Clements Hall
Bishophill book cover crop for website

Clements Hall Local History Group

Exploring the Scarcroft, Clementhorpe, South Bank and Bishophill areas of York

Clements Hall Local History Group

Exploring the Scarcroft, Clementhorpe, South Bank and Bishophill areas of York

View navigation

Announcing our 2024 programme of talks

2024 collage

Our talks this year have proved to be very popular, so we’re delighted to announce our new programme of live talks at Clements Hall for 2024. Hopefully we'll be seeing current members back again and look forward to welcoming new members. We've kept our membership at £5 for the year, and if you add £5, that covers all the 2024 talks.

Our talks are designed to offer a range of topics of interest on the local history of our area. Some feature the latest research by our colleagues, breaking new ground with some fascinating local stories. In this way we hope to encourage you to look at our area in a new way. And if you’re interested in history then you’ll be able to hear how historical researchers work and which sources they use.

For our first talk on 19 January 2024, Susan Major features our Bishophill researches again. Much of Bishophill’s housing dates from the 19th century and still remains, in short terraced residential streets, giving it a distinctive identity. Within these, the corner shop was an important feature of everyday life in the local community, with many in Bishophill and along Skeldergate over the last 200 years. Almost all of these are now gone, with intriguing shapes in the brickwork hinting at old times. Susan will be revisiting some of these, together with more examples of the old pubs and the many industries which made Bishophill a noisy busy area in the 20th century.

In March we have two talks for the price of one. Two of our members, David Harbourne and Rob Stay, will each talk about their research. During the First World War, T. Cooke and Sons needed to boost production of optical instruments for the armed forces. Drawing on archives held at the Borthwick Institute, David Harbourne will outline the history of the new factory in Bishophill Junior, designed by renowned architect Walter Brierley. Rob Stay will talk about the history and sad demise of the church of St Mary Bishophill Senior, which used to stand where the community garden is now, opposite the Golden Ball.

In May Jackie Depelle, family history tutor and public speaker, will talk about turning your family history research into something more, maybe a publishable narrative…

In September John Shaw, Chair of the Yorkshire Architectural and York Archaeological Society (YAYAS), will show us some fascinating images of York and Yorkshire from the Evelyn and Hanstock collections, covering the period from the late 19th into the 20th century.

South Parade yorkNovember’s talk features Peter Thompson, one of our members, telling us about South Parade. The foundation stone of South Parade, ‘in the suburbs of York’, was laid in November 1823. This was a venture by the York Commercial Building Company, a group of private subscribers, and the parade of 20 houses was completed in 1828. This illustrated talk follows the history of the street and some of the characters who have lived there.

20220930_101756We’re pleased to say that we’ve made substantial progress during 2023, working on a number of projects. Rowntree Park, 1930s (Mike Pollard)These include

  • getting our latest researches into Bishophill ready for publication

  • work on a history of Rowntree Park to support the Rowntree Park Lodge Project

  • completing our 19th century poverty project

  • launching a new project to help members develop their own family history archives

  • investigating the intriguing story of our alleyway bricks and starting to map these across York.

We hope you will consider joining us and supporting our work. Most members join for the talks, but if you want to participate in our local history research, then we’ll help you. There’s no obligation to do this, it is entirely up to you. Membership costs £5 for the year, which gives you a reduced entry fee (£1) to talks, which are otherwise £3 for non-members. We can now also offer online membership, accessing recordings of our talks.

Contact us by email on, or alternatively leave a message at Clements Hall on 01904 466086.