The Mystery Man outside the Palace

D.Smith, Cart&man, 300dpi

We are puzzled by this intriguing photograph and hope that someone can identify the man sitting in his ‘cart’ outside the gateway to the Archbishop’s Palace.  Who is he and what can he be delivering – if anything – in this unusual vehicle? The Strawberry Gothick front of the Palace, seen through the gateway, is almost covered in ivy which helps date the image to the mid-to-late 1930s.

The photograph came from David Smith who found it in his great aunt’s belongings after she died in 1995.  David does not think that his great aunt, MISS VIOLET AIR, had any connection with Bishopthorpe.  She was a member of the well-known Air family of York.  Violet’s father owned a coal business in Cherry Street, off Bishopthorpe Road.  One of her brothers brought coal by barge from the West Riding and another brother was landlord of The Globe Inn, situated in the Shambles.  The family also operated the rowing boats from King’s Staithe and New Walk.  Violet came from an interesting family but does it have any connection with this photograph?

Please get in touch by adding a comment above, or email us at if you can throw any light on the man or his cart.

Terry’s Head Quarters Open Day

Many local people will have passed by the former Terry’s factory and headquarters buildings in recent months and been intrigued by what’s been happening on the site. For a good few years the factory buildings had been allowed to deteriorate and many were worried for the long term future of what is a beautiful example of early 20th Century Art Deco style industrial and commercial architecture, including the iconic clock tower.
We are never likely to see a return of the industry and the type of employment that Terry’s generated here, but we can at least hope that this glimpse of our more recent past should be preserved and given a new lease of life.

So it’s good to see the quality of refurbishment that now seems to be taking place on the site, albeit just glimpsed through the old factory gates, and if the projections can be believed it seems that the total development could generate even more jobs than the old factory itself provided. But rather than just sneaking a look through the gates there’s now an opportunity for local residents to get inside and have a proper look round.

Springfield Healthcare and SIMPSON (York) Limited are the organisations working together on the sensitive restoration of the former Head Quarters, turning this listed building originally built in 1926 into 82 care suites and eight luxury apartments.
On the 10th of May they are holding an “Open Doors” evening between 4pm – 7pm, offering the local community the chance of a full tour of the building before any major construction works take place.  Included in the tour will be a chance to find out more about the history of the Head Quarters along with the proposed plans for the site. There will also be another tour arranged in the future to look around again once the work has been completed.

So take the opportunity on the evening of the 10th to drop in and see for yourself what’s really happening in this special part of the local neighbourhood.

Purple Pages are back!

A major update to Bishopthorpe dot net’s local business directory, Purple Pages, has been completed and the new section is now ready for use.

The new directory is more functional and much easier to use, and although we’ve retained the Purple Pages name pretty much everything else has changed from the old version of the directory. In fact it’s not even particularly purple any more!

All the current entries from the original Purple Pages have been transferred to the new directory, so if you have an entry please check your details and let us know via the contact form if there’s anything that should be changed.

If you would like to publicise your business or organisation and can satisfy the ‘are you local?’ test then you can request a listing from the directory page. If accepted, your listing will be published as soon as possible under the category you select from the list of available business categories.

The Lost Men of Bishopthorpe: First World War

As we proceed through the years 2014 to 2018, I intend to publish the names of the fallen from Bishopthorpe in both Link and Bishopthorpe dot net in the month which marked the centenary of their deaths. I am a little late with the entry below.

As well as spending a few moments thinking of these men and their families, I hope that you find the details of some interest.

I decided some time ago that I should also include the names of men from Bishopthorpe who are not commemorated on the War Memorial, and Charles O. Barker was the second of those men to lose his life.

BARKER, Charles Oxtoby

Gunner, No. 733, West Riding Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery (Territorial Force).
Died as the result of an accident on 1 March, 1916, aged 24, in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Buried in St. Luke’s Churchyard, Clifford, near Boston Spa.

Remember him.

Join in the Junior School’s Scarecrow Festival

Scarecrow 200Following the success of last year’s  Scarecrow Festival, the Archbishop of Yorks CE Junior School is organising a similar event on Saturday, 25 and Sunday 26 June.   They would like as many people as possible to take part and encourage you all to pick up an entry form from one of the following outlets: Fred’s Bakery, Supernews, The Marcia, The Ebor, The Social Club, and The Deli.  Alternatively, download a form from the AYJS website –

Completed forms, with a £2 entry fee, should be returned to the school in a sealed envelope.  The deadline is Friday, 29 April.

If you are not able to create your own scarecrow, perhaps you would be willing to spare a small patch in your garden to display someone else’s entry.

Could you offer some time over the weekend to lend a hand at the scarecrow base where there will be many activities taking place?  If so, please contact Emma Daker or Amanda Dean at the school on 01904 551630, or email:

The school has received a donation of cups for the winning entries, but is still hoping for sponsorship towards advertising, the bouncy castle and raffle prizes.

This year, it is hoped that all money raised will contribute towards the cost of creating a quiet, outdoor area which can be accessed by any of the children who need a little time to reflect.

The Lost Men of Bishopthorpe: First World War

I had originally intended to publish the names of the fallen from Bishopthorpe in both Link and Bishopthorpe dot net in the month which marked the centenary of their deaths. I have managed to maintain that record in Link with the help of that journal’s editor. However, I have not been able to post articles on the website due to the extended changeover period to a new host in the later months of 2015. In consequence, I am now playing catch-up with the two men who died in 1915.

As well as spending a few moments thinking of these men and their families, I hope that you find the details of some interest.

HOLT, Arthur

Private, 1796, 5th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment.
Died on the 3rd July, 1915, in the United Kingdom, age 23, from illness.
Buried in Bishopthorpe Churchyard.

Remember him.

I decided some time ago that I should also include the names of men from Bishopthorpe who are not commemorated on the War Memorial, and John Muggeridge was the first of those men to lose his life.


Gunner, No. 66829, 1 Depot, Royal Garrison Artillery.
Died as the result of an accident, 23 November, 1915, aged 28, at Dover Barracks.
Buried in Dover St. James’s Cemetery.

Remember him.


Bishopthorpe Men: the story so far
It is perhaps worthwhile examining how the village of Bishopthorpe had been affected by the end of 1915. Many men had joined up after the war started, but nearly all of these men were still in training in the U.K. Most of the actual fighting on land and at sea had involved men who had been regular soldiers or sailors before the war. A few Territorial Army units had reached the Front by the end of 1915. At that point, the First World War had been in progress for just over fifteen months. In that period four men from the village had died due to their service with the Forces.

The two who were killed in action on the Western Front in 1914 were regular soldiers: 2nd Lieutenant Richard John Lumley of the 11th Hussars was hit by a German sniper in August, while Lance Corporal John Arthur Bowlby of the 9th Lancers died in September when the Lancers’ billets were hit by a long range shell from a German Heavy Battery. Somewhat surprisingly, the other two casualties in 1915 occurred due to illness and accident respectively: Private Arthur Holt, who had previously served with the 5th Battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment had been invalided out of the army just a few months before he died of a serious illness in July of 1915. Gunner John Muggeridge, whose name is not on the memorial, only joined the Royal Garrison Artillery a week before he was seriously injured in an accident at his billet at Dover. He died of his injuries in hospital.

In August, 1914, many men rushed to volunteer because the word on the street was that the war would be over by Christmas. By December, 1915, it had become apparent that the terrible conflict would last for much longer than a few months. Many of the new recruits, including the Bishopthorpe men who had volunteered, must have begun to wonder just what they had let themselves in for.

Ken Haywood

Why not have a look at Vernon’s Shed?

SHED Mens meeting group is a newly formed group that meets at the refurbished Vernon House on Maple Avenue, 3:00pm – 5:00pm on Tuesdays.

We are looking to increase our numbers. What’s holding you back? Turn off your heating at home for a couple of hours and bask in the Mediterranean Climate at Vernon House. There’s a choice of cards, board games, or general chit-chat with the Brotherhood, along with a brew, and all for only £1 per session.

Find new friends, meet some old ones you’ve perhaps not seen for a while; you help choose the agenda.


“Georgian York: The Rise and Fall”

Bishopthorpe Local History Group Open Meeting: Tuesday, 12 April

Our first Open Meeting of 2016 is an illustrated talk by Julia Mander from Fairfax House, York.

By the early 18th century, York was shedding its medieval appearance to become a modern centre for the North’s polite society.  This talk gives an insight into York’s burgeoning cultural life during the Georgian Age; why the city flourished and what led to its decline.

The talk will be held at Bishopthorpe Methodist Church Hall at 7.30pm on Tuesday, 12 April.

All welcome!  Cost £3.50, including light refreshments.