Sir Michael Parkinson CBE
Michael Parkinson, or "Parky" as he is known, was born in the coal mining
village of Cudworth in the South Yorkshire Coalfield, near Barnsley, South Yorkshire. The son of a miner, he was educated
at Barnsley Grammar School. He was a club cricketer, and both he and his opening partner at Barnsley Cricket Club, Dickie
Bird, had trials for Yorkshire together with Geoffrey Boycott. Michael began as a journalist on local newspapers, and his
Yorkshire background and accent remain part of his appeal. He worked as a reporter on the Manchester Guardian and later on
the Daily Express in London.
During the 1960s, Parkinson moved into
television, working on current affairs programmes for the BBC and Manchester-based Granada Television. His most famous show,
the interview format, ran from 1971 until 1982 and from 1998 until December 2007, leaving the BBC for
ITV1 partway through the second run. By his own reckoning, Michael Parkinson interviewed 2,000 of the world's most famous
On radio, Michael took over BBC Radio 4's Desert Island
Discs in 1985, after the death of its creator, Roy Plomley and stayed for three years until handing over to Sue Lawley. Between
1994 and 1996 he hosted Parkinson on Sport on BBC Radio Five Live. Between 1996 and 2007, he presented a morning show on BBC
Radio 2 called Parkinson's Sunday Supplement.
In September 2008 Michael
launched his website, which includes online interviews with Nelson Mandela and British comedian Rory Bremner. The site also
includes a blog, giving Michael's views on news events, plus information about his compilation album, Michael Parkinson:
My Life In Music, featuring favourite songs performed by Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, Dionne Warwick and others.
More details can be found on Wikipedia HERE and on Michael's own website HERE
Geoffrey Howse was born in Sheffield in 1955) and is the well known author of the Around Hoyland series of books and many others.
He has also done acting and theatrical management.
The son of Herbert and Doreen Howse, he grew up at Ebenezer Place
in Elsecar. Geoffrey was educated at Elsecar Church of England Infants School and Elsecar Church of England Junior School.
In 1965 the Howse family moved up the hill to Hoyland. Geoffrey attended Kirk Balk School from 1967–1973 and was also
tutored privately. Between 1973-75 he attended Barnsley School of Art and from 1975-1978 studied acting at Mountview Theatre
School, which included a stint at the National Film School.
Geoffrey's acting career was overshadowed by his involvement
in theatrical production and thanks to Barrie Stacey he 'cut his teeth' booking many well known acts of the 1970s
and 80's, such as Frankie Vaughan, Semprini, The Bachelors, Frankie Howerd, Bob Monkhouse and Don MacLean. Between the
occasional acting engagement Geoffrey ventured into the production of comedies, farces, musicals and pantomimes, touring to
theatres throughout the United Kingdom, principally through Cavalcade Productions and Scorpio Productions. Between 1992 and
1994 he worked as a feature writer and critic for the internationally renowned theatrical magazine Plays & Players.
Granville 'Danny' Clarke FRSA
Granville Daniel Clarke was born in Keighley
and raised in Barnsley, Yorkshire, and studied at the art college there. He has always had an eclectic approach to the arts
- viewing them as being interelative with a career as an artist, poet, singer/songwriter,
musician, author and actor.
He pioneered the British contemporary Folk
scene with the renowned "Foggy Dew-O", being a major recording artist with Decca
Records, and has already made over 500 TV and Radio appearances.
He appeared as the artist in residence on Channel 4's "Watercolour Challenge" - 36 half hour appearances
- as a commentator/host with Hannah Gordon.
He has many One-Man exhibitions in the UK. To his credit, and his work
is in private collections world-wide.
Danny is a great supporter and recently attended our first Christmas Fayre
and did the raffle draw.
You can read more info about Danny and his work at his own webiste HERE.
Sue Kohler BSc dipLD. PhD, LittD, MBE
Sue Kohler helped form the Friends of the Botanical Gardens in 1984
with former council recreation director Arroll Winning and curator Don Williams, becoming chair of the group 10 years later.
She is currently chair of the Sheffield Botanical Gardens Trust (the charity organisation
formed by the Friends in 1996)and is chair of the Friends of teh Botanical Gardens.
For nearly 25 years Sue Kohler
has been rolling up her sleeves to help return the Botanical Gardens to their former glory. She was one of the key volunteers who has worked tirelessly to ensure that the dream of a lottery-financed revamp
became a reality.
Brought up on a smallholding
in Kent, she has always been interested in horticulture. She came to the city in 1968 to work in Sheffield University's
For most of the Eighties and Nineties she opened the
garden of her home in Millhouses, once a year to raise money for the Northern Horticultural Society and local charities for
But it is at the Botanical Gardens where she has made
her main mark, and received an MBE in 2003 for her efforts.
Dickie Bird OBE
Harold Dennis Bird, MBE, commonly known as "Dickie" Bird (born April 19, 1933 in Barnsley, Yorkshire) is
a retired English international cricket umpire. The son of a miner, he gained the nickname 'Dickie' at school. He
resides in the South Yorkshire village of Staincross. When a knee injury put paid to playing football professionally,
he followed his second love, cricket. In his early career in Barnsley, he played club cricket in the same team as Geoff Boycott,
and journalist and chat show host Michael Parkinson, who became a lifelong friend. In 1956, Bird signed up with his home county,
Yorkshire. Bird played First Class cricket as a batsman for Yorkshire and Leicestershire in the English County Championship.
After his county career, he coached and played league cricket before becoming a very successful umpire both in the UK and
internationally. Bird umpired in 66 Test matches (at the time a world record) and 69 One Day Internationals including
3 World Cup Finals. At the beginning of his 66th and final Test in 1996, the two teams – India and England –
formed a "guard of honour" as he came out, and he received a standing ovation from the crowd. Bird, an emotional
man, was in tears. Two years later, in 1998, he stood in his last county match. Following retirememnt, Dickie Bird went
on to write his autobiography simply titled My Autobiography (with a foreword by Michael Parkinson), which sold more than
a million copies. Bird set up the Dickie Bird Foundation to help disadvantaged under 18s achieve their potential in sport.
He received an MBE from the Queen in 1986 and has also received honorary doctorates from Huddersfield,Leeds and Sheffield
Hallam Universities and was given the Freedom of Barnsley. He is also a Patron for the Barnsley Multiple Sclerosis Society.
A six foot statue of bachelor Dickie has been erected in Barnsley in his honour near the place of his birth and was unveiled
on 30 June 2009.