The Three Musketeers’ Pantomime- The Review

The audience was full, both young and old sat waiting to be entertained. Again the hall was full of technology; lights, mixing decks with a whole host of people working them. My greeting had been warm and the atmosphere was of both enjoyment and anticipation.

As I sat waiting for the start, I could not help thinking just how important everybody’s role was to make this year’s production. Without each individual, offer of help or donation it simply would not run each year.

The panto started in darkness and the arrival of the first character. It was all very loud and scary, so much so I could feel the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. Within minutes the audience were encouraged to participate which I thought was great. This was all happening even before the curtain was raised!

pantp_2011When the curtains did open it was almost magical. There was the first song before the arrival of the Dame. Crucially, the jokes suited all age groups and there was no shortage of them.

Audience participation continued with the Cardinal, Dame and Musketeers’ making the audience eat out of the palms of their hands.

What struck me was that as the performance progressed, there was always something new and surprising happening. There were no long scenes and the whole show was running with both speed and accuracy.

Each song was strong enough to be of ‘X Factor’ quality. Each person acting or in the chorus could be in a West End Show. The scenery was amazing and the fighting scenes were realistic. So much so, I realised why the Bishopthorpe First Responders were at the back of the hall!!

In the second half, both the quality and momentum kept going. There were lots more surprises in store such as the custard pies and clever use of Buttercup the horse to create that something extra special.

Sat in the audience I felt part of what was going on from the very first moment. As the final scenes came I could see that the audience had also been mesmerised for over two and a half hours. The sad part for everybody would be having to go home.

Every actor and every person working behind the scenes had done a fabulous job.

I cannot wait for next year’s production and as always will look forward to ‘Ebor Players’ announcement. In my opinion the productions are always amazing and once again all those involved should be very proud.

From Bishopthorpe to America – The Brass Band Man

Last March, I put up a piece about the Bishopthorpe Brass Band which was formed in the 19th century by Thomas Carbert.  We are fortunate that one of Thomas’s great grandchildren, Roxie Wellman of the USA, responded with photographs and further information on the Carbert family.

Thomas married three times in Bishopthorpe and had 21 children between his wives: Margaret Stead, Elizabeth Barron and Mary Buckle.  Thomas and his last wife, Mary Buckle, had nine children, four of whom left these shores to make new lives in North America.  One of these children, Arthur Carbert, was Roxie’s grandfather, seen here playing the tuba in 1936.

Arthur_CarbertArthur was born in the village on 17th November 1870.  In 1887, at the age of 17, Arthur borrowed some money, left his remaining family in Bishopthorpe, and worked his passage to America on the ship, Peruvian.  He made his way to where his brother Herbert lived in Ontario, Canada, and worked in the area for a year and a half.  Moving to Delhi, Minnesota, with his cousin Emmanuel Carbert, he worked on a number of farms.  Arthur eventually bought his own farm and married Stella Salome Bruner on 27 October 1898.  The couple had eight children: four sons and four daughters.  Arthur died in 1961 at the grand age of 91and was buried in Redwood Falls Cemetery, Minnesota.







Arthur_Carbert_2Arthur Carbert married Stella Salome Bruner in 1898.


Arthur Carbert is remembered in his family as having a wonderful singing voice.  He sang in the Presbyterian Church choir, sang solos – and, obviously, played the tuba.  Apparently, it was family lore that Arthur had played in a band in Bishopthorpe.  However, they did not know how true this was until Roxie read the article on our website.




We see so many villagers passing through time in the historical records of Bishopthorpe; sometimes they live here for many years, others just months. It’s great to learn what happened to some of them.  In this way, former residents cease to be just names on a page.

With thanks to Roxie Wellman for the photographs and family information.

Linda Haywood

Success for Parish Council

Despite a wet start to the weekend, the weather held off for the sixth annual cricket match between the Ebor Players (Players) and a Parish Council team bolstered by a number of village personalities.

Under sunny skies newly appointed Players captain, Tom Davis, won the toss and put the Parish Council team into bat. Davis must have studied the record books as in all the previous five meetings the team batting second had won.

Opening for the Parish Council in contrasting styles were Michael Dale (former Youth Award winner) and captain, Liam Godfrey. Dale soon retired having hit 15 including two 6’s, but for Godfrey not the swashbuckling style of a Pietersen rather the stoic solidity of a Chris Tavare.

Godfrey was joined at the crease by Cllr. Ian Jemison, the scoring slowed somewhat before Jemison was bowled by Panto rap star Nigel Pendleton for 4, the Players only wicket of the day.

Next up was another former Youth Award winner Charlotte Drummond making a welcome return to the match after 3 years. Although the partnership was never troubled, the runs continued to slow before Godfrey duly retired unbeaten on a heroic 3 having laid the foundations for success.

Drummond was joined at the crease by Alison Jemison, a late addition to the team, making her first appearance. This partnership was solid without being extravagant and both batsmen retired unbeaten on 9 and 2 respectively. They were assisted by some woeful fielding from Captain Davis, one hopes nobody has to fall into his arms in the forthcoming Panto production otherwise there could be tears.

Next batsman was Chairman of the Parish Council Stewart Harrison the all time record run scorer and he was to add to that total with an unbeaten 10 as the score began to pick up nicely. He was ably supported by Cllr. Malcolm Higgins who retired on 4. The run rate continued as debutant Keith Thornton (Village Hall) despite some vicious barracking from some members of the opposition, scored a quick-fire unbeaten 12.

So would the Parish Council tail wag? Well it certainly did in the shape of Nick Smith (Maynews) and match regular Cath Bruce, as they fired off quick fire singles and some speedy running between the wickets, this tail had more wag than an excited Jack Russell. Their contribution brought the Parish Council total to a gigantic 95, the only disappointment being the failure to get the magical ton.

So how would the Players reply? Opening the batting were husband and wife pair Mr & Mrs Patrick and they too began in contrasting fashion. Patrick Mr despatched the bowling of the Parish Council with aplomb whereas Patrick Mrs struggled to get off the mark. When she was finally removed, off the bowling of Smith, for a miserly 1 she was heard to utter to her husband of 27 years ‘it’s all your fault’

Patrick Mr went on to make an unbeaten 10 but this masked the impending doom that was about to overtake the Player’s team. Despite an opening ball that had been so wide it pitched somewhere between gully and point and calling it a wide was perhaps the biggest understatement since Captain Edward John Smith said ‘don’t worry about it, it’s only a bit of ice’ Smith followed his dismissal of Patrick by removing the wicket of former captain Lisa Thornton. She was clearly worried that her beer would warm up as she was soon reunited with said beer being bowled by Smith without troubling the scorers.

Next to go was captain Tom Davis for 1 (who appears to have a weakness for the ladies) as the wickets continued to tumble and we were faced with the prospect of a team all being out for the first time ever. Julia Sykes joined the fray and despite dogged resistance, someone forgot to tell her that she had to score runs and she ultimately fell for 1 off the bowling of Harrison.

It finally took debutant Steve Poulter who had last played cricket during the Silver Jubilee (that’s the Jubilee of King George V), to put some steel into the backbone of the Players. Despite a slow start he steadied the ship and began to build a respectable score. He was joined by Chris Higgins and then Steve Harrison for the Players most fruitful partnership of the day. However, once Harrison was obliged to retire unbeaten on 10, confusion reigned as the Players had run out of people and Poulter was like Cinders at the ball. After much debate, enter Chris Gajewicz who had been given a late call up from the refreshments stall. Chris, who injured herself playing some years ago, showed spirit that made this country great arriving complete with anorak and proceeding to score an unbeaten 6 to finish off the Player’s innings. Alas not enough but if others had shown half the determination of Gajewicz then the result could have been so different.

So, victory to the Parish Council team by 15 runs which leaves the series tied at 3.3

Thanks must go to Bishopthorpe Cricket Club for allowing us to use their facilities and to everyone who helped make the day a success.

The match was dedicated to the memory of absent friends, Andrew Dunn and Chris Dale, who played in many of the previous matches. They were sorely missed.

Parish Council

M Dale retired 15

L Godfrey retired 3

I Jemison b Pendleton 4

C Drummond retired 9

A Jemison retired 2

S Harrison retired 10

M Higgins retired 4

K Thornton retired 12

N Smith NOT OUT 9

C Bruce NOT OUT 5

Extras 22

Total 95

Ebor Players

S Patrick retired 10

T Patrick b Smith 1

T Davis c Harrison b Jemison A 1

L Thornton b Smith 0

N Pendleton b Bruce 2

J Sykes b Harrison 1

S Poulter NOT OUT 11

C Higgins RUN OUT 2

S Harrison retired 10

C Gajewicz NOT OUT 6

Extras 36

Total 80

Bishopthorpe and the Big City Read 2011

York’s Big City Read is an annual event organised by Explore York (York Library).  A programme of events is held at a number of venues to celebrate a specific book and its connection to York.  This year’s Big City Read is The Lost Luggage Porter by Andrew Martin.  It’s an Edwardian crime novel set in York and Bishopthorpe.  York Railway Station is featured and the railway detective, Jim Stringer, lives with his wife on Main Street, Bishopthorpe and enjoys supping a pint at one of the local hostelries.  (Incidentally, Andrew Martin’s ancestors also used to live in the village.)

The Bishopthorpe Local History Group was invited to take part and has organised the following events:


Fridays, 29 July and 5 August at 2.15pm.

Limited to 20 people.  Please book with Diana Forrester: 01904 705396

Meet at the Pinfold, Bishopthorpe.

(At the junction of Main Street and Sim Balk Lane.)


Archbishops, Suffragettes and Mole Catchers:


An illustrated talk by Linda Haywood

Wednesday, 17 August at 12.30 pm, Marriot Room, Explore York (York Library)

To book call: 01904 552828 or email:

Saturday, 10 September at 2.30 pm, Village Hall, Bishopthorpe.

There is no need to book for this event.

All Bishopthorpe events are £3. 00 per person.

Pick up a free copy of The Lost Luggage Porter and a full programme of Big City Read 2011 events at Bishopthorpe Library.

Bishopthorpe Celebrates George V’s Coronation, 1911

It is 100 years ago that the nation celebrated the Coronation of George V and Queen Mary.  The actual day, 22 June 1911, was a holiday and the city of York took on an air of festivity with bunting and flags strung from shops and homes.

By contrast, a visitor to Bishopthorpe who wrote about the day in the Parish Magazine was slightly disappointed.  The writer found, “So little had been done in the way of decoration of the houses or the village street.  A few inhabitants had made some effort in this direction, and they enabled one to see how good an effect could have been obtained if only more had cooperated.”

However, he or she, writing under the pseudonym of ‘An Outsider’, soon realised that various leading parishioners were missing, although loyally engaged elsewhere.  This included Archbishop Lang who was attending the Coronation in Westminster Abbey with his chaplain, the vicar of Bishopthorpe, the Rev. Crawley.  The ‘Outsider’ excused the lack of decoration in the village as the locals soon showed that their “energies and loyalty had been exercised in other ways”. He also admitted to having been indulgently and hospitably welcomed.

So the day began with Divine Service at St. Andrew’s Church which was well-filled; the children’s aisle being particularly crowded.  The singing of the National Anthem brought the service to a close and the congregation then proceeded to the cricket field.  On the way, the schoolchildren entered the Palace grounds where they were given Coronation mugs filled with sweets; a gift from the Archbishop.

On reaching the cricket field, sports and games followed thick and fast.  The tiny “dots” under the age of five ran the first race “manfully in the blustering wind.”  The little girl who was blown in first won a doll.  Race after race followed with children winning tops, building bricks and teddy bears.  Disaster struck only one yard from home when the two leading girls in the three-legged race lost the handkerchief which tied their legs together. As a result, they were disqualified.

The adults also took part in many races.  Most interest centred upon the tortoise bicycle races.  The women’s race was won by Mary Lofthouse who showed remarkable skill in the manipulation of her free wheel.  Egg and spoon, thread-needle and mixed clothes races were, apparently, very amusing and popular.  The most remarkable race of the day was for men aged over 50 years when an old gentleman of 85 came in third.

The races were followed by tea in Mr. Lofthouses’s barn, which had been cleaned and decorated making it look like a huge tent.  The long tables were spread with a beautiful tea and house plants.  But the children were described as the nicest decorations: “so pretty they looked, and so well-behaved were they that it was no wonder Mr. Sutherland took a snapshot of them.”  [What became of this rare photograph?]

The children returned to the cricket field for more games and sports while the adults had their tea.  Sports continued until 8.00pm when the prize-giving took place.  Cheers rang out afterwards for His Majesty and for the Archbishop who had supplied the tea as well as the Coronation mugs.  While the Archbishop was, indeed, generous the funding for the festivities was raised by public subscription and organised by many willing helpers.

The evening, which was spent dancing to music by a “capable” band, ended with the lighting of a huge bonfire and a display of fireworks.  As the anonymous writer, ‘Outsider’ concluded: “This ended a day that will linger long in the minds of many who were fortunate to be there.  A happy day it was to all, and the reason was not far to seek, all with one accord seemed to mean to be happy, and right royally they succeeded.”

Linda Haywood

Bishopthorpe Parish Magazine, July, 1911.

The Yorkshire Gazette, 24 July 1911, p7.

On Good Friday, spare a thought for…

The Reverend Edward Reginald Gibbs, who died on the Western Front near Arras on Good Friday, 1918.  He was an Army Chaplain 4th Class, attached to the 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards.  He had apparently been attending the funeral of another soldier when he was killed by a chance German shell.  The War Diary of the Guards Brigade reported, “Situation very quiet.  Some shelling during morning.”  Rev. Gibbs was the only man killed that day from the Guards Brigade, although three officers and seven other ranks were wounded.  He was buried at Boisleux au Mont, south of Arras.

Reverend Gibbs had a particular link with Bishopthorpe, because he had been Archbishop Lang’s Chaplain until joining the Forces.  He was well liked in the village and had been known to take children for hair-raising rides round the village in his motor bike and sidecar.  His name is on our War Memorial, but there is another memorial plaque to him which can only be seen once a year on Good Friday.

The Archbishop was very much affected by Rev. Gibbs death, and commissioned a wooden triptych in his memory.  That memorial still stands behind the alter in St. Andrew’s Church.  For the rest of the year, the triptych stands open, but on Good Friday, the doors are shut to reveal the inscription to Edward Reginald Gibbs.


The triptych in St. Andrew’s Church dedicated to Archbishop Lang’s chaplain, Rev. Edward Gibbs.


The Memorial Plaque to Reverend Gibbs which is only on public view on Good Friday when the doors of the triptych are closed. 

If you happen to be passing St. Andrew’s on Good Friday, take advantage of this once a year opportunity.

We will remember them.

Ken Haywood

Oom-pah-pah! It’s the Bishopthorpe Brass Band

Did you know that, during the 19th century, the villagers of Bishopthorpe enjoyed the pleasure of being entertained by their own brass band?  An enquiry from Gavin Holman, who is researching the history of brass bands in local communities, set me seeking evidence for a similar musical group within our own parish.

Gavin tells us that the late 19th and early 20th centuries were the golden age for brass bands with, probably, up to 40,000 bands at their peak.  By contrast, there are only about 1,500 bands active in the U.K. today.  Many bands were associated with local industries while others provided a musical focus for small towns and villages.  These early bands left little in the way of information about their existence; Gavin, therefore, is trying to identify as many as possible by collecting material to enter on a central database.  (His website can be found at:

This enquiry rang bells with me (if you’ll pardon the expression) and I soon discovered a couple of sources of information.  The first lies with Mr. William Camidge, a local historian from York, who wrote articles for the Yorkshire Gazette in the late 19th century.  In 1890, these were published in book form under the title, Ouseburn to Naburn Lock. In this, he referred to a band in Bishopthorpe:

A brass band consisting of 15 performers existed in the village for twenty years under the care of the late Mr. Thomas Carbert, and enjoyed considerable popularity for twenty or thirty miles around.  They played at most of the club anniversaries of the district and occasionally at York elections and other times.  The band still exists, but its character, composition and management are entirely changed.

Thomas Carbert lived in Bishopthorpe from about 1839.  He was a market gardener who raised a large family, but still found time to take on duties such as parish clerk and enumerator for the 1861 and 1871 censuses.  The Carbert family seemed to be talented musicians and held annual concerts in the school room under the patronage of the Archbishop. It is not surprising, therefore, to learn that he led a popular brass band. Mr. Carbert died in 1886 and it is not known who succeeded him.

The Archbishop’s Extraordinary Homecoming

In his book, William Camidge also made mention of when Archbishop Harcourt (1807 – 1847) used to return to Bishopthorpe from lengthy duties in London.  These were occasions of festivity in the village when he was greeted with enthusiasm by large numbers of villagers. This is borne out by the second and earliest reference to the village band. On this occasion, it played a part in a remarkable story.

In 1846, the newspapers reported Archbishop Harcourt returning to Bishopthorpe after spending the summer at his family seat in Oxfordshire.  During his absence, a new school had been built for the boys, while the 18th century school (in School Lane) was refurbished and enlarged for the girls.  The wealthy Archbishop had paid for the building work as well as financially helping with the restoration of the church.

More than 400 parishioners greeted him like a hero.  They first gathered at the new school and, led by the village band, made their way to Middlethorpe.  When the 89 year-old Archbishop arrived, a large body of villagers removed the horses from his carriage, attached ropes to it, and physically drew Harcourt to the Palace.  At the entrance, a decorated triumphal arch bore the inscription, “God Save our Gracious Benefactor”.  The vicar, Rev. Canon Dixon, read an address to which the Archbishop responded warmly before entering the Palace amidst hearty cheers, and further robust playing from the band.

From the early twentieth century, it seems that the Bishopthorpe Brass Band faded into obscurity.  Village celebrations and gatherings relied, instead, on the services of military bands from Fulford Barracks or a band from Naburn.  What a pity that the stirring sound of a local brass band no longer entertains us or, perhaps, greets the return of Archbishops from their many travels!

Linda Haywood


Ouseburn to Naburn Lock, William Camidge, (York, 1890) pp343-344

The Morning Post, Sat., 19 Sep 1846.

The Standard, Sat., 19 Sep 1846.



RSWellman on May 10, 2011 7:03 PM

I am the great-granddaughter of the Thomas Carbert mentioned in your article and I live in Minnesota, USA. It is family lore that grandfather Arthur (Thomas’s son) played in a family band in Bishopthorpe, but have had no real proof of such. Thank you for the verification.

My grandfather immigrated to the US in 1887 and he was one of 21 children born to Thomas Carbert (a large family indeed, but then he was married three times).

I have a snapshot taken in Canada in the 1930s of my grandfather playing a tuba, but as far as I know he never continued with it. He did have a beautiful singing voice and in much demand for church solos.

I wonder if there are any photos of the Bishopthorpe Brass Band?



Linda on May 11, 2011 12:03 AM

Thank you for contacting us. I’m afraid that we don’t have any photographs of the Brass Band – I only wish we had! It’s interesting to learn that the Carbert talent for music spread across the Atlantic. Could you send a copy of Arthur playing the tuba via email? The address is:

According to the Carbert family tree I’ve put together, Arthur was born in 1871 to Thomas’s third wife, Mary Buckle. As you say, 21 children between three wives is quite a family!

The Battle of Bishopthorpe

Last Tuesday saw hostilities return to the village when once again the annual darts match between the Ebor Players and the combined might of the Parish Council took place. The Ebor Players had won the trophy for the past two years and it was palpable that the ‘Parish Council’ team had only one aim in mind. Revenge! Now it would be only to easy at this point to paint the Parish Council (PC) team as some kind of pantomime baddy, ….  So let’s just do that!

Darts_2011I am not sure what eligibility criteria was needed to be included in the PC team but it would appear it would be much more difficult to qualify for the Welsh or Irish football team. Let’s just say that any links would appear to have stretched the word tenuous to breaking point!! If the church bells ever fall silent due to the lack of campanologists, one has only to look to the PC darts team, there were any number of ‘ringers’ available. No such accusations could thrown at the Players however, thespians to a man or woman or both?? However they were to receive yet another shock as they witnessed the unedifying sight of their newly elected chairman, in his first public appearance, walk in and ‘high five’ the PC team. It would appear that at some point in the past and in a drunken stupor, he had once said hello to someone from the Parish Council and so he qualified.  So with dark mutterings of ‘Judas’, ‘traitor’ and ‘wait until the next committee meeting’, the match started.

Darts_2011_2First up was the ladies and in a tense match Cayley Godfrey and Jo Bewley secured their first victory for the PC against a valiant try by Chris & Diane from the Players. First blood to the PC.

Next came the men’s doubles and the Players captain Liam Godfrey was paired with dart’s debutant Paul Brook. Brook claimed to have never played darts before and after his first dart it was easy to see why. Not for him the silky smooth wrist action of Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, he was more like Steve Backley auditioning for the Lion King. I understand that a passing impala on Main Street had to be treated for post traumatic stress disorder! Given this and Godfrey’s abysmal track record in this event, it was no surprise that father and son Chris and Michael Dale triumphed despite some woeful throwing by Dale senior. 2-0 to the PC

Into the fray stepped Stewart Harrison and Cath Bruce for the mixed doubles. They were paired against Julia Sykes and part time cross dresser and unbeaten David Rose. Despite some fierce barracking and intimidation from Harrison and Bruce, Sykes and Rose triumphed to give the Players a glimmer of hope. 2-1 to the PC

The fourth match was a sight to behold, the men’s singles was between Steve Poulter for the Players and Dave King for the PC. It would appear that King qualified for the PC team by fitting a light bulb in the village hall during a PC meeting. This was a quality match with high scores being traded by both participants. King got his nose in front and then Poulter rallied with some terrific scoring before King finished the match 3-1 to the PC

The fifth match was a humdinger (yawn) between Tracey Patrick for the Players and ex Players Chair Lisa Thornton (is there a pattern emerging here?) for the PC . Thornton started well but then, as is her want, he went on and on and on almost letting Patrick back into the match, before somehow managing to score the 11 she needed for victory.  4-1 and the match to the PC

The sixth match was now purely academic but pride was at stake and the Players team of ,Steve Patrick and Kay Redhead were determined. None more so than Patrick who stood -resolute against Ian Jemison and Cayley Godfrey (again) and finished strongly. 4-2 to the PC

Last and most definitely least the ex and current chairperson of the Players, Davis and Thornton (again) had a hollow victory over Players debutants John Redhead and Lisa Beadle

Darts_2011_3The jubilant scenes that followed showed how much this victory meant to the Parish Council team, although albeit with a team whose qualification criteria was somewhat dubious.

The next instalment in this battle will be the annual cricket between the Players and the Ebor Players in the summer.

With the selection criteria the PC use you can expect to see KP (and I’m not talking about the nuts!) playing for the Parish Council as his brother’s, girlfriend’s, sister in law’s, mother once ran into Stewart Harrison’s cousin’s,  best friend’s, goddaughter with a trolley in Waitrose in East Grinstead!



A Railway Station for Bishopthorpe?

It’s OK – you haven’t missed anything – there are no plans to build a railway station at Bishopthorpe!  It’s just that recently, a Bish-dot-net reader asked if a station or goods yard had ever been built near the nurseries on Appleton Road.  Taking a look at the old Ordnance Survey maps of the area soon established that no railway station was ever built at Bishopthorpe – but it wasn’t for the want of trying!

Bish_RailwayThe North East Railway slicing through the Bishopthorpe fieldsMay Hill took this photograph in the 1930s looking south-east from Bishopthorpe Bridge to Naburn Swing Bridge, which can just be seen in the distance.


On the 2nd January 1871, the North East Railway Company opened its York to Doncaster branch, providing a new link on the East Coast route to Scotland.  This shortened the distance between London and York by about three miles.  Since the line sliced through the fields on the edge of Bishopthorpe, the provision for a local station was obviously discussed, but rejected.

According to an article in the Yorkshire Evening Press of 1907, the “station question” had exercised the minds of villagers on several occasions.  Apparently, Dr. Thomson, who was Archbishop when the line was built, had frowned on such a scheme.  No doubt he did not wish to encourage even more tourists to visit his peaceful home parish than those who already travelled here by foot, horse or steamer to view the ancient palace of the Archbishops of York.

However, with the arrival of the twentieth century, a different man of influence brought his feelings to bear.  In 1902, Mr. Arthur Toward Watson, a wealthy coal owner from County Durham, came to live in the village.  He employed the fashionable York architect Walter Brierley to build a splendid house, known as The Garth, on Sim Balk Lane.  Mr. Watson who, at one time was chairman of the Parish Council, travelled daily to Newcastle on business.  He was described by his son, John, as “a man of unlimited energy” which is not surprising as he cycled to York Station every weekday morning to catch the 9.30 a.m. train and returned at 7.30 p.m.

Mr. Watson, who understandably must have tired of the journey, gained the support of the village in his quest for a railway station at Bishopthorpe.  In 1905, he and his wife were joined by the vicar, Rev. Pennyman, and farmer Mr. Lofthouse, when they presented a petition at the headquarters of the North Eastern Railway in York.  Apparently, the petition had been signed by every householder in the village with the exception of four. Despite this popular appeal, it held no sway with the directors of the railway company.

Fifteen years later, Bishopthorpe Parish Council supported the local farmers and market gardeners by making a formal application to the N.E.R. board for a station and siding but, once again, this was turned down.  The plentiful gooseberries, peas, and potatoes that were grown in the area therefore continued to be transported to market by horse and cart.  After 1920, the idea seems to have been dropped but, if the N.E.R. had agreed to build a railway station all those years ago, no doubt it would have been closed in the 1950s for economic reasons, just like the stations at Naburn and Copmanthorpe.  If it hadn’t been made redundant then, it would have certainly disappeared with the opening of the Selby Diversion in September 1983.  But that’s another story.

Linda Haywood


Yorkshire Evening Press: 19 April 1907, p2.

Lest We Forget, C. E. W. Brayley (1975), p31.

Bishopthorpe Parish Council Minutes: 4 January 1920.