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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Scarborough joins in heritage open days festival with bumper programme

Scarborough Museums Trust has unveiled a programme of unusual and fascinating places to visit during an open days festival including a mortuary, the home of a famous Victorian artist, and the 18th century workshop of the man known as the ‘father of aviation.’

Hollywood Plaza ... the former North Bay Picture House opened in 1918
but later became a garage before being reconverted to a cinema in 1980
.

The national Heritage Open Days scheme, from tomorrow (Thursday to Sunday 8 to 11 September), helps to raise awareness of the country’s architectural, built, historical and cultural heritage. Buildings throughout the UK that are either not usually open to the public, or that usually charge admission, will open for free. There is also a programme of guided walks and events.

In Scarborough, the event is organised by Scarborough Museums Trust, supported by the Borough Council, Scarborough and District Civic Society and Scarborough Archaeological and Historical Society.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Ayckbourn gets his talk off to a tea

Sir Alan Ayckbourn.
World-renowned playwright Alan Ayckbourn is in the spotlight during a tea time talk at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre on Thursday 29 September.

The writer and director will be in conversation with broadcaster and novelist Kate Fenton at 4.30pm in the theatre’s Round auditorium. The audience will then have the opportunity to ask questions.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Julie has designs on recreating pageant glory with costumes

An exhibition celebrating a spectacular historical pageant in Scarborough more than a hundred years ago runs at the town’s art gallery from Tuesday 13 September to Sunday 9 October.

Julie and the costume recreations. Photo by Tony Bartholomew.
Scarborough Historical Pageant and Play 1912 will feature photographs and items from the event, which saw around 1,300 local performers, supported by a 500-strong ‘backstage’ crew, re-enact the town’s history from pre-history to the late 19th century.

It was staged at the town's castle twice during the summer of that year and four of the costumes have been recreated by the exhibition curator, Scarborough Museums Trust collections assistant Julie Baxter.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

A Carmen influence for Bizet fans

Harrogate, Scarborough and York are the three North Yorkshire venues lined up for performances of Carmen by the acclaimed Russian State Opera this month.

The production promises the thrill and passion of love, jealousy and violence of 19th Century Seville in one of Bizet’s most popular pieces.

Its mix of passion, melodies, dramatic confrontations and musical wit has found favour all over the world almost since its first performance in 1875.

The production can be seen at Harrogate Theatre on 21 September; York Barbican 28 September and Scarborough Spa 29 September.

Further information: www.opera-tickets.co.uk

Monday, 29 August 2016

Gardening lover Kevin's a cut above

If you want to know why Filey's Silver Birches elderly persons' home garden looks so beautiful, have a word with dedicated gardener Kevin Hines.

Bloomin' lovely ... award-winning Kevin Hines.
Although only paid for almost two hours aw week he often stays for no extra pay and turns out to help for fund-raising events at the residential home.

Now the 55-year-old's dedication has been recognised after winning the county council Making a Difference Behind the Scenes category of its health and adult services staff excellence awards.

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Fossils fuel the dinosaur imagination at three-day festival

Careful with that baby T-Rex.
Getting ready for the festival.
Photo by Tony Bartholomew.
The Yorkshire Fossil Festival is returning to Scarborough for a third year, bringing fun, fascinating forums and forensic foraging to all things palaeontological.

The three-day event opens on Friday 16 September with a schools and education day. All three days are open to the public, with events programmed to appeal to everyone from the smallest members of the family to the serious geologist, many of them free.

The festival takes place in and around Scarborough’s famous Rotunda Museum – the first purpose-built geological museum in the country which provides the perfect backdrop for the programme of workshops, theatre, specialist talks, storytelling and fossil hunting.

Highlights include a visit from best-selling children’s author Ian Whybrow, writer of Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs; curators from The Natural History Museum exploring dinosaur discoveries; Dinosaur Park – fresh from The Edinburgh Festival; Emerald Ant’s exciting giant Iguanodon Restaurant Show and the return of everyone’s favourite free-range baby T-Rex.

The Yorkshire Fossil Festival is organised by Scarborough Museums Trust, and sponsored by The Palaeontological Association.

Organiser Samantha Brown said: “The Fossil Festival has attracted thousands of visitors over the past two years, and this year’s is going to be even bigger and better. We’re looking forward to a great weekend of events where science meets the imagination.”

Further information: www.yorkshirefossilfestival.co.uk

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Staithes gets ready to throw open its doors and show off heritage

Prints will be on sale during
 the two-day festival.
Preparations are well under way for the historic fishing village of Staithes to throw open the doors of its quaint and quirky cottages to welcome visitors to its fifth festival of arts and heritage over the weekend 10 and 11 September.

More than a hundred artists will exhibit their paintings, prints, sculpture, jewellery, glass and crafts for sale in pop-up galleries all around the village.

A classic comedy return to the SJT

Alan Ayckbourn’s classic comedy Henceforward returns to the Stephen Joseph Theatre this autumn in a brand new production directed by the author.

Jessie Hart and Jacqueline King in rehearsals.
Photo by Tony Bartholomew.
In an isolated, derelict suburban tower block, avant garde composer Jerome struggles vainly to complete his life’s masterwork about love. With the help of a deranged android childminder, he hatches a plan to retrieve his source of artistic inspiration, his beloved daughter Geain, from his hostile and estranged ex-wife.
  
Henceforward… premiered at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in 1987, then at London’s Vaudeville Theatre a year later in a production which won the Evening Standard Best Comedy Award.

This year’s Scarborough revival follows a hugely successful production last year at a theatre in Germany. The production at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus in Hamburg opened in February 2015 and was so popular, regularly playing to full houses in the 1200-seat theatre, that the run was extended and the show ended up playing for over a year.

The production runs from Thursday 8 September to Saturday 8 October 2016

Further information: www.sjt.uk.com

Monday, 22 August 2016

Get exploring and help conservation, park urges families

Having fun ... club members
and volunteers get exploring.
Families with children aged 4 – 14 are being offered a way to learn about the habitats of the North York Moors national park.

The park's Explorer Club starts at the beginning of next month, meeting one Saturday or Sunday a month for six months.

The park holds an information day from 2pm – 4pm this Sunday (28 August) at its Danby centre. Members will be on hand to talk about their experiences and what they gain from volunteering and being part of the group. There will also be the opportunity to take part in fun activities such as stile building and creating natural works of art so attendees can experience what being part of the project will entail.

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Conservation grants give national park's landscape a competitive hedge

The North York Moors national park is offering land manager grants of up to £2,000 for hedgerow planting and drystone walling.

The Traditional Boundary Scheme, now in its fourth year, has grant-aided nearly 10,000 square metres of drystone walls and planted over 8km of hedges in the area.

The national park authority says traditional boundaries form an important part of the landscape and it wants to help landowners improve, protect and restore these features, including coppicing and gapping up.

As well as serving as stock-proof boundaries, drystone walls and hedges provide shelter for stock, reduce soil erosion and increase habitat connectivity.

The authority's conservation projects assistant Roy McGhie said: “It has been fantastic to see the difference the traditional boundary scheme grant can make to the landscape of the national park.

"As well as being important historical features, field boundaries are of considerable wildlife value and also add to the aesthetic appeal of the park. This grant is an important contribution to the way the authority recognises the significance of traditional boundaries to farming, wildlife, and the park in general.”

The initiative grant-aids traditional field boundaries in the park providing they do not already receive funding from other sources. Priority is given to those boundaries which are most visible from a public right of way or of particular historical or environmental interest.

Further information: www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/tbs

Friday, 19 August 2016

Popular visitor route protected from sea

A £9m coastal defence scheme to protect the A174 route that's popular with visitors between Whitby and Sandsend officially opens today (Friday, 19 August).

More robust defences now protect the route.
Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby, will perform the ceremony, which will be attended by local councillors and representatives of the Environment Agency and contractor Balfour Beatty.

Worn-out coastal defences have been replaced along a 1km stretch of the road where it runs close to the shoreline.

The work, costing more than £9m, has been funded by the county council and Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. It entailed replacement of the old concrete defences and stabilisation and redesign of the upper slope above the road.
 
The road has a history of landslips requiring costly repairs over the years. It sits at the top of the coastal defences built in conjunction with the former railway and has a boulder clay coastal slope above it. Over recent winters, the authority increasingly had to carry out urgent repair work to collapses in the concrete defences as well as to slips above the road, requiring closure of the road and traffic management.
 
County Councillor Don Mackenzie, executive member for highways, said: “This is a major tourist route, so completion of the project is good news for both the local and business community. I am also pleased to say that the scheme has been delivered on budget."

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Moors gallery's latest exhibitions

Blue Tit by Coral Rose.
Aft lovers can catch two new exhibitions which run at the North York Moors Inspired by ... gallery at Danby until 4 September and which both focus on the abundant beauty of the area.

Wldlife artist Coral Rose captures the energy and beauty of rural life, portraying traditional subjects in a contemporary style in her show All Around Us and featuring work predominately in pastel, Coral takes her inspiration from animals and the countryside, capturing the energy and beauty that reflects life and all its visual personality in North Yorkshire.

Foray into Fibre is a mix of art from Cleveland Fibre Arts textile group, whose work portrays the beautiful local countryside and coast. The artisan group specialises in working with fibres and textiles using a wide range of techniques, both ancient and modern. Its members create individually handcrafted items including, jewellery, quilts, rugs, pictures and scarves.

Work by Cleveland Fibre Arts group.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

National park tackles invasive plants

Himalayan Balsam. Photo by Nan Sykes.
The North York Moors national park is tackling non-native plant species on the Esk, Seph and Rye river catchments throughout September.

The Yorkshire Water-funded programme will tackle Japanese knotweed and Himalayan balsam which pose a threat to native plants and animals.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Resort issues birdwatch challenge

Sutton Hall Resort, near Thirsk, has issued a challenge to its owners and visitors to list as many different species in and around the grounds.

In for a tweet ... a bird counting challenge has been issued.
A recent study of birds and wildlife in the grounds and woodland identified almost 100 species.

A ‘leader board’ is to be created and guests with the highest scores will receive rewards for their ‘spotting’ efforts.

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Scarborough hosts military wives choir

The York Military Wives Choir is to perform in Scarborough Spa's Grand Hall on Friday 30 September.

The performance is part of the Rotary 1220 Conference, where the hall's balconies will be open to the public.

The choir was founded in January 2013 as a member of the Military Wives Choir network which has 3,000 members across the UK and abroad.

Ticket information: www.scarboroughspa.co.uk

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Educating Rita Esk Valley Style

A professional theatre company located in the North York Moors National Park is presenting one of the UK’s best-loved comedies this summer, Willy Russel's Educating Rita from today until 3 September.

An education ... Amy Spencer and Ian Crowe during reheasals.
Photo by Tony Bartholomew.
Glaisdale-based Esk Valley Theatre has turned its attention to the 1980 Society of West End Theatre comedy of the year winner. The the film version saw stars Michael Caine and Julie Walters nominated for Oscars, and winning Golden Globes and Baftas.

The production is directed by Mark Stratton while Frank and Rita are portrayed by Ian Crowe, who local theatregoers may remember from his role as the flamboyant Sven Gali in Aladdin at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre at Christmas 2014, and a young talent from Liverpool, actress Amy Spencer.

Mark said: “We all like to root for the underdog who overcomes adversity, and that’s a great reason to do a play like Educating Rita.

Now in its 12th summer season, the theatre is located in the Robinson Institute in Glaisdale, eight miles west of Whitby.

Further information: www.eskvalleytheatre.co.uk

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Moor's the merrier for harbour boats

There are better mooring facilities for boats using a harbour made famous in a children’s TV series.

A £3,000 injection from Whitby Mayfield cum Mulgrave councillor David Chance's local funding budget has paid for a four-metre chain to be installed from the harbour wall, allowing more boats to moor.

The picturesque harbour is where Old Jack’s Boat is filmed, a popular children’s BBC series starring Bernard Cribbins as the captain of a multi-coloured boat called The Rainbow, and features his sea adventures with his dog, Salty.

Harbour master Norman Fowler said: ‘‘The first stage to install a mooring chain four metres from the harbour wall is complete and the new chain is in use. The second stage to fit new access ladders to the harbour wall is ongoing.

‘‘Before we had a waiting list of nine boats for harbour moorings and no visitor moorings. Now we will have a couple of visitor moorings and get another five or six boats in.

‘‘It makes life a lot easier for boats which before had to moor in the beck, and makes the harbour more manageable and sustainable.’’

Thursday, 28 July 2016

The World Goes Round and then stops at Scarborough

Photo by Tony Bartholomew.
A rehearsal shot from the 25th anniversary production of Kander and Ebb's The World Goes Round which runs at Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre from today (28 July) until 3 September.

Showstoppers such as New York, New York, All That Jazz, Maybe This Time and Money, Money will be performed alongside lesser-known numbers such as Mr Cellophane, Arthur in the Afternoon and Coffee in a Cardboard Cup by a cast comprising some of the best of the UK’s musical theatre performers: Phoebe Fildes, Laura Jane Matthewson, Nigel Richards, Ashley Samuels and Shona White.

The show was originally seen at Manhattan’s off-Broadway Westside Theatre in 1991, when the legendary New York Times critic Frank Rich called it 'a handsome, tasteful, snazzily staged outpouring of song and dance that celebrates all the virtues of the Kander-Ebb catalogue,’

Muston's big fund-raising event starts with a straw man

More than 100 scarecrows will take over Muston, near Filey, when the village’s annual internationally-acclaimed festival gets under way from Saturday 30 July until Sunday 7 August.

This year, organisers are hoping villagers will be inspired by the influences of Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th birthday, Tour de Yorkshire and Brexit.

Scarecrows are placed all round the village on pavements and roofs, in gardens and hedges and on open spaces such as the village green and grass verges.

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

New-look facilities boost rescue team's work into next 50 years

North Yorkshire's Lord Lieutenant Barry Dodd performed the official opening of  Scarborough and Ryedale Mountain Rescue Team's extended base in Snainton and to launch its new vehicle.

The work dates back to last year when the team celebrated its 50th anniversary and began planning for more storage, garaging and an improved method of transporting search parties and casualties.