October 2012

29th October

TOWTON UNDER THREAT - AGAIN! We've just been notified that Selby District Council has received an application for permanent planning permission for structures placed on The Gallops in Towton village by Mr. Reginald Robshaw. The Planning Application files can be viewed on the Council's 'Public Access' website on www.selby.gov.uk  , and if you would like to comment or object, you can email BusinessSupport@selby.gov.uk or write to Claire Richards at Development Management, Selby District Council, Civic Centre, Doncaster Road, Selby YO8 9FT. I'll certainly be objecting on heritage protection grounds, and also because I believe it would set a disastrous precedent - that anyone could plant a mobile home, portacabin or other building in this internationally significant battlefield zone, apply for retrospective planning permission - and succeed! So if YOU would like to make sure the Towton area stays as beautiful and unspoilt as in Roger Keech's stunning photo (right), please make your comments by 17th November.

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2nd October

When Mick and I got married on Richard III's birthday in 2007, little did we suspect that our fifth anniversary would coincide with the real possibility that his remains have been unearthed in Leicester. Now debate is waxing hot and hard over what should happen to the skeleton if it proves to be our last, long-lost medieval king: a state funeral? Reinterment in Leicester Cathedral? Or a return to 'his' city of York to be buried in the Minster?

I hope for the latter - mainly because it was Richard's own wish, but also from the purely selfish perspective that it would be closer for us to visit! If you're a UK resident and feel the same way, you can vote for him to come 'home' by signing this on-line petition. In the meantime, my breath is bated as I await the announcement of analytical results... and also look forward to Saturday, when we'll be celebrating the anniversary of our marriage blessing on 6th October 2007 (see pics below and left).

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Being entertained by the sword tournament... The bridegroom (right) in action... ...and the unforgettable 'joust', complete with coconut-shell hoofbeats!

Ah, the joys of re-enactment! As you can see, it was an altogether spectacular weekend thanks to our re-enactor chums... and the whole thing, including medieval lunch and dinner at the Crooked Billet for 80-odd people, with Trouvere to entertain us, cost less than some brides spend on their flowers! (I proudly boast that my own bouquet cost £6 for a half-dozen white roses - the other flowers came from our garden). Great memories indeed.

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Above: Dean and Stu mix it up outside the Hall

Below: the camp, with kitchen in foreground and armoury behind

But returning to the present, last weekend we had another chance to get into costume for the Frei Compagnie's penultimate outing of the season - a repeat visit to Bolling Hall in Bradford (one of England's most famously haunted houses). It was a poignant occasion, held in memory of our late good friend and Bolling family member, the author George Peter Algar. Peter had played a huge part in the success of our first appearance there last September (including rushing out for a consignment of bacon butties to sustain us as we set up camp), and we'd started discussing plans for this year's event only a week before he died. So it felt very strange and sad to be there without him... nonetheless we did our best to put on a good show. Doc Neil (below, centre) set up his clinic in the house-body, next to Dawn with her tablet- weaving; and outside we had an armoury in Pete's pavilion, Alex cooking in the kitchen, the archery range for firepower shows and have-a-go, Stu and Dean arming up and demonstrating combat techniques, and the other lads bill-drilling with the children:

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