THE PERFECT PAIR DOLPHIN TRILOGY PROUDLY PRESENTS CELEBRITY ENTREPRENEUR AND PHOTOGRAPHER JONATHAN STRAIGHT - SOUTH ELMSALL STORIES - THE DOLPHINARIUM
My name is Jonathan Straight. I am a Yorkshire-based photographic artist. I have been commissioned by Wakefield Museums and Castles to provide a body of work that is currently being shown in the South Elmsall museum hub which is based in the local library. The artwork interprets local stories and consists of video, photography and objects.
I wear many different hats - photographic artist is one. Despite the many pressures of other things I do, I like to complete at least one creative project each year and so I am always looking for interesting ideas to pursue.
In July 2021, a commission was advertised on a service called Curator Space. Each week an email comes with different opportunities for artists … This time, the post was from Wakefield Museums and Castles …
South Elmsall Stories - The Dolphinarium
(Originally published by Jonathan Straight on October 25th, 2021)www.facesofsouthelmsall.com/blog/post/south-elmsall-stories-the-dolphinarium
One of the strangest stories I had discovered about South Elmsall was that in the 1970s, a disused swimming baths on Westfield Lane was used for training dolphins. There was quite a bit of press coverage about this on-line which in turn led me to David Holroyd, a Mancunian who was a trainee dolphin trainer at the facility and went on to be head trainer at other dolphinaria.
I tracked David down and asked if he would speak to me. He kindly agreed and we scheduled an interview over Zoom. He explained how the pool in South Elmsall had come to be owned by someone local called John Nolan who was involved with filtration for swimming pools. When David was 17 years old, his mother had seen an advert in the Manchester Evening News to recruit dolphin presenters with the interviews being held at Belle Vue Zoo nearby. This would have been around 1969. David's mother pushed him to apply as an alternative to his work as a signwriter with his father.
After three interviews, David found himself on a shortlist of five, eventually getting the job and being posted to South Elmsall. He lodged with Joe and Ada Howes and fondly remembers Ada's Yorkshire cooking.
Initially, there were no dolphins in the pool, just a pair of penguins. Shortly afterwards, a sea lion called Bobby arrived. Bobby had been at Belle Vue when he attacked a spectator and so was sent away, being too valuable to be destroyed. David told me how he had formed a strong bond with Bobby, such that when a local miner came into the pool to loudly complain about David occupying his parking space, Bobby jumped out of the pool and chased this fellow away.
Click on link below to read the full award-winning story Deliver Us from Bobby!
The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy Tasters
Eventually, the dolphins came and David trained them for various facilities around the UK such as Knowsley Safari Park and Woburn Abbey. Despite being hugely successful at his craft, David found the treatment of the dolphins to be unacceptable, significantly reducing their lifespan. Now in his 60s, he is an activist, campaigning to stop dolphins and other cetaceans being used for public displays.
The video footage I took of David forms part of this project. A life buoy ring he used to train dolphins in the 1970s, features as part of the exhibition in South Elmsall library museum hub.
"David Capello" pictured holding a dolphin logbook long since thought destroyed.
Watch the full Jonathan Straight interview.
Comment by David C Holroyd, stage name David Capello.
Please forgive, Jonathan - it’s not often that I crash a guest blog, but I’m expecting a lot of interest in your tremendous exhibit, so just had to press my advantage!
“There’s nowt so strange as life!”
That phrase certainly rings true for me after being contacted by celebrity entrepreneur Jonathan Straight.
To this day, I vividly remember stepping off the train at South Elmsall station those many years ago; still fondly recall the touch of the cheery station master’s calloused hands as he greeted me. I met many smiling faces in South Elmsall, building fond memories that have stayed with me for over 50 years. Sadly, many of those faces have long since passed.
So, imagine just how bizarre it feels to find myself once again heading back to sunny South Elmsall, the place where my adventure began. However, on this occasion, where once stood a young wannabee dolphin trainer, now stands a committed activist fighting for the rights of captive cetaceans.
Indeed, there’s nowt so strange as life!
The importance of South Elmsall to UK dolphinaria cannot be underplayed. The training facility concealed in this small mining village once fuelled the boom of the 1970s UK aqua circus, sending many Atlantean performers to the glamorous venues that were springing up over swinging Britain. Make no mistake, this “secret” pool is indeed a hugely important part of South Elmsall’s history.
So, I want to thank Jonathan Straight and Wakefield Museums and Castles for giving the ill-fated South Elmsall dolphins a voice. I would also like to thank the former reporter Olivia Hale for her tremendous article, The worst kept secret in Pontefract – a story published by The Yorkshire Post, The Pontefract and Castleford Express and The Wakefield Express, amongst others.
And last, but not least, can I say a huge thank you to all those wonderful South Elmsall townsfolk who so moulded my memories.
Faces of South Elmsall Website
Dr Jonathan Straight FRSA (@planetstraight) / Twitter
Wakefield Museums & Castles (@WFMuseums) / Twitter
'The worst kept secret in Pontefract' - the Manchester-born dolphin trainer turned animal activist who trained dolphins, sea lions and penguins at a South Elmsall swimming pool | Yorkshire Post
'Cars stopped to watch the sea lion chase him up the street' - How Bobby the sea lion saved a South Elmsall dolphin trainer from a 'thumping' | Wakefield Express
With 2021 behind us, we – as a collective – must ask ourselves: what has humankind achieved in the past year?
Well, despite mind-blowing feats in tech, medicine and virology, it appears to be very little.
We find ourselves living in a world stricken by Covid and ravaged by climate change - man-made catastrophes that will inevitably drive desperate nations to turn in on themselves - or worse, on their global neighbours.
Overall, not good news for 2022.
So, how did we get here? How have we managed to drag ourselves into this self-inflicted spiral of doom?
Well, let’s examine the facts:
We’re hearing a lot about climate change, but not about the catastrophic ramifications of animal abuse. Make no mistake, the potential for mass extinction is not down to climate change alone; it is also about humankind’s greed and lack of empathy - especially towards those non-human beings who have no voice.
Covid, bird flu, swine flu, Ebola, SARS, MERS, BSE (mad cow disease) to name but a few – all, and I do mean ALL, are animal karmas brought about by humankind’s inhumanity towards those non-human souls with whom we share this planet. By this, I refer to the abuse of animals in the food industry and laboratories across the globe.
We can add to this the ongoing mass extinction of our precious sea and land animals by greedy, uncaring hunters - horrors that include the barbaric whale and dolphin slaughters committed by so-called civilized nations such as Japan, the Faroe Islands and others. The reckless over-fishing and rape of our oceans by Chinese factory ships, to say nothing of the Asian demand for ivory and body parts to create hocus-pocus, mumbo-jumbo, sham “medications”. Insane practices that global offenders try to justify with equally insane excuses, ie tradition, alternative medicine, fashion accessories … and, of course, their God-given right. In other words, a planetary destruction fuelled by overpopulation, money and power.
So, we ask: when is this madness going to end? Well, it appears NEVER if left to our spineless world leaders, who are afraid to challenge offending nations in case they lose their precious trade deals, and – even worse – in case the challengers’ own offences are brought to light.
Well, enough is enough!
If things don’t change radically, we as a species will continue our not-so-slow drift into oblivion. And those who suffer most will be our children. But, as I am constantly told, we must remain positive. So, with this in mind, can I ask you all to start the new year by doing something positive: UK citizens please sign this petition against the Faroe Islands’ Grind (whale and dolphin slaughter).
PLEASE CLICK ON LINK OR IMAGE BELOW TO SIGN.
Suspend trade agreement with Faroe Islands until all whale & dolphin hunts end - Petitions (parliament.uk)
As many of you will know, we from The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy have constantly pushed this petition posted by well-known UK personality Dominic Dyer. But, whilst doing so, we have made one vital observation: the petition is reaching activists, but there simply aren’t enough UK activists to bring this petition to Parliament. We NEED the signatures of non-activists, too! So, can we urge EVERYONE to share this blog to non-activist friends, because without their help, this petition will go nowhere, and our Government will be free to hide behind the excuse that “not enough people care”.
Let’s put our UK Government in the uncomfortable position of facing up to its responsibilities. Let’s hear what excuses our elected voices can muster in a Parliamentary debate.
Can we also ask all international activists who cannot sign this petition to continue to share this blog and encourage their UK friends and family to sign and promote it.
Thank you for reading.
Tracy J Holroyd, Cert Ed, BA(Hons) and David C Holroyd
Members of the Society of Authors.
THE PERFECT PAIR DOLPHIN TRILOGY PRESENTS DOMINIC DYER - TIME TO USE TRADE SANCTION TO END WHALE AND DOLPHIN SLAUGHTER ON THE FAROE ISLANDS
The brutal slaughter of over 1400 white sided dolphins on the Faroe Islands has triggered huge anger and revulsion around the world and has once again brought global attention to the long and bloody history of whale and dolphin killing in this beautiful but isolated archipelago 200 miles to the Northwest of Scotland.
As a young boy I have vivid memories of seeing footage of the whale and dolphin hunts, or the “Grind” as they are called in the Faroes. Before the age of social media, it was left to a few intrepid film makers to bring into our living rooms the wild beauty of the Islands and the defiant spirit but violent actions of some of its people.
In 1972 National Geographic made a short documentary film called ‘Faroe Islands - The last of the Vikings’ which painted a picture of a uniquely independent people largely untouched by the outside world in the last remaining outpost of the Viking Spirit.
The film included a whale hunt, in which an armada of wooden rowing and powered fishing boats drove a pod of pilot whales into the shore. The noise and excitement of the people involved was clear to see as they threw rocks into the water and used their vessels to form a ring around the increasingly alarmed pod of whales. As women and children cheered from the quayside the whale hunters plunged their sharp tipped harpoons into the bodies of the whales.
As the sea turned red with blood and the whales twisted in agony, the narrator of the film made a statement to the viewing audience which stays with me over four decades later. He said “when the whales come these peaceful people revert to another age where killing becomes an outlet for native savagery when Viking blood boils”.
But why, nearly fifty years since this film was made, does this barbaric slaughter continue?
Although the European Union has a ban on the killing of whales and dolphins by its Member States under an EU Council Directive and the Bern Convention, this does not apply to the Faroe Islands as a self-governing country in the Kingdom of Denmark. The Faroe Islands is also not a member of the International Whaling Commission, and whale and dolphin hunts can be legally licenced by the Faroese Government.
In recent decades several marine conservation organisations have engaged with the Government and people of the Faroe Islands to end the whale and dolphin hunts. Public meetings and debates have been held, studies have looked at the economic benefits of developing a whale watching industry, documentaries made and books published, yet the brutal killing continues.
Although the Faroe Islands are an autonomous region of the Kingdom of Denmark, they could not continue to kill whales and dolphins without the active support of the Danish Government who retain responsibility for military defence, policing, justice, currency control and foreign affairs.
Over the past five years Danish naval vessels, helicopters and military personnel have even been used to monitor and disrupt the activities of Sea Shepherd activists, who record the brutal reality of the whale and dolphin hunts in order to inform a global audience.
However, one key driver for change within this isolated island community that has been forced to connect with the modern world, is international trade.
Prior to leaving the European Union, Britain had little leverage over the Faroes or Danish Governments on this issue, but that has all changed with Brexit.
In March 2019 the UK Government entered into a Free Trade Agreement with the Faroe Islands which now accounts for over 25% of the Faroes’ global trade. In the past 12 months the value of exports from the Faroe Islands under this agreement reached £582 million, a 142.5% increase on the previous year. Most of this trade involved cod, shellfish and farmed salmon which is sold in UK supermarkets. In comparison, the total value of UK exports to the Faroe Islands over the same period amounted to just £34 million.
Since becoming Prime Minister, Boris Johnson has made his opposition to whaling very clear. He has raised serious concerns with the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Japan’s resumption of commercial whaling, at the G7 Summit in Biarritz in September 2019. In January 2021 he made a stand against the killing of a minke whale by Japanese fisherman in Taiji cove, telling the Telegraph “At a time when we are already seeing the tragic and irreversible destruction of our natural world, with the sea increasingly pumped full of plastics and climate change threatening entre eco systems, it is more important than ever to take a stand against the cruel practise of whaling.”
The Prime Minister’s wife Carrie and father Stanley have both joined me to campaign against whaling outside the Japanese Embassy in London, and in recent days the Defra and Foreign Office Minister Lord Goldsmith has taken to social media to call the mass slaughter of dolphins on the Faroe Islands “one of the most sickening spectacles I’ve ever seen. It shames our species.”
I have now started a Government e-Petition calling for a suspension of the Free Trade Agreement with the Faroe Islands until the whale and dolphin slaughter hunts ends for good. If Boris Johnson is not willing to put on hold £34 million of British exports to stop this brutal slaughter of marine mammals 200 miles from our shores, his government’s commitment to global wildlife protection will be seriously undermined.
No whales and dolphins should be brutally slaughtered in the Faroe Islands to put cod and farmed salmon on our supermarket shelves. It’s time we used trade sanctions to end this barbarism for good.
Policy Advisor Born Free Foundation
Author Badgered to Death Badgered to Death: The People and Politics of the Badger Cull : Dominic Dyer, Chris Packham: Amazon.co.uk: Books
Suspend trade agreement with Faroe Islands until all whale & dolphin hunts end - Petitions (parliament.uk)
Article originally published on 22nd September 2021 by Mail+
Re-published on The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy blog page with kind permission of Dominic Dyer
CELEBRITY PSYCHIC, CARA SPIRIT GUIDE, REVEALS THE TRUTH BEHIND THE HAUNTING CASE OF THE PERFECT PAIR DOLPHIN TRILOGY.
With Hallowe’en behind us and Christmas beckoning, we sought permission to publish this extremely creepy account by UK celebrity psychic, Cara Crompton, more affectionately known as Cara Spirit Guide, Psychic to the Stars.
The story is told in Cara’s own words – a vivid recollection of the trauma she suffered when supporting The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy exposé. She describes a spiritual fight taking place on the astral plane - a battle between good and evil. So, whether you be a believer or a non-believer, if we’ve spiked your interest, please read on.
Sitting on a sofa in the gloom of a darkened lobby of an almost-deserted radio station, I suddenly became uneasy. It was 8.40pm and I’d been invited to do a radio interview for Liverpool Radio’s Planet X on a controversial story entitled The Perfect Pair: The Enchanted Mirror, the first book of The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy.
I was accompanied by the show’s producer, Ayem, the story’s co-author, Tracy J Holroyd, and the ex-dolphin trainer featured in the story, known as David Capello. The interview was due to start at 9.00pm, so we’d arrived in plenty of time. But there was a problem. The show’s presenters were on air, and Ayem had forgotten her security key, which meant that we were all effectively trapped within the confines of the darkened lobby.
As we waited for a break in the show, which would allow one of the presenters to give us access to the lifts that would take us up to the studios, Tracy and Ayem chatted cheerfully. However, I sensed David’s feeling of profound unease.
“Are you okay, David?” I asked.
David looked at me through troubled eyes. “No, I’m not,” he replied. When we first came in, someone was jostling me in the doorway. I thought it was Tracy, but when I turned around, she was still outside. However, there was something behind the door.”
“Something?” I repeated.
“Yes … a man. Well, not a man … I don’t know. A shadow. It was a shadow - at least six feet tall.” David gazed around. “There’s something in here with us – a presence.”
No sooner had he finished speaking than I felt an excruciating blow to my midriff – a blow so vicious that it whipped away my breath and brought tears to my eyes. A psychic punch.
I literally staggered to the sofa, unable to speak. Tracy noticed my odd behaviour and said, “Cara, are you okay? You don’t look well.”
I said I desperately needed the ladies’ room, and all panic broke out as Tracy and Ayem naturally jumped to the wrong conclusion. Tracy started rattling doors whilst Ayem indiscriminately pushed buttons on the security console, eventually managing to override the locking mechanism.
We all piled into another lobby and accessed the lifts which took us to the top floor where the toilets and the radio studios were based.
The others found themselves confined to a further lobby, whilst I dashed to the toilets to splash my face with cold water and examine my aching midriff. As I pulled up my jumper, I could already see the huge bruise taking form just below my ribs.
When I eventually joined my friends, I told them what had happened, and a bemused silence gripped the room. To make matters worse, we remained trapped in the upstairs lobby for a further ten minutes before we could gain admittance to the studios. By that time, our two-hour interview had been slashed to only 20 minutes.
As we drove home, David apologised profusely, telling me that he believed I’d taken a psychic punch meant for him! It was then he told me that the main villain of the book had been a well-known TV celebrity who didn’t want the story out and had recently passed to Spirit. He also said that – although published as fiction – The Perfect Pair story was in fact true. David believed that this celebrity’s angry spirit was trying to force me into pulling my support for his exposé. More worryingly, he told me that this intimidation had only just begun. I should expect more.
David and Tracy dropped me off at home and offered to come in and see that I was settled. But they had a long way to travel, so I told them to get on.
However, when I entered my 600-year-old Knutsford cottage, I froze. All the lights in my lounge were switched on, and my dogs were cowering under the furniture, clearly terrified. Bewildered, I walked into the kitchen to find the pots I’d left drying on the drainer strewn across the floor in pieces. It seemed that someone – or something – had deliberately thrown them against the walls.
And, for me, there was a very clear message: my computer, which was switched off when I left for the station, was now switched on, the screen flashing like a warning beacon … an image of the book, The Perfect Pair: The Enchanted Mirror.
As David had predicted, the intimidation continued. For weeks after, this aggressive entity tormented me. At first, he began to visit me during the day, demanding that I distance myself from the book. He told me that the story was all lies and that he couldn’t understand why I would want to support its message.
When this failed, he changed tack, keeping me awake at night and showing me visions of the terrible things he’d done. He admitted the veracity of the story, but showed no remorse, only promising that, should I not capitulate, he would never leave me in peace. The more he visited, the more clearly I saw and heard him. I became weary and ill. I was deeply distressed by what I saw and heard. I spent hours at a time cleaning up, having dodged flying crockery. Even worse, my poor dogs were traumatized.
One night, he told me that he intended to attack the authors in their home, and I ended up on the phone to Tracy for hours, whilst she was forced to place protection on the house and everyone in it using white candles and the powers of Archangel Michael.
But it wasn’t all darkness. The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy is a story written to expose the cruelty of the aqua-circus – dolphins and whales performing tricks for the public. One night, in a dream, a dolphin came to me and took me beneath the sea to show me great things. He told me that I was doing the right thing and that the Universe was demanding that this story be told. He told me that the forces of good and evil were battling on the spiritual plane over this story. It was part of a spiritual evolution, enlightening people against abuse and exploitation, thus fostering a growth in compassion. It was also vital that humankind should be made aware of the true spiritual nature of dolphins and whales.
After several torturous months, a recently deceased colleague of the celebrity poltergeist (a celebrity in his own right) came to lead him into the light.
I most certainly did. The astral plane is experiencing a war between good and evil, and the Universe is demanding change. This is why I want the world to listen to this trilogy’s spiritual message.
Cara Spirit Guide, Psychic to the Stars.
And so, Cara’s story ends. But please note the words highlighted in red: I most certainly did.
Cara did not write those words. The editors insist that those words were not on the original manuscript offered to psychic magazines up and down the UK. These words only appeared when the article was downloaded from the Cloud, many years after the original piece was written …
Make of that what you will.
INTERVIEW WITH THE PERFECT PAIR DOLPHIN TRILOGY CO-AUTHOR, TRACY J HOLROYD, ABOUT HER NEW ANTI-CRUELTY/CAPTIVITY TEEN BOOK SERIES, BELINDA FELLGATE.
Speciality chef, Fred the Ogre of Fred’s Gory Gobbles,
Interviews Tracy J Holroyd, Co-author of the Belinda Fellgate Fantasy Book Series.
Tracy, after yer six-year stint writin’ the award-winnin’ book series, The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy, why did yer change tack t’ write the teen fantasy, Belinda Fellgate?
Well, Fred, apart from David’s burning desire to illustrate his own books, we wanted to push our anti-captivity, anti-animal-cruelty message to a younger, up-and-coming audience - a new readership not fixated by its own importance. In other words, we wanted to reach those people who genuinely want to do something about the plight of our planet and those voiceless souls we share it with. Something we have only partly achieved, as our targeted audience for Belinda Fellgate has turned out to be much older than we originally intended, drawing in not only teens, but also their mums, dads, grandmas and granddads, too. Not a bad thing, as it works out, as these are the people with the power to bring about change.
Okay, luv! With this in mind, have yer raised the age group fer the second book in the series, Belinda Fellgate: The Kiss of Flauros? Yer know, the one I’M in!
Yes, we have, Fred. All storylines grow and mature, and Belinda Fellgate is no different. The teenage Belinda – along with many of her friends – is beginning to realise that if we continue the wanton abuse of our planet, all they will be left with is a toxic rock unable to sustain life as we know it.
Wicked! Does this mean that Belinda Fellgate: Malamok will be even darker than The Kiss of Flauros?
Most definitely. Much, much darker … and grittier - a story with a controversial twist that will quite literally have the readers wriggling in their seats. However, despite this, Fred, we never abandon our underlying message highlighting the plight of our planet and those voiceless souls we share it with. So, with this in mind, we hope that everyone gives Belinda Fellgate and her friends a chance to spread the word by reading the books. (The reason we have used a front-cover image that will attract both public and activist alike.) So, our message to everyone out there, no matter what your age, is: “Join the Mirror Army and help to save our planet!”
Well, I definitely like the sound o’ that, luv, and definitely want t’ join! Bein' one of the clown demon Malamok's minions, do yer think it’s too late fer me t’ change sides?
Interview conducted by speciality chef, Fred the Ogre of Fred’s Gory Gobbles,
the epitome of à la carte perfection – established 500 AD.
Specialities: Brain Salad Surgery, Fishermen’s Fingers and Curried Eyeballs
Tracy J Holroyd, Cert Ed, BA(Hons)
Member of the Society of Authors
Author - Children's History of Manchester
Author - Children's History of Lancashire
Co-author - The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy
Co-author - Belinda Fellgate Teen Fantasy Series
If you have any questions about this new anti-cruelty/captivity book series, please ask!