I have started a series of village online activities that I hope will help you relieve the tedium of our self isolation and lockdown. Emails have been sent out for each activity but this gives you an overview of what we've done so far. I've left items out where the expiry date has passed.

Relieving the Tedium 1: limericks

As part of our promise to maintain a flow of entertainment we are issuing an intellectual and creative challenge to members of our mailing list. Like most of you, I guess,  I have jobs to do but keep hitting brick walls (metaphorically, of course) when last year's paint has solidified in its can and the mower won't start after a hard winter. So, here's an alternative. Write a limerick on any topic where a Bishop Burton street name features somewhere in the rhymes. Limericks have five lines, and lines one, two and five should rhyme, and lines three and four should rhyme. Ideally the lines should have 9,9,6,6,9 syllables but that is flexible if it sounds right.

I'll give you a week to come up with as many limericks as you can manage and then we'll have a vote to see which is our favourite. No prizes though. I won't publish the authors' names and I would like to include some contributions in the next edition of BB News. Please send your limericks to me in an email.

If you don't know the names of many streets and lanes in the parish here are some to remind you: Finkle Street, Low Balk Road, Dale Gate, Garth Ends Road, Church Lane, Joby, Church Side, Bryan Mere, Callas, Rattan Row, Puddingate, Finchcroft Lane, Killingwoldgraves Lane, Cold Harbour View, Dog Kennel Lane, Cottage Field, Mill Lane, York Road and North End. It's ok if you leave out the words lane, road and street from your rhyme.

Here's an example of a limerick that would fit the rules but is outside the competition:

There was a scratch golfer from North End
Whose short putting was so not on-trend
When he bogeyed the fourth
He said “dash” and set forth
To the bar with his elderly friend

The Limericks are now available on the web site. Just click on this link Limericks for Bishop Burton

Relieving the Tedium 2: maths

Online games are one way of relieving the tedium but many of them are full of distracting adverts and are not easy to play. Since the last challenge was "literary" I've found a nice online game that is mathematical. It's based on the classic Countdown programme that used to be presented by the late lamented "Twice-nightly Whiteley". The web site is run by the University of Cambridge and so comes with an excellent pedigree as well as containing other maths-based games that are suitable for kids & oldies of different ages and abilities. Copy this address into your internet browser to go straight to the Countdown page. You can then explore other games from there.

Relieving the Tedium 3: photos

Having drawn so far on your literary and mathematical skills, I thought it would be good to focus now on your artistic skills. Please send me a photograph that I can post to the web site for you all to enjoy. The photograph can be of anything legal (including your own paintings and drawings, indoor and outdoor pictures), so just send it as an email attachment in reply to this message. Give me a short comment/caption on your photograph. Feel free to play with your photo editor to add a fancy effect to your photo. My only rules are that the photo should have been taken since the beginning of March and you confirm you have the permission of any persons identifiable in your photo. I saw two red kites over Mill Lane the other day while taking my daily exercise; sadly, I couldn't get my phone out of  my pocket quick enough. What a shame. I hope you have better luck.
You'll be able to find the photos on the village web site. Go the home page and click on the gallery option on the menu towards the top of the screen and then choose the "Relieving the Tedium" option from the drop down list. While you're there you might like to browse other pictures from village events and previous pantomimes.

Relieving the Tedium 4: transcribing the school log

You may know that a log was maintained by the heads of the village school between the years 1863 and 1986 when it closed.  The log provides a fascinating insight into the life of the village through time. We have transcribed the entries for 22 of the years and they can be viewed on the village web site by following the link on the History menu option to Bishop Burton School Log. These transcriptions can also be searched from the internet.
I would really like get some more years transcribed; in particular the years during and around WW1 and WW2. If you would like to volunteer then please let me know which year you would like to do and I will send you digital scans of the pages and a template (in MS Word or Mac Pages) to use for undertaking the transcription. It probably takes a few hours to transcribe a single year, but it varies according to the length of the log for that year. They tend to get shorter as time goes by.
This is a worthwhile exercise in historical archaeology and I regularly get emails from people who stumble across a reference to their relative in the log. It's great that we can build the past of ordinary people even if it's a reference to their naughtiness or illness!
The years so far untranscribed are: 1866-72, 1874-82, 1884-92, 1901-02, 1904-13, 1919-26, 1928-38, 1940-69 and 1971-84. Do get in touch if you would like to take part in this exercise. 

Relieving the Tedium 5: National Theatre

The National Theatre will be streaming a free production each Thursday at 7.00 pm. The first one starts at 7.00 pm 2nd April 2020 and can be viewed anytime via Youtube for the next seven days when a new production will appear. Further information and instructions are on the National Theatre web site at https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/nt-at-home 

Relieving the Tedium 6: Brainteasers

I've been scouring the web for sites where you get a decent set of questions without having to hand over personal information or suffer a surfeit of advertising.
This page on the Mensa web site is worth a look: https://www.mensa.org.uk/puzzles/brainteasers
You need to sign up to use other parts of the site but this area can be used anonymously.  

Relieving the Tedium 7: Epiphany

As part of  ERT's attempt to keep the Arts going at this time, Epiphany will be broadcast live via the the East Riding Theatre Facebook page and via the following link at 6.00pm tonight (9th April). It may already be available on youtube, and will remain on youtube after the broadcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzNiIzKIv5Y&feature=youtu.be  

It is a 30 minute radio play about two fire-watchers in the London Blitz, written by Richard Avery and featuring Richard and Neil King. They produced it as part of a live on stage tour in 2010, and it was subsequently adapted as a radio play at the University of Lincoln recording studios.

Relieving the Tedium 8: Local History

The requirement to stay at home enables us to make a thorough investigation of the online history of our village and the East Riding. The web site East Riding museums Online is an excellent place to start as it has some very interesting features, exhibitions and also links to other local web sites.
The village web site also has a history section at Bishop Burton History with many articles about the village and its characters.

Relieving the Tedium 9: Children's Entertainment

If you have young children or grandchildren or other young friends or relatives then they might find the Create and Learn programme being run by the Royal Opera House of interest. Go this web page to start - https://learning-platform.roh.org.uk/create-and-learn

Relieving the Tedium 10: Unprecedented definitions 

Your latest challenge is to provide new words or new definitions for existing words or phrases that are appropriate to the current time. Please send your definitions to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Here are a few examples to get you going. Please let me have your alternatives soon.

  • Barbermism - a state of longing that you have for a hairdresser's witticisms that with hindsight are amusing.
  • Barberisme - cutting your own hair badly
  • Unpresidented - the unprecedented state Americans would be in if they were
  • Drama: a TV channel that makes you concerned for your eyesight as its programmes are so old
  • Social distance - the designated minimum distance, currently 6 feet, that all adults must, by law, keep away from the fridge and wine rack.
  • Online meeting - when two or more bottles of wine/beer are lined up alongside each other.
  • Queue - when two or more adults form a line at a social distance from a fridge or wine rack.
  • Personal protective equipment - required and used by men when in contravention of social distance regulations (see above) within sight of their wives.
  • Footprint - a 6 feet radius circle centred on a fridge or wine rack.

Relieving the Tedium 12: History quizzes 

The English Heritage web site offers a number of interesting quizzes with a history theme; there are quizzes for kids as well as adults. The web page to go to is:

Ignore the reference to membership; you don't need to be a member to take a quiz.

Relieving the Tedium 13: The ickabog

If you have children or grandchildren aged between six and nine, you might find a new children's story by JK Rowling of interest. She's the author of the Harry Potter series but this is nothing like that. It is being published for free on its own web site at https://theickabog.com with new instalments each day at 3.pm (UK time). 
Older children might like to read the story for themselves while all children would like to have the story read to them. Visit the web site to find out about the story and its origins. You don't need to sign in or register. If you call up the story in your browser and the child or grandchild is not with you then you can Skype, FaceTime, Zoom or just phone them to read the story out loud!

Relieving the Tedium 14: Lightening the mood

The wet weather may be good for the garden but I'm not sure it's good for our mood. It's too wet to get out there at the moment so here's a chance to lighten the mood with a contribution to the next issue of the Bishop Burton News. I'm looking for stories and pictures that fellow villagers and friends will enjoy. So have you a story that you can share with us?  

It could be a drawing, a puzzle, a work of fiction or a close approximation to the truth. So can you share an embarrassing or amusing incident, a meeting with someone famous, a trip to a special place, a story from your past? If so please send it to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  by 23rd August. I'll protect your anonymity if you wish.



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