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Monday, 19 September 2016

Beningbrough through 300 years

Visitors to Beningbrough Hall, which celebrates its 300th anniversary, can gain an insight into the changing fortunes, previous owners and uses of the land in a display of photography, maps and local memories.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

See this exhibition in the Flesh

York Art Gallery is hosting Flesh, a major exhibition, featuring works by Degas, Chardin, Francis Bacon and Sarah Lucas, until March, next year.

The exhibition includes more than 60 works of art displayed over three galleries showing how flesh has been portrayed by artists over the last 600 years.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Off-limits craft and trade areas open for special day at the minster

York Minster’s Stoneyard holds its annual open day today (Friday 9 September), as part of Heritage Open Days, the national scheme celebrating the country’s spectacular history, architecture and culture.

Special insight ... the visits take in parts of the minster
 that are normally off limits. Photo by Duncan Lomax
 on behalf of Chapter of York.
The day will feature guided tours of the area where the minster's stonemasons, joiners, plumbers and electrician will talk about the techniques they use to repair, restore and protect the cathedral’s historic fabric and demonstrate ancient craft skills

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:

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Rachael spends plenty pennies on Minster's loo-twinning initiative

Local MP Rachael Maskell has donated £60 for a toilet in York Minster to be twinned with a loo thousands of miles away in Africa as part of the congregation's fundraising initiative.

Rachael responded to the Lifestyle, Environment, Sustainability, Stewardship invitation to get involved with Toilet – the innovative fundraising campaign by the development charity Tear Fund.

According to campaign organisers, more than 2.4 billion people – more than a third of the people on the planet – don't have access to somewhere clean, hygienic and safe to go.

The cash will provide the materials and skills for a family to build a simple, clean and hygienic toilet. It also provides communities with information about vital hygiene measures such as cleaning and hand washing that can help combat the spread of disease.

Eight of the Minster's loos have been twinned in countries that include Burundi, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Uganda and Ethiopia.

Friday, 12 August 2016

They've got it off to an afternoon tea

Ben Allnutt serves up a right,
proper Yorkshire tea.
Despite what its name might suggest, the word is that you can now get a rather nice afternoon tea at the Yorkshire bar and grill in York's Monkbar hotel.

It's serving up a true regional picnic complete with Yorkshire Ham hock sarnies, buns stuffed with Yorkshire goats cheese and Yorkshire curd tart washed down by a mug of Yorkshire Tea.

The new Yorkshire Picnic – afternoon tea for Northern folk is one of the new additions to a menu that boasts locally-sourced ingredients.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Conservation cash boost for minster

Benefiting from a major cash injection
 for conservation work ... York Minster.
Vital conservation and repair work will get under way for York Minster after a government sponsored body announced £500,000 of new funding.

The grant is a part of a £14.5 million funding package from the First World War Centenary Repairs Fund.  Forty cathedrals across England will receive grants from £25,000 to more than £800,000 for essential repairs including roofing, stained-glass and stonework.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Minster closes for visits as Mystery Play dismantling work gets under way

York Minster will close from Monday 4 until Wednesday 6 July to de-rig and clean-up at the end of the five-week run of the Mystery Plays.

Crews will strip out lighting and sound equipment, dismantle and remove the thousand-seater auditorium and remove more than 60 tonnes of lighting, sound and stage equipment.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

There's no batter than this lot when it comes to fish and chips

A York fish and chip restaurant has secured a top industry award.

Scotts Fish and Chips, off the A64 at Bilbrough, has received the National Federation of Fish Friers quality award.

Run by the trade body that represents the nation’s fish and chip shops, the quality awards are a way to ensure high standards as well as enhance the industry's profile.

This award comes just three months after its sister venue, Scotts of Helmsley, retained its quality award.

Friday, 10 June 2016

University's archaeology work in running for national awards

Two University of York projects have been shortlisted for this year's British Archaeological awards.

A project involving the examination of a unique Mesolithic engraved pendant from Star Carr, near Scarborough, and Internet Archaeology, an open access, not-for-profit journal based in the university's department of archaeology, are in the running in the best archaeological innovation category.

The awards showcase the latest discoveries and innovations in archaeology across the UK.

Andrew Davidson, chair of the judging panel, said: “The judges were impressed with the way in which the different scanning methods of the Star Carr Shale pendant were carried through to full publication for the postglacial project.

"The choice of an open–access journal and website to publicise the results has ensured wide public access, and the provision of a comprehensive suite of online tools to examine the object, encourages the reader to understand and re-interpret the findings.”

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony at the British Museum in London on 11 July, comp癡red by Meet the Ancestors archaeologist and TV presenter Julian Richards.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Update: no words needed because he's got it taped in America

Breaking news: Tape Face, who performs at Harrogate and York, later this year, is through to the next round of America’s Got Talent in October. He gained 8,000 twitter followers while the show was airing, and that is continuing to rise, and the general response via FB, Instagram, Twitter has also been amazing.

Click here to see the video clip.

Tape Face makes its return to the UK this autumn with a major tour that takes in Harrogate and York and a production that includes stand-up comedy with no talking, drama with no acting and punch lines with no words.

The artist formerly known as The Boy with Tape on His Face brings his multi-award winning spectacle that needs to be seen to be believed. Tape Face conjures uproarious and moving tableaux using only the most everyday of objects and the most popular of songs.

Sam Wills accesses an inner child and draws on a heritage that includes silent film, mime, magic, puppetry, Motown and the films of Patrick Swayze,

Performances can be seen at Harrogate Theatre on Tuesday 11 October and York's Duchess on Tuesday 18 October.

It's no mystery why these Minster plays are securing serious praise

The York Minster Mystery Plays are off to a strong start thanks to a series of strong reviews praising all aspects of the production ranging from the actors and costumes to the stunning set, music and lighting.

The plays opened on the feast of Corpus Christi and tell the story of good versus evil, life and death and love, betrayal, hope and loss. Staged in the Minster for only the second time in 700 years, the plays are etched into the fabric of the cathedral including the beautiful stained glass of the East Window and the intricate carvings and stone.

Organisers say it's an opportunity for audiences to see the extraordinary plays brought to life against the historic backdrop of the Minster which has been transformed into a 1,000 seater theatre.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Hotel checks with another accolade

The guests of York's Best Western Monkbar hotel have helped it secure a certificate of excellence with global travel website TripAdvisor.

Guest reviews bring great news ... Monkbar general manager Graham Usher
and sales manager Nikki Brannan
It's the latest accolade since completing a recent £3m upgrade. To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four out of five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

This favourite pub competition could be a bitter contest

The opportunity to vote for the best pub in Yorkshire has been extended until 1 June.

Official tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire runs the annual contest which attracts thousands of votes.

A top ten will be announced on Twitter on 2 June when the public has the opportunity to say choose their favourite which will be announced on 12 July at the Great Yorkshire Show

Last year saw The Fleece Inn at Barkisland crowned the winner, with The Bull Inn at West Tanfield coming in second place and the The Royal Oak at Ripon coming in as Yorkshire’s third favourite pub.

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity said: “Yorkshire is not only famous for its stunning landscapes and rich heritage, the county is also renowned for its wealth of welcoming pubs which are just as important in attracting visitors. From traditional inns to city centre pubs, make sure you cast your vote for your favourite!”

The competition was first launched in 2011 to help promote Yorkshire’s variety of pubs and the top 30 nominees will once again feature in Welcome to Yorkshire’s Ale Trail leaflet.

 Votes can be cast at

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Minster's all set for Mystery Plays

A 200-strong community cast will take to the stage as the Mystery Plays return to the dramatic setting of York Minster for the first time in 16 years.

The plays date back to medieval times and dramatise the story from the creation of heaven and earth to the last judgement.

The cast includes professionally trained actors and actresses returning to the stage after career breaks, from ambulance drivers to former company directors, and the rising stars of the future fresh out of drama school. Many of the performers were involved with the 2012 York Mystery Plays and York Minster’s production in 2000.

The productions are being staged from 26 May until 30 June.

Toby Gordon, from Clifton in York, takes on the role of Lucifer. After graduating from drama school Lamda in 2014, he has already had the opportunity to work alongside Oscar winning Juliette Binoche in Antigone at the Barbican. He also appeared in the 2012 York Mystery Plays and in Anthony Minghella’s Two Planks and a Passion at York Theatre Royal.

Mother and daughter Loretta Smith and Ottilie Hill-Smith hail from Green Hammerton. Loretta, who is playing Martha, went to drama school and is now an ambulance driver who is “hoping that starring in the plays will help her get her foot back in the theatre door.” Daughter Ottilie, playing Raven’s First Daughter and understudying Mary, has been singing since the age of three and is also seeking a career in the performance industry.

Bob Mallow, from Harrogate, is playing Adam and, a few months away from his 60th birthday, came late to acting after a career in the corporate world, travelling the globe as a director with DHL international. Despite being bitten by the acting bug at school, it wasn’t until age 45 that he returned to college and completed a drama course. Over a fifteen year period he has since appeared as Jeffery Rawlings in Emmerdale, John Proctor in the Crucible and Macbeth, along with numerous other TV, theatre and film roles.

Producer Nicola Corp said: "Our volunteers are the people who make the production happen. It’s been a Yorkshire-wide community effort to bring these epic plays to fruition with people from throughout the region featuring in the cast and busy working behind the scenes.

"It is wonderful to see this hard work from both volunteers and professionals coming together for a spectacular show within the dramatic setting of York Minster. It is absolutely the must-see event in York this summer.”

More information:

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Transformed gallery in running for prestigious Art Fund award

York Art Gallery has been shortlisted for a major museum of the year award. Judges have compiled a five-strong list for the prestigious Art Fund event.

The York gallery's shortlisting, which follows an £8 million transformation, sees it competing with London's Victoria and Albert Museum, Bristol's Arnolfini, Kent's Bethlem Museum of the Mind and West Lothian's Jupiter Artland.

The Centre of Ceramic Art is among the main features
of the transformed York Art Gallery. Photo by Peter Heaton.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Three-day pub festival will help academics get their pint across

Scientists will share their latest research in pubs across York from 23 – 25 May for the price of a pint.

More than 40 University of York scientists will take part in the three-day international Pint of Science festival that will see thousands of researchers speaking in 100 cities across 12 countries.

Spanning a huge array of topics, from ‘innovation and transparency in healthcare’ to the ‘secrets of quantum physics’ and ‘why we are what we eat’, talks will include live experiments, demonstrations, discussions and opportunities to win prizes.

York pubs taking part include The Duke of York, Brigantes, The Blue Boar, The Eagle and Child, The Winning Post and Fulford Arms.

Monday, 25 April 2016

They're a mystery and they're back at minster after 16 year-gap

York Minster's nave will be transformed into a 1,000-seater theatre this summer as the Mystery Plays return to the stage.

The plays dramatise the greatest story ever told – from the creation of heaven and earth to the last judgement. But it’s the first time in 16 years and only the second time in their near 700 year history that the plays have been performed at the minster, following sell-out performances in 2000.

This festival wasn't built in a day

The armies of ancient Rome march on York again this summer as part of a festival of military parades, siege weapon demonstrations, guided walks and expert speakers.

The Eboracum Roman Festival, from 1-5 June, will be based in the York Museum Gardens where there will be fighting displays and children’s army drills from members of six legions, a camp showing domestic Roman life and stalls selling themed goods.

More than 50 of the Romans will march through the streets of York on the Saturday and Sunday mornings.

A series of guided walks and talks by leading experts will take place at various venues around the city, including leading Egyptologist Jo Fletcher on discovering Ancient Egypt in Roman Yorkshire.

The museum, home some of Britain’s most treasured Roman artefacts, will be running various activities and workshops, including two events with bestselling children’s author Caroline Lawrence. Explore York Libraries and Archives are also hosting a number of talks by experts.

One of the festival sponsors, AOC Archaeology, will create a 3D scan of the Roman Multangular Tower in the Museum Gardens during the festival. Visitors to the tent can take part of in a range of activities with professional archaeologists using the latest technologies.
Further information:

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Prize exhibition returns to York

The Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition returns to York St Mary’s, from 14 April to 29 May.

In its ninth year, the event will feature shortlisted works from photographic and digital art; three dimensional design and sculpture; painting and drawing; and video, installation and performance.

The 2016 edition is the award’s largest exhibition to date and welcomes practitioners from Austria, Canada, Germany, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Poland, South Africa, the UK and the USA. There are ten shortlisted artists, with a further 90 longlisted pieces displayed on monitors in the gallery.

Visitors are invited to vote in the People’s Choice award for their winning artist.

Organisers have also announced the Future Now Symposium – from 26-27 May at York St John University, focusing on talent development and tackling themes in today’s artistic climate through lectures, workshops and panel discussions from within the arts ecosystem and broader social context.

More than 40 high-profile speakers feature in the programme, including Alistair Payne, head of fine art school and painting lecturer at Glasgow School of Art, Stephanie Bush, programme and production manager at Zabludowicz Collection, Dani Burrows, director of strategy at Delfina Foundation, Sophie Hall, director at Flowers Gallery, Olivier Richon, photography lecturer at Royal College of Art, John O’Shea, senior exhibitions manager at National Media Museum, Whitney Hintz, curator of the Hiscox collection, and Rosalind Furness, managing editor of Frieze.