come to listen.


As the afternoon wears on, textile artist Lyndsey Tyson is greeting people in the foyer for one of her signature workshops where she shows members of the public how to create the many felt products her business is based on. Lyndsey decided to move to Woodend in 2009 after starting a family and deciding she no longer wanted to be travelling around for her work as she previously had been doing. Woodend appealed to her for the same reason it appeals to all its other tenants; the community of people. Allowing her to meet new people in similar industries to hers and promote her work to them gave her the opportunity to increase not only her profile, but her business as well. The workshops she runs not only give people an insight into her work, but into the wide range of art displayed in Woodend too, another reason as to why Woodend is the prosperous, successful building that it is.


Slowly and steadily, the tenants of Woodend drift off back to their homes, locking the doors of their offices and finally giving their creative minds a break from the toil of a busy day. However, the day is far from over for Director Andrew Clay as every now and then, a musician or band will grace Woodend with their presence and a performance will be held open to the public. Andrew comments, “Tonight’s performance is by Raven, a local choral group in order to promote their new CD, tickets are all sold out so I’m pretty sure we’re in for a treat!” Promotion posters are displayed in and outside the building, and Andrew works solid alongside his receptionists until the area is properly set up and they can begin welcoming the public. “These events are always a huge success.” Says Andrew, “I don’t think we’ve ever heard a disappointing comment from someone in the audience and the performers leave the stage grinning after a job very well done. As Woodend becomes even more known in the area, I’m sure that we’ll be subject to performances much more frequently with continuous sell outs of tickets.”


So, once the performances are all out of the way, the tenants have all returned home and Matt the cleaner is finished sweeping up after the public, the building can finally be closed after almost a full twenty-four hours of activity.


It is clear Woodend is now a very active part of the town’s community, but what would the Sitwell’s have thought of it now? Their servants quarters being full of artists, sewing pieces of felt together – perhaps not unlike what the servants were made to do back in the day – the conservatory no longer being full of life by way of birds flying about, but instead by the vivid photographs, pictures and paintings being displayed on the walls; and Lady Louisa Sitwell’s own bedroom now being brought into the 21st century, providing sanctuary for budding writers, hunched forward over the computers, possibly even in the same corner where Lady Louisa herself would sit to write her letters.


Well an answer can be found by turning to the ghosts of Woodend, a lady dressed in all black who sits in reception, and a little boy who roams about the basement. Why would they return each night to watch over Woodend, if they didn’t now approve of what is has become?


Copyright Eleanor Richards 2013. No reproduction without permission.

By Elle

Music just for the memories…

As times are changing and the digital age becomes more and more current, this marks the end for many small businesses. However, in a shocking turn of events the well-known store HMV is also being closed down. The HMV Group have confirmed that shares are now being suspended and stores throughout the country are putting on massive closing down sales.


The question now becomes, what will happen to the future of CD and DVD sales, with one of the largest distributers no longer in business? For many years both music and films have been downloaded both illegally and legally from the Internet, a controversial issue with many people believing that to own a song or film, you must own a hard copy.


Certain people are outraged by the closure of HMV, one teenage girl remarking “I’m so upset about this as I never buy songs/albums from the Internet. I like having the CD, collecting them and getting limited editions when they come out. The old way is the best way!”

Whereas numerous other citizens counter argue that this is a long overdue closure of the music shops, and that it’s about time everything was fully brought forward into the 21st century.


So clearly the decision to close down HMV’s huge chain of stores can’t have been any easy one, with many repercussions having to be taken into consideration. For example, an increase of illegal downloads, which could create easy entry for a skilled hacker to gain access into someone else’s personal files. Alongside many other disadvantages which could occur.


But not surprisingly, the reason why most people are upset by this closure will be the lack of hard copies now available. People, who previously could fill bookcases with stacks of CDs, will now have to resort to having all their music held on one tiny memory drive. And yes, this is a huge advance in technology, but surely one of the main joys of music, is being able to buy it, hold onto the CD case and keep it for many years to come. When on a CD, music tends to have meaning, how long will it take for this meaning to disappear, and music to simply become another thing we can trade over the Internet.


Undoubtedly, the closure of this store will only be the beginning, with similar stores soon to follow suit; so what will be the future of music? Bands going bankrupt due to lack of sales? Prisons filled with illegal downloaders and hackers? Live music being the only way to hear a new single? Only time will tell, but one thing’s for sure; music will never be the same again.

Copy write Eleanor Richards 2013. No reproduction without permission.

By Elle