What’s on in York: “Right Trusty and Well Beloved” Launch of Richard III anthology

York Explore

Saturday December 14th

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm 


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Launch event for anthology of short stories and poems inspired by York’s own King Richard III, with a Foreword by Philippa Langley, sold in support of Scoliosis Association UK (SAUK).

Sixteen international authors have collaborated on a second anthology of short stories and poetry inspired by Richard III, the king who called York ‘home’. Right Trusty and Well Beloved…, with a Foreword by Philippa Langley, who found the king’s grave in 2012 after 500 years, is being sold in support of Scoliosis Association UK (SAUK), which aids people with the same spinal condition as King Richard. The book will be officially launched by six of the authors, including one from the USA, promising talks, Q&As, and readings and signings of their work. Everyone is welcome to this free event.

What’s on in York: Santa’s Special Gift

York Explore

Saturday December 14th

@ 2:30 pm – 3:30 pm 


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One snowy Christmas eve, there’s a knock at Kitty’s window. Wow, it’s Santa! And he’s here to whisk her away on a truly spectacular adventure! Join in as award-winning TV correspondent and local author Catherine Jacob reads her super fun picture book and gets us to turn into characters in her story. Suitable for age 4-8 and their families. Free, booking required for children over 12 months of age.

Young people give back at Christmas

Young people working with City of York Council’s Youth Justice Service are supporting a charity project which allows them to give back to the community.

Selby-based charity Spirit of Christmas is organising its fifth Christmas party in York for children whose families are suffering financial hardship.

Acting as ambassadors for the charity and working alongside their supervisors, the team of young people are wrapping gifts for the event and which have been selected to match the children’s ‘wish lists’.

The team is also decorating the venue including transforming one of the rooms into Santa’s grotto, and then helping host and run the party for 120 guests.

Besides introducing Father Christmas to the guests, each will have a snack box, enjoy music and games, dancing elves and access to a free book stall where children can take as many books as they like books to encourage reading.

Amanda Hatton, corporate director of children, education and communities at City of York Council, said: “Reparation is so important to our youth justice work and gives young people who have offended in the past an opportunity to make amends in a constructive and lasting way.

“This is a very worthwhile project, and I hope the rewards of helping disadvantaged children and their families will make Christmas all the more special.”

Ronnie Munro, chair of Spirit of Christmas, said: “We try to recruit volunteers from all backgrounds, give them a sense of belonging to our group and the wider community, and help them feel that they are respected and appreciated.

“The efforts of the young people will, I’m sure, help them to feel good about doing something for others.”

Anyone interested in supporting the project can contact Spirit of Christmas at ronnie@spiritofchristmas.org.uk

Details of York Council football club loan published

A response to a Freedom of Information request has finally forced the Council to reveal the terms of its £350,000 loan to York City FC agreed in 2014. 

The loan was secured by a legal charge on the Bootham Crescent ground.

The loan involved annual repayments of £35,000.  

The balance of the loan is payable immediately if the Club sell Bootham Crescent. It is understood that a house builder still has an option to purchase the site when the football and rugby clubs move to the new LNER stadium in 2020.

In addition the Football Club has agreed to pay £2 million towards the cost of building the new stadium.

There is a legal charge on the club’s assets to cover this liability.

The Council continue to refuse to publish the valuations that they have undertaken on Bootham Crescent.

They also refuse to say how much rent they expect to receive from the football club at Monks Cross (the stadium part of the development is expected to cost around £16 million of the total £47 million cost of the whole development).

The council has confirmed that, once all processes have been complete, it intends to release the lease agreement with York City into the public domain.

Fools For Love: A Launch of Two New Books

York Explore

Thursday December 5th

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm 


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A return of former journalists John Wheatcroft and Alan Smith in conversation with Alan Gillott about their latest novels exploring sex, death, and romantic love: no fools like old fools.

Alan Smith and John Wheatcroft bring their experience as journalists and prison teachers to their new novels, Virginia, and Rocket Boy. Virginia is an actor whose lover Dan dies slowly and awfully, leaving her wishing him both alive and dead; until she meets Hank, who is also trapped between lives. In Rocket Boy, Simon Waiters’ life is defined by a childhood meeting with Yuri Gagarin; revisiting his past, and lost loves, sounds dangerous but could just be the break he needs. Alan and John discuss their books with Stairwell publisher Alan Gillott.

What’s on in York: Penny Thorpe – “The Quality Street Girls”

Clifton Explore

Tuesday December 3rd

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm 


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Join us for a peek inside The Quality Street factory with author Penny Thorpe whose novel The Quality Street Girls is just out in paperback.
What is Christmas without Quality Street? And who better to let us into the secret of Quality Street than Penny Thorpe?
Penny was the company archivist for Nestlé for over 10 years. She has amassed a wealth of stories about the manufacture of chocolate in York and the people involved in the industry. She is writing a series of novels, under the pen name Penny Thorpe, based on her knowledge and experience, the first of which is The Quality Street Girls.