Chasing the sequoias

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From: Fr Neil McNicholas, St Hilda’s, Whitby.

LAST Saturday saw the conclusion of a repeat of the BBC series Stephen Fry in America, featuring his visit to the sequoia forests of California’s Sierra Nevada.

The next night, Sunday, there was episode 3 of the BBC series The Last Explorers with presenter Neil Oliver visiting the sequoia forests of California’s Sierra Nevada.

Two nights later, Tuesday, the first episode of the new BBC series How to Grow a Planet featured Professor Iain Stewart on a visit to, yes you guessed it, the sequoia forests of California’s Sierra Nevada.

Three production crews supporting three presenters on three different programmes to look at the same trees – and you wonder where our licence fee goes. Clearly the current wave of austerity has yet to break at the BBC.

A Dickens of an Express journey

From: Eric Houlder, Chairman. Pontefract & District Archaeological Society, Fairview, Carleton.

I ENJOYED Jeni Harvey’s story on Charles Dickens, in particular the sidebar on his Malton connections (Yorkshire Post, February 8).

However, Dickens had more Yorkshire connections than this. In his travels north, he often stayed at The Greyhound in Ferrybridge where his coach The Express changed horses. The Express was a private (ie not Royal Mail) daily coach which allowed passengers to stop off and resume their journeys the following day.

He also knew The George at Greta Bridge, and made this the hostelry where Mr Squeers unloaded his cargo of misery on the way to Dotheboys Hall.

In a letter to his wife dated from The George, he describes a Yorkshire breakfast of gargantuan proportions.

The George is now a private house.