Meet Jack – Village Hall Performance

Mind Matters for Education and Falling Stars Theatre bring to you an interactive, fun and engaging performance for parents and primary aged children.

This performance follows the story of a boy called Jack and all the emotions that he experiences in a busy week.
Jack’s week ends with an explosion of feelings, the play flashes back to see what happened in Jack’s week to make him feel anxious and withdrawn. Football, school, family, friends have all contributed to Jack’s current state of mind and his refusal to talk about how he feels. Are you okay is a repeated question asked by other characters, to which Jack replies I’m fine!
The post-performance emotion workout will explore strategies for helping young people identify and talk about their feelings and consider ways to manage emotions.

 

At Mind Matters for Education (Dunnington based) we believe that identifying emotions and developing helpful coping strategies is key to helping children in these unusual times.

We want to let children know that its ok to feel all their emotions and it is also ok to feel overwhelmed. Our message is that ‘You will be ok; you can manage your emotions and build up skills to look after yourself and your mind!’

 

‘Meet Jack’ is going to be performed with an accompanying mini drama workshop in small York venues. We want children and parent/guardians to access our work and use it as a good starting point for conversations. Come along and see the performance!

The performance is touring in the following York Venues:
Sunday 27th June 4pm Poppleton Road Memorial Hall
Sunday 4th July 10.30am Stockton on forest Village Hall
Sunday 4th July 4pm Bishopthorpe Village Hall
Sunday 11th July 4pm Oaken Grove Community Centre, Haxby
Sunday 11th July 10.30am Copmanthorpe Sports and Recreation Centre

The production will be run in accordance with the current government guidance for performance venues and audience management.

Tickets are available at:

www.ticketsource.co.uk/falling-stars-theatre

Box Office: 07816 269 690

“The children in school loved the video of ‘Meet Jack’ They were able to relate to the characters and talk about what had happened very coherently.” Year 2 Teacher Mrs.Elliott.

“It was Brilliant! We both really enjoyed it! You touched on everything that a child can feel….. Loved it!”  Year 2 Parent Mrs.Taylor.

Bishopthorpe.net transport guru stands down

One of the original founders of Bishopthorpe.net, Ian Hodson, has decided to retire from editing the Local Travel section of the site.

Ian has performed this role from the very start of Bishopthorpe.net, but changing times and the way information is shared have forced him to re-think the value of this part of the site.

I’d like to thank Ian for all the time and effort he’s put into making Bishopthorpe.net a success, and hope he’ll continue to feed through snippets of information whenever he has anything to share.

Ian describes his reasoning in his own words in the message below:-


I have contributed local travel information to this site throughout its existence, but nowadays operators have made it very easy to obtain accurate, up-to-date information at source. This is therefore my last contribution.

Local bus information is available via itravelyork.info or from individual operators, e.g. firstbus.co.uk who also have various apps indicating next bus arrivals and allowing on-line ticket purchase.

Train information is available on nationrail.co.uk      Again, apps are offered for current info and for booking.

I am very grateful to Ian Keeton who operates bishopthorpe.net  and has tolerated my  ignorance of matters technical through the years. Thank you, Ian.

Good travelling!

Ian Hodson

Bishopthorpe Library Set to Re-open Soon

Great news at last.
Bishopthorpe Library will re-open from Monday 12 April.
The self-isolation rules when using the library will be the same as before the third lockdown, so we won’t have to learn another way to visit.
Unfortunately, this means that we can’t have any events or even story times for little ones n the foreseeable future, although Sonia hopes that they may be able to have a story time in the garden at some point.
When the library reopens, please call in; even if only to say hello.

Bish Library Closed in Lockdown – Details of Services Available in 2021

Lockdown number three means that our village library will remain closed.

Acomb and Tang Hall will offer Click & Collect from Monday–Friday 10am–3pm and Saturday 10am–1pm.

This will also include the option of asking for a Lucky Dip (staff choose books for you based on your preferences).

Computer access will be available at York, Acomb and Tang Hall at the same times as above.

They will also offer Click & Deliver again to people who can’t leave the house.

The cafes will be closed, apart from Rowntree Park, where people can get takeaways 7 days a week from 9am to 4pm.

Of course, there is also still our digital offer – e-books, e-audiobooks, Press Reader, access to Ancestry and Find my Past and events.

The website for all this is:

https://exploreyork.org.uk/explore-during-lockdown/

Palace Armistice Tribute

Walking past Bishopthorpe Palace as the sun slowly disappeared in the west, my eye was caught by a shadowy figure outlined against the warm Tadcaster stone of the gateway.  I looked again and realised the figure was the silhouette of a soldier with bowed head and holding a rifle.  Closer observation revealed that this was a tribute to members of the Palace staff who lost their lives during the First World War.  The poppy wreath at the feet of the soldier stated simply:

“In memory of the Bishopthorpe Palace staff who fell during the Great War 1914-1918.

The Reverend Edward Gibbs

Gnr Charles Barker

Pte Frank Outram”

 

We will remember them.

Linda Haywood [Bishopthorpe Community Archive]

Kindermusik class seeks shelter

Children’s outdoor music and movement – seeking shelter!

Cath Smithson, licensed Kindermusik Educator & York Primary Teacher writes:-

I wonder whether anyone might be able to help. I teach small Kindermusik music and movement classes to children and their carers, from newborn babies up to 7 year olds.  During lockdown, we resorted to Zoom then headed outdoors from July – and have stayed outside in all weathers.  (I’ve yet to find an indoor venue which is affordable, clean and well-ventilated!)

Are there any venue providers in Bishopthorpe who might be open to offering us some covered area to shelter beneath as the temperature drops and rain sets in?

Please get in touch if you can help.

Yours hopefully,

Cath Smithson

Licensed Kindermusik Educator & York Primary Teacher

Mob: 07982 607674

www.kindermusikwithcath.co.uk

Facebook/Instagram – kindermusikwithcath

Pageant 2000

“The tumult and the shouting dies,
The captains and the kings depart….”

On Monday 24th July 2000, I was the last of the Pageant organisers on site at Bishopthorpe Palace. The previous day, many of the participants had turned up and cleared almost everything away, but the toilets, caravans, rubbish bins and generators had to wait for Monday collection.

For me there were feelings of pride at our success, relief at our avoidance  of disaster and pleasure in new friendships made.

So much had been done by so many people from Bishopthorpe and Acaster over the preceding year. A grant from the Millennium Fund had been secured, use of the Palace and its grounds generously granted by our Archbishop David Hope, the script written, the parts cast, many and frequent rehearsals held. Individuals and businesses kindly loaned their equipment, their animals and their services. We had identified suppliers and contractors for insurance, security, tent, stands, bar, toilets, etc. Licences had been obtained for the use of animals, children, toilets, explosives…

There were, of course, unanticipated problems to overcome. Some were quite major such as the need for access through Chantry Lane construction works. Others are trivial in retrospect but important at the time such as my (it can now be revealed) locking out the Home Guard between scenes. (Surely their predecessors would have learned to climb over fences!) Even the last job was not destined to be easy. A generator was too heavy to be towed out of the sunken garden. A tipper truck from Chantry Lane came to our rescue.

The week itself was a triumph. The sun shone. After the first night we had full houses. The performances went well. About a thousand local people enjoyed an event in which about two hundred friends and family participated.  Over £17,000 was raised for the villages.

Ian Hodson


And here are some further memories of the Millennium Pageant from Anona Dawick

I remember David Hope’s warm acceptance of our presence at the Palace, his willingness to allow us free access to the ground floor rooms and the ‘stable’ facilities and his very effective prayers for fine weather on each performance. Unfortunately the spell wore off a few weeks later when floods after torrential rain filled the Palace cellars!

I remember the humour and dedication shown by all the participants in the enterprise:  actors, stage crews, costume designers, choreographers, and front of house alike.

I directed three of the episodes in the production. I was especially grateful for the help of the Manager at Murton who provided the costumes for the Roman soldiers and drilled them, marching to the chant of “sin-dek’ (Sinister! Dexter Left Right). My second scene was a 16th century scene involved a dancing routine featuring the Volta and a pavane  which were coached by Sandra Smith and executed delightfully by the actors. I also loved the expressions of the maids who were peeping through a window of the Palace to watch the ‘toffs’ dancing.

My third episode featured a performance by our previous vicar. It was based on the flood of 1892. and John Bettridge designed an ingenious  boat constructed over his own trailer so it could be wheeled over the imaginary flood water to enable the Rev John Keble and two church wardens to disembark up the Palace steps. Several weeks later they would have needed a real boat!

The Millennium Pageant was certainly a wonderful occasion which enabled the whole village to come together and co-operate in so many ways. Fortunately the performance was professionally filmed so we  still have the video to bring it back to life. My thanks to everyone involved.

 

Pageant memories from John Bettridge

THE PAGEANT PROPS TEAM 

My involvement in the pageant started when a note dropped through our letter box inviting people in the village to help in various ways. I had recently set up a workshop in our barn with some woodworking machinery and I replied to say that I could probably help make some props and scenery. A reply arrived to say that before volunteering I should be aware of the list of props required – this included: 15 Roman soldiers’ uniforms complete with shields and swords; an assortment of staves; a large medieval chair (or throne); a Roman altar (portable); an effigy of an archbishop; 100 flaming torches; ways to simulate explosions (off stage); Army Bren guns and rifles for the Home Guard scene; and – particularly challenging – a boat to hold 3 people which could move across the tarmac in front of the palace.

It was clear that we would need a team of people to tackle these projects, so we got together a group of 6 enthusiasts with appropriate skills including John Lynch (builder) and Lin Taylor who had lots of relevant artistic skills. We had many meetings at our house to plan our work and do the research – for example, none of us had any idea what a portable Roman altar looked like – and the internet was not as widely used as it is today.

Making the boat was a challenge. Thankfully, Ian Jemison (Jemison Engineering) who lives very close to the palace, came to our rescue by making a metal front end (complete with wheel) to be joined on to my old wooden car trailer; this provided an excellent base on which a pretend wooden boat could be built. All this took time and my wife and I remember finishing the woodwork on the boat and painting it just a few hours before the dress rehearsal!

Luckily, we found a professional company which could supply the Roman soldiers’ uniforms and the flaming torches for the procession. A local military museum lent us the Army Bren guns and rifles. We set up a store for all the props and equipment in the Palace basement but looking after the guns and rifles was more of a challenge. We imagined the headlines in the press if some had gone missing – perhaps “arms cache in Archbishop of York’s palace raided”, so I found myself (with a helper) walking home after performances to store them in our house. A few neighbours were somewhat surprised to see guns on the streets of Bishopthorpe late at night.

Working as a props team turned out to be not only rewarding and good fun but also a way of making new friends. It showed us the value of having a community project which was sufficiently challenging to bring us together to work as a team.

Postscript. When Bishopthorpe Main Street was flooded a few months after the pageant, I remember a neighbour standing in about 3 feet of water, calling out to me “have you still got your boat?”

 

Pageant Ale – courtesy of Martin Dudley

Could this be the last surviving bottle of Pageant Ale? Did you try it? When did you drink your last bottle?

Pageant Ale. Martin Dudley Remembers

More Memories

There are more personal pageant memories in the public Comments section of this article.

If you don’t currently see these comments then Click Here to view the full article including the comments at the bottom of the article.

 


The memories and comments on this page show some individuals’  experiences of the Pageant and its aftermath. Many others took part in and enjoyed that week in 2000. I hope the recollections published here will provide for posterity some flavour not simply of what happened but of how village life was affected. You are still welcome at any time to add your comments, to help complete the picture.

One important fact still needs to be emphasised. Our Director, Andrew Dunn, worked almost full time on the project for months, helped and supported throughout by his wife, Romy. Sadly, Andrew is no longer with us, but it is to him that we should dedicate these reminiscences. Thank you, Andrew!

Ian Hodson

 

P.S. when the Village Hall re-opens, any written memories of the event can be handed in to the Bishopthorpe Community Archive.  We also have the facility to record memories for the Archive if anyone wishes to contact us through historygroup@bishopthorpe.net

 

Pageant 2000: Picture Gallery

The Pageant leaflet.

The cast are addressed by Archbishop David Hope at the dress rehearsal.  [Photo: J. Cripps]
First performed in 1928, The Bishopthorpe Play, (later Pageant) was written by Canon Perkins and set against the historic backdrop of the Palace.  It aimed to represent, in theatrical form, the long and colourful history of our village, including the very first Roman settlers, the trial and execution of Archbishop Scrope in the thirteenth century, and the village of Charles I in the seventeenth century.  Since then there have been performances in 1930, 1954, 1956, 1965 and 1970 when it is alleged the then Archbishop had an unplanned part in the scene helping “riotors” gain access to the Palace. Nothing was heard of the pageant for nearly 30 years and indeed the 1988 publication, Bishopthorpe Remembered, speculated, “Will it ever be seen again?” Well, thanks to the efforts of the late Andrew Dunn and the generous co-operation of Archbishop Hope, it was, and complete with a new scene representing the village in the Second World War.

Few of us will forget those lovely summer nights of July playing to packed houses which included the Archbishop and the Lord Mayor of York. But more importantly, just as in 1928, it brought the community together forging new friendships and providing great fun for those who had acted before and those who had not, and ultimately helping to leave a lasting legacy, in the form of funds which have since been used to help various village groups and activities.

Liam Godfrey

Scene 1: 211AD. Thorpe on Ouse. A Roman Legion established a river fort at Acaster Malbis to protect Eboracum from ‘sea wolves’ approaching via the River Ouse.
Scene 2: AD630. Thorpe on Ouse. Wandering robbers meet a woman who acquaints them with the Christian philosophy of gentleness and peace.
Scene 2: AD630. The late Andrew Dunn, leading light of the Pageant project, playing a wandering robber.
Scene 3: In 1226 Archbishop Walter de Grey bought land and the manor house at Thorpe on Ouse from the Abbot of Kirkstall, Leeds.
Scene 3: 1226. Archbishop Walter de Grey addresses the villagers.
Scene 4: 1405. King Henry IV consulting lawyer, Sir William Fulthorpe at Archbishop Scrope’s trial in the great hall at the Palace.
Scene 4: 1405. Archbishop Scrope, found guilty of treason, is mounted backwards on a ‘sorry horse’ for the journey to Clementhorpe and his execution.
Scene 5: 1577. The Countess of Huntingdon prevails upon her husband, the Lord President of the Council of the North, to possess the Archbishop’s house.
Scene 6: 1633. Village children dancing in readiness for the visit of King Charles 1.
Scene 6, 1633. King Charles 1 entering Archbishop Neile’s grounds.

 

Scene 8: 1769, Enclosure of the common land. The woman who dared confront the Archbishop about where Gibbie the goose could graze.

 

Scene 11: 1940. The Home Guard.
The Finale: The cast singing, Let this be Bishopthorpe.
Martin Dudley remembers collecting his bottle of Pageant Ale from the beer tent during the interval.  See his comment in Pageant 2000 by Ian Hodson.

As Liam quoted – “Will it ever be seen again?”  It should be noted that, if anyone wishes to take up the reins, the Bishopthorpe Community Archive in the Village Hall houses extensive material relating to the Millennium Pageant, this includes administration and funding documents, photographs and ephemera.  An eighth pageant- will it ever be seen?

PAGEANT ALE: This may be an unlikely request, but – does anyone have a bottle of Pageant Ale they can donate to the Archive?

Contact Archive manager Linda Haywood to view or donate any pageant material: history@bishopthorpe.net

All photographs are the copyright of Roger Poyser unless otherwise stated.

Bus Service 11 Update

First York are now operating a half hourly frequency service during the day on Mondays to Fridays, and an hourly service in the evenings and on Saturdays. There is no Sunday service.

See the First York website for detailed timetables.

We are asked to travel only if it is essential, and face masks must be worn.
Seating capacity will be very limited in order to adhere to the social distancing rules, so be prepared for buses to be classed as full even if they appear to have empty seats. Electronic displays and First Bus apps will show the current free capacity on approaching services.

Please pay by card or by app wherever possible. Cash will be accepted if it is the only option. Bus passes will be accepted at any time of day.

Passengers are asked to be considerate to people with prams or in wheelchairs.

If you intend to continue a journey by another route, check in advance. Some services have been suspended.

The Archbishops’ Auctions

 

Bishopthorpe Palace

It was not a simple process for an Archbishop of York to move into – or out of – Bishopthorpe Palace.  This enormous building did not come fully furnished and each new incumbent was expected to supply the premises with fittings and furniture to suit themselves.  Take, for example, Dr. Charles Longley who, in 1862, had only been Archbishop of York for two years when he was translated to Canterbury.  He did not want the furniture he bought for Bishopthorpe and offered to sell it to his successor, Dr. William Thomson.  If he did not want it, it would go for auction.  The Archbishop-elect found it difficult to make up his mind.  It would save him a great deal of expense moving into a large, fully-furnished house and, after all, as he wrote to Zoe his wife, “… we could replace dull carpets, etc. by degrees.”   He continued, “But what is still more important, we should avoid the most serious evil of an auction in the house, which would pull it about and soil it terribly.” However, after sending a “good man down from London” to inspect Longley’s property, Thomson decided to forgo his offer and put up with an auction.  And so, following extensive advertising in the press, the sale of goods began on 5th January 1863, and lasted for a further five days.  The public flocked to the Palace to view and bid for the contents of each room.  The array of dinner wagons, chairs made from mahogany, rosewood and walnut, sets of rich crimson satin Damask window curtains, four-poster and French bedsteads with chintz hangings was stunning. Also on sale were “superior copper articles” from the kitchen and furniture from the servants’ dormitories.

Front page of the 1891 auction catalogue  for Archbishop Thomson’s photographic apparatus and choice wines.

Soiled or not, the Palace eventually became home to the Thomson family where they lived for twenty seven years until the Archbishop died on Christmas Day, 1890.  Having lived in one place for so many years, and having a wide range of interests, Archbishop Thomson had collected a prodigious number of items. Despite his misgivings about Longley’s auction, that was how his sons and executors decided to dispose of their father’s possessions.  In March 1891, and with dealers arriving from London, the sale began at the De Grey Rooms in York with the 6,000 volume library.  This first part of the auction took five days to complete.

A further day at that location was devoted to an array of Dr. Thomson’s miscellaneous effects which reflected his interest in photography and science: A large microscope, two telephone transmitters, map measuring instruments, glass-plate cameras, printing frames, negative boxes and other equipment for a dark room which suggests the Archbishop may have printed his own photographs.  To this eclectic collection was added 1,000 ounces of silver, old coins, watches, and the cellar of choice wines.  That day’s sale alone totalled £889.

The venue changed to the Palace for the next seven days.  Numerous vehicles were engaged to convey visitors between York and Bishopthorpe where the items to be sold were displayed in the many rooms.  These included two grand pianofortes, a harmonium, and an extensive wardrobe of linen, blankets and counterpanes; outside were carriages, harnesses and greenhouse plants.  Biddings were reported to be exceedingly brisk and “fancy prices were realised.”

Whether, on this occasion, the “evil of an auction” left the Palace in a fit state for Dr. Magee, Archbishop Thomson’s successor has, unfortunately, not been recorded.

 

Linda Haywood, Bishopthorpe Community Archive

Sources:

Auction Catalogue courtesy of Explore York Libraries & Archives.  Reference: EPH/2/2620

Thomson, Ethel H., The Life and Letters of William Thomson, Archbishop of York, [London, Forgotten Books, reprint, 2015] pp 62-63.

The Yorkshire Herald, 28 February 1891, pp 1, 2

The Yorkshire Post, 3 March 1891, p6

The Yorkshire Herald, 7 March 1891, p2

 

War-Time Memories and VE Day Celebrations in Bishopthorpe and York

Ken Baldwin taking part in the 1954 Pageant but, in 1939 when war broke out, he was brambling.
Lily Foggin explains in no uncertain terms how tiring it was for her husband to be in the Home Guard and have a full-time job.
Carol Woollcombe  remembers meat rationing during the war.

It has not been easy to discover how the people of Bishopthorpe celebrated Victory in Europe in May 1945.  Despite the many interviews which have been held with residents by the Bishopthorpe Local History Group, the end of the Second World War has hardly been mentioned. While the war, as a topic, featured throughout the recordings, interviewees first remembered how life was lived:  When war broke out: “We were going brambling. We just continued, it meant nothing to us.” (a young Ken Baldwin); the Home Guard, “…he fell asleep stood up one day.  He was that tired.” (Lily Foggin on her husband, Reg); Rationing: “Dear Mr. Dixon, [the butcher] he was marvellous. He kept us going all through the war, you know.  Phoebe, our maid, once said, ‘Well, that’s been round the Knavesmire a few times’. The joint! But he was awfully good.” (Carol Woollcombe); and the Black-Out: “There used to be somebody about on their bike shouting, ‘Will you put that light out, please’.  Yes, some people used to do it for a bit of fun, not knowing the seriousness of it.  But we got over that, all of us.”  (Audrey Bastard)

Audrey Bastard remembers pranksters and the black-out.

In May 1945 a good many villagers were not to be found in Bishopthorpe.  Several were in the services spread throughout the world; some were still prisoners of war; some still fighting, for the war was not over until 15 August when Japan surrendered.  It was this situation which led York City Council to take a subdued view on how to observe the end of hostilities with Germany.  It was thought more appropriate that this should be a time of thanksgiving rather than celebration.  However, for more than five long years, life had been hard for people at home and it was time to let their hair down.

On Monday 7 May, tension was in the air as everyone waited for an official declaration that Germany had surrendered.  The announcement was not made due to US President, Harry Truman, accommodating demands made by Stalin.   The Yorkshire Gazette reported that the citizens of York used their time to decorate the streets on a lavish scale and the evening was spent partying with Canadian, French and British servicemen.  Two days holiday had been granted; most pubs managed to have supplies available and full advantage was taken of the fact that they remained open until 11.30pm.

The following day, Tuesday 8 May, rain fell throughout the afternoon and the city was strangely quiet.  Then, at three o’ clock, Mr. Churchill made the historic announcement that the German forces had signed an unconditional surrender.  Most people would have heard him on the wireless and, with the weather clearing, joyful crowds thronged the streets singing, shouting, and dancing to amplified music in Exhibition Square.  Crowds jammed into Duncombe Place to see the floodlighting of the Minster while the bells pealed for the first time since war began.

Many Bishopthorpe residents would have gone into York and joined the excited revellers.  But those who stayed behind enjoyed the village festivities too.  The only two people who provided their memories of VE Day were Margaret Smith, nee Cox, and Eddie Waite, both of whom have since sadly died.  Margaret, whose father was a sergeant in the Home Guard, told us of the bonfire on the school field where the Junior School now stands.  “I remember going up on to the railway bridge to see the bonfires round about.”

Margaret Smith saw bonfires from the railway bridge.
Former choir boy Eddie Waite enjoyed the VE Day bonfire on the school field.

Eddie Waite, a choir boy at St. Andrew’s at the time, also remembered with glee the same bonfire on the school field:  “The RAF from Acaster made it with old ammo boxes.  They also had wonderful rockets – military rockets – to set off.  Unfortunately, one landed on Mr. Hutchinson as he was walking home down Copmanthorpe Lane and set his mackintosh on fire.  Another rocket landed on Mr. Drury’s hen house and set that alight, but all the hens survived.”  Eddie didn’t tell us how Mr. Hutchinson fared but, we hope he survived without injury!

We always welcome memories at the Bishopthorpe Community Archive.  When lockdown has finished, please call in on any Monday afternoon 2.30 – 5.00pm, upstairs at the Village Hall or email:  historygroup@bishopthorpe.net

Linda Haywood