My Yorkshire, Phil Qua of SpeedQuizzing
Phil Qua is operations manager at York-based SpeedQuizzing.
Where do you live/where are you from?
I’m originally from Northern Ireland but moved to York as a child and have lived here ever since. For me, York offers the best of both worlds; I’m within walking distance of what is an incredible, historic city, while just a short drive away I have access to some of the most stunning countryside anywhere in the country.
What is your favourite place to visit in Yorkshire and why?
I’m a big fan of the York North Moors National Park, particularly in the winter or midweek when it’s slightly quieter. There’s nowhere quite like it. It offers stunning moorland, interspersed with picturesque villages, and the seaside town of Whitby which is renowned for its beaches and abbey. I find it’s the perfect place to switch off and relax.
What is still on your “to do” list in the region?
Going to the top of York Minster. If truth be told, I did go as a child and I’ve been meaning to go again for about the last 35 years! I remember being blown away by the scale of it and the incredible view it offers of the city and the surrounding countryside.
What is the most memorable meal you’ve ever had in Yorkshire?
Other than regular visits to Wagamama’s in York for ‘business lunches’, I don’t tend to eat out all that much so I can’t claim to have had many really memorable meals. One experience that does stand out was a carvery I went to with a friend. We ordered two beers to accompany our Sunday roasts, but something, somewhere along the line, clearly got lost in translation; we ended up with two glasses of Baileys to accompany our roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, which was a rather unique pairing to say the least.
What is your most Yorkshire trait?
I’d have to say chatting to strangers or being grumpy/miserable – though not usually at the same time.
Favourite piece of trivia about the region.
As you can imagine, working for a digital quiz company and hosting my own quizzes means I come across interesting trivia almost every day. But York has some comedy facts relating to ancient by-laws, although I’m not sure which are true or have just become urban myth. A classic one is the supposed ancient legislation which states that ‘in York, excluding Sunday’s, it is perfectly legal to shoot a Scotsman with a bow and arrow’. Whether this really ever existed or not I don’t know, but if it did, it certainly throws up a lot of questions.
What/who is your favourite cultural icon to come out of Yorkshire?
As my other job is working for York band Shed Seven when they are on tour, I will have to give them a plug, and there is a SpeedQuizzing connection there too, as the company was part-formed by drummer Alan Leach along with his brother. It is always impressive when visiting other cities outside of Yorkshire to see how popular they are, but there have been some great bands from Yorkshire; Wedding Present, Pulp, Arctic Monkeys and the Cribs to name just a few.
Worst experience or thing about Yorkshire?
York on a race day. If you know, you know.
What is one thing you’d steal from Lancashire (or other UK regions) if you could?
Manchester. A brave thing to say in Yorkshire, I know, but for me it’s a city that has everything; there’s an amazing vibe to it, a brilliant music scene, and a quality football team in Manchester City, who I happen to support (and yes, prior to 2008).
What is the most overrated thing about Yorkshire?
Bettys tea rooms.