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Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Scythe event is a cut above in Dales flower festival programme

Visitors from the North West converged on the Yorkshire Dales to learn how to sharpen their scythes and perfect their peening techniques.

Peening at Broadrake.
Now is regarded as the perfect time to ensure that scythes – traditional tools used to cut grass and harvest crops – are in good working order, ready for another mowing season.

The session took place at Broadrake at the foot of Whernside, and was one of the latest events making up the 2016 Flowers of the Dales Festival, coordinated by local charity Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust.

The annual festival is in full swing, with a range of events across the area to celebrate the region’s wildflowers, their habitats and the species they support.

Festival project officer Ellie Brown said: “This year’s festival is going really well, and we’ve received some great feedback from people who have already attended events.

"With around 100 events taking place between now and October, including walks, talks, hands-on conservation activities and family-friendly events, there are still plenty of opportunities to get involved.”
Further festival information:

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

More group travellers get on board

Group visits on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway are up by 56 per cent, latest figures show.

Steaming ahead ... group visits have seen a healthy increase
on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Photo by John Potter.
A new marketing strategy targeting travel tour partners and other organisations along with an advertising campaign prompted the boost from 21 March – 30 April.

Group travel organiser Gerry Bacon said: "Riding behind a heritage locomotive is a great experience and since 60103 Flying Scotsman visited in March, interest in the steam era has definitely increased."

The heritage railway has launched a Walkers Special package for groups, which includes a return rail journey from Pickering. The 3.5 mile walk from Goathland to Grosmont follows the route of George Stephenson’s original railway line of 1836.

General manager Chris Price said:“The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is an educational charitable trust which operates to provide memorable experiences for all visitors. The increase in group travel enables the trust to invest in the care of our heritage buildings, locomotives and infrastructure, which is vital in ensuring the longevity of the railway for future generations to enjoy.”

Further information:

Monday, 23 May 2016

As quiet as a mouse, craftsmen help county carve a place at Chelsea

Furniture created by an iconic Yorkshire business is taking pride of place at Welcome to Yorkshire’s biggest ever garden at this week's RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

Sir Gary Verity carves a mouse helped by Simon Thompson Cartwright,
great great grandson of Robert Thompson.
Kilburn-based Robert Thompson’s Craftsmen have created a bench for the garden, which took four craftsmen 120 hours to make and features three of the company’s famous mice.

B&B checks in with a reality TV win

Plaque of glory ... Denise Carter (front) with Nikki Langford-Young
 and Jackie Fennell.
Knaresborough's Newton House B&B is the winner of the latest Channel 4 TV Show Four in a Bed.

Owner, Denise Carter and her colleague Jackie Fennell, appeared in the reality programme and were tasked with visiting and judging the other properties as part of the format for the show.

Fancy a medieval gatehouse?

The gatehouse at Bolton Percy.
A medieval gatehouse has gone on the market.

The Grade Two-listed timber-framed Bolton Percy Gatehouse, near Tadcaster, was built in the 15th century and is one of three historic British properties being sold after owner, the Vivat Trust, went into liquidation, last year.

Property consultancy Eddisons is marketing the properties, which have all been refurbished internally to create modern living accommodation. They include the UK’s tallest folly, the 53m, Grade One listed Hadlow Tower near Tonbridge in Kent; as well as a 14th century manor house near Hereford.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Orchestra lines up gala-themed performance programme

Scarborough's Spa Orchestra has announced that its Thursday evening concerts will be themed gala presentations with guest singers set to perform alongside.

Gala programme ... Scarborough Spa Orchestra.
There will be the return of some favourite shows including an evening of current and modern West End musicals, featuring hit songs from Phantom of the Opera, numbers by the modern master Stephen Sondheim and a rousing finale with a selection from Les Miserables performed by soloists, orchestra and a full chorus.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Moors beauty that's often overlooked

Yorkshire based ceramicist Charlotte Morrison and textile artist Agnis Smallwood focus on the local landscape when they present  their exhibition Overlooked at the Inspired by... gallery at The Moors National Park Centre in Danby, from Thursday 30 June until Tuesday 19 July.

Functional and decorative ... work by Charlotte Morrison.
 Charlotte is a Dales-based ceramic designer and maker, who mainly works by hand-building her individual ceramics. She uses porcelain and stoneware clays to create functional and decorative items.

Her work reflects the past in some form; she is an avid collector of vintage items and has a fascination with researching times past. Her most recent ceramics echo the ancient roads, places and landscapes of the North York Moors, which were once used by drovers, packhorses and monks.

Overlooked ... work on show by Agnis Smallwood.
Agnis is a designer, maker and educator, specialising in hand-woven textiles. Her inspiration derives from looking closely in unlikely places, seeking out the beauty to be found in plants and grasses that flourish despite – and often because of – a lack of human intervention.

She has used the diversity and vitality from across the Yorkshire Moors as inspiration for this exhibition, extracting both colour and form found within the diversity of the region.

Agnis and Charlotte met at Cumbria Institute of the Arts while studying for their degree in contemporary applied arts.

Further information: