Donny United: Chin Wags & Get Togethers

If you listen to the Londoncentric media you would think that this is a nation totally divided and on the brink of collapse. But if you talk to the people of Doncaster you will find that we’re made of stronger, better, warmer stuff than that.
There have been a few ugly scenes locally, and anyone who attacks a person based on prejudice of any kind is absolute scum in my book, but Doncaster has seen nowhere near the rise in hate crimes which have been reported nationally.
As I’ve posted elsewhere the people I personally have spoken to about their leave vote have had very diverse reasons for making their choice. Mostly they seem to reflect feelings of dis-empowerment, distrust (in politics) and genuine concern for future of their children regarding an already strained local infrastructure. I was not a Leaver, but I do not believe for a second that the 104,260 Doncastrians who voted to leave did so out of the malice, misguidance or ignorance which some people are accusing them of.
One of the things we’re repeatedly told by people who have just moved to Donny, or who have moved away and come back, is how friendly the people and communities are. There’s an openness and feeling of community which is all too rare in this day and age. People often say that they feel that they can do their own thing without being judged. They also love the ‘Donny Banter’.
At Doncopolitan we feel that this banter offers an incredible opportunity to get people together simply to talk, share a cuppa and enjoy each other’s company. Talking is the most important thing we can do, but these days there doesn’t seem to be too many opportunities to simply come together and talk. How can we call it a ‘democracy’ if we have no spaces for debate?
In our own small way, one street and one tea pot at a time -the Doncopolitan wants to create those spaces. No hidden agendas. No preaching. No teaching. No political opportunism. And no point to prove other than people, when interacting at a human-scale, are generally friendly, socially minded and tolerant.
This Thursday (July 7th) friends of the Doncopolitan will be involved in a couple of events which we hope will be the start of a string of diverse projects designed to get people together for some good old fashioned jaw-jiving. Please join us…
In the morning we will be taking part in a litter pick which will also pave the way to creating a guerrilla garden on an abandoned plot of land in the Nether Hall region which the landlord has given us permission to develop into a permaculture garden. In the long run we hope this garden will also become one of those spaces for debate. If you’re free and would like to take part – Rachel has already promised to make the teas! – then meet us outside the Doncopolitan Studio (Copley Rd Project, 83 Copley Rd, DN1 2QP) at 9:30am.

Then, in the evening, the Doncopolitan is hosting the latest of its ‘Chin Wags’ down at The Mason’s Arms.
Foodies Vs Fitness Freaks is a celebration of good, healthy, local food. The Mason’s are putting on a buffet made up of selections from their amazing new superfoods menu and Donny’s top foodies and fitness gurus will be on hand to tell us why Doncaster is an amazing place for both fitness and food!
We’ll also be talking about some of the food related projects we have planned for the coming months and years… so make sure you join us!
Foodies Vs Fitness Freaks runs from 6pm until 8pm at the Mason’s Arms.
Come and join the food revolution!..
Watch this space for more chances for chin wag!

Issue 17: what's it all about…

We wanted to bring to the surface some of the amazing designers, makers and innovators that we believe are changing the way people see Doncaster.
Our cover artwork was taken by our co-editor and photographer Warren Draper, it featuring images of binki swimwer design Jade Clark and taken in her studio in Carcoft. We are proud to say Jade is single handedly bringing the “rag trade” back to Doncaster.
Warren Draper discussed DoCaster which talks about the importance of creativity in our everyday lives and how this is the key to Doncaster’s ecomonic recovery.
dolly mixture necklace
Shelia North of SineFMs Book It visits Mandy Keaton at Art Fuel to discuss her 5 year journey to secure affordable studio spaces in Doncaster.We interview Naomi Horan about her jellery brand Odds and Sorts, which is sold all over the world from Naomi craft room in Town Moor
Rob Allen of SineFMs Sons of Sam Radio Show interviews the legendary Peter Hook of Joy Division and New Order. And our favourite Thorne based boyo Peter Sullivan discussion Something to Smile about festival and how with the support of his partner Becky is creating one of the UKs best grass roots music festivals at Hatefield Water Park.
We hope this issue of Doncopolitan inspires you to see how art, design and culture is shaping Doncaster for the better.
Doncopolitan is a print publication and studio based on Copley Road in Doncaster founded by creatives Rachel Horne annd Warren Draper. Doncopolitan is published by Horne & Draper LTD a creative studio and agency aimed at proving that there is no such thing as a “cultural desert”.  Their work explores society, politics, environment, fashion, street art and sub cultures through print publications, art, design and events.

Howdy, it's been a while….

Jo Carline
Doncopolitan Show Presenter Jo Carline: All round top lass with best laugh for a 25 mile radius.

Rachel Horne
Doncopolitan Show Presenter Rach Horne: All round nice lass with a curly wig.

Ok, alas Doncolites, we did not succeed in winning the city bid. We are however, still here waving the banner high for our beloved Doncopolitan. There’s always a round two, and then we’ll be ready to rumble.
We haven’t been writing much of late, we’ve been busy teaming up with the super powers of local radio Sinefm. The folks at Sine offer very cost-effective training on how to create you’re own radio show and we just figured, what the heck, let’s give it a go! And from that merry venture manifested the Doncopolitian Radio Show presented by local artists Jo Carline and Rachel Horne. If you want to know what’s happening in the local creative and culture scene then tune in for local art and music news, from the highbrow to the down right bizare.
Previous shows have covered topics such as “The Old Leopard Juke Box”, “Being a Boyo” and the “Dirty of Town” the girls pick an eclectic mixture of tracks to suit a variety of tastes dedicated to the theme or special guests. So if you wanna find out what’s popping in the Donc tune in on 102.6 Sinefm every 1st and 3rd Wednesday.
Check out Sinefm:http://www.sinefm.com/
But even better tune it to our fav shows and listen back online.
The Orange Flavoured Fruit Machine with Jon Kelly
This juicey journey will take you places you’ve never been before into the surreal side of psychedelia, electronica and dub.
Life Is a Cabaret with Mark Ellis
Every sunday morning wake up call needs some Cabaret, tune in at 10.00am-11.00am for Mark Ellis’s clubland news and intro powernotes.
American Hot Wax with the Big Bopper
Ripping up a blazing storm of true rockin’ sounds, the Bopper plays essential rock ‘n’ roll with a passion
and knowledge rare in the UK. Exploring the roots of the genre through doo-wop and rhythm & blues and highlighting artists seldom heard today, this is an essential show for any fan of great music.
The All Important Breakfast Show with Simon Sayner
Simon helps you start your day right. Get the latest local and national news, traffic and weather! Make your day extra special, start it with the Bigger All Important Breakfast Show.
The Lock Down with Wayne ‘Ryallzey’ Ryalls
Hip Hop and RnB delivered with passion, knowledge and plenty of soulful intent. Plus an interactive classic three segment chosen by you!

Welcome to the Doncopolitan

If there’s one piece of advice that’s guaranteed to fair you well in life it is this:

‘Fake it until you make it.’

These are the the very wise words of the ‘Demon of Screamin’ himself – rock god, motor cycle designer and American Idol judgeSteven Tyler. And although it may sound like something out of a fortune cookie, this shizzle really does work.

Next time you’re on the phone fake a smile, you will actually sound happier – not only that, you will find yourself feeling more cheerful too! Martial artists practice their moves over and over again until they become second nature; by repeating ‘fake’ fighting moves their bodies learn to react unconsciously, which helps the fighter avoid dangerous moments of indecision in a real fight. Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson honed his own considerable skills by sitting in front of a typewriter copying large sections of his hero, Earnest Hemingway‘s writing. ‘Faking it’, it seems, can be an essential part of the learning process.

Next year (2012) will mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (and maybe the end of the world as we know it, but that’s another story). During this time Her Majesticalness is allowed to convey the title of ‘City’ on a town of her choosing. Doncaster is among the towns bidding for city status. We tried this ten years ago and lost out to Preston in Lancashire – despite the fact that Donny’s Wikipedia entry is a lot more impressive!
In the past one of our major obstacles has been the way our town is perceived – and sometimes even the way we Doncastrians perceive ourselves. You don’t have to look too far to find snide remarks about Doncaster. Mostly it’s unimaginative people moaning about a lack of ‘culture’ (as if a place doesn’t have culture just because it fails to live up to somebody’s preconceived – and often mediocre – image of what culture means), or else it’s stories about scary Friday nights filled with cold-kebabs, brawling-boys and half-naked girls (again such comments tell us more about the commentators own cultural prejudices than they do about the town itself). In reality, of course, Doncaster is home to an incredibly diverse range of people. There have also been a lot of exciting new developments since Donny’s last city bid; such the newly emerging Cultural Quarter…

…the Church View arts and new media development…

…the new university complex…

…and St George’s church becoming a minster.

In relation to our city bid, and in the interests of faking it until you make it, we really need to start acting like a city and start celebrating Doncaster’s culture, arts, style, music, people, fashion, lifestyle, architecture… and even it’s coal-black underbelly.
In fact all cities are at their most creative when they’re still raw (poor) and eager for change (a process which has a limited shelf-life thanks to the inevitable gentrification of once bohemian areas). Who’s to say that those ‘brawling-boys’ are not in fact angst ridden, hormone driven, poets who’s musings will one day put the city of Doncaster on the map. Why can’t a girl be socio-cultural heavyweight just because she chooses to spend her Friday nights ‘half-naked’. And who’s to say a ‘cold kebab’… no wait, even I cannot find a way to redeem a cold-kebab.
Over the next few months this blog will big up our little city as if it were London, Paris or New York (although Donny would be the ‘Big Rhubarb’ rather than the ‘Big Apple’), and even if it doesn’t become a city in 2012 this blog will act as a showcase for what truly is an underrated gem of a town.
If you’re a local artist, writer, photographer, fashionista, socialite or social commentator, and have something you’d like to contribute, then please get in touch with us via our temporary email address: doncopolitan[at]gmail[dot]com

Doncaster Photographs © Warren Draper 2011