January 2018



Beat supermarket waste: support local High Street shops!


Back to basics: L - R, making yoghurt in a Kilner jar to decant into re-usable cups; home-made hummus with the main ingredients; eco-friendly cleaning spray and a washable cloth.

11th January HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Welcome to 2018 - and I'm pleased to start my news updates for the new year by reporting that 2017 ended on a positive note for us and our local Wars of the Roses heritage site, Sandal Castle. On 30th December, the 557th anniversary of the Battle of Wakefield was commemorated with a very special event conceived and organised by our fellow Kettlethorpe resident, Sharon Whittaker of the Harrington Household. Re-enactors from the Harrington, TBS Frei Compagnie, Clifford and Sir John Savile’s households marched in period costume from Wakefield Cathedral to Sandal Castle via the bridge chapel where Edmund, Earl of Rutland was murdered by John, Lord Clifford of Craven on 30th December 1460, and Manygates Lane, where the Earl’s father Richard, Duke of York fell in battle on that same day. The parade was led by Tony Robinson, Bishop of Wakefield, (left) and followed by around 100 members of the public who observed the prayers and wreath-laying carried out at the chapel and Duke of York’s monument before taking part in a short service conducted by the Bishop outside the former Visitor Centre, now the excellent and very successful Castle Café (see below).

My role was to help staff, and sell my books from, the Friends of Sandal Castle (FoSC) gazebo. However, when Hubcap and I arrived to help set up, we found several Friends struggling to erect it in the gale-force wind; and when we realised that it was more likely to function as a hang-glider than a gazebo, we abandoned the plan! Luckily, the kind proprietor allowed us to set up shop in the café foyer, where I spent a pleasant day with FoSC Secretary Janine Heseltine and other Friends, drinking tea, eating cake, chatting to visitors, handing out literature and selling our wares. I was delighted to make £65 in sales of my two Battle of Wakefield publications – and to present a copy of 'Wakefield Revisited' to the Bishop, who very kindly invited me to speak about the battle later this year at one of the monthly Bishops’ Breakfast meetings held at the Cathedral. I feel very honoured (if rather nervous) at the prospect, and look forward to fixing the date in my diary. (Cont'd below images).


The Bishop with my book (a picture I never thought to see!)


The event was a credit to all the stalwart re-enactors who (unlike me!) braved the weather all day, and in some cases travelled long distances to take part (the Harringtons’ vintner drove all the way from Suffolk). It concluded with some show & tell and a bill-drill, and seemed to be well-received by the public despite the bitter cold, passing showers and strong wind (precursor to Storm Eleanor!). So we’re very grateful to Sharon, her husband Lee and the rest of the Harrington Household for making it happen, and hope it will be repeated – especially since Wakefield Council have voted to spend £700,000 on much-needed improvement works at Sandal Castle, beginning with the recent installation of a ‘kissing-gate’ to prevent unauthorised motorcycle access to the site. An excellent start to 2018 – let’s hope it continues in the same vein!

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