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.

As well as spending a few moments thinking of this man and his family, I hope that you find the details of some interest.

DALE, William Edward

Private, No. 17/1443, 14th (North Eastern Railway) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers.
Killed in action 26 September, 1916, aged 20, during the Battle of the Somme.
Commemorated on Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, Pier and Face 10B, 11B and 12B.

As well as being included on Bishopthorpe’s Memorial, William Edward’s name is also commemorated on the great North Eastern Railway War Memorial on Station Rise in York.

Remember him.

Ken Haywood

Bishopthorpe Social Club is 70

This year marks the 70th Anniversary of the founding of Bishopthorpe Social Club, and to celebrate this milestone the Club is presenting a display of photographs, memorabilia, documents and archive material relating to the history of The Poplars (the house before it became the club) and Bishopthorpe Social Club.

The event is on Saturday 27th August – 5pm start.


Social_Club_1946The founder members of the club pictured in 1946.
See the full feature in the History blog here:



PPG Meeting Changes

The Patient Participation Group (PPG) meeting for September will now be held in Bishopthorpe. This is on a trial basis that may become a regular alternative to just being centred in Copmanthorpe.
The August meeting will still be held at Old School Surgery at Copmanthorpe on Wednesday 31st August at 18.00 – 19.30. The following meeting, to be held on Wednesday 28th September, will be held at St. Andrew’s Church Hall, Bishopthorpe to allow members who live in Bishopthorpe easier access to the meeting venue.
Further meetings are planned for Wednesdays 26th October and 30th November but there will not be a PPG meeting in December.
If you would like to join the group (online or by coming to meetings) or find out more about what it involves please contact Marcus Collumb, Practice Manager, by emailing  or telephoning  01904 706455.

Shake-up for GP Services?

The Patient Participation Group of the Old School Medical Practice met on 27th June, and agreed to circulate the proposals for the future of the practice so that residents can see the current state of play and allow the practice to explain their present thoughts on the situation. The practice has prepared the following statement to explain the current position :

The Future of General Practice
Further to recent articles that have been published in a variety of local community newsletters and discussed on community website forums, regarding the proposals that Old School Medical Practice who provide GP services in Bishopthorpe, Copmanthorpe and other outlying villages, is considering its options to aspire to provide better facilities that are fit for purpose that will and could also provide more health care services locally to registered patients.  At the Patient Participation Group (PPG) meeting 27th June 2016, attendees (15) were given an update as part of the PPG meeting agenda, with an explanation and rationale behind the Surgery proposals and consideration to its future plans. In brief the practice confirmed its ideal solution is to combine all its services into a single site surgery, whilst explaining other options are also being considered to collaborate with other GP surgeries, further more and in addition to considering the York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) plans and the wider York strategic health care community plans which are part of the Government and Department of Health five year view for NHS services. At the meeting Marcus Collumb Practice Manager, confirmed that NO plans had yet been accepted beyond in principal, and that NO funding for such a project had yet been granted. He added that any plans would involve a patient consultation, and that the practice does recognise that some patients have concerns about such proposals around access and location and these were being noted as part of any development to progress, whilst also noting there had also been a lot of support expressed. The PPG meetings would continue to be updated as and when any proposals progressed through any evaluation processes.

The meeting also agreed to proceed with a Patient Survey that will give registered patients an opportunity to comment on the areas that they consider are priorities for action.

To download a copy of the survey please click here Patient survey 2016-17

A background document that outlines the reasons why the practice needs to consider its future options can also be reviewed here The Future of GP Surgeries



Bishopthorpe Library Coffee Mornings

Bishopthorpe Library holds a coffee morning on the first Wednesday of each month between 10.00 and 12.00. It is organised by the Friends of Bishopthorpe Library and drinks and delicious home-made cakes are available.

The last coffee morning on 6 July was well-attended by villagers of all ages between 1 and 80.

The next one will be on Wednesday 3 August – why not come along?

Police Investigate Cyclists

With the Tour de France currently in full flow it brings to mind that, in the past, cycling races were a popular pastime in and around Bishopthorpe – albeit in a more modest way.  In August 1886, Mr. George Anderson, landlord of the Woodman Inn, promoted a cycling handicap which attracted cyclists from a number of local clubs.  The first two heats were decided earlier in the month and the final race was to be run over a distance of one mile from Tadcaster Road to Bishopthorpe.  However, for some unknown reason, the race started at dusk and one or two competitors were stopped by policemen for not carrying lamps.  Needless to say, some confusion arose.  However, the contest seemed to finish happily enough – probably at the Woodman Inn, where Mr. Anderson presented silver medals to the winners.

Yorkshire Gazette, Saturday, 28 August 1886, p8.

Linda Haywood

Buses – a partial reprieve

City of York Council, because of government financial cuts, is having to reduce the subsidies paid to loss-making bus services.
Some services will cease and others will be cut. The plan affecting Bishopthorpe would have meant an end to evening and Sunday services.
After a strong intervention by John Galvin, our local Councillor, our evening services have, it seems, been saved.
Sadly, we are to lose our Sunday buses. The last ones will run on Sunday 21st August.

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.

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 Simpson, who was born in Bishopthorpe, was the third such man to lose his life. He was also the first local man to die during the Battle of the Somme.


Sapper, No. 138673, 118 Railway Company, Royal Engineers.
Killed in action, on 21 July, 1916, aged 26, near Calais.
Buried at Calais Southern Cemetery, Plot E, Row 2, Grave 10.

SIMPSON, Charles

Lance Corporal, No. 2335, 1/5 Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own).
Killed in action on 28 July, 1916, aged 22, during the Battle of the Somme in France.
Buried in Grave No. II K 7, Blighty Valley Cemetery, Authuille Wood, near Albert.

George Wilkinson and Charles Simpson were the first Bishopthorpe men to be killed in action since October, 1914.  The three men who had died in the intervening period perished as the result of accident or sickness.

Remember them.

Ken Haywood

Bishopthorpe Awash with Scarecrows!

The sun shone and the village buzzed with activity last weekend.  The Junior School’s second Scarecrow Festival was a great success with numerous visitors and villagers thoroughly enjoying themselves meeting a variety of excellent scarecrows.

There were 77 scarecrows in all, spread throughout the parish.  Mums, dads, grandparents and children biked, walked and scootered round the village, many following one or more of the quiz-based trails prepared by the school.  Some people claimed to have seen them all, but it took both days to achieve this!  Everyone agreed that it had been a great community effort and loads of fun.

Celebrating her 90th birthday, the Queen calls in to Delicacy in Acaster Lane for a bacon buttie.
Celebrating her 90th birthday, the Queen calls in to Delicacy in Acaster Lane for a bacon buttie.

Here is a selection of just a few of the many fabulous scarecrows.

Not sure if this is terrific wizard is Gandalph?
Not sure if this terrific wizard in Copmanthorpe Lane is Gandalf?
Colourful scarecrows and sunflowers outside the Methodist Chapel.
Strange flowers sprouted outside the Methodist Chapel.
Colourful scarecrows outside the Methodist Hall.
A close-up reveals scarecrow gardeners  and sunflowers outside the Methodist Chapel.
Bed and Breakfast on offer in Main Street.
A full English was on offer at Bracken Lodge in Main Street.
Bed and Breakfast in Main Street.
Bed with Breakfast to follow in Main Street.


This fisherman outside the Chippy looks remarkably like Prince Phillip!
This fisherman outside the Chippy looked remarkably like Prince Phillip!
Postman Pat and cat appropriately enough outside the Post Office.
Postman Pat and cat appropriately enough outside the Post Office.


Ant & Dec with platefuls of spiders and assorted beasties.
In Church Lane, Ant & Dec had platefuls of spiders and assorted beasties.
A great horse and jockey scaling a six-foot hedge in Copmanthorpe Lane.
A great horse and jockey scaling an enormous hedge in Copmanthorpe Lane.
A fierce dragon was scaring the neighbours in Church Lane.
A fierce dragon in Church Lane.





A reminder of the forthcoming Olympic Games in Rio.
In Croft Court, a reminder of the forthcoming Olympic Games in Rio.
The baker selling ciabatta outside the Co-op.
The baker selling ciabatta outside the Co-op.
Outside The Marcia.
Outside The Marcia.

Stone the Crows – it’s Archbishop Maclagan!

Last weekend the Junior School held its second successful Scarecrow Festival.  Members of the Bishopthorpe Local History Group decided to join in and put a scarecrow outside the Village Hall where the Community Archive is held.

We chose to make a scarecrow of William Dalrymple Maclagan who was Archbishop of York between 1891 and 1908.  We didn’t mean any disrespect by producing an effigy of an Archbishop but thought it was very appropriate to place this particular churchman outside the Village Hall.  It was through Archbishop Maclagan’s generosity that a Reading Room was built on the site in 1898.   At first, the building was only intended for the men of the village in order to provide them with an alternative place of leisure and keep them out of the pubs!

In 1904, the Archbishop conveyed the building and site to the people of Bishopthorpe and it eventually became a Village Hall for everyone to use.

We had great fun making ‘Archbishop Maclagan’ and telling everyone about the history of the Village Hall.  Many people thought that we managed to capture the Archbishop’s likeness.  We’ll leave it to you to see if you agree.

Maclagan Full 150


Visitors outside the Village Hall with 'Archbishop Maclagan'.
Visitors outside the Village Hall with ‘Archbishop Maclagan’.

Bishopthorpe Junior School Scarecrow Festival: 25 & 26 June

Scarecrow 200Following months of preparation and hard work, the Bishopthorpe Junior School Scarecrow Festival is upon us!  Many families, groups, local societies and businesses have been busy making scarecrows of various character to display outside their homes or shops.

There will be a great festive atmosphere and loads of fun to be found at the Junior School.  Not only will scarecrows be on show, there will also be a bouncy slide, games, face painting, and refreshments.

To guide you round the village to view the scarecrows, the School has prepared 3 trails of varying length.  The trails, which include quizzes, cost £2 each and will be on sale at the school. All proceeds made at this event will go towards the creation of a new outdoor reflection zone at the school.

The Scarecrow Festival takes place on Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 June from 10.00 to 4.00 on both days.


Stained Glass – A Mystery Trade

We see stained glass in our cathedrals, churches, pubs and homes, but how much do we know about it?  At the next open meeting organised by the Bishopthorpe Local History Group, Master Glazier, Ian Tomlinson, will let us into some of the secrets of the trade.

In his talk, “Stained Glass – A Mystery Trade”, Ian will explain how glass is made, how the windows are held together and constructed, show us both old  and modern tools, and the methods used in medieval times.

The meeting will take place on Tuesday, 14 June 2016 at 7.30pm in Bishopthorpe Methodist Church Hall.

All are welcome.  Members of the Group: free.  Non-members: £3.50 to include light refreshments.

Commemorating Conscientious Objectors at Bishopthorpe

Alfred Martlew's grave in St. Andrew's Churchyard, Bishopthorpe.  He died 5 July 1917.
Alfred Martlew’s grave in St. Andrew’s Churchyard, Bishopthorpe. He died 5 July 1917.

On Sunday, 5th June, a commemoration event for conscientious objectors of the First World War from the York area, will be held at Bishopthorpe Church Hall.  This is an unusual event for Bishopthorpe and you may wonder why York Quakers are commemorating the men here, in the village.

One of the men, Alfred Martlew, drowned and his body fetched up on the river bank at Bishopthorpe below the Palace grounds.  He had been employed as a clerk with Rowntrees and had applied to the York Tribunal for exemption from military service.  His application was rejected and he was imprisoned at Richmond Castle with 15 other conscientious objectors; famously known as the Richmond 16.  In May 1916, the men were posted to France, where they again refused to obey orders.  Tried by court martial, they were sentenced to death, but this was commuted to 10 years hard labour.  Back in England, they were sent to various prisons.

In 1917, Alfred returned to York, it is thought, to see his fiancé, Annie Leeman.  They met and Alfred told her that he intended giving himself up as he was a deserter.  He stated that he had not received proper treatment from the Home Office and appeared to be extremely depressed.  Miss Leeman last saw Alfred on 4th July.  His body, which was caught in the willows on the river bank, was discovered on the 11th July by James Holt, a gardener at Bishopthorpe Palace.

The body was conveyed to The Woodman Inn and the Inquest was held at the Reading Room (now the Village Hall).  The Coroner, in summing up, said that the probability was that the deceased had taken his life, but there was no positive evidence.  There was no evidence of foul play or that the deceased had accidentally fallen into the river.  The jury returned a verdict of “Found Drowned.”

Alfred Martlew, who was originally from Gainsborough in Lincolnshire, was buried on the 13th July 1917 in St. Andrew’s Churchyard, Bishopthorpe. He was aged 23 years.  His place of burial is marked by a headstone; probably erected by his parents as their names are carved on the stone with their son’s.

The Commemoration

The Quakers’ commemoration on Sunday, 5th June 2016, at Bishopthorpe Church Hall, is from 2.30pm to 4.30pm.  There will be a talk about York’s conscientious objectors and a display.  A gathering is to be held at Alfred’s graveside.

Further information

An article about the area’s conscientious objectors can be found on The Press website here:

See also A.J. Peacock, York in the Great War, 1914 – 1918, (York Settlement Trust, 1993) pp532-533.

The report of the Coroner’s Inquest can be found in The Yorkshire Herald, Friday, 13 July 1917, p2, col. 3.  A transcription can be seen at the Bishopthorpe Community Archive in Bishopthorpe Village Hall, Main Street.  Open Mondays 2.30pm – 5.00pm.

Linda Haywood

Dawn Bird Walk

Bird WalkAndy Chapman, local Sustrans employee and one-time ornithologist from the RSPB, has offered to host an early morning bird walk along the cycle track next to the village if enough people are interested.

If you would like to join him please let us know – including any dates you could not make and how early you would be prepared to get up!

Please leave a comment below with your thoughts and preferences, and if there’s sufficient interest we’ll arrange a date and let you know.

This is one of a number of events that York Greenways are preparing in an effort to get more local residents involved in the upkeep, improvement, and enjoyment of this local amenity. At the moment the group are busy improving the biodiversity of the route between Bishopthorpe and Naburn by the control of invasive Himalayan Balsam and the planning and seeding of native wildflowers. The Greenways team see a lot of local residents when working but get the feeling very few know what they are about, and that new volunteers would be enthusiastically welcomed. There must be some in the village who would like to get involved – they don’t need to be experts and there is a great range of tasks that need doing. Take a look at the Greenways website at for more details on what sort of schemes are going on at present.