Our Annual Dinner

Join us for our annual dinner which this year will, once again, be held at Create Cafe in Wakefield One.

If you like cocktails, great food and good company, this is the event for you!

Doors open at 7pm when a bar will be available from which to purchase drinks and order wine, etc, to accompany your meal. At 7.30, we will start with our cocktail demonstration when our mixologist for the evening, Shaun Mounsey, will demonstrate how to make three cocktails and one mocktail (the latter being without alcohol).

As Shaun demonstrates how to make the perfect cocktail, guests will have the chance to sample the drinks for themselves as they will each receive a tasting glass (approximately one-third measure) for each cocktail/mocktail that Shaun mixes.

If you’ve been to one of our Cocktail Masterclasses before, you’ll know just how popular they are! So do book early……..

Tickets cost £49 per person which includes three sample cocktails, one sample mocktail followed by a three course dinner (choice of menu ) followed by tea/coffee and mints.

Download details of the menu and how to book here.

Wakefield Civic Society receives Culture Everywhere grant from Wakefield Council

We are delighted to announce that we have received a Culture Everywhere Grant from Wakefield Council.

The grant will be used to extend our series of ‘Discover Wakefield’ leaflets which explain aspects of Wakefield’s built heritage. The new leaflets will be launched in September as part of the Society’s contribution to this year’s national Heritage Open Days programme.

Society President Kevin Trickett said “In 2021, the Society was awarded a grant from the Council to help promote an awareness of Wakefield’s architectural heritage. We were able to produce four leaflets which were accompanied by further information on our website.

“At the time, we were unable to organise our usual range of guided walks because the risk of infection from Covid and wanted to produce something that people could use to explore the city’s fascinating heritage on their own. The leaflets, which were made freely available at Wakefield libraries and at the West Yorkshire History Centre, proved popular. We were, therefore, very pleased to hear that we had been awarded another grant to produce more leaflets this year”.

The four leaflets produced in 2021 (illustrated above) were:

  1. Architect Charles Watson – the architect is credited with the design of houses in St John’s Square and the former Mechanics’ Institute as well as Stanley Royd Hospital.
  2. Monuments to Women – very often, it is the men who are remembered when it comes to historical monuments, but women have also been commemorated, even if fewer in number.
  3. Historic Pubs of Northgate – Illustrated with specially commissioned artwork based on old photos and period drawings and paintings, the leaflet maps out the locations of some of the former (and present) pubs of Northgate.
  4. A City of Art and Sculpture – the leaflet introduces some of the many artworks and architectural detailing that can be found just by walking around the city centre.

The four new leaflets will cover the following topics:

  • The Barbara Hepworth Connection – looking at the links between Barbara Hepworth and buildings in the city centre with which she was known to have been associated.
  • The Railway Stations of Wakefield – this leaflet will provide background to some of the city’s railway stations – many now lost.
  • Historic Pubs of Kirkgate – Although Westgate is often associated with Wakefield’s night-time economy, Kirkgate had a surprising number of pubs over the years, most long-since demolished to make way for modern development.
  • Lost Buildings of Wakefield – Many older people will have fond memories of Wakefield in the 1950s and 60s. Look at old photographs of the city centre and the sheer number of buildings that have been demolished is astonishing. This leaflet will highlight a number of the more significant ones.

The leaflets will again be made available free of charge from Wakefield libraries and the West Yorkshire History Centre. They will also feature in the Society’s guided walks and talks and, for a nominal amount, will be available to purchase on-line.

As in 2021, it will also be possible to download copies of the new leaflets from the Society’s website where an expanded text, with additional illustrations, will also be available to read.

For more information, have a look at the Society’s Discover Wakefield webpage: https://wakefieldcivicsociety.org.uk/discover-wakefield/

WTJ Insurance Brokers Ltd join the Society as our latest corporate member

We are delighted to announce that WTJ Insurance Brokers Ltd have become our latest Bronze corporate member.

Established in 1986, the company, based at Landmark House, 556 Leeds Road, Outwood, Wakefield, WF1 2DX, is one of the leading independent insurance brokers in the UK.

Account Executive David Woollin said “As a Wakefield based insurance-broker, we have vast experience of insuring historic buildings within our city. We understand the challenges and complexity of resorting and repairing historic buildings and endeavour to provide insurance solutions which are fit for purpose. We are proud to support Wakefield Civic Society and share their ethos of making Wakefield a better place in which to live, work or relax.

The Society offers a range of corporate memberships for local businesses and other organisations who share our aims. You can find out more on our website here.

Why not join us and add your name to the growing list of corporate members supporting the Society in its work?

Do contact us if you would like to find out more.

Wakefield Civic Society 2023 Design and Environment Awards Announced

At the Society’s Annual General Meeting held on Thursday, 20th April, the following Design and Environment Awards were announced.

Design Awards

Photo of Heathland View House courtesy of Neil Bowen Architects

In the new-build category, a commendation was given for Heathland View House, a newly built house at Warmfield which has been built into the landscape so that it is almost invisible from the road. The architect was Neil Bowen Architects.

Photo of CAPA College – Kevin Trickett for Wakefield Civic Society

An award was presented to CAPA College for their new purpose-built premises on Mulberry Way. The architects were Race Cottam Associates. Modern and amply suited to its purpose, the building completes the Merchant Gate development opposite Westgate Station.

Photo of The Hepworth Wakefield Garden – Kevin Trickett for Wakefield Civic Society

A second award was presented for The Hepworth Wakefield Garden, designed by Tom Stuart-Smith. The judges liked the way that the garden adapted the space between the Hepworth gallery and the recently opened former mill building refurbishment at Tileyard North. The garden created an area of beauty and tranquillity close to the city centre that residents and visitors to the gallery could enjoy.

Photo of 115a Northgate – Kevin Trickett for Wakefield Civic Society

A final award in the new-build category was presented for a new house at 115a Northgate, designed by Architecture 1B. The house occupies a prominent corner plot on the corner of Wentworth Terrace and Northgate and, although of very modern design, the judges were impressed by how the house fitted into a relatively small corner plot while being respectful of the properties around it.

Photo of the Manor House courtesy of PARKdesigned

Moving to the refurbishment category, the judges gave a commendation to the refurbishment of a former Manygates Hospital building, now known as the Manor House, and repurposed as flats as part of a larger residential development known as Woodlands Village. This had been a major refurbishment project of a building that had fallen into a state of dereliction over the years. The lead architects were ParkedDesign.

Photo of 22 Silver Street – Kevin Trickett for Wakefield Civic Society

A commendation was also given to the refurbishment of 22 Silver Street, which includes a newsagent and also the offices of First Choice Recruitment. The property had been refurbished and given a new shop front as part of the Westgate Heritage Action Zone project.

Photos of Thompson’s Yard, Westgate (top) and Woolpacks Yard, Westgate – Kevin Trickett for Wakefield Civic Society

The Heritage Action Zone project was also the subject of a further commendation, awarded to Wakefield Council for the public realm improvements carried out by the Council as part of the project, particularly for the work to improve the appearances of the entrances to Woolpacks Yard, Thompsons Yard and Carter Street.

Photo of Castle Lodge – Kevin Trickett for Wakefield Civic Society

A design award was given to Castle Lodge at Castle Road in Sandal. This former nursing home had been refurbished and extended to create new apartments. The judges liked how a house of traditional design had been sympathetically extended with two new wings to create additional apartments within a landscaped setting. The design was by PRA Architects.

Photo of Haircube Bread Street – Kevin Trickett for Wakefield Civic Society

In the best shop front category, although no awards were given, two commendations were given. The first went to business owner Louise Mould for her hair salon at Bread Street while the second was presented to First Choice Recruitment for the new frontage on their premises at 22 Silver Street.

Photo of the new shop front at 22 Silver Street – Kevin Trickett for Wakefield Civic Society
Photo of Icmeler Restaurant, Northgate – Kevin Trickett for Wakefield Civic Society

In the best public house, café/bar or restaurant frontage category, one commendation and one award were presented. The commendation went to Gazi Meydan for the design of his restaurant frontage at 56 Northgate while the award was given to Icon, a bar in the Westgate Heritage Action Zone. The award was for the refurbished frontage, work carried out under the project, as part of a larger project, still underway, to refurbish the former Woolpacks property that extends backwards from Westgate up Woolpacks Yard. The architects for the project are Seven Architecture.

Photo of Icon, Westgate – Kevin Trickett for Wakefield Civic Society
Photo of the interior of an apartment at the Manor House – Courtesy of PARKdesigned

Finally, in the best residential category a further commendation was awarded for the Manor House at Woodlands Village while Castle Lodge secured its second design award of the evening.

Photo of Castle Lodge – Kevin Trickett for Wakefield Civic Society
Representatives from the Friends of Outwood Park being presented with their award
by the Mayor of Wakefield, Councillor David Jones.

Moving on to the Environment Awards, two award were given. The first went to the Friends of Outwood Park for their planting scheme at the park while the second went to the Wrenthopre Environmental Society (known as WRENS) for their work to ‘spruce up’ the village. Unlike the Design Awards, where recipients were presented with certificates and plaques, winners of the Environment Awards were presented with certificates and cheques for £100.

Ian Carthew of WRENS is presented with the award by Mayor of Wakefield, Councillor David Jones
– Photo by Ben Davison for Wakefield Civic Society

The awards were introduced by David Dinmore MBE DL who, as a Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire, spoke of the King’s interest in architecture – something which he had long taken an interest in as Prince Charles. Wakefield Civic Society President Kevin Trickett MBE described the awards and the judges’ decisions while the successful recipients received their awards and commendations from the Mayor of Wakefield, Councillor David Jones.

Photo of (left to right) David Dinmore MBE DL, Kevin Trickett MBE, The Mayor of Wakefield Councillor David Jones and the Mayoress Mrs Annette Jones courtesy of the Mayor.

The judging panel members, all members of Wakefield Civic Society, were:

  • Angie de Courcy Bower
  • Roger Brown
  • Barry Goodchild
  • Elizabeth Motley
  • John Ramsden
  • Graham Roberts

Speaking at the AGM, Civic Society President congratulated all the nominees and prize winners. He said that the Society existed in large part to promote an interest in architecture, design and town planning and the awards were just one way of drawing attention to schemes that added to the special character of the city. “All too often, people seem prepared to criticise the city centre”, he said, “but for anyone prepared to look, there is a lot of work being undertaken by the Council, developers and business owners to make real improvements to the city and this is in the interests of everyone, whether they are residents, business owners or visitors to the city”.

Margaret Morgan

Margaret Morgan, April 2016

We were saddened to hear of the passing of former Wakefield Civic Society President Mrs Margaret Morgan on 25th January.

Margaret first joined the Society’s Executive Committee in 1990 and served until May 2018 when she decided to retire from the role although she maintained her membership of the Society until her death.

Elected Society President in March 1991, Margaret continued in the role for four years until March 1995. She remains one of only two people to serve as President for longer than three years in the Society’s history (the three-year limit was set under the Society’s constitution at the time – a limit that has since been removed).

Part of her work on the Society’s committee was to organise the Society’s annual programme of visits and excursions – at first on her own and then later with the assistance of colleagues from the committee.

Margaret was well known to many of our members and regularly attended our events. She was also an active participant in the Society’s monthly Dining Club until the advent of Covid and lockdown in March 2020 at which point many of the Society’s face-to-face activities had to be paused.

As well as her involvement in the work of the Society, Margaret was also a trustee of the Gissing Trust for many years, including serving as chair of the Trust for a number of years. (The Trust was set up to celebrate the life and work of Wakefield-born novelist George Gissing.) She was also a member of the Friends of CHaT Parks, an organisation set up by the Society, and a volunteer at Nostell Priory.

Our photo above was taken at our Annual General Meeting in 2016 when the Society marked Margaret’s 90th birthday with the presentation of flowers and other gifts as an expression of our appreciation for her long service to the Society.

Below is an extract from the Society’s Newsletter published in January 1999.

We’ve been to a Marvellous Party

It’s been a long time since the Society has been able to offer members an outing. Our plans for a programme of coach excursions and local visits organised for 2020 had to be abandoned because of Covid and lockdown, so it was a pleasure to finally get out and about – even if we only travelled a few miles from Wakefield, when we visited Hodroyd Hall at Felkirk for a tour of the house followed by an afternoon tea.

Hordroyd Hall, © 2021 Hodroyd Hall Estate Ltd

Hodroyd Hall is a beautiful, grade II listed private country house in the picturesque hamlet of Felkirk, approximately 8 miles from Wakefield.

The earliest reference to Hodroyd is in 1144 and the Hall is steeped in history from its days as a monastic building, to the country seat of the Monckton family, to offices for the National Coal Board.

In 2017, Hodroyd Hall was acquired by Stephen Aviss, an opera singer, and his family and it was Stephen who showed our members around, pointing out that Oliver Cromwell and possibly Mary, Queen of Scots, had been among the previous visitors.

Following an extensive renovation of the property, the Hall has now opened for events and wedding hire. It is once again a family home and offers a unique combination of country house tradition with the informality of family life – and they do splendid afternoon teas!

Wakefield Civic Society members and guests admiring the gardens at Hodroyd Hall
Afternoon Tea at Hodroyd Hall

Find out more about Hodroyd Hall on their website here.

Blue plaque to Wakefield’s first female Mayor unveiled

On Saturday, 24th September, Wakefield Civic Society unveiled a blue plaque to commemorate the life and work of Wakefield’s first female Mayor, Councillor Fanny Stott. The plaque was unveiled by the current Mayor of Wakefield, Councillor David Jones, at a garden party held in the grounds of the Stott family’s former home, Grove House, College Grove Road, Wakefield.

Fanny Stott – biography

Fanny Stott and her daughter Betty. Photo courtesy of Betty’s son, Charles Senior

Fanny Wordsworth Stott (1882-1961), born Fanny Wordsworth Haslegrave, was the daughter of Wakefield corn mill owner Joseph Haslegrave and his wife Fanny Wordsworth.

Joseph Haslegrave was a partner in the corn milling firm of Reynolds, Stott and Haslegrave Ltd, who had the West Riding and King’s Mills on the banks of the River Calder in Wakefield – close to where the Hepworth Gallery is today. Joseph Haslegrave was himself Mayor of Wakefield from 1890-91.

The family originally lived at Dirtcar (Durkar today) but had moved to Manygates House at Sandal by 1881, where Fanny was born, and to Stanley Hall by the time of the 1891 census.

Originally training as a nurse, Fanny married Edwin Percival Stott in July 1914 at Sandal Church – Stott was also a corn miller. Three years later in 1917, their daughter, Ida Elizabeth Stott, known as Betty Stott, was born.

In 1929, Mrs Stott was elected as a Conservative councillor for the Eastmoor and St John’s Ward. In recognition of her work for the city, in 1938, Mrs Stott was elected to the aldermanic bench, becoming Alderman Stott and then, in 1939, she became a JP.

On becoming the Mayor in November 1940, she asked her daughter Betty to act as her Mayoress – and at the age of just 23, Betty was to be the city’s youngest ever Mayoress.

Mrs Stott sat on many committees associated with her concerns for welfare, including the Yorkshire branch of the Women’s Advisory Housing Council, the Bede Home for Boys, the St John’s Home for Girls, the Victoria Nursing Association, the Clayton Hospital Ladies Linen League, the West Riding Discharged Prisoners’ Aid Society and the Social Service Council. She was also Chairman of the Wakefield branch of the Civil and Auxiliary Nursing Reserve, Vice President of the Wakefield Soroptimist Club, President of the local branch of the College of Nursing, and President of the Wakefield, Pontefract and Knottingley branch of the NSPCC.

In addition to the above responsibilities, Mrs Stott was also a member of the Board of Governors of Wakefield Charities and had been President of the Women’s section of the British Legion.

She was also associated with a number of charitable causes. She raised money for people affected by the Blitz in London and, closer to home, people who had been bereaved in the Crigglestone Colliery disaster of July 1941 when over 20 men were killed. As well as attending many charitable events, she also used the garden of her family home at Grove House for events to raise funds.

Fanny Stott died in 1961. By then, she was living at Barnsley Road, Sandal.

The Blue Plaque

Wakefield Civic Society Blue Plaque to Fanny Stott

The nomination for the blue plaque was made by David and Eleanor Woollin. The Woollins purchased Grove House from the Council in 2020.

The house was originally designed and built for a Wakefield-based woollen draper by the name of Thomas Boston. Boston moved in when the house was completed in June 1877. Within a couple of weeks of moving in, Thomas unfortunately died, due to suffocation caused by inhaling toxic fumes which has escaped from the conservatory flue and into the bedroom.

In 1921, Grove House was occupied by the Stott family – Edwin Percy Stott, his wife Fanny and 3 servants.

In 1952 Grove House was sold to Wakefield Council for £3,900. They originally converted the property into flats where they housed Wakefield Council staff, and then more recently it was converted to an assisted-living care-home.

After 70 years of ownership, in 2020, Wakefield Council sold the property to the Woollins – they hadn’t moved far having lived just across the road, but they had to save Grove House from potential developers when it came onto the market. Having acquired the property, they started refurbishing the house and converting it back into a family home. They also undertook some research into the property’s history and it was then that they discovered the connection with Fanny Stott. They were so impressed with Fanny’s story that they decided to nominate her for a blue plaque and offered to donate funds to Wakefield Civic Society to cover the cost of the plaque.

However, rather than just unveiling a plaque, the Woollins wanted to continue Fanny’s earlier tradition of using the property’s garden to raise funds for a good cause and they decided to host a garden party which was attended by more than 50 people, including the Mayor and Mayoress of Wakefield and members of Wakefield Civic Society. Fanny Stott’s grandson (Betty’s son) Charles Senior also attended the event with members of his family.

Garden Party Guests – Photo by Shaun Walker

The event was very successful and over £750 was raised for charity. David and Eleanor have decided to donate the money to one of the current Mayor’s charities – the Dr Jackson Cancer Fund.

In addition to the cash donation, the Woollins had booked Wakefield’s tinyIDEA to provide pizzas for garden party guests. tinyIDEA use their proceeds to help alleviate food poverty in the Wakefield District.

Speaking at the event, Wakefield Civic Society President Kevin Trickett congratulated David and Eleanor on organising the event and thanked them for their donation to the Society to cover the cost of the plaque, which would be the 71st plaque unveiled by the Society. He also pointed out that the work David and Eleanor had done to refurbish the house made a refreshing change showing how Victorian properties could be brought back to life as family homes and preserved for future generations to enjoy rather than being demolished and replaced with rather anodyne modern houses.

The Mayor of Wakefield, Councillor David Jones also thanked David and Eleanor for their hospitality and support for the Mayor’s Charities. The Mayor drew attention to the efforts of his predecessor in raising funds for good causes, ‘cadging’ as Fanny used to call it, and mentioned some of the more unusual moments from Fanny’s life, including the time in September 1941 when she drove a tank into Wakefield from several miles outside the city right into the city centre while her daughter Betty, as Mayoress, followed behind in a second tank. Many thousands of people lined the route to cheer the procession made up of tanks from an army unit that was visiting Wakefield for four days. Fanny said how much she enjoyed ‘skidding round the corners’ – once she got used to it!

Left to Right: Eleanor Woollin, holding Monty, the Mayoress, Mrs Annette Jones, Wakefield Civic Society President, Kevin Trickett MBE, the Mayor of Wakefield, Councillor David Jones, and David Woollin

Wakefield Civic Society Environment Awards 2022 Announced

Wakefield Civic Society has announced the winners of their 2022 Environment Awards.

Speaking at the Society’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday evening, 28th April, which was held via video link, Wakefield Civic Society president Kevin Trickett said that the judging panel had decided to make four awards.

The awards went to two community groups, to a local school and to an individual who has done much to inspire and lead on tree planting projects in the area.

The awards were presented as follows:

1. Roger Parkinson BEM – for his leadership in the Thornes Woodland Creation Project – a project to plant trees at Thornes Common, one of a number of sites identified by Wakefield Council for tree planting as part of the contribution to the creation of the White Rose and Northern Forests. Working with over 250 volunteers from local businesses, schools, environmental organisations and community groups, Roger has led the project to plant and much some 10,000 trees since December 2021.

Thornes Woodland after the planting was completed

2. Open Country for their Wild About Wakefield Project – an initiative to help people with disabilities to access the countryside, to learn about nature and heritage and take part in physical activities, which in turn helps biodiversity within local green spaces. The project, which is based at Thornes Park, grows and plants out wild flowers, constructs bird boxes and promotes environmental awareness within the community. Volunteers have also provided opportunities for adults with learning disabilities and autism to benefit from weekly tandem cycling rides, weekend wheelchair outings and an adventure club. The project had also contributed to the development of 500m of new accessible footpath at Coxley Woods, near Horbury Bridge.

Volunteers and community members at Open Country

3. The Thornes Millennium Green Trust – for their management of a community garden, the Thornes Millennium Green, on Denby Dale Road. The garden was first created in 1997/8 in preparation for the Millennium and has been maintained ever since. Over the last year, the small team of gardeners have introduced more planting to support pollinators, tending shrubbery that is beneficial to birds and created a ‘bug hotel’.

Thornes Millennium Green – Big Hotel left and planting centre and right

4. Wakefield Methodist Junior and Infant School for their ‘tree awareness campaign’. For the last twelve years, the school has engaged with tree projects around Wakefield. This has involved planting trees and taking part in regional national and international tree campaigns. They have demonstrated how a tree nursery can be set up in a school and have been keen supporters of the community nursery in Thornes Park. The project, which raises awareness of the benefits of tree planting, involves the school’s leadership and teaching staff as well as pupils at the school.

Members of Wakefield Methodist J&I School

Each award winner was presented with a certificate and will receive a cash prize of £100 from the Society.

Mr Trickett congratulated all award winners adding that environmental concerns are increasingly being discussed by politicians, business and community leaders. While it is important that everyone does their bit to improve the environment, community projects such as these show what can be done, and more importantly, what is being done locally by ordinary people to care for the places they love.

Mr Trickett added that the Society hoped to make the Environment Awards and annual event and encouraged others to submit entries when the call goes out towards the end of the year for the 2023 awards.

Any enquiries regarding these awards should be directed to the Society by email at info@wakefieldcivicsociety.org.uk

Wakefield Civic Society Environment Awards 2022

Entries for our 2022 Environment Awards are now invited

The Society has been making awards for good design since 1966. Two years ago, and influenced by increased public and governmental focus on climate change and the need to protect the environment, the Society introduced new awards aimed specifically at environmental schemes. Although we did not run any awards in 2021 because of the Covid pandemic, we have decided the time is now right to offer Environment Awards once again.

This year, our Environment Awards will recognise projects that demonstrate innovation, imagination and good practice in nature conservation, the promotion of environmental quality and support of the wider goals of sustainable development. Cash prizes of £100 per award will be given.

The Awards are open to any individual, business or organisation with a suitable project in the Society’s ‘area of benefit’. We particularly welcome entries from community groups, youth groups and schools.

The deadline for entries is 5pm on Friday, 4th March. Ideally, entries will be submitted electronically (via email or WeTransfer.com for larger files) using the official entry form which can be downloaded below. Where this is not possible, entries can be posted to us at our PO Box address.

Results will be announced at the Society’s Annual General Meeting to be held on the evening of 28th April 2022 (an event which may be held on-line or in person at the discretion of the Society’s Executive Committee and depending on the Covid situation at the time).

The number of awards offered will be at the discretion of the Society, informed by the number and quality of entries received.

The decision of the judging panel is final.

Rules & Criteria

A the rules and criteria for the awards can be downloaded here.

Application Form

To submit an entry for the awards, please use the entry form which can be downloaded here (in Word).