Autumn 2022 Yorkshire Weekend

Twenty four brave and intrepid DonMoggers plus three extra Yorkshire Centre members braved some atrocious weather and did their best to visit some of the places of interest suggested by the organiser Ian Stevenson.

Accommodation and dining were by way of the 3 Acres Hotel and restaurant out in the wilds near the village of Elmley and right next door to Elmley Moor TV transmitting mast – which being 329m high spent much of the time enveloped in fog and mist.

Saturday weather was quite good and knowing the dire forecast for Sunday Roger and Linda went firstly over to Digley Reservoir followed by the Sculpture Park to make the best of the good weather. We had a nice walk round Digley Reservoir but the roads to get there were “challenging” to say the least – but we got there in the end.

On to the Sculpture Park – in contrast very easy to get to. Had a long walk round the lake followed by a nice cup of tea . As the name suggest a lot of (very big) sculptures in a very nice park.

Saturday evening meal we were in for a surprise which Ian had arranged. This was in the private dining area where a few strange looking additional guests started to appear as we started assembling. These were friends of Ian’s who were members of his local amateur dramatic group – “The Pierrot Players” and who had kindly agreed to provide the evening entertainment in the form of a Murder Mystery.

It didn’t take long for everyone to realize that “Pastor Waldorf Salad” was not a real vicar, and that “Philippa Tankard” was not the local disreputable publican who claimed to own a Morgan three wheeler! There was also “Wilma-Kidsby- Good”, “Lorraine Quiche”, “Moe De Grass”, “Drew Pleader”, “Ben Trader” and “Lou Tennant” the police inspector.

Despite all our efforts no one managed to correctly identify the murderer and even Liz’s interrogation skills, (perfected in her past working life !!!) were not successful. This was great fun trying however and it certainly made for a very different and entertaining evening.

The photo below of the cast identifies the participants by their real names from left to right: – David Colston, David Smith, Patricia Clifton, Julie Kaye, Jolene Varlow, John Varlow, Heather Boulby, Anthony Clifton.

Ian donated the generous collection to the drama group’s general fund.

And so, to Sunday – yes the weather forecast was correct. Not Moggie friendly at all even with the hood up!

After breakfast, we decided to stay in our room for a while with the hope that the weather would improve. It did not, so we concluded that we would either have to go for it or stay in our room all day. The latter was not an option, as there were plenty of indoor locations recommended on the list of suggested places to visit, one of which was Shibden Hall. So, we set off for Shibden Hall. After a rather gruelling journey in awful weather and equally awful roads, we finally arrived at our destination, drained and ready for a cup of tea.

We parked the car, which was close to Shibden Hall, (with the inevitable “is it a kit car” from the parking attendant) then made our way to the café, which was right at the bottom of the hill and a fair walk to get to. Unlike most cafes, they are very diverse in what they offer, from tea and cake to light meals. And the views of the park are magnificent. We settled for a cup of tea, then made our way back up the hill to the hall.

Shibden Hall is a Grade II listed building located in Shibden Park. It dates back to 1420, the first owner being William Otes. Since then, it has been owned by the Savile and Waterhouse families before passing to the Lister family, wealthy mill owners, who owned it for 300 years. Anne Lister (Gentleman Jack) inherited the estate from an aunt and made massive improvements to both the house and gardens. She led a very unconventional life, but varied and interesting, nonetheless. She was an astute businesswoman, a diarist and an adventurer who liked walking, travelling, and climbing mountains.

The BBC series ‘Gentleman Jack’, which portrays Anne Lister’s life, was filmed at Shibden Hall. The hall was also used for filming ‘Peterloo’ in 2018, about the Peterloo Massacre. By the time we had been round the house, the weather had improved considerably, so we went for a walk round the park again before heading off back to the hotel via a much easier route, the M62 and M1.

And to round off here are the survivors on Sunday evening.

Overall, a very good weekend. Thanks to Ian for organising including Saturday’s surprise.

Roger & Linda Pullen

(Additional input from Ian Stevenson, Martin W and Woody)