What’s on in York: Fairfax House reopening tomorrow (Saturday)

We are delighted to announce that Fairfax House is reopening its doors again from Saturday 5th September after eight long months of hibernation. Opening times will be 11-3, Tuesday to Sunday.

Using our time away productively, we have conducted some exciting archival research that has unearthed new information about our collection, the Fairfax family and the history of eighteenth century Castlegate. The layout and content of the house reflects these new discoveries, and we can’t wait to share them with you!
Opening safety is our paramount concern, so we will be admitting visitors at 15 minute intervals in households/bubbles of up to 6 people. Face masks are required and regular sanitising points will be available throughout the visit.You can read a full list of the safety measures in place on our website.

Click HERE to pre-book your slot.

We can also now officially introduce you to our latest project, A Character of Home – an intimate promenade performance staged in Fairfax House featuring Anne and Viscount Fairfax – the characters of course!

The Character of Home

6th – 31st October 2020

Step back in time to the sumptuous world of 18th century York for an intimate performance staged in the finest Georgian townhouse in England. 

Charles Gregory Fairfax bestows a magnificent gift upon his only surviving daughter, Anne. He builds her a resplendent house filled with beautiful things so that she might have a bright future in a glorious society…but, this place is wrestling with darker concerns and the household is haunted by the ghosts of its past.

Your task is simple. Enter a room and choose an object. Each object triggers an alternative version of the past and from a different historical perspective. Your choices not only change the drama but will even change your route through the house and the order of events. 

Written by Paul Birch. Directed by Thomas Frere        

York gets ready for Great British Spring (Autumn) Clean

The rescheduled Great British Spring Clean takes place later in the month

The national event aims to inspire people to roll their sleeves up and get involved in litter picks and ‘tidy-ups’.

Originally planned for March, the campaign has been rescheduled to September due to the COVID-19 lockdown. Further safety guidelines have been put in place, and additional PPE is available for everybody taking part.

City of York Council is appealing to local residents, businesses and community groups to become ‘litter heroes’ by getting behind York’s annual spring clean event between Friday 11 and Sunday 27 September, in addition to the day-to-day work of the council and York BID to keep the city clean and tidy.

Over the course of the campaign, the council will be on hand to lend support to residents in several ways. This includes collecting extra waste in bags printed with a large ‘V’ for volunteer from the pre-planned spring clean events, and by providing equipment to help make jobs quicker and easier.

The Big Spring Clean is a boost to the work front lines teams carry out all year round to help maintain and clean the city. This includes:

Maintaining grass: Ten gardeners mow open spaces and grass verges from mid-March and don’t stop until October. They cut approximately 41 million square metres of grass each year.

Maintaining hedges: teams start cutting hedges in housing estates, parks and ornamental areas from May and don’t stop until November. They cut approximately 77,000 linear metres of hedges.

Cleaning leaves and detritus from the road side: There are over 754,000 metres of kerb lines to sweep to ensure drains are not blocked and reduce the chance of weed growth.

Cleaning litter: teams check and clean around 975,000 metres of footpaths for litter, glass and lots of other things!

Emptying litter bins: teams have just completed the replacement of around 1250 litter and dog waste bins across the city, these are emptied at least weekly, depending on the location.

To request help, or to register your event with the council email environmentandcommunity@york.gov.uk. For more information visit www.york.gov.uk/GBspringclean call 01904 551551 or follow @cityofyork on Twitter using #YorkSpringClean

What’s on in York: Bicycle security marking event

The many residents who have bought a bicycle during the last few months of lock-down, have their first opportunity to have it security marked on Friday 4th September.

The North Yorkshire police will be visiting the Foxwood Community centre car park between 9:30am and 11:30am at teh invitation of the Foxwood Residnts Association.

There will also be a plant sale while volunteers will be continuing their regular Friday morning distribution of surplus food.

What’s on in York: Peterloo – the aftermath, York Lent Assizes, March 1820

Monday March 16th
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm 
On March 16, 1820 the trial of ten of the leaders at Peterloo, charged with conspiracy to overturn the government, opened in York. The trial was nationally reported and the government’s position widely discredited.  In spite this, five were convicted … but of the lesser charge of seditious intent.

Inspired by family history, The Road to Peterloo is about a Britain where the 1815 Peace has rewarded the few but penalised the many, where workers are drawn into mass protest meetings and soldiers, billeted in London to prevent revolution, become caught up in a secretive world of plots and spies.

Join local author, Jacqueline Everett, to discuss the historical background to the Peterloo massacre of August 16, 1820 and its aftermath, and hear readings from her novel The Road to Peterloo.

What’s on in York: Strong Yorkshire Women – Taking risks, standing strong

Sunday March 15th
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm

Join us in York International Women’s Week to celebrate the lives of four strong Yorkshire women.

An afternoon spent celebrating the lives of four Yorkshire women who lived life to the full, taking risks and standing their ground; introduced by their biographers, editors, or themselves. Wendy Rayne-Davis will talk about Saint Margaret Clitherow, Pauline Kirk will discuss the life and work of Rita Jerram, Children’s Rights activist and Githa Sowerby biographer Patricia Riley will talk about her own work, and about Leeds suffragist Isabella Ford who helped found the Independent Labour Party. The event will include short readings and the books will be available to purchase at a discount only at this event.

What’s on in York: Civic Trust events

A interesting programme of events has been prepared by the York Civic Trust. Mostly aimed at members, there are also some which could attract a wider audience.

Membership of the York Civic Trust is only £30 (click)

Likely to be of particular interest is an open series of lectures commencing in May which traces the influence that settlers and immigrants have had on the City.

The organisers say that in 2021 they will bring the story up to date. Given the present Home Secretary’s policies that may turn out to be a very short lecture.

The Peoples of York, Lecture 1: Arrivals

This is the first in a landmark series of six talks. The lectures will explore how York was shaped by settlers from Europe and beyond from the earliest times. The stories of individuals and the history of familiar places will come to the fore in six enlightening and engaging talks.

Organised by YCT, and supported by York Museum Trust, these fascinating sessions will be open to everyone. The series will launch with an insight into Roman and Anglian arrivals in York. In the autumn of 2020, the stories of medieval settlers will come to the fore. In 2021, we will hear how the city was shaped by the turbulence of 19th and 20th century migrations across Europe, and bring York’s story up to the present day.

Venue: Tempest Anderson Hall, Yorkshire Museum

Ticket cost: FREE
Ticket purchase: https://peoples_of_york_lecture1.eventbrite.co.uk

What’s on in York: Jasper – Viking Dog Book launch

York Explore

Wednesday February 19th

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm


Book tickets »

Exclusive book launch for the latest in Hilary Robinson’s wonderful series, featuring Charlie Tanner and his dog Jasper and their journey to explore established facts with belly laugh ideas about life as a Viking.

Meet the author and Viking Harold Bluetooth, go to Viking Art School with a book illustrator, take part in a Viking quiz and get your books signed!+

Jorvik Viking Festival



What’s on in York: Kate Spicer – Lost Dog, A Love Story

York Explore

19th February 2020

@ 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm 


Book tickets »

Join Kate Spicer and Wolfy as she discusses her life-affirming memoir about the myth of modern womanhood and the joy in the  relationship between human and canine.

Kate is a middle-aged woman trying to bring some order in her messy life. When she adopts a lurcher called Wolfy, the shabby rescue dog saves her from herself and restores peace and love to her human relationships. Redeemed, life is looking up. But then the dog disappears. Will she save him – and can she save herself from slipping back into her worst habits?

As she trudges endlessly calling his name in the hopeless hope she may find him, she runs into other people’s landscapes and lives, finding allies amongst not just the army of dog walkers that come out to help her but psychics, newsreaders, celebrities, homeless people and one mysterious midnight jogger.

Trying to find her dog tests her relationship, and her sanity, to their limits – and gets her thinking about life, and why things have turned out as they have for her. A brilliant, life-affirming memoir, which reaches into both life’s darkest and most uplifting places, critics and readers alike agree that Lost Dog is a book like no other about the myth of modern womanhood, the depths we can fall to and the enduring mystery and joy in the relationship between human and canine.

  Explore York in partnership with Fox Lane Books