York residents and visitors are being invited to take a sneak preview at York’s newly restored Mansion House this festive season.
Fully dressed for the Christmas period – complete with decorative garlands and a 10ft Christmas tree – the Mansion House will open its doors to the public for the first time since its £2.6m restoration, on the first weekend in December (Saturday 2 – Sunday 3 December).
As well as seeing the new-look Mansion House restored to its former glory, visitors will also be able to find out more about Christmas culinary specialities through the ages with food historan and broadcaster, Dr Annie Gray.
Younger visitors will also be able to write a letter to Father Christmas, and hand it over to the Lord Mayor, Councillor Barbara Boyce, for her to send on to the North Pole, receiving some chocolate treats for their efforts.
Richard Pollit, Mansion House Curator, said: “This is the first chance visitors will get to have a look at the incredible outcome of the resoration project. We’re so excited to open the doors to the public for the first time and are really looking forward to welcoming our first visitors.”
Councillor Keith Orrell, Interim Executive Member for Economic Development and Community Engagement, City of York Council, said: “York Mansion House is a beautiful building at any time of the year, but during the Christmas period it really take centre stage in the city. I hope that local residents will take this opportunity to see for themselves the marvellous retoration work – the biggest since the house was finished in 1732 – and find out more about the unique history of York’s Mansion House than ever before.”
The restoration includes a new-look exterior, with a brick-coloured facade and a polychrome crest – a colour scheme voted for by York residents in 2016 – and thought to be similar to how the Manison House would have looked in the 1890s.
The Mansion House will be officially re-opened on 27 January 2018 (Residents’ First Weekend), when visitors will be able to see the newly curated silver galleries for the first time.
York residents can get half price entry to the Mansion House with a York Card or proof of residence (such as a Council Tax bill). Full price entrance is £6.50 for adults, £5 for concessions and £3.50 for children. The house is open every day (except Mondays and Tuesdays) between 10.30 and 5pm until Saturday 23 December.
The ‘Opening Doors’ restoration project was made thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), funding from City of York Council and a variety of grants and generous donations totalling £2.6 million. The project sought to improve the visitor experience by beautifully restoring this gem of York’s architectural history, allowing more people than ever to enjoy it.
York Explore Library :
Thu 23 Nov :
6.30pm – 8.00pm :
Penguin and Waterstones present award-winning author, Ali Smith, who will be discussing her new novel, Winter. The follow-up to her sensational Autumn, Smith’s shape-shifting quartet of novels casts a merry eye over a bleak post-truth era with a story rooted in history, memory and warmth, its taproot deep in the evergreens: art, love, laughter.
Ali has previously been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, the Folio Prize and the Orange Prize, and has been the winner of the Baileys Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Costa Novel Award.
Book at Waterstones York, by phone (01904) 620784.
To book tickets please click here.
York Explore Library
Sat 18 Nov
2.30pm – 4.30pm
Rita Jerram enjoyed a successful launch at Explore in 2015 for her book retelling her Grandmother’s memoirs about the 1880s Canadian prairie. A Shadow in My Life is her own story: In 1953-4, as a young teenager, Rita spent 18 months in a TB sanatorium. Her book is rare: only a handful of memoirs exist about life in a sanatorium. Rita also writes with humour and love about the 14 women and girls she bonded with.
From the Grandma’s Prairie Journals launch:
“Marvellous reading by Rita – so moving. Beautifully crafted stories from source material! Great to see you showcasing local writers who clearly have great talent.”
“I came with my friend’s mother who has relatives in Canada. We’ve both read other books about prairie settlers. We enjoyed the buzz and readings – quite nice to have 3 different readers. Thank you.”
“Great readings with animated readers. Opportunity to purchase books. PLEASE MAY WE HAVE MORE OF THE SAME.”
This is a free event, but booking is required and tea/coffee are available for purchase.
To book tickets please click here.
York Explore Library
Thu 16 Nov
6.45pm – 8.00pm
£3 (or £2 with a York Card)
Finding the Words is a regular poetry evening every month at York Explore Library. Each evening brings together three poets and we aim to include both published writers and those working towards a collection. We’ll have a bar available and readings last around an hour. The evening is also a chance to share and chat, so please feel free to bring any news or information about poetry local, regional or national.
Charlotte Eichler grew up in Hertfordshire and now lives near Leeds. Her poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies such as Agenda, The Interpreter’s House, The Rialto, and The Emma Press Anthology of Aunts. She was recently awarded a year’s mentoring with Vahni Capildeo by Poetry London magazine, and her first pamphlet will be published by Valley Press in 2018.
Sally Goldsmith As well as a poet Sally is a songwriter, historian, utopian, environmentalist and an amateur naturalist. She’s also written scripts in verse, had songs and poems inside dramas on Radio 4 and a musical feature – about the Izal medicated toilet roll. She’s won two Sony Radio awards. Her first publication was Singer which was one of the winners in the Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition judged by Michael Longley. In 2013 Smith/Doorstop published her first full length collection, Are We There Yet? She lives on the edge of Sheffield near the Peak District.
Are We There Yet? poetry collection published by Smith/Doorstop and available from:
John Whale was born in Liverpool and is a co-editor of the international journal Stand. He has published two collections under the Northern House imprint with Carcanet, Waterloo Teeth (2010) and Frieze (2013). The former was shortlisted for the Forward Prize best first collection. He is currently working on a third volume which, once again, explores the connections between history, the body, and the natural world.
In person at any Explore York Library.
By phone: (01904) 552828