Wakefield – For Rhubarb and Air Con!
Interestingly, Wakefield is just the place if you love rhubarb! We do especially when it is gently stewed under a crumble topping with a pinch of ginger and brown sugar. Add some custard, cream or ice cream or all three and well, it is heaven on a plate but not really very much to do with air conditioning. But, Wakefield is another of our air con service areas and a place we are very fond of.
The rhubarb is special because it is ‘forced’. This means that it has been encouraged to grow sooner than it would naturally providing an early crop. The rhubarb is grown in artificial conditions where it is ‘fooled’ into thinking it is time to grow. In candle lit forcing sheds, the rhubarb is nourished and nurtured and then hand picked when ready. This rhubarb is highly sought after and even has a festival dedicated to it known as the The Wakefield Festival of Food, Drink and Rhubarb, held in February.
Such is the renown of this rhubarb that celebrity chefs such as Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall, James Martin, Marco Pierre White, and Jean- Christophe Novelli are all fans of Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb. Rick Stein has endorsed E Oldroyd and Sons the producers as a Rick Stein Food Hero Producer and 5 generations of the family have now been in the rhubarb industry. Moreover, this rhubarb has been afforded protected status under the European Commission’s Protected Food Name scheme and becomes the 41st British foodstuff to make the list.
Wakefield is more than just rhubarb and has an interesting history. The location is two hours from London and Edinburgh and one hour from Manchester making it very nearly the heart of England. With Roman origins, Wakefield has been around for a long time. The original city was set upon a hill above the river Calder and was constructed around the three main streets named Westgate, Northgate and Kirk gate. Beyond the city is a historic site where the Battle of Wakefield was fought during the War of the Roses in 1460.
Like many other northern cities, Wakefield evolved throughout the industrial revolution. The main reason was coal mining. Although mining had been undertaken as long ago as the 12th century by Cistercian monks, the 18th, and 19th century saw coal mining dominate the landscape and expand. The entrepreneurs who owned the mines profited hugely at the cost of the men and boys who worked for them in dangerous conditions below.
Today in the 21st century Wakefield is a lively metropolis having emerged from the grim days of the mine closures in the 1980’s strike, with the mills, heavy industry closed too. Housing has been regenerated in many parts and engineering, information technology and distribution depots are thriving. Wakefield encompasses a large administrative area of districts making it a large city compared to the small place of its creation. These days it is mostly white collar workers rather than the industrial workers of yesteryear due the presence of West Yorkshire Police Headquarters, which is a major employer.
If you are in the Wakefield area and you need us to call and service your air conditioning system or give advice on fitting a new one, then just give us a call. If there is a piece of rhubarb pie on offer –we won’t say no!
Posted in: Latest News - On: 6th of August, 2012