Thank you to John, who wrote and took photographs for this very interesting and descriptive account of how fun dog walking in Doncaster can be, especially when you get your family involved. -Mia
So, it’s 8.30 Saturday morning and Bella is the happiest Labrador in the world, as I have just come down stairs wearing my walking the dog trousers. Unfortunately, I am going to Sandall Park to watch the Park run! Bella is now the unhappiest dog in the world.
Fortunately, at 1 o’clock, two grandchildren arrive and she is happy again! Two grandchildren + 1 owner in dog walking trousers = woodland walk! Labrador maths. We arrive at the ample carpark and manage to get one of the last two spaces. Parking isn’t much of a problem, since there is almost a mile of it available on the grass verge alongside the racecourse. It just means you haven’t got as far to go.
Wellies are on and into the wood we go. We take the narrow and twisty single track, which looks out onto the racecourse and farmer’s fields.
It is more interesting than the broad flat paths that are also available and gives access to a ditch which is ideal for both grandchildren and Bella. Apparently, it would also provide an excellent refuge when the zombie apocalypse happens, according to youngest grandson who is an expert on such matters. Much of our trek round the wood will focus on important matters such as this.
Before long we have found our first fungi and pictures are taken. Token pictures of grandchildren are also taken at random points. We head towards the water pumping station but detour away from the path to avoid it as there is a quite deep looking pool, which a certain Labrador would find far too interesting. After more fungi photographing and zombie repelling we find the main path for a short while. We then take a narrower manmade path which twists through the trees and fetches us out at the play area.
I sit with Bella and rest while the grandchildren play parkour tig on the slide tower and assorted play areas. We are soon joined by a friendly pug puppy and then it is time for a snack, drink and then we head back to the car. We take the wide flat paths back to the carpark since we are too tired to worry about interesting twisty singletrack. On the way we meet a rather unfriendly, overzealous, ‘glad it’s on a lead’ Siberian husky. At the car, it is a two towel rub down for Bella while the grandchildren finish off any remaining zombies which might have had the misfortune to follow us.
Back at home, it is a final towel down for Bella and sausage, bacon, eggs and beans for us. Another great afternoon in the woods.
Photos and text by John Potter.
Edited by Mia Brook.
The finest Synth based music finally has a base right here in Doncaster.
Walking past the old Vintage Rockbar about two years ago, a poster caught my attention. It was stark, minimalist and industrial with the heading: ‘Donkaster Elektronische Freundschaft – Live electronic music in Doncaster’. Doncaster was to have a dedicated electronica based event.
Time passed, and with it came a new name: Doncaster Electronic Foundation. I sampled the events and started listening to their radio show defsynth.com every Monday at 9pm.
Now, I find myself sat here in DEF HQ about to go on air! Head honcho, DJ and mastermind Derek Williams is close by, preparing for tonight’s show.
He’s a driven man with a burning desire to bring quality electronica to Doncaster.
As the programme spins out he shows considerable skill chatting knowledgably with his listeners, gifting them obscure but brilliant music skipping across genres from darkwave to synth pop, coldwave, industrial and goth.
I was impressed and somewhat alarmed, when I was asked to contribute. My suggestions stray slightly from the wonderfully rich carpet of electronica he’d laid out for our delectation as I usher in archaic things as guitars and pianos.. Oops!
After the show he tells me how he’d wanted to bring a regular and vibrant electronica event to Doncaster for quite some time. Believing that ‘If you could just get people through the door, some of them are bound to love it aren’t they?’ Yes – they are! The success of the last two events in 2015 proves this.
Large crowds packed into the leopard, for Def’s Halloween special, to see delights such as the glamtronic Jan Doyle Band, horrifically great John Merrick’s Remains and simply superb The Webb.
Finally, back where this all began at a packed Vintage Rockbar, was a truly international affair on Nov 21. It featured Poland’s Sexy Suicide, the USA’s Night Club and Sheffield’s own Promenade Cinema.
DEF offer a platform for local artists to perform alongside acts from around the UK and beyond. The same bands he promotes also appear on his radio show.
As I left Defsynth HQ I felt that this was something new and exciting taking place in Doncaster. If your tastes are in tune with Depeche Mode, Human League, Ultravox and Gary Numan, there’ll be something there for you at DEF, so get yourself to one of their shows and listen in at DEFSYNTH.COM.
The next DEF live show is at the Leopard on the 6th Feb and features Hungarian band Black nail Cabaret, Canadian band Soft Riot and Derek’s act – Jan Doyle Band.
We’ve got 3 solid reasons to visit the Waterdale – and if things keep going the way they are, that number will keep growing!
Taste is a quality-driven eatery located in the heart of the Waterdale. They offer gourmet burgers and sharing platters, and they have weekly evenings of live music, spoken word and comedy on offer.
They were set up by Open Cast and aim to give young people in Doncaster a stepping stone to employment – even more reason to support them!
A vintage store full of quirky collectables – the perfect place for thrifters and vintage lovers!
The Notorious Aardvark is Doncaster’s very own independent record shop built on a solid love for music. Simon Saynor is the talented man behind this music lover’s haven.
It’s not just about selling music here – Simon puts on album launches and special events, creating a musical community in the very heart of #TheDonx.
You can also buy online!
There’s lots else to enjoy in the Waterdale including The Polish Café and the Amazing Floral Sugar Shop.
With a great public space layout, Cast around the corner and a central location, we’re confident the Waterdale is gonna go through a growth spurt in the near future!
Ever feel like there are no things to do in Doncaster? Maybe at one point there weren’t, but now there are!
Here’s 5 things to do in Doncaster rrrrrright now:
Number 1 – Phantom Cinema
Phantom Cinema’s new season of film screenings begins with Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo on Friday 2nd September at Doncaster Little Theatre. Their impressive line up for the rest of September and October includes recent releases such as The Lobster, High-Rise and cult classic Taste The Blood Of Dracula. Tickets are £5 and more info can be found here.
Number 2 – The Real Junk Food Project
#FeedBelliesNotBins! The Donny branch of The Real Junk Food Project are popping up at the Hallcross Pub every week to stop food waste. They take food that would otherwise be thrown away by supermarkets, and make a meal of it!
You can pay as you feel for their fodder and they’re open every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 3pm til 7pm! Or if you like to get stuck in, you can volunteer here and you can also donate.
Number 3 – Luther’s Drumming Workshop
Luther loves rhythm, so much so he wants to share it with everyone else. He’s an excellent, patient teacher, so don’t worry if you’ve never drummed before. You’ll be surprised at how therapeutic and relaxing drumming can be!
Find details of the next workshop here.
Number 4 – Cosy Cinema
Arguably one of Right Up Our Street’s biggest successes, Cosy Cinema is a Mexborough based Pop Up Cinema aimed at bringing the joy of the big screen back to the community.
Number 5 – Life Drawing at Churchview
Another surprisingly relaxing pass time is life drawing, and you can get involved under the guidance of local artist Adam Berry who recently set up this new class.
Join the Doncopolitan Show Facebook Group or join Adam’s Facebook page to hear details of the next class.
There you have it, 5 awesome things you can get involved in. Do you know of anything else awesome in #TheDonx? Help us get the word out; submit an article idea here!
Monday 25 Jan saw Doncopolitan Magazine and Notorious Aardvark celebrate Independent Venue Week at Diamond Live.
It was a hugely successful night with fantastic performances from four local acts – The Untouchable Elites, 13 Women, Smoking Beagles and Rita Payne.
We’re very grateful to everyone that came, it was a brilliant night! This is just the beginning folks – if we can achieve a huge turnout on a Monday night think what else we can do!
Here are some action shots from the very talented John Fuller: