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The Thirsk blog

Something remarkable and FREE
By Peter.  Last updated Fri 22 Aug at 8.31pm.

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On Thu 11th to Sun 14th September Heritage Open Days celebrates England’s fantastic architecture and culture by offering free access to places that are usually closed to the public or normally charge for admission. One of them is Queen Mary’s school near Thirsk.

Every year on four days in September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors. It is a once-a-year chance to discover architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities that bring local history and culture to life.

Free of charge and right on your doorstep, Heritage Open Days is an event for everyone, whatever their background, age and ability. From castles to city halls, tunnels to tower tops, police cells to private homes, workshops to woodland walks, the variety of places and ways to discover them are endless.

The tentative North Yorkshire list of free places to visit is HERE.

100 years from the start of WW1 in 1914
By Peter.  Last updated Mon 4 Aug at 11.23pm.

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At 11am today Thirsk residents and visitors turned out in force to remember those killed in the First World War and subsequent conflicts. Thirsk Royal British Legion were there and after the one minute's silence a member of the Brass Band played the Last Post.

Until Friday there's a free exhibition at the Quaker Meeting House in Kirkgate (opposite Herriot Centre). The 'Your Choice in 1914' exhibition shows the options everyone faced. Many of the displays are by Thirsk schoolchildren.

Tonight at 10.30pm there was a Candlelit Vigil in Thirsk Market Place to mark when war was declared 100 years ago. It was organised by Churches Together in Thirsk.

FREE Yorkshire tea boxes
By Peter.  Last updated Fri 1 Aug at 11.26am.

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Visit Thirsk Information Centre in the middle of the Market Place for your FREE Yorkshire Tea Box.

While you are there why not buy a Yorkshire flag, hat or White Rose pendant?.

Open 10am-4.30pm Mon-Sat and 11am-2pm Sundays..

Our magnificent bicycle
By Peter.  Last updated Sun 1 Jun at 10.13am.

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Thirsk Tourist Information Centre is ready for the Grand Départ of the Tour de France. Here is the magnificent yellow bike (recovered from scrap) now installed on our building in the middle of Thirsk Market Place.
On both 5th & 6th July the Grand Départ is within easy reach of Thirsk and you can find HERE the route and timings on 5th & 6th July, along with practical advice.

Free WiFi in the Market Place
By Peter.  Last updated Wed 30 Apr at 8.57pm.

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Free WiFi is now available in Thirsk Market Place.

To log in, connect to 'Thirsk Free WiFi'. A few seconds later on a tablet or smartphone a notification to complete the WiFi connection might appear, otherwise open the browser. Accept the Terms & Conditions, complete a simple form and you are connected.

The free WiFi is a collaboration between Telecom Yorkshire, Thirsk Tourist Information, Hambleton District Council and the Thirsk Business Association. It is being provided at almost no cost to the ratepayers.

In addition, many of the Market Place shops and coffee bars provide free WiFi.

James Herriot's favourite view
By Peter.  Last updated Fri 7 Feb at 9.02pm.

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The view over the Vale of York from the top of Sutton Bank was loved by Alf Wight, the James Herriot of 'All Creatures Great and Small' and other books about his life as a country vet. At this time of year in Winter you can see the multiple shades of green and purple.

County third in the World for Tourists
By john.  Last updated Wed 13 Nov at 9.42am.

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Its now official, Yorkshire is one of the best destinations in the world for tourists.

The county's travel guide listed it as one of the top ten in the world. Only Sikkin in India and the Kimberley in Australia, were ahead of Yorkshire in the Lonely Planet`s Best in Travel guide for 2014

Endorsements rarely come much better than this, from a guide that has a worldwide reputation across tourism and informing visitors.

Listing the county as one of the best regions in the world for visitors in the coming year is in recognition of it being a fantastic all-rounder: with some of the most stunning scenery in the country, dynamic cities, friendly people and a burgeonning food scene.

In 2014 this welcoming region of rugged moorlands, heritage homes and cosy pubs will be able to hold its head even higher when the Tour de France begins it Grand Depart  

Yorkshire country fairs
By Peter.  Last updated Sun 29 Sep at 9.38am.

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This is sheep racing last Saturday at Masham sheep fair, the last of dozens of country shows and festivals held May to September within reach of Thirsk. Will we see you here next year?

Picnic in the Park
By Peter.  Last updated Sat 13 Jul at 11.53pm.

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Today over 1000 people enjoyed a Picnic in the Park. Or more precisely a picnic in the garden of Thirsk Hall, home to John Bell, Lord of the Manor of Thirsk.

We enjoyed our picnics, the local band My Forever and the Queen tribute band Flash. After dark the evening ended with a spectacular fireworks display. Next year's Picnic in the Park is 12th July 2014.

Flash-mob Thirsk
By Peter.  Last updated Tue 23 Jul at 6.58am.

From Katy Hailes:
This flash mob was done in the little town of Thirsk in North Yorkshire on 27th May 2013 during an event called 'You are Loved.'

We wanted to show the power of love – without agenda – by handing out a ton of free flowers, balloons, sweets, chocolates and cupcakes, face painting kids faces, buying people coffees, fish and chips and their groceries... and so much more!

The flash mob was the finale at the end of all our random acts of kindness on the streets.

Thirsk Morning newspaper
By Peter.  Last updated Fri 22 Mar at 5.12pm.

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Thirsk Morning is a single sheet newspaper for
visitors to Thirsk and for local residents.

It gives you vital information in planning a day out. Included are the weather forecast from the BBC and a snapshot of Thirsk Market Place. Both are less than an hour old whenever the newspaper is printed.

Following the weather and picture are two articles about fascinating places to visit. These articles change so that you will see new interesting stories every day.

Lastly there is a list of events happening today and, if there is space, some events for tomorrow.

If you will be travelling to North Yorkshire please print the newspaper in the days before you come.

Click HERE to see the latest edition of Thirsk Morning, produced less than an hour ago.

Please print the sheet rather than viewing it online.

Thirsk Shopping Week in 1930
By Peter.  Last updated Thu 28 Feb at 4.59pm.

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In 1930 Thirsk organised a 'Shopping Week' to promote local businesses. At TTI we are helping with 2013's promotions. In 1930 the equivalent of this website was a booklet you will find HERE and the following is a taster from it. We have different events now but things don't change too much in Thirsk!

Saturday, May 31st, 2 p.m. Opening speech by T. J. Lynch, Esq., Chairman of the Thirsk Parish Council. Spotting and Error Hunting begins. The Thirsk & Sowerby Prize Band will give two Concerts in the Market Place, at 2-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m.

Monday, June 2nd. Spotting and Hunting will be in full swing. Display judging by the public should take place,and entries sent in for the Safety First Driving Competition.

Tuesday, June 3th. Spotting and Hunting continues. In the evening the Safety First Driving Competition will commence at 6-30 p.m., from the Market Place, and continue for several hours. Be there to see the starters, and watch for the finishers.

Wednesday, June 4th. The Athletic Club are co-operating with the Chamber of Trade in arranging a pleasant time at the Athletic Club Ground. A Special Cricket Match between Thirsk 1st and York Revellers, will take piace in the afternoon. Tea will be served in the grounds. In the evening the T. & S. P. S. B. will play Dance Music.

Advice for B&B owners
By Peter.  Last updated Mon 25 Feb at 9.39pm.

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Buying and eating local has many benefits but, when running a B&B, mass-produced supermarket goods often win out over local produce in an attempt to keep everyday expenditure to a minimum. One of our volunteers and local Bed & Breakfast owner Sue Porter has advice for all B&Bs with regard to local food.

Choose your search and source radius, keeping it as local as you like. Initially, perhaps look at a radius of 10 miles, but don’t worry if you end up with a 50 mile zone – it is still an achievement and demonstrates that you have really put effort into your product. If you succeed, tell your guests and be sure to mention it on your website – there are a lot of potential guests out there who are dedicated to eating local.

... continue reading online

Travel ideas
By Peter.  Last updated Mon 28 Jan at 10.20pm.

1 Have a day out shopping or sightseeing in Harrogate or Leeds – for nothing if you have a bus pass! Catch the 10.20 no. 70 bus from Thirsk Market Place which goes via Carlton Miniott getting to Ripon at 11.01. Once there you have to walk just a few yards to the 11.10 no. 36 bus to Harrogate, arriving there at noon and Leeds at 12.50. The no. 36 service runs every 20mins to and from Ripon. You only have to remember that the last no. 70 bus from Ripon to Thirsk is at 5.40, getting back to Thirsk at 6.21. To be safe, be sure to get the 3.15 back from Leeds (4.20 from Harrogate).

2 Another time, take the same buses as in 1. above but, instead of going all the way to Harrogate or Leeds, get off at the beautiful village of Ripley just 3 miles north of Harrogate. The bus drops you off in the centre of the village and you could be in the heart of France. A previous member of the Ingilby family redesigned the whole village on French lines complete with an Hotel de Ville! You can easily spend all day there visiting the fascinating Castle and grounds which the Ingilby family have occupied for over 700 years of turbulent history. The village is also home to the Village Store with its world famous Ripley ice cream, the Chantry House Art Gallery, an old fashioned butcher’s shop, a Farm Museum, the Boar’s Head coaching Inn, an interesting old church and, within the Castle courtyard, the gift shop, tearoom and delicatessen. You can then catch the no. 36 back to Ripon at 4.35 in time to take the 5.40 no. 70 to Thirsk.

3 Have a fun day out in York using the buses. Take the 9.05 or 10.00 no. 30X from Thirsk and alight at Leeman Road in York. There the National Railway Museum is FREE for all visitors. It is great for children and a nostalgia trip for seniors. Then walk the walls, look in small shops hidden in nooks and crannies and visit Clifford’s Tower to marvel at what remains of York Castle, originally built by William the Conqueror. In York Minster The Orb is 2013’s must-see for all visitors. This treasure house of stained glass is showcasing some of world’s most important medieval art. An entrance ticket to the Minster is valid for 12 months, so be sure to go back again.

4 Visit the Yorkshire Dales by bus. In the summer the options are a bus to Northallerton and a connection to Hawes or, on certain days, a bus to Ripon and a ride on a vintage 1950s bus into Wensleydale.

The above were compiled using texts from several of our volunteers

Imagine a situation
By Mo.  Last updated Thu 10 Jan at 12.25pm.

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A family of 4 friends, – mother, father, 2 children (aged 8 & 12) and their grandma, have telephoned one morning to say they’re coming over that day to visit you. It's a lovely day so you decide to take them somewhere that they can all enjoy. You’ve already been into the Tourist Centre a number of times and have leaflets about various local attractions and decide that Ampleforth Abbey seems to fit the bill very well.

They can firstly go to the Visitor Centre to find out more about the Abbey and its history and talk to one or two monks there. They can have a walk round the extensive grounds following the map provided – whilst Grandma sits and admires to views and has a look round the library and the gift shop.

When they get together later they can look round the Abbey Church (at 2.15 pm on most Thursdays there's a guided tour), the children can count the number of mice carved on the furniture whilst the adults admire the amazing architecture, and eventually they can all end their outing with really delicious refreshments in the tearoom.

There will be a special Church Mouse Tour at Ampleforth Abbey on Saturday 16th February but book now because it will fill quickly. Tel:01439 766085.

Who is the Drover?
By Catherine.  Last updated Wed 9 Jan at 7.15am.

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He is the figure on the cast-iron milestone found in Ingramgate, the figure depicts a drover carrying a tankard of ale and a stout stick. He is also found on the new arch installed over Baker's Alley.

The cast-iron milestone is one of four found around Thirsk, the others are at Spa Farm on the Northallerton road, at Griffin Farm on the A19 towards York and on Stockton Road, all a mile from the Market Place. These milestones were made at a foundry in Norby, which made domestic items from the early 1800s to about 1930.

The little figure is presumed to be based on the drovers who brought herds of cows and sheep south along the Hambleton Drove Road, but the figure is thought to be a real life character called Tom Brown who was a labourer at the foundry,

The Thirsk Museum has now taken the drover as their emblem.

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