RCPS Press Report 5th May 2016

Looking for a venue to enjoy and perhaps photograph? In nearby Malton there is The Castle Garden, a five-acre public park that is a scheduled ancient monument site with evidence of remains of a Roman fort, Malton Castle and a Jacobean Prodigy House underlying the ground. The park is a natural area with large areas of wildlife habitat, but with a central lawned area surrounded by more formal paths and seating where visitors can relax just minutes from the busy town centre. There is also a woodland walk through one side of the garden amongst the many ancient deciduous trees that thrive in the park. The land is said to contain part of the remains of the Roman Fort known as Derventio dating from 71AD. Some 1000 years later The Normans built a castle on the land that was captured by Archbishop Thurstan of York in 1138 before Eustace de Vescy rebuilt the original wooden castle in stone and welcomed Richard the Lionheart to it in 1189. Edward II also visited in 1307. Another famous person, Robert the Bruce also visited Malton Castle in 1322, but the great house fell to ruin. All that remains of the original property is the building now known as The Old Lodge Hotel.

On the east coast, there is a ‘Sea and Sky Exhibition’ in the Staithes Studios Gallery, open 11am to 5pm on Thursdays to Sundays until 15th May, admission free. This selling art exhibition celebrates poetic visions of sea and sky combining birds, boats and the movement of the sea and, of course, Staithes is a magnet for photographers anyway.

At Nunnington Hall, near Helmsley, (National Trust charges apply and open Tuesdays to Sundays until the end of May), there is an exhibition of award winning photographs from the most recent British Wildlife Photography Awards competition including the top winning image taken by Barrie Williams, who will be speaking to RCPS members in the new season.

Closer to home, Thorpe Perrow Aboretum, near Bedale is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Apart from the extensive grounds, woodland and water, visitors can meet the owls at 11.30am and watch flying displays at 1.30pm and 3.30pm.

Closer still is the moated, Medieval Manor House that is Markenfield Hall near Ripon. It opens its doors to the public for a limited time each year. It is the most unspoiled surviving early fourteenth century house in all England, and what is more is still lived in, currently by Ian and Lady Deirdre Curteis. As they explain on their website, “Although we have tried to make Markenfield Hall interesting by notices and explanations here and there, most of all it is our private home. That is why you will occasionally encounter family muddle, dogs and sometimes grandchildren racing about. It is supposed to be the most continuously inhabited house in the country, but we’re not sure if that is true. It is a place with an extraordinary history, beginning with its entry in Domesday Book (1086) and continuing to the present day, sometimes peacefully, sometimes in considerable strife. It is now being gradually restored to something of the status and dignity for which it was built. It has had its fair share of unhappiness over the centuries and yet it has an extraordinary atmosphere: peaceful and benign. Visitors often remark on that. We hope, when you visit, that you take away some of that peace with you.” For photographers this venue is a real gem, inside and out, as evidenced by many members who took the opportunity to visit on a special RCPS event about two years ago. The Hall is only open on limited days in a year, including from now until 15th May and then again 11th to 26th June, 2-5pm with cash only (no cards) admission charges. Unfortunately one of a pair of black swans that graced the moat is deceased, thanks it is believed, to what has now been observed via nighttime photography as a rather well fed otter.

On Saturday, 7th May, the Yorkshire Photographic Union (YPU) Annual Exhibition opens in The Old Restaurant, Wakefield Town Hall, Wood Street, Wakefield, 10am to 4pm daily for one week. Several RCPS members entered prints and digital images for consideration and will only find out if any have been selected on the opening day. However, we are delighted to congratulate Tim Nichols and Tom Willis, who is a Junior Member, because news has come through in advance that both have gained either a Certificate of Merit and / or a Trophy. Congratulations are also due to Lyndsay Campbell whose superb image, ‘Spirit’ has been accepted for the Scottish International Salon 2016. Well done to one and all.