First World War Help Desk at Two York Events

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If you missed Ken and Linda Haywood's First World War Ancestor Help Desk at Bishopthorpe Library in June, then you can bring your queries along to two separate WW1 events this weekend. 

1) Saturday, 21 November at York Cemetery Chapel, Cemetery Road, Fishergate. 10.00am to 4.00pm.  Entrance, £1.
The Fishergate, Fulford & Heslington Local History Society host this event on Saturday, 21 November. There will be displays, talks, postcards, publications, WW1 uniforms & memorabilia shown by many York and district History Groups and individuals.
11.00am: The WW1 Men of Fishergate.
2.00pm: The Zeppelin Attacks on York.

2) Sunday, 22 November at York Explore, Library Square, York.  11.00am to 4.00pm.  Entrance free.
This event is part of the Explore Your Archives Week - a nationwide campaign to showcase the unique potential of archives to bring communities together and tell exciting stories. 

As well as the Help Desk and York WW1 Index, Ken and Linda will also be showing the original "Chocolate Letters" - the letters sent home to thank the Lord Mayor and Sheriff for the tins of chocolate they sent to York servicemen at Christmas 1914.

Visitors will also be able to see many rare documents held by York Archive.  Visits behind the scenes at the Archive have been arranged at the following times: 11.00am, 1.00pm and 2.00pm.

It's a small world!

Many people in Bishopthorpe will know Les Cayton who, at 92, is one of Bishopthorpe's oldest residents and knows a thing or two about the village.  Les's interests are many but we didn't know that, several years ago, he rescued a boat, the Highlander, from the depths of the Ouse near to the Archbishop's Palace.  Years later his niece, Lesley Bradley, unexpectedly met the current owners of the boat who re-united Les with the vessel.  Lesley relates the happy story below:

A completely chance encounter took place in 2013 in the Hansom Cab, York, (as was) between myself, my partner Peter, and a really nice couple from Wath-Upon-Dearne, which resulted in the reunion of my uncle, Les Cayton and his old boat the Highlander.  The pub had been very full and having squeezed in beside Stuart Prigmore and Sheila Clarke, we struck up a conversation with them.  They explained that they travel up to York each year in their boat and like to moor up for several weeks at a time.  She is a real wooden boat they said, an ex-Whitby lifeboat called Highlander, and I was amazed.  I told them that she had been my uncle Les Cayton's boat for quite some time, back in the 50's to 70's and I remembered her well. 

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The Highlander in 1959, a few years after Les rescued her.

Stuart and Sheila have owned her for the last 22 years, and since purchasing her from the Wakefield sea cadets she has been a real labour of love.  Fortunately Stuart is a carpenter by trade, so has been able to use his skills to repair, refit, modify and keep her going.  Sheila had also delved into Highlander's history so of course they were both keen to meet up with Les to fill in some of the gaps.  We quickly organised a get together at their mooring alongside the Museum Gardens so they could all compare notes and Les could see his old boat once again.  Les explained to them how the Highlander had actually been under water, close to Bishopthorpe Palace, when he discovered and bought her.  Fortunately, he said, this had not been too much of a problem as his brother Eric Cayton was a fireman at the time and he and his colleagues from the York fire station had hoisted her up via chains in the trees and hosed her out as "an exercise".

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The two skippers: Les Cayton (left) and Stuart Prigmore meet up by the river.

There followed a second meeting in Bishopthorpe so Les could show Stuart and Sheila where Highlander had lain submerged and subsequently been moored down Ferry Lane whilst she was in his possession.  They told Les how happy and grateful they were that he had rescued Highlander all those years ago so that they in turn have had the opportunity to own and enjoy her themselves.  Stuart and Sheila continue to keep in touch, feel a part of our family now and even refer to Les as "Uncle Les".  
We now know that Highlander was built in 1908 and began her lifeboat service in Whitby as the second Robert & Mary Ellis.  She was a 10 oared "self-righter" and saved 11 lives up until 1934 (weighing in at over 3 ton that can't have been easy).  At this point she was sold out of service to Captain Milburn who converted her into a houseboat and renamed her Highlander.  So she is even older than Les (92), has been through two world wars and is still touching lives.
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 Les back at the wheel of the Highlander.

Photographs copyright Lesley Bradley.

Phew What a Thriller

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On a beautiful summers evening (yes they do exist) the Ebor Players were set a record score of 101 to chase in this the 10th instalment of the annual cricket match against a Village Select XI.


Village Select captain Michael Dale won the toss and elected to bat. History is against those batting first with 6 of the previous 9 encounters being won by the team batting second.  Opening for the Village were debutants Linda Welch and Mark Askew. Unfortunately it was to be no beginners luck for Welch as 2 balls later she was heading for the pavilion (bowled Rose) for a well earned drink. Askew was made of sterner stuff surviving all the Players could throw at him retiring unbeaten on 12.


Next up was Lisa Thornton who again made a personal best equalling 3 before edging a ball off Pickering to wicket keeper Dunn. Joining her at the crease was captain Mike Dale who retired on 13 but failed to get a finishing 6 as the ball dropped agonisingly close to the boundary, this would prove to be significant. It also took his aggregate score to 1 behind the overall leader Stewart Harrison who was yet to bat and curiously Dale had chosen to put him late in the order, was he putting personal vanity ahead of the team?


Debutants Tim Taylor and Clare Pitchford were next in and neither troubled the scorer both being caught out by Dunn & Hughes off the bowling of Curran & Linfoot respectively. Next up were Ben Jemison who made a solid 7 before being caught Curran off the bowling of Beadle and Nigel Pendleton an Ebor Player playing for the Village side who made a more pedestrian 7 before being caught Dunn (his third of the night) off the bowling of Schofield. We were now down to the tail and would it wag? Well there was a distinct lack of wagging from Chris Gajewizc as she batted for 18 balls (a record) without scoring before Schofield bowled her. Next up was aggregate run record scorer Stewart Harrison who made a late appearance to keep his 100% record intact but with the overs running out would it be too late? A quick-fire unbeaten 10 kept his record intact as he now has 91 runs scored across all matches, but his retirement meant a rapid rule change was required to allow last man standing Jo Bewley to bat on her own. This she duly did making 7. With extras contributing a whopping 42 the Village team had scored a record 100.


An excellent opening partnership from David Rose unbeaten on 13 and Tracey Patrick a career best 10 (who needs the more talented Patrick?) set a solid base for the Players but then a succession of quick wickets for the Village saw Hughes, from an excellent running catch taken by Jemison, Holloway & Pickering fall for low scores, swinging the balance in favour of the Village side again. But there was more to come from the Players as their middle order flourished. First Ned Curran continued his heroics from last year with an unbeaten 10 then captain Dunn contributed an unbeaten 12. Whilst scoring at one end, Dunn was ably supported by Bev Linfoot who broke the earlier set record by Gajewizc of number of balls faced without scoring a run - 21 in this case. Those of you familiar with 1980's cricket will remember the legendary Chris Tavare, Linfoot's effort made Tavare look like Kevin Pietersen.


Whilst Linfoot was occupying the crease the score was creeping along but the Players were beginning to run out of batsmen. Matt Taylor joined the fray scoring steadily, and was joined by Alex Schofield after Linfoot was finally removed off the bowling of Dale who was becoming a bit desperate as he saw his sides record total slowly being reeled in. With Taylor now assuming the passive role, Schofield hit 2 boundaries to edge the score ever closer. He was on 9 with only 1 batsman due in, 6 needed to win and he duly obliged with a well struck 6 to get the Players the 101 needed and victory with an over to spare.


So victory to the Ebor Players to tie the overall series 5.5 and at the presentation one of their band was heard to say 'I've never won a sporting medal before' not sure this counted as a sporting occasion but the sentiment was right.


A big thank you must go to Bishopthorpe Cricket Club for allowing us to use their facilities and good luck to them as they chase trophies across a number of fronts.






Village Select won the toss and elected to bat.


Village Select XI


L Welch b Rose                                              0

M Askew Retired                                           12

L Thornton c Dunn b Pickering                      3

M Dale Retired                                               12

T Taylor c Dunn b Curran                               0

C Pitchford c Hughes b Linfoot                     0

B Jemison c Curran b Beadle                          7

N Pendleton c Dunn b Schofield                    7

C Gajewizc b Schofield                                  0

S Harrison Retired                                          10

J Bewley NOT OUT                                       7

Extras                                                              42

Total                                                                100


Ebor Players


D Rose Retired                                               13

T Patrick Retired                                             10

P Hughes c Jemison b Thornton                     1

P Holloway RUN OUT (Welch)                    0

P Pickering b Taylor                                        2

N Curran Retired                                            10

A Dunn Retired                                              12

B Linfoot b Dale                                            0

M Taylor NOT OUT                                       9

A Schofield NOT OUT                                  15

Did not bat; C Beadle

Extras                                                              30

Total                                                                102

The Lost Men of Bishopthorpe: Arthur Holt

In the course of my research into the men whose names are inscribed on our village War Memorial, it occurred to me that it would be a worthwhile commemorative project to highlight their names on this website and in our parish magazine, Link, in the month which marks one hundred years since their deaths.  

The previous man who died was Richard John Lumley in October, 1914.  

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

Ken Haywood

HOLT, Arthur

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

Remember him.
The Sports and Social Club on Main Street is keen to promote live music in the village, and plans to host a number of gigs during the summer.

On Saturday the 20th June Duvet, the ultimate covers band, will be appearing. All details are on the attached flyer; click for a larger version. 
Duvet have made a name for themselves as a great good-time party band, so come along for a great evening. 

Explore Your First World War Heroes

The centenary of the First World War years has set many of us exploring the role our relatives played during those years of conflict.  Although access to online digitised records has made the search easier, not all our questions are answered. 
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If your WW1 ancestors are proving to be a challenge, come along to Bishopthorpe Library on Wednesday, 17th and Saturday, 20th June, when Ken and Linda Haywood will be holding a First World War Family History Help-Desk Event.

Ken and Linda, who have been helping researchers for many years, will bring several finding aids and sources of information with them.  In particular, they will have the City of York World War 1 Card Index.  This invaluable Index lists the details of more than 10,000 men and women from the city who served with the Forces. 

The research assistance applies both to those who survived the war and those who did not. 

Bring your details and Ken and Linda will do their best to help you find what Great/Gran or Great/Grandad did in the war.

To make your search even more enjoyable, coffee and home-made cakes will be provided by the Library at a small charge. 

Bishopthorpe Library:  Wed. 17th June (10.00am to 12.30pm & 2.00pm to 5.00pm) and Sat. 20th June (10.00am to 12.30pm)

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Glynn Drummond photographed in front of Bishopthorpe Post Office, Main Street, which closed in February 2015.

When Glynn Drummond announced he was going to retire as Bishopthorpe Postmaster, a tremor passed through the village.  No one wished to lose the Post Office.  However, as we now know, the P.O. has re-opened at the newsagent in Sim Balk Lane, and a collective sigh of relief was heard for miles. 

It would, indeed, have been a great disappointment if the Post Office had closed down, bearing in mind that a postal service has operated in Bishopthorpe for 171 years. To read about the history of our local postal service, click HERE.

The Story of York City Walls

Well-known York City Guide, Ivan Martin, will be giving
the following illustrated talk:

From Defence to Tourist Attraction:

The Story of York City Walls

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Bishopthorpe Methodist Church Hall

Hosted by Bishopthorpe Local History Group - everyone welcome.
£3.50 including light refreshments.

The Wagoners' Memorial, Sledmere

This striking First World War memorial, situated near to Sledmere House on the Yorkshire Wolds, tells the story of the pole wagon drivers who signed up to Sir Mark Sykes's Wagoners' Special Reserve

Join members of the Bishopthorpe Local History Group at an open meeting to hear Dorothy Nott's illustrated talk:

"The Wagoners' Memorial, Sledmere:
A Sense of Place"

Tuesday, 24 March 2015 at 7.30pm.
Bishopthorpe Methodist Church.
£3.50 to include light refreshments

Bishopthorpe Sports and Social Club will be holding their fourth annual beer festival on the weekend of Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd March. 

Welcoming the connoisseurs at last year's festival.
There will be 2 ciders and 12 real ales on offer all at £3 a pint or try 1/3rd pint for just a pound. 
The festival starts at 6pm on the Friday with the York blues band "Up In Smoke" featuring Michael Johnson from Bishopthorpe playing later in the evening. 
Saturday kicks off at 12 noon until midnight with all the days sporting action on the TVs and big screen. 
Bishopthorpe Club has won the York CAMRA Club of the year award for 2015, and a specially brewed beer called Hatrick will be available to celebrate the third year in a row that the Club has won this award, which will be presented on Saturday afternoon by representatives from York CAMRA.
Come down and enjoy the craic and sample a few different beers at the same time.
See the full programme here : Beer_Festival_2015.pdf


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