Fundraisers look for cash to boost the Whit weekend parade

Do you have fond memories of the old Whit weekend parade in Richmond? If so you might want to get involved in boosting the modern day version.

A group of fundraisers from Richmond have taken to the crowdfunding website to raise £1,000. At the time of writing they had raised 35% of the target figure.

They say:

This campaign is designed to generate much needed extra funds to independently improve the Richmond whit weekend parade, from giving extra prizes for float entries and also giving additional funds in order to get more jazz bands to attend, in addition making it a far better show for the whole community.

You can pledge your support here.

Local author brings philosophy to life with new book

Nicky Hansell

Nicky Hansell

When a father suffering from dementia writes a Will which sees one son favoured ahead of the other, it prompts serious soul searching and difficult questions for both of them.

Perhaps the cruel illness twisted his views of the brothers to cause an unfair assessment? Maybe the son who was left nothing had actually done something so unforgivable that the old man’s position was perfectly reasonable?

Or it could be that the discovery of the Will risked a unnecessary re-assessment of the Father’s loving nature?

The scenario might sound like an issue up for debate on a television programme or radio phone-in show, but this is just one of the contemporary scenarios that author Nicky Hansell uses to explore some of world’s best known philosophical ideas through history.

The Sage Train is the first book from the former Richmond School teacher whose passion for philosophy is obvious as soon as she starts talking about her work.

“You can’t go through life without making decisions and philosophy underpins absolutely everything we do. A friend described it to me as being able to change the way we examine our lives which I thought was a good way of putting it.”

When the opportunity arose to take a sabbatical from teaching in 2011, Hansell started work on the book, alongside other activities which also see her produce films used in teaching A level philosophy and ethics classes.

A curious hybrid of fact and fiction, the Sage Train introduces the reader to the minds of eight philosophers; Aristotle, Kant, Hobbes, John Stuart Mill, the pleasure seeker Aristippus, A J Ayer, Aquinas and Baruch Spinoza.

In the preface to the book, she explains that the chosen philosophers were ‘not randomly selected.’

“I could have included others, but the fact is that these were the men who spoke to me and in whole there is remains huge richness. They were wise as well as being clever.”

Within each of the Sage’s stories featured in the book, Hansell brings the philosophy to life by allowing the reader to compare the ideas and how useful they still are today.

Amazon’s description describes it further: “Hailed as a triumph by teachers, students and dinner party guests, this book has a humorous, accessible tone that makes abstract ideas seem easy and shows how philosophical questions remain at the core of our lives.”

And it won’t be her last book as Hansell’s second work is already well underway – a trip back to Tudor times with an exploration of the history of Jervaulx Abbey.

The Sage Train is for sale at Castle Hill Bookshop in Richmond or can be ordered online here.

From Richmond to Oz – read all about it!


Journey’s end: The book

Former Richmond residents Simon and Anita Duffin completed their land-based journey to Oz and have now written a book about their experiences.

Regular readers of the Richmond Noticeboard may well remember when the former contributor here set off in August 2014 to take the slow route to their new home in Australia.


Ready for the off at Bargate

And now you can follow their many adventures en route with this book – Crossing Paths, Crossing Borders: A Journey from Yorkshire to Australia.

It shows how tricky land border crossings can be, with a cage to herd people into Iran, secret police interviews as they left Chechnya and official ‘overtime’ payments to Malaysian border guards.

But, they say, the journey also revealed that the best insights into exotic communities can often come with the most banal experiences: a visit to the hospital, the post office, the cinema, or even having a cup of coffee or tea.


Beach life! Picture Simon Duffin

The description of the book at Amazon says

Simon and Anita are not grey nomads, nor are they gap year backpackers. They wanted above all to show that an adventure like this is possible also for people in the middle of their life journey, looking to stay out of trouble and keep costs to a reasonable level. Some may be inspired to try something similar. Others may enjoy the tale vicariously from the safety and comfort of their sofa.

* You can take a look inside the publication or download the book at Amazon here.

Richmond special PC steps down after 46 years

Alan Simpson

Alan Simpson

North Yorkshire Police’s longest serving Special Constable, Richmond-based Alan Simpson, is due to retire after 46 years of voluntary policing.

He joined York and North East Yorkshire Constabulary after his snooker partner, who was a regular officer and also based at Richmond, nagged him over a period of time. “The next thing I knew was the village bobby turning up at the house with the all the paper work.

“My mum did quite a bit of volunteering for the civil defence and Women’s Voluntary Services at the time, learning how to make soup kitchens out of dustbins and things like that, so I suppose she might have influenced me a bit” he added.

In a press release, the Force explained Simpson was attested in the farmhouse kitchen of the local Justice of the Peace, who he knew well as a neighbouring farmer, and whose son was also a special.

Yes it’s true that I have been in for a long time, but I don’t see myself as being any more worthy than someone who has served ten, fifteen or twenty years in the specials and then subsequently retired or resigned because of personal circumstances.

“I would say that one of the main things that has kept me chipping away over the years was the constant support, help and friendliness of the regular officers who I have had the pleasure of working with. I would like to take this opportunity of thanking them sincerely for the help they have given us all. I am certain that that will continue as it always has done.

I always had a policy of working with all the shifts never favouring one shift over another, consequently it made it very easy to work anytime I liked. I can’t recall a duty I did, no matter how short it was, when I didn’t have back up from the ‘regs’ should it be required, or that I wasn’t thanked for turning out by someone or other before I went home.”

He describes some of his most memorable moments as a Special as ranging from disabling a burglar alarm twenty-five feet up a house gable end that was keeping every one awake at two in the morning, to breaking up numerous fights and brawls outside nightclubs and pubs over the years.

His last day with North Yorkshire Police is 2 February after which he plans to jet off to New Zealand to visit his three brothers. And then, he says he might come back to NYP to do some volunteering!

Inspector Mark Gee of Richmond police, also paid tribute to the officer: “Alan is a true example of all that makes an exemplary Special Constable. He has been a great role model and mentor to both Special Constables and Regular officers and I, alongside my colleagues wish Alan all the very best in retirement.”

If you want to follow in Alan’s footsteps, North Yorkshire Police are now recruiting Special Constables. For more information and to apply visit

Recruitment closes at 9am on 1 February 2016.

Shock at sudden death of Richmond councillor


John Robinson

Tributes are being paid to Richmondshire District Council’s Chairman who died suddenly today.

A dedicated community ambassador, John Robinson devoted much of his life to helping others, particularly in his home town of Richmond, where he lived since 1975.

Robinson’s career in the Fire Service spanned 32 years, with the majority of that time based at Richmond Fire Station until his retirement 11 years ago.

He worked tirelessly for the community he represented. In 2003 he was elected to Richmond Town Council, serving as Mayor for the 2007/8 Civic Year. The District Council Elections in 2007 saw Robinson elected for Richmond Central Ward, going on to serve as Chairman of several Committees and then as Council Chairman this Civic Year.

Robinson was also actively involved in local voluntary and charitable groups, including Richmond Duck Club, Richmond Rotary Club, as well as being a Fellmonger and Trustee for The Thompson Charity.

His nominated charities as Chairman are Richmondshire Community Voluntary Action, St Mary’s Church Bell Fund and St Teresa’s Hospice.

Close friend and fellow Richmond Central Ward Councillor, Clive World, paid tribute to his colleague: “John was a dedicated family man. To carry out his excellent work as Councillor, he needed the support of his family, which he always had in abundance. John was a decent, thorough and caring man and I have never heard a bad word said against him. It has been a privilege to work with him for the last nine years. John loved Richmond and was thoroughly enjoying his time as Chairman, which was tragically cut short.”

The flag at the District Council’s Mercury House headquarters will fly at half-mast until sunset on the day of the funeral.

Richmond in November: Photographers’ view


Richmond in the fog. Picture: Peta Robinson


The Christmas Parrot. Picture: Julia Metcalfe


Finkle Street. Michael Fenwick


Scotch Corner.
Picture by Patricia A Thompson

Each one captures a particular aspect of life in the town and have been chosen by members of the Richmond Yorkshire Photography Facebook group throughout the month.

The four shown here received the most ‘likes’ from members of the popular group during November.

They are:

  • Peta Robinson’s lovely evocative view of Richmond in the fog.
  • Love it or loathe it, Christmas won’t be Christmas without him so there’s Julia Metcalfe’s The Christmas Parrot.
  • Michael Fenwick’s Finkle Street and its smattering of the white stuff.
  • Patricia A Thompson Henry’s fabulous old view of one of the month’s major talking points – Scotch Corner.

Thanks to the group’s moderator Amanda Adams and the photographers for sharing them with us.

Fancy joining them? The December picture challenge has just opened at the Facebook page. Good luck!

Nudity and nature – the story behind THAT picture



It’s the picture which has got Richmond tongues wagging. A man in nothing but his woolly hat and hiking boots admiring a lovely Swaledale view. Mark Rasbeary tells me more about photography, nature and the reactions that picture has received.

Please note – if you really feel the uncensored picture might offend you, please don’t scroll down this page any further. You have been warned!

Whether you loved it or loathed it, it’s likely that photograph of Mark Rasbeary will be one of the most memorable local views encountered this year. But what made the retired grandfather clamber to that spot below the summit of Calva and pose in the nude?

“Peta and I had walked up Calva, enjoying our sandwiches by the summit cairn. As we descended, we both stopped to again take in the beautiful vista before our eyes. I felt in awe, at how breathtaking the view was, totally absorbed by the magic.

“Getting naked seemed totally natural too me, a way to feel even more a part of that view. I asked Peta to take the photo, mainly as a reminder of the intense emotion I felt being part of the Dale.”

And so the picture was shared on the popular Richmond photo group Facebook group where both Mark and Peta are regular contributors often posting beautiful images including dramatic sunsets.

But the reaction was something the couple couldn’t have anticipated. While many thought it a bit of a chuckle, there were some who found it to be no laughing matter.

At this point, readers could be forgiven for thinking they’ve lapsed into that episode of the TV comedy series Father Ted with its discussion of the ‘nudey’ scene which ‘left nothing to the imagination’.

“I was shocked at the number of folk who complained” said Mark, “meaning my photo was removed from the group.The outpouring of support from the majority of members was very kind, I believe they saw the photo for what it was intended.

“The comments of one member who considered me ‘unhinged, deranged, a danger to children and that I was committing an offence’ did anger me.That kind of narrow-minded outlook causes our young folk far more harm than a photo, the likes of you can see in WHSmiths or any other card shop.

“When I posted my comments [at the Facebook group] after that member’s libellous remarks, the show of support was humbling.”

The furore prompted something of a dilemma for the moderator of the Facebook group, Amanda Adams who this week released a calendar of members’ photography.

Mark was selected as ‘Mr September’ – and appears there in all his glory – but in a bid to cater for people who found the picture offensive, there is also a version of the calendar available which doesn’t feature the image which can be selected at the point of sale.

So what next for the intrepid naturist who says he enjoys spending as much time as possible outdoors and previously spent two years travelling around Spain and France on a Harley Davidson.

I didn’t post the photo to shock, I wanted to share my joy with the group.

“The photo certainly caused great debate, much mirth and no doubt a headache for the lovely Amanda, our lovely administrator.

“When it was decided to include the photo in the calendar, I was happy, after all it was only a bottom.

“As for future naked photos, if the circumstances are right yes, of course there will be more. They may also be posted on the group, that would depend if I thought the group may like them.

“I love to bring smiles to peoples faces, there is plenty of misery in the world as it is.”


In all his glory: Picture by Peta Robinson

Photography group gets offline


Photo walkers

Some of the members of the Richmond Yorkshire Photographs facebook group got together for a photo walk on Sunday morning.

The event was organised to meet up with people who share pictures of the town online and it also gave local photographers an excuse to look again at the many familiar scenes and find some fresh perspectives.

These are a few of my pictures from the route which included The Batts, the Falls and Castle Walk. There’s sure to be many more (and undoubtedly more expert!) pictures due at the Facebook group here.

Richmond school student offered dance school place

I had waited so long that I thought I hadn’t got in – so I was so happy when I had. I love dance more than acting and singing but will need all three for the West End. One day I would love to teach with my own dance school.

Richmond sixth former Hannah Smith tells The Advertiser of her joy at getting a place to study professional dance and musical theatre at the celebrated Bird College in London.