Human Interest

Two Days Til Christmas & lego City

Two Days Til Christmas & lego City

It is Christmas Eve Eve at Silly Billy’s Toy Shop

The Shop is buzzing. We have some smaller sets of Lego City and Lego Friends, please see images below to carry us through the Christmas Holidays and as small Gift’s that Children like to buy with their Christmas money. The sets start at £4.99.

This is what we have in stock now in the Lego Friends Range:

  • 41302 – Puppy Pampering – £4.99
  • 41303 – Puppy Playground – £4.99
  • 41304 – Puppy Treats & Tricks – £4.99
  • 41123 – Foal’s Washing Station – £9.99
  • 41124 – Heartlake Puppy Daycare – £24.99
  • 41119 – Heartlake Cupcake Café – £34.99
  • 41126 – Heartlake Riding Club – £49.99

Lego Friends

In the Lego City Range we have the following:

  • 60135 – ATV Arrest – £4.99
  • 60136 – Police Starter Set – £9.99
  • 60145 – Buggy – £9.99
  • 60106 – Fire Starter Set – £9.99
  • 60120 – Volcano Starter Set – £9.99
  • 60111 – Fire Utility Truck – £24.99 (Special Price as Lego RRP is £29.99 !)
  • 60115 – 4 x 4 Off Roader – £17.99

Lego_City

We are down to our last few packets of Lego Minifigures Series 16

lego_Minifgures_Series_16

What else is happening in Hebden Bridge?

Well it’s raining a bit and there is some stormy weather predicted so the BBC or some other outfit have parked a satellite recording Van just down the street from us, potentially to obtain some news-worthy content about heavy precipitation again in Hebden Bridge and potential flooding !! We obviously hope that will not be the case after the devastation caused in the Boxing Day Floods in Hebden Bridge of last year. Nonetheless I received a text today from the Flood Warning Service about potential problems in the Upper Calder Valley.

I  completed my own Set of Lego Minifgures Series 16 some time back and it was a good generic set in my opinion with a possibly emphasis on global warming with the amount of Penguin related figures that were included. That particular phenomena is probably not helping the amount of water that is currently falling from the skies!!
Minifigures_series_16

The Festive Fandango:

This continues at Silly Billy’s and Homely at Hebden, next door to us, and you can pick up a sticker for your Festive Fandango card every time you spend a minimum of five pounds.

Christmas Opening:

Lastly our Christmas Opening Hours at Silly Billy’s are shown in the image below:
Christmas_Opening_2016

This post was written by Robert A Williams

 

 

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Small Business Saturday 2016

Small Business Saturday 2016

Small Business Saturday 2016

This Saturday 3rd December is Small Business Saturday. last year (2015) Silly Billy’s were involved with Small Business Saturday by offering a special discount on the very popular Thunderbirds Sets.

This year Silly Billy’s Toy Shop are offering a great discount on Orchard Toys Snap Games, we have:

Orchard Toys Animal Snap RRP £4.99 reduced to only £2.50 and

Orchard Toys Snap RRP £7.99 reduced to only £4 
Small Business Saturday UK

This offer is available this Saturday 3rd December 2016 to help Support and gain interest in Small Business Saturday, promoting small businesses everywhere. If you are looking for more details on Small Business Saturday then please visit this website smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com

Small Business Saturday UK is a grassroots, non-commercial campaign, which highlights small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities.
The day itself takes place on the first Saturday in December each year, but the campaign aims to have a lasting impact on small businesses. In 2016 Small Business Saturday will take place on Saturday, December 3rd.
Taken from smallbusinesssaturdayuk.com/about-us

Small Business Saturday are active on Social Media so you can check their:-
Facebook page

/SmallBusinessSaturdayUK

Twitter
@SmallBizSatUK

Instagram
@SmallBizSatUK
Small Business Saturday UK

As well as Small Business Saturday on 3rd December 2016 there is also the ShopSmall Campaign from American Express Kicking off on this day for two whole weeks and American Express® Cardmembers will be rewarded for shopping at small businesses around the UK from 3 to 18 December 2016. Silly Billy’s Toy Shop take American Amex, as well as all other major credit and debit cards, plus Apple Pay and potentially Android Pay, though no-one has tried that particular cashless payment method in the toy shop yet.
Shop Small UK

Don’t forget Silly Billy’s Big Lego Competition is still on, for more details please read this post

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Calderdale Family Fun Day

Calderdale Family Fun Day

Calderdale Family Fun Day and Mytholmroyd Christmas Market

Tomorrow is Calderdale Family Fun Day, see the flier below. I met one of the Organisers at the Mytholmroyd Christmas Market today, which was a great event and Silly Billy’s Toy Shop  was very happy to be there. We all had a good day overall and the event was well organised. So well done to all those who made it happen.

A special thank-you goes out to Peter Metcalfe of Pennine Provisions who helped rescue us when the transport we had planned fell through.
(Thanks so much Peter, you are a star !!)

Next year Sillly Billy’s Toy Shop will also hope to have a presence at the Mytholmroyd Christmas Market. If you are interested in Silly Billy’s attending any other events then get in touch.

Calderdale Family Fun Day is being held in Todmorden tomorrow and below is the flyer:-
Calderdale Family Fun Day

From 1330 until 1600 at Todmorden Sports Centre Call 01422 242124 for more details, a Charity Event

Additionally Rebecca is doing a sprint triathlon to raise money for Home-Start Calderdale.
Please sponsor her if you can: mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/rebeccagodar

This is what the folks at Wikipedia say about Todmorden:

Todmorden (/ˈtɒdmədən/; locally /ˈtɒdmɔːdən/[1] /ˈtɒdmərdən/ or /tɔːmdɪn/)[2] is a market town and civil parish[3] in the Upper Calder Valley in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, England. It is 17 miles (27 km) from Manchester and in 2011 had a population of 15,481.[4]

Todmorden is at the confluence of three steep-sided Pennine valleys and is surrounded by moorlands with outcrops of sandblasted gritstone.

The historic boundary between Yorkshire and Lancashire is the River Calder and its tributary, the Walsden Water, which run through the town. The administrative border was altered by the Local Government Act 1888 placing the whole of the town within the West Riding.

The town is served by Todmorden and Walsden railway stations.
Short and sweet, full URL to the wiki page is here

Lastly don’t forget about Silly Billy’s ongoing Lego Competition, the Big One, anyone can take part and it’s completely free to enter.

This post and pretty much this entire blog, written and Created by Robert A Williams
(If you need help with Internet Marketing, SEO, Blog writing, WordPress Websites, Yoast or pretty much anything else internet and Information technology related then get in touch)

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Snow & Festive Fandango 2016, plus more news

Snow & Festive Fandango 2016, plus more news

Snow & Festive Fandango 2016, plus more news

There is a lot going on in Hebden Bridge and surrounding areas in the run-up to Christmas 2016 and worthy of mention is the new Festive Fandango Competition From TotallyLocally and the Festive Fandango Team 

Silly Billy’s Toy Shop are happy to be taking part in Festive Fandango Christmas 2016 (note there was also a Festive Fandango this Summer to help with flood recovery which we were also a part of)
Festive Fandango

It is very easy to take part in Festive Fandango so all you need do is simply spend a minimum of £5 in any shop taking part and collect a card and sticker, that includes Silly Billy’s Toy Shop. When you have 5 stickers on your card from five different local shops, you can enter the prize draw to win a large Hebden Hamper full of goodies, additionally you can enter the prize draw as many times as you like!
Follow @FestiveFandango on Twitter for more details.

Coming up in one week’s time is the Mytholmroyd Christmas Market on Saturday 26th November and Silly Billy’s Toy Shop will have a stall there, hopefully we will have some offers for you and perhaps a surprise Lucky Dip or similar.

On Friday 2nd December 2016 there is late night opening in Hebden Bridge and Silly Billy’s along with most other retailers, including the fantastic new Homely at Hebden will be open until 8pm on Friday 2nd December 2016.

Then on Saturday 3rd December there is Small Business Saturday which is an event co-ordinated to bring focus to Small Businesses all over the UK. Silly Billy’s Toy Shop were featured in the Small Business 100 in December 2014 and we appear on the Map here together with other local businesses like Heart Gallery and The Down To Earth Heart Centre

Also on Saturday 3rd December 2016 the AMEX Shop Small UK campaign starts which we are also a part of, simply put Amex cardholders  get £5 back when they spend £10 in any one transaction, the Shop Small Campaign has been running since 2012 and again is a real boost to small independent shops like Silly Billy’s. The Amex Shop Small Campaign lasts from 3rd December until 18th December so if all you Amex caardholders could come and do your Toy Shopping at Silly Billy’s it would be fantastic! In fact Silly Billy’s Toy Shop is the foremost Independent Toy Shop in the North of England and is the best place for Toy Shopping.

More will be written about Shop Small and Small Business Saturday a bit closer to the time so please follow Silly Billy’s Toy Shop Blog to be sure to get the latest updated for Hebden Bridge and beyond

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New York’s Star Trek Convention

New York’s Star Trek Convention

Star Trek: Mission New York

is a reminder of what has changed and what hasn’t in this nerdy corner of geek culture that finds itself riding a wave of popularity

I went to my first Star Trek convention 15 years ago, when I was 13. It went pretty much exactly how non-Trekkers might imagine a Star Trek convention to go.

My family’s trip to a dimly lit, musty-carpeted convention center in Long Beach, California, was an extreme novelty: we didn’t dress up. Other attendees, though, wore costumes ranging from the handmade to the extremely expensive, ordered weeks in advance.

Every stereotype you can possibly imagine was present in that hall, from public displays of conversational Klingon to earnestly specific questions asked of cast members. One man asked Brent Spiner, who played the android Data in the Next Generation franchise, the real gender of his characters cat Spot. As a result of problems with continuity, you see, it often varied.

Kaitlin
Kaitlin and Sarah cosplay at the convention. Photograph: Devon Maloney for the Guardian

Star Trek: Mission New York convention, held at the Javits Center in Manhattan, was a vivid reminder of what has changed and what has not in a particularly nerdy corner of geek culture which has now existed for 50 years.

Organized by Comic-Con promoter ReedPop, by the end of the Labor Day weekend the event will have hosted cast reunions from at least three series; demonstrations of forthcoming mobile and VR games; screenings of a new directors cut of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and For the Love of Spock, a documentary produced by Adam Nimoy, son of late actor Leonard Nimoy; and exhibits and presentations from both Nasa and the Postmaster General.

The halls are filled with easy-order Halloween costumes and mass-produced toys, thanks in large part to JJ Abrams 2009 franchise reboot. Attendees are no longer simply geeks who argue openly about the canon, although such individuals certainly still hold dominion over a place like this, and rightfully so. Some look as though they wouldnt have been caught dead at a convention like this even five years ago, let alone 10 or 15. Star Trek has never been so accessible, or so cool.

Ive been waiting 30 years for this, said Briahna Gray, who came with her mother and brother. Its easier to be a fan now that its become more popular Ive always happily leaned into geek culture, but its easier when everyones seeing posters and advertisements for things you love every year. People get your references more: people used to think we named our dog Mr Woof when his name was Mr Worf.

Elyse Rosenstein, Joyce Yasner, Stuart Hellinger, Linda Deneroff and Devra Langsam were among the organizers of the first Star Trek convention, in 1972.

At a panel on Friday, they recounted underestimating the number of fans who might show up, preparing for 1,600 but welcoming more than double that, thanks to some felicitous press coverage. Totally unpaid, the organizers resorted to DIY, crafting convention badges from basic office supplies.

None of us did this to make money, said Langsam, explaining that they eventually stopped hosting fan-run conventions due to issues affording the cast and crews speaking fees and a refusal to turn them into a legitimate business. I think over the years I made about 12 cents an hour.

Yasner added: In fact, when fanzines were originally published, it was looked down on if you made money your zine. [Conventions] seem to have gotten very commercial, impersonal. We didn’t even think of doing it for profit. We did it for love.

Star
Convention panel: from left, Devra Langsam, Elyse Rosenstein, Stuart Hellinger, Joyce Yasner and Linda Deneroff. Photograph: Devon Maloney for the Guardian

Yasner recounted a moment during one of the first conventions when Leonard Nimoy made a surprise appearance. The guy who was in charge of the [exhibition hall] got up, took the microphone and said, Spocks here! The entire room cleared out in about three seconds flat leaving many sellers with unfinished transactions on their hands.

It was more of a community [then], said Hellinger. Theyre big events now. We came out of general sci-fi fandom, and we applied the community aspect of that, but even that’s changing, and not always for the better.

Of course, commercialisation hasnt destroyed all personal connections in the fan community. It has also strengthened them: during the committees panel, a young woman came to the microphone to explain that she had been on a panel this weekend as well, and pointed out how rare women have been on convention panels at events like Comicon.

Thank you for the tradition you started, for making this visible: women’s participation in Star Trek fandom, she said.

[Fandom] become popular culture, Deneroff said later. It makes it easier to explain to people why you’re interested in weird things. Theres no sense anymore that it’s a lonely thing to be a fan.

The sentiment was shared by many attendees, including Grays mother Leslie, a former psychologist and current employee of the United Nations who remembers watching the original series as a child, even being nicknamed Bones, after the shows doctor, by her father.

Can you imagine what its like to be [a Star Trek fan] experiencing this with your kids? she said. I was all alone in the 60s and 70s. There were so few Star Trek fans, especially in the African-American community, you were extra square, an uber-geek if you liked Star Trek.

But then my kids started watching it; my son became a Star Trek savant, with a Klingon dictionary and everything. We lived in Nairobi in the 90s and people had to send us Betamax tapes they were so precious to us. We all can’t believe were here together now.

This post is part of a series of posts created by Robert A Williams using a Trending Traffic Application

For anyone that hasn’t yet seen the latest Star Trek Beyond Movie then here is a short trailer:

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2016/sep/04/star-trek-convention-mission-new-york

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Berber girls find the way out of rural poverty

Berber girls find the way out of rural poverty

In Moroccos Atlas mountains, Berber girls find the way out of rural poverty

The remoteness of many villages meant that secondary school was not an option

Deep in Moroccos High Atlas mountains, in the hamlet of Tazalt, two girls are doing their laundry in stream water. Inside one of the small reddish-brown stone houses, Malika Boumessoud, 38, is serving sweet mint tea and looking at a photo of herself while shaking her head at how old she looks.

In the next room, where five of her six children all sleep on two single mattresses on the floor, Boumessouds daughter Zahra, 19, is preparing to leave this classic scene of rural Moroccan life. She is a participant in a bold new experiment that could transform the lives of the girls and young women in the region: unlike the vast majority of her peers, Zahra is being granted an education.

For the past seven years, she has lived in a boarding house run by a small Moroccan NGO, Education For All (EFA), in the town of Asni, 56 kilometres away. The house is a five-minute walk from the school she has attended during the week since the age of 12. In September, she hopes to go to university in Marrakech. Her mother, who married at 16, is acutely aware of how different her daughters life could have been had Zahra finished school at 12, like most of the other girls in the valley.

I still wish I had gone to school, says Malika. Even after all these years of marriage and having all my children, I still regret not finishing my education. I dont go out of the village, I just stay in the house day after day. I feel like a bird without any wings..

In rural Morocco, her experience is far from rare. Illiteracy rates for rural women and girls remain as high as 90%. Girls, especially those in areas such as the High Atlas, are more likely to drop out after primary school. Only 26% of girls in rural areas enrol for secondary education, according to the World Bank.

These problems disproportionately affect the Amazigh, commonly known as Berbers, the indigenous people of Morocco. While most Berbers adopted Islam and began speaking Arabic after the conquests of the seventh century, Berber culture and dialects of the Tamazight language survived, especially in the High Atlas. At school, lessons are in Arabic, which for most Berber children is their second language, if they have it at all. Unsurprisingly, they do poorly compared with Arabic children.

But in rural areas, its the distance to secondary schools that presents the biggest barrier, especially for girls. Khalid Chenguiti, education specialist at Unicef Morocco says: Girls education, especially at secondary level, remains a challenge. There are many reasons for this, including the fact that schools are often poorly equipped with washrooms and sanitary facilitation, transportation is often difficult and, in some areas, girls are still required to support domestic tasks and face sociocultural barriers for completion of higher secondary education. These factors often disproportionately affect girls in rural areas.

Chenguiti explains why its a crucial problem to solve: Providing girls with an education helps break the cycle of poverty: educated women are less likely to marry early and against their will; less likely to die in childbirth; more likely to have healthy babies; and are more likely to send their children to school.

EFAs solution is to bring the girls to the schools, an approach which is beginning to change the lives of Berber girls in a way that could transform the regions future. Their boarding houses, which are run solely by Berber women, provide accommodation, healthy food, support with homework and extra French and English lessons. On average, the pass rate for all academic years is 97%.

Zahra bubbles with enthusiasm for the chance that has been handed to her: At primary school, I really enjoyed studying but I knew there was little chance I would get to go to secondary school. When I was selected [by EFA], I was so happy. I was really nervous when I first got to the boarding house but I feel like I have found myself since being there.

Literary
Literary levels for girls in rural Morocco can be as low as 10% Photograph: Education for All

I believe I will now have a good future and will be able to improve things for my family. My parents have been so supportive. They wanted me to have a better life than the one they have had. My first year of university will be very hard, she says. Im sure, as its a very different life there, but I think it will be good for me.

In bustling Marrakech, which feels like a different planet in comparison to the mountain villages, Khadijah Ahedouami, 21, knows exactly how Zahra is feeling. Three years ago she was in the same position. She has no regrets, but it has been far from an easy road.

I actually failed my first year, she says. Coming to Marrakech and studying all these new subjects was a hard thing for me to do, especially because I had only just got used to learning in Arabic, but at university everything is in French. I also had to get used to living in the city which is so different.

The culture shock wasnt the only thing she struggled with. Her mother had died while she was in upper secondary school and soon afterwards she lost her brother-in-law. I had some family problems and my father had just remarried following the death of my mother.

Even though it was a year and a half after she died, my first year was the hardest time because I was living away from home. With everything going on, I thought if I push myself with my studies, Im going to lose my mind, so I decided it was OK to take things slowly and repeat my first year.

Ahedouami was one of the 10 girls who went to live in Asni with EFA when the first house opened nine years ago. It was her mother who passionately wanted her to have an education because she had grown up in Casablanca, where its normal for girls to be in school. But they first had to persuade her father.

She says: My father agreed we could go to see the house and when we found it, he thought it seemed OK and liked Latifa, the house mother. He asked if I wanted to stay, and of course I said, yes. Studying is my purpose in life.

Khadijah is now not only the most educated girl in her village but the most educated in the whole valley. So respected is she that when she is home villagers come to her house to ask for advice on problems with their businesses or families. A lot of responsibility rests on her young shoulders.

She says: In my final year of school, I started to prepare my parents for the idea that I might go to university. By then, my parents trusted me but they only did because I earned it. During my years with EFA, I learned how to talk to people, how to spend my money, and how to stay respectable. And because other families look to me as an example when trying to decide whether to send their girls to school, I feel like I have to act very responsibly so they know education doesnt make you go off the rails.

Maryk Stroosnijder, one of the founders of EFA, says: I think it is quite hard for the first girls because others look up to them, but the attitudes are slowly changing. The first parents took a risk and now we have parents begging us to take their girls.

Nor is Stroosnijder surprised to hear about Zahras mother feeling like a bird without wings because, she says, many mothers feel the same. But, she adds, they are giving their daughters wings.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jun/18/girls-poverty-school-university-morocco-africa

This post is part of a post created by Robert A Williams from one of his portfolio of hosted applications entitled Trending Traffic, if you would like to see content like this on your blog then Contact Robert A Williams

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