Here's a fundraiser that's guaranteed to be fun. Richmond Landscape Trust are organising a Family Ceilidh on St Patrick's Day, Friday 17th March.
They've booked a cracking band, Blind Panic, who are experts in making sure the dances run smoothly and the music is lively. What's more you'll be dancing in the splendour of Richmond Town Hall.
Doors open at 7.15pm for a 7.30 start. Tickets from Castle Hill Bookshop, DL10 4QP. Adults £10, under 17s £5 (cash only)
Bring your own refreshments, alcohol permitted.
Richard and Cherry Kearton, born in remote Upper Swaledale, were early photographers. By the 1890s they were travelling widely, and they soon became internationally famous for their pioneering wildlife pictures from all over the globe. (Those aren't Swale Penguins in the photo above.)
Helen Guy, Curator of the Keld Resource Centre, has researched their life and their impact, and will give an entertaining illustrated talk on Wednesday 1 March, as part of the Civic Society's 2023 lecture series. The event is at 7:30, in the Methodist Church, Queens' Road, Richmond. Admission is £5 for non-members, payable at the door.
(This is just one of our weekly 'lucky dips' into the treasure trove that is What's On Richmond. You can find this invaluable guide online here, or pick up a printed copy in dozens of shops and premises around Richmond.)
Shrove Tuesday is upon us - Pancake Day - and the Town Council is offering free pancakes! Just drop into the Town Hall on Tuesday 21 February, between 2 and 4 pm, and claim your free pancake. Or pancakes, plural? We don't know, but we're promised a choice of sugar and lemon, maple syrup, fresh fruit and yoghurt. Yum!
On Sunday 26th February two English Heritage volunteers will be treating visitors to a free guided tour of Easby Abbey. On the outskirts of Richmond, the Abbey is considered a 'romantic ruin' and has a long and varied history. Well-visited by both locals and visitors, it's also found fame by being the subject of a JMW Turner painting.
If you want to find out more, meet your guides at the Abbey at 1pm for a free one hour tour.
It's starting to feel like Spring in Richmond.
The Georgian Theatre Experience has begun a new season. Visitors will discover a fascinating world of showbiz from times gone by. Guided tours of the UK’s oldest working original theatre now run hourly from 10:00 to 15:00, Monday to Saturday. You'll discover hidden trap doors, peek inside underground dressing rooms, hear entertaining tales of the riotous Georgian audiences who packed themselves into the pocket-sized auditorium, and see the beautifully restored Woodland Scene – Britain’s oldest surviving stage scenery.
Tours are £8/£3 (adult/child), with tickets valid for 12 months, to allow repeat visits. Follow this link to learn more.
A-a-a-and... Mighty Richmond Castle, the best-preserved Norman stronghold in England, has woken from its winter slumber, and is now open every day, 10:00 - 16:00 - but only until 26 February, when it reverts for a while to weekends only. So if you want to explore the extensive ruins, the banqueting hall high above the rushing River Swale, and the views over the ancient town from the top of the great tower... then move fast!
You can book tickets for Richmond Castle here. PS: dogs are now admitted, so you can bring the whole family.
Last year's first MayFest was a great success, and the 2023 event promises to be bigger and better! Block out the dates (29 April - 1 May) now.
A festival of traditional and historical music and dancing, MayFest takes place in Richmond over the early-May Bank Holiday weekend. Tickets go on sale 14 February.
What's planned? Foot-tapping folk music from the Ran Tanners in the Market Place, from Bisarr in the Castle, and from the Black Lion Folk Club and others in the pubs around town; medieval music, minstrelsy and tomfoolery; Maypole dancing; a MayFest Tavern; woodwork bodgers; the musical Story of Coffee, by the wonderful Leeds Waits (photo) and a musical coffee morning in the Town Hall; music of the Great War in the Market Place; a choral performance of Mendelssohn's Elijah; craft activities for families; clog dancing, morris dancing and a tea dance; Punch and Judy; storytelling; a ceilidh; a musical promenade to Easby Church for tea, and much, much more...
More details at richmondmayfest.org. Reserve your tickets now!
It's half term in Richmond, and our Information Centre in the Market Hall is now open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Pop in to take a look at our great selection of books and maps and guides to Richmond and the Yorkshire Dales.
We'll be doing these longer hours until 26 February, to cover County Durham's half term period, and then will revert briefly to 10 to 2.
Now hear this!
The retirement of Richmond's Town Crier, Barry Heap, left a vacancy for a very big set of lungs. Barry's cries were always full of fun and very topical. He composed over 70, mostly in verse, and performed them over 3,000 times! His cries were traditionally made in the Market Place from the four cardinal points of the compass, North, East, West and South, letters which combine as NEWS – the very purpose of a town crier!
Well, the news that we hear is that the Town Council has auditioned possible successors to Barry, and that an appointment is in hand. (How did they audition, we wonder? And are their ears still ringing?)
If the rumours are true, then Huzza! We look forward to the return of this tradition to our ancient town. And when we say "a very big set of lungs", we mean it. Barry's thunderous proclamations could be clearly understood on Maison Dieu, some 600m away...
Who's a busy bee? You could be!
This week's random dip into the print edition of What's On Richmond pulled out activities which don't appear in the online version: the Regular Events. Oh, goody - lots of new stuff, and these entries are mainly for local residents.
If DIY music is your thing, you're spoiled for choice. The Station Singers have no fewer than three choirs (richmondstationsingers.co.uk) - one of them must surely suit you. Musicality is another choir, this one for women only (07849 490472). Northern Youth Voices is for your musical youngsters (07789 071425), and the Georgian Theatre Royal runs a Musical Theatre class for young people who particularly enjoy singing and dancing (georgiantheatreroyal.co.uk). Richmondshire Choral Society (richchoral.org.uk) is for those who like their music big, and particularly needs sopranos, tenors and basses. Richmond Folk Club meets weekly at the Black Lion, and pulls in singers, musicians, and anyone who is just passing by (07753 476732). Richmondshire Orchestra performs three concerts a year, and welcomes new members (richmondshireorchestra.org.uk).
If you've got any free evenings left, why not relax with Richmond Scrabble Club, which meets weekly in the Buck Inn and welcomes drop-in visitors at all levels and none (richmondscrabble.weebly.com). Or Richmond Garden Club (richmondgardenclub.co.uk), with monthly get-togethers and talks for those wanting a change from mud under their fingernails. Or the North Yorkshire Wine Society (nyws.org.uk), which meets each month for a gurgle or two at the Cricket Club.
Got your energy back? Richmond Swimming Pool is refurbished, reopened, and recommended highly for its Swim Academy and Waterbabes activities (rltrust.org.uk). Swaledale Outdoor Club offers canoeing, caving, climbing, cycling and more (swaledaleoutdoorclub.org.uk), and hosts the Swaledale Runners, who have outings of 3-7 miles for all abilities (swaledalerunners.co.uk). If you aren't in such a hurry, or don't like luridly patterned tights, Richmondshire Ramblers (richmondshireramblers.org.uk) and Ramblers Wellbeing Walks (07710 739192) run guided walks for the able and the less able.
Phew... Why not print off this list - stick it to your fridge, and take up some new activities this year. Or give a copy to a friend who's at a loose end, or someone you know who's recently moved to Richmondshire. With so much on, there's no reason to be bored in this wonderful town.
There are no hibernating bears in Richmond - probably. But quite a few of our local attractions have been enjoying a long winter break - not snoozing, of course, but using the quiet months to spruce themselves up and prepare new sights and new pleasures for visitors.
For a little while, the Green Howards Museum will be the only attraction open in town on weekdays. The Museum's special exhibition is Created in Conflict (to 14 April), which showcases the artistic talents of soldiers who served, and explores the motivation for creative expression during traumatic times. Link here.
Meanwhile, at Kiplin Hall, just a few miles from Richmond, visitors can enjoy the recently re-opened gardens, parkland and lake-side walk. The snowdrops and aconites are looking wonderful, there are new wooden sculptures, and the wild birds are in a frenzy of nest-building activity. No bears, though.
Welcome to Richmond Information Centre's website, the best source of information on this wonderful town. Take a look round!