To mark the tenth anniversary of the opening of the Castleford Millennium Footbridge the following article was published in the Yorkshire Post.
The article is titled The Big Town Plan revisited - ten years on, how has The Castleford Project impacted on the town?
It examines how the town has fared in the ten years since the Channel 4 program The Big Town Plan ended.
On August 12th volunteers Gini Bannister, John Parker and Dave Pickersgill attended “Producers Day” at Bert's Barrow in Hillam.
At a well attended event the team answered questions from the general public and promoted the next Mill open day which will be on Saturday September 15th.
Amongst the highlights of the day were a visit by local mayor David Buckle, plus John was interviewed by Radio York for the Wednesday evening show God's Own Countryfile.
Event organiser Charlotte Wells Thompson said, “It's been a fantastic day for all our lovely customers and hard working producers, I would like to thank everybody who has been involved”.
Over the past few months the volunteers have been working hard to make changes to the tea rooms and Riverside Paint A Pot. Walls have been torn down, new walls have been plastered, doorways have been sealed up, concrete has been poured, windows have been replaced, flooring has been fitted and paint has been applied.
The tea rooms owner Dana Russell said, “Three years have flown by since the tearooms opened. Now well established the tearooms have a great reputation with some fantastic customers. With the support of the Mill, we have now expanded, enabling beautiful views of the River Aire, the Mill, water wheel and the famous bridge. The expansion has been sympathetically carried out to provide extra seating as well as the fantastic views. I would like to thank everyone who has been on this journey, especially the hard working volunteers & mill staff who have put their hearts & souls into delivering this expansion on time.”
Riverside Paint A Pot owner Ruth Knowles is equally delighted with the effort put in by the volunteers. She now has bright cheerful premises where folk can turn plain pottery items into custom artefacts.
The Trust is pleased to announce that in conjunction with Wakefield Council we are holding a number of events over the school holiday's here at Queen's Mill.
The events consist of activities at Riverside Paint A Pot followed by craft work in the Mill.
Sessions will run from 09:30 to 12:30 on the following days.
To book a session please call our office on Tuesdays or Thursdays on 01977 556741 or email:
In July members of the Trust attended The Great Yorkshire Show at the invitation of the NFU. The Trust shared a stall with Alastair Trickett who grows heritage varieties of wheat on the family farm which is situated on the Harewood estate. Over the three days of the show volunteers met members of the public many of whom were impressed at the work done by the Trust. The days were well attended and a great success. Many thanks to our team of John Parker, David Pickersgill, Jeanette Bannister, Glynnis Wilson and Lorna Malkin for going along to help out.
Jini Bannister commented “I had a really good Day on Wednesday and the public were full of praise for the CHT at Queens Mill and wished us well for future projects.”
During the last two Sunday's in June volunteers spent the day at Farmer Copley's near Pontefract. On the first Sunday it was a farm open day where Dave Weatherson spent the day telling visitors how we turn wheat into flour. On the second Sunday the farm held a “Festival At The Farm” where Dave was joined by Dave Pickersgill and John Parker who again told visitors the story of milling wheat into flour. The Queen's Mill stand was positioned next to Alan Copley's combine harvester so visitors could easily understand the link of field to flour. The events were hailed a great success and more volunteers will be meeting members of the public in July at The Great Yorkshire Show and in August at Bert's Barrow farm shop in Hillam.
We are holding a Great Get Together at Queen’s Mill this Friday 22nd June at 14:00 to 16:30.
All welcome for tea and cakes etc.
Jo Cox on her first speech in parliament noted that “We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us”. The great get together is a nationwide event for people to come together in this spirit.
Everyone is welcome so do invite friends and family and anyone who you think would like to come along.
The idea is that if everyone brings a little something, we can share and enjoy a good time.
Our apologies on the short notice, but we hope you can make it.
Representatives of Castleford Heritage Trust were invited to a presentation of the Duke of York Award for Community Service. Janice Brookes received the award from the Duke on behalf of the Trust at Sheffield Cathedral. It was a wonderful day, and everyone was proud that the work of the Trust in Castleford has been recognised by the Duke of York Trust. There are many CHT members and volunteers who serve the community in so many ways and this award is for everyone involved, to celebrate all that they do.
Esther and Wilf Rhodes along with Esther's sister Hazel Parks have raised over £1,000 for the Trust in less that twelve months with their tombola stall.
The stall is a regular feature at Queen's Mill open days and it has also raised money for the Trust in the Carlton Lanes shopping centre in Castleford.
The Trust would like to thank the tombola team for their sterling work.
Pictured from the left are; Hazel Parks, with from the Trust, Alison Drake MBE and Gillian Cohen, alongside Esther and Wilf Rhodes.
NEW Volunteering Opportunities
The following opportunities have become available for volunteers with the Trust ...
In addition CHT will be having a stall and running an activity at the Children's University event - MayHem 2018. The event takes place on Wednesday 30th May between 10:00 and 14:00 at Castleford Campus, Wakefield College.
For the official events page: click here.
For more information, contact Jenny Catch, email: , alternatively telephone CHT on 01977 556741 or call in at Queen's Mill, on Aire Street.
A crowdfunding campaign is being launched in a bid to get a historic Castleford waterwheel turning once again.
The 130-year-old wheel, at Queen's Mill, has been out of action since 1970 but Castleford Heritage Trust (CHT) wants to restore it to generate electricity for the mill, with the surplus being sold to fund the trust's activities.
The initial target for the project is £20,000, which the trust aims to raise through business sponsorship and individual donations.
CHT chairwoman Alison Drake said: “We have been unable to secure grant money for the waterwheel so, instead, we're turning to the people of Castleford and saying 'let's fund this ourselves'. With the help of funding from Power To Change, our volunteers have already put in thousands of hours of unpaid work to transform the mill buildings and now we're calling on the rest of the town to help us with this vital aspect of our plans. The trust's ambition is to be self-sustaining – and the income we could achieve by selling electricity generated by the wheel would go a long way toward this. If we succeed in restoring the waterwheel, it will not only bring an impressive part of our heritage back to life but will also be a fantastic demonstration of what a small town like Castleford can achieve if everyone works together.”
The huge waterwheel, which is more than 6m in diameter and 4m wide, was installed in 1885 and meant the mill became the first building in the town to benefit from electric power.
CHT project manager James Knowles said: “If we hit the £20,000 target this will release other funds for the project, which we hope to start work on in April. First we'll need to drain the water from around the wheel so engineers can have access to assess its condition and give us an idea of the work needed to get it turning again. We already have £50,000 from Wakefield Council for generating equipment but that needs the wheel to operate it, so the plan is to carry out the work in two phases: first to get the wheel back in action, then to install the generator and connect it to the grid. It won't be the easiest job but we're up for the challenge – and we hope the people and businesses of Castleford will play their part, too.”
Sponsorship opportunities are available from £50 upwards: for more information, contact , telephone CHT on 01977 556741 or call in at Queen's Mill, on Aire Street.
The next stage to regenerate the former Queen’s Mill site in Castleford has been given the go-ahead by planners.
An application from Castleford Heritage Trust to bulldoze the prefabricated structure next to the main mill building and build several units, including a music studio, has been passed. Accessed via Aire Street, the proposed new building will also house an office and a store room for canoes from water sports on the River Aire. The upper level of the new building will be turned into a dormitory, with an intention to offer bunk-bed style accommodation for people who are doing the Desmond Family Canoe Trail - a water sports partnership project with the Canal and River Trust which runs from Merseyside to East Yorkshire.
The whole building will be wholly owned by Queens Mill with all the units, apart from the boat house and dorm, which is intended for business lease.
The planning officer recommended approval saying: “It is considered that the proposal would seek to encourage the long term vitality and regeneration of Castleford town centre and enhance local leisure facilities, having long term benefits to the riverside.”
Businesses across Yorkshire are being invited to a series of Tour de Yorkshire roadshows as the county gears up to host the major international cycle race. This roadshow, delivered by Welcome to Yorkshire, is a great opportunity to come along and find out more about what is happening in Castleford and across the region during the Tour. The session will include a short presentation, detailed information of the new route, advice on how to make the most of this world-class event and a Q&A opportunity. They will also give advice around brand guidelines and how your business and community can make the most of the opportunity.
As part of its 2018 opening attractions The Colne Valley Museum featured bread making in their Victorian kitchen using flour from Queen's Mill. Jane Bickerton of the Colne Valley Museum Bread Team said "We would like to thank Delia Perret for making the donation we really enjoyed working with your flour." Also on display at the museum was a new transport exhibition, Days Gone By.
The Colne Valley Museum is located within the Colne Valley at Golcar, Huddersfield. The museum consists of four converted 19th century weavers' cottages.
On Friday 26th of January Castleford Yoga will be holding a Free introduction to Feel-Good yoga session at the Mill between 19:45 - 20-45.
If you are interested please bring a mat, some water and wear comfortable clothes. Also if you wear reading glasses please bring them to help fill in the health screen form.Click here for more information.
The 1st meetings of 2018 for our community groups are as below. New Year, new resolution, learn a new craft and join our community groups.....
Knit and Knatter - Thursday 4th January 1pm
Quilting - Friday 5th January 1pm
Both great groups and new members welcome.
Life In Our Iron Age Landscape: At home with the Celts
From 26th January to 9th March 10:00 - 12:00 the WEA are holding a series of workshops at Queen’s Mill.
Learn together about the Iron Age and life in Yorkshire before the Romans arrived. Think about the past and develop the confidence to talk about the landscape around us. The Iron Age was a fascinating time in the history of the Yorkshire landscape. The people who lived here left lots of clues about their lives. This is an opportunity to join a friendly group of people and will enable you to develop your knowledge and your confidence.
The course costs £42. Call 0300 303 3464 and quote course code C3672284 for more details.
Or click here to enrol on-line.
Come and see the lights for yourselves and take a look at all that Castleford has to offer for Christmas. We also have some fabulous gifts in our Queen’s Mill Crafts market stall which are all hand made and some lovely arrangements that are made of wood from the actual Mill building itself. What a lovely keepsake for Castleford people!
Queen's Mill Knit and Knatter group are to be featured in Simply Knitting Magazine - Issue 167 - which is due out on the 8th December 2017. We are excited to see the article which will detail all about the group and feature many of the amazing projects that they have done and continue to be involved in.
If anyone is interested in joining the group everyone is welcome, the next meeting is on the 7th December at 1pm. Further information can be obtained through the CHT office on Tel: 01977 556741.
At our next open day on Saturday the 25th Olsen Metal Art have created a sculpture out of the scrap metal from Queen's Mill which will be unveiled at 11am.
We are also excited to announce performances from:
We will be offering a variety of children's activities at our Christmas Open Day including - making tree decorations, window decorations, paper plate crafts and 2018 calendars.
We are an official learning destination for the Children's University Scheme and children who are in the scheme (e.g. through their school) will be able to collect a passport entry for taking part.
We currently run several community groups out of our premises at Queen's Mill on Aire Street, Castleford. These include Knit and Knatter, Quilting, Art Workshops and Trial Yoga Classes. We also use our premises to facilitate community and corporate training courses.
We would like to invest in creating a new dedicated space for these groups to work and to socialise in and to be able to extend what we have to offer for the local community. Our current meeting facilities are basic and do not offer all the facilities that the groups need. The current meeting room is used for many different purposes and this means that it is not always available for community use.
Having the new dedicated community space will mean that we are better able to meet community needs. It will enable our current groups and potential new groups to:
If you are not a member of the Aviva Community here is how to register;
Castleford Heritage Trust president Yvette Cooper MP, opened the first part of the museum project based at the Queens Mill, Castleford. The street scene artwork known as Mill Terrace was designed and installed by pupils from Castleford Academy under the guidance of Diana Davies, head of art.
Yvette took keen interest as the pupils explained the process and what inspired the artwork, before thanking them for all their hard work. CHT volunteer Kevin Lloyd, who invited the school, said "The pupils have done a fantastic job, and were a credit to themselves and the school, with many taking time out of the school holidays to work on the project. The trust would like to thank Castleford Academy headmaster George Panayiotou, Chair of governor's Bill Clift MBE with special thanks going to Diana Davies for their support"
To see all the photographs taken during the project click here: Mill Street Mural
Thanks to grants from Power to Change and Wakefield Council we are currently undertaking a significant refurbishment programme at Queen’s Mill. This will open up more areas of the mill for community and business use. On Friday 6th October we will be offering businesses and groups the opportunity for a sneak preview of our new facilities, which will be available for rental very soon.Whilst refurbishment is still on-going, visitors on the day will get an idea of the scale of work that is being undertaken, see some of the facilities which will be available, and get chance to talk about the possibility of Queen's Mill being the new home for their business or group.
To book a viewing of the new facilities please contact Lorna Malkin or James Knowles on:
Tel: 01977 556741
On the morning of 6th September 2017 we had a very special visit from Johan De Pont, Benthoed Moof and David Jones of The International Molinological Society.
The guests enjoyed a detailed tour of Queen's Mill from our Head Miller Dave Weatherson, who made a special effort to come down to show them around.
For more about the Molinological Society, you can visit their website on: The International Molinological Society
Lee tells us he took the picture on September 1st at approximately 20:40 just as the sun was setting. Thank you Lee we appreciate your support.
Following on from their successful day at the Great Yorkshire Show volunteers Dave Pickersgill, Dave Weatherson and John Parker attended the producers day at Bert’s Barrow in Hillam on Sunday 13th of August. Having spent the previous day baking samples ranging from beer bread and cinnamon bread to peanut butter dog biscuits the trio spent an enjoyable afternoon promoting Queen’s Mill and Queen’s Mill flour. They again handed out Queen’s Mill information leaflets to the hundreds of people from around the district who stopped by their stand for a nibble and a chat.
John Parker said: “It was another eventful session and again worthwhile as a lot of local people did not know that Queen’s Mill was being run by volunteers and was still producing flour. Nor did they know we hold open days, have the facilities to host events and are the home to the annual Castleford Beer Festival. It was also great to meet the other producers who supply Bert’s and make the venture such a success.”
When asked to comment proprietress Dana Russell said, “Thank you to our wonderful customers who have supported us. You have been amazing.
A big thank you to the fantastic team working here who go above and beyond. We are truly blessed.”
One of the Trust's longest serving volunteers, Jim Sharkey recently celebrated his 90th birthday. Jim worked hard for the Trust over the years, his late wife Gretta was a Trustee along with Marguerite Harvey from the early years of the Trust. They were great organisers of the Heritage Festival Fortnight when the Trust did hands on activities with local schools and staged exhibitions and events in the town.
It is good to see Jim doing so well and enjoying life at 90. Best wishes to Jim and all the family who continue to support us. Marguerite, as lovely as ever, is still active at Trinity Church and comes to our Open Days and events. Thanks to all for continuing to be such loyal members and supporters.
They had been invited by Hillam farm shop and flour stockist, Bert’s Barrow, to take charge of their stand in the Meet the Producer section of the show.
Armed with boxes of samples baked from Castleford flour – John's parmesan biscuits and Yorkshire shortbread; Dave W's beer bread; Dave P's walnut & cinnamnon bread and raspberry & almond tea loaf – the trio enjoyed a hectic few hours extolling the virtues of the flour and explaining what is happening at the mill.
They also handed out Queen's Mill information leaflets to the hundreds of people from around Yorkshire and beyond who stopped by the stand for a nibble and a chat.
Dave Pickersgill said: “It was a busy but very worthwhile exercise. Everyone enjoyed their tasters of Queen's Mill flour baking and were very interested and supportive of what the trust is doing at the mill. We even managed to make the samples last until the end of the day!”
On 11th and 12th July 2017 Castleford Heritage Trust teamed up with the National Citizenship Service (NCS) to take part in filming a promotional video to showcase our projects, history and heritage. The visiting group of around 15 teenagers were on site for 2 hours each day, had a tour of the premises and were invited to explore the areas and questions that were meaningful to them.
Many of our volunteers got in front of the camera to share our story and the filming took place around Queen's Mill and also in Castleford Market place at our shop.
We really enjoyed being a part of this project and had a really entertaining two days. Thank you to everyone involved.
We hope to be able to share the video on this website in the near future.
On Friday July 7th Peter Lascelles Connell unveiled the history board outside the former Maternity Home on Barnes Road, he was the first baby to be born at the home. David Pickersgill researched and designed the board and Revd. Laurence Turner said prayers of dedication. Children from Smawthorne Henry Moore, Half Acres and Park Junior schools attended and received an information leaflet telling the history and showing photographs of the original opening in 1929.
CHT Chair, Alison Drake, said “It was a lovely occasion and the Trust is grateful to the schools for attending and to Peter and his family for coming along. We especially appreciate the work done by our volunteers who produced and erected the board. It is good to pass on this important part of our community's rich history to local children and schools.”
On the afternoon of Thursday 1st June internationally celebrated Colombian artist, Oscar Murillo, visiting Queen's Mill was 'blown away' by the work on the mill and the waterwheel and suggested ways of supporting the project. We're working on developing Oscar's Frequencies project in Castleford with local schools. This is a great opportunity and a real honour for our town, his huge success on the international arts scene at a young age is really impressive. We're looking forward to seeing you on a return visit Oscar.
On Thursday May 11th we had a special visitor to the Mill, Laura Quinn. Laura is a Live Well Advisor – part of the new Live Well Wakefield service. Live Well advisors promote health and wellbeing in adults 18+ in the Wakefield District, by offering a referral based service. Advisors are able to meet with clients within their home or community setting, and discuss with them options available to support with maintaining their health and wellbeing.
Our Chair, Alison Drake, had arranged for Laura to visit us to see what opportunities the Mill could offer. Laura was given a tour by one of our volunteers John Parker, during which Laura saw the work the volunteers had completed, including the community kitchen, the amenity block and Island Gallery on the ground flour. On the second floor she met some of the volunteers and saw the ongoing museum project taking shape, following on from this she was shown a video of the milling process by Dave our miller. Back to the ground floor Laura met the TEC team who are restoring the water wheel and it was here where she was given a glimpse of the interior of the wheel, a sight few people have seen. At the end of the tour Laura was presented with a copy of our recipe book Castleford Born & Bread and a sample of our flour.
If you are interested in getting involved in activities in your local community but don’t know where to start or lack confidence in taking those first steps, our Live Well Team can discuss with you what you might be interested in and support you in taking those first steps. Laura’s visit to the Mill was to find out about the range of opportunities available to local people who are interested in trying something new within their local community.
For more information contact the Live Well team on 01924 255363, or visit their website.
CHT President Yvette Cooper crowned the maypole at Queen's Mill Open Day. The Castleford Maypole Dance Group were perfect at plaiting the ribbons and Wendy Rayner came to watch with husband Rod, who helped to organise the event. Wendy made a special effort to be with us after a long illness. It was good to see you Wendy, we hope for a full recovery and look forward to seeing you at the Boat Festival next Saturday, 13th May, on the canal side, Lock Lane.
There is a free introduction to Feel-Good Yoga at The Mill this month!
For more information please click on the link: Castleford Yoga
Castleford Neighbourhood Police have been in touch with the Chair of Castleford Heritage Trust this week about progress in tracking down the stolen carousel horses from our unique Gilligan’s Roundabout. If you’ve lived in Castleford for a long time you may be interested to know we’ve seen one of the old carousel horses on the BBC2 programme Put your money where your mouth is. The lovely old horse ‘Alan’ was seen at an antiques fair in Sussex, so they have travelled a long way since we saw them last! The horses were stolen from Queen’s Mill in 2014 and West Yorkshire police have asked Sussex police force to help track them down and hopefully the thieves who stole them. Our Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson, is a local lad and one of CHT’s Trustees, so he is keen to see the horses recovered so that we can continue to restore our much-loved Gilligan’s Roundabout.
As of Tuesday 2nd May the tearooms will be open six days a week. We will only close on Wednesday's. We look forward to seeing you all.
Also we are soon to be getting an outside awning to provide shade in the hazy Castleford summer sunshine I'm sure we have coming soon. So outside seating, ideal for dog walkers and cyclists in need of refreshments.
We have created a new page for the website entitled Mill Mixtures which highlights the work of the volunteers.
To see our latest page please click on the link: Mill Mixtures
Castleford Born & Bread is a free festival celebrating the town of Castleford through words, music and art, taking place on Saturday May 20th in our historic Queen’s Mill.
Writing Competition! As part of the festival we're inviting young people under 18 years old, to write 14 lines about their favourite people and places in Castleford, (either 14 sentences if it’s a description or short story or 14 lines if it’s a poem), to celebrate our wonderful town and the people who live here.
All the entries will be displayed in Queen’s Mill on the 20th May, so the young writers (and everyone else who comes to the festival) can see their work displayed. The top 20 pieces that catch the judges’ eye will receive a ‘Castleford Born and Bread’ goody-bag of books and book tokens. Their piece will also be read out loud to the audience on the day by Castleford actor Colson Smith – Craig Tinker from ITV’s Coronation Street!
We’re hoping to get lots of short snapshots of what our young people are proud of about the town – the People, Places and History of Castleford: a Tigers home match, a local playground, Henry Moore, a favourite shop, a wonderful Grandpa or maybe even Diggerland! Anyone or anything that you want to tell the world about that’s in Castleford, and needs celebrating. For inspiration, come to the free Family Writing Workshop at Castleford Library on Tuesday 18th April at 10.00am.
Competition forms can be collected from Castleford library, or downloaded here from the Castleford Heritage Trust website and must be returned or sent to the library, (Castleford Library, Carlton St, Castleford WF10 1BB), by the competition deadline – Friday 28th April 2017.
The festival is part of Wakefield Lit Fest's touring programme that co-curates a one day festival in different parts of Wakefield District. Organised by Beam and funded by Arts Council England Strategic Touring, in partnership with Castleford Heritage Trust.
Beam combines creativity with practicality to help people make better places, with over 30 years’ experience in delivering creative places, through the development of collaborative arts projects, with communities and artists. Beam work with Artists and communities to enhance places through the development of bespoke creative arts projects. Beam is the trading name of Public Arts – an arts organisation and charity founded in 1986, based in Wakefield and working across the Yorkshire region and beyond. We are experienced creative project developers and managers who relish enabling arts and cultural experiences, facilitating creative connections and delivering the arts with communities. We achieve this through learning and education, the promotion of good design, and the imaginative use of the arts in the public realm. beam
Watch this space for more announcements about Castleford Born and Bread festival on 20th May.
Wilf & Esther Rhodes and Hazel Parks raised £150 from a tombola held at Carlton Lanes on Saturday, 11th March.
We would like to thank all the people that supported us on that day. Also to thank all that gave the prizes. We are still collecting prizes for all open days.
Thank you once again as we would not be able to do it without your support.
‘Storm Doris’ did not deter a team from Harworth Estates delivering a minecar or tub as they are known to miners to Queen's Mill on Thursday the 16th of February. The tub had been rescued from Kellingley Colliery by Trust volunteers John Parker and Dave Pickersgill after they spent a morning touring the site as guests of Harworth Estates. When asked about the tub John replied “I'm delighted that the Trust has secured the future of such an iconic part of the area's coal mining past. These tubs were used to get materials from the pit top to the parts of the mine where they were needed, thus allowing coal to be brought to the surface. The tub is presently upside down to allow for restoration work to take place, once we have preserved the underside we can move the tub to its permanent position and make an exhibit the town can be proud of. We would like to thank Harworth Estates for not just donating ‘Kelly’ as we've named her, but also bringing her onto site at Queen's Mill.”
On Saturday 11th of March a group of former Airedale School pupils will be visiting the National Arts Education Archive at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. This will establish a group to help the Trust put together an exhibition for Queen's Mill. The exhibition will be a celebration of creativity and artwork from local schools in past decades, the Trust is hoping this work will be exhibited alongside work from pupils of today. The exhibition is planned for early 2018. Those who cannot attend can still take part by writing about their memories or contributing artwork they may have gone on to create in later life.
For further information please contact Castleford Heritage Trust on 01977 556741 or email
For more information about The National Arts Education Archive follow this link to their website The National Arts Education Archive
Castleford Heritage Trust is delighted to announce it has been awarded almost £245,000 in funding from Power to Change. The grant will enable the Trust to carry out major capital works, and employ a Project Manager to manage the programme of works and support the Trust to become sustainable.
The grant will fund the demolition of the large wheatstore at the eastern end of the site, and the demolition of the workshop building at the opposite side, to be followed by the construction of a wooden boathouse.
It will also fund the refurbishment of three smaller rooms within the mill and the installation of a staircase and platform lift to give access to them.
The Trust hopes to complete the works within 18 months and is currently recruiting for the Project Manager post.
Alison Drake, Chair of the Trust said, “We are thrilled to have been awarded this funding as it will enable us to make big changes to the site and take us a long way to being sustainable. We are looking forward to seeing the appearance of the site improved and to being able to offer more facilities to the community.”
About Power to Change
Power to Change is an independent charitable trust endowed with £150 million from the Big Lottery Fund to grow community business in England. Over ten years, we will provide funding and support to help build many more successful and sustainable local community businesses across England.
For further information please contact Castleford Heritage Trust on 01977 556741 or email
Trust volunteer Hazel Parkes celebrated her 85th birthday by staging an exhibition of her art work, entitled “Hats & Heads, Bikes & Boats”, in recognition of her favourite subjects, in the Island Gallery at Queen’s Mill. When asked about her style of art Hazel replied, “I like to ‘sort things out’, to break objects down into their basic shapes and colours, which is something you can do with absolutely anything.”Although she has painted all her life, Hazel only got into her stride as an artist after retiring from passing on her love of art to generations of Castleford primary school pupils. She marked her 80th birthday by completing a two-year art and design course at Wakefield College.
“Hats & Heads, Bikes & Boats” is open Thursdays to Saturdays, from noon to 3pm, during February. Admission is free.
To see a slideshow of Hazel's work click on the link Hats & Heads, Bikes & Boats
On Wednesday January 18th the folk from Bert's Barrow took a selection of Yorkshire produce to the Houses of Parliament as part of the Elmet Kingdom Food Day. If you look at the picture you will see our flour and John Parker's recipe book nestling in front of a box of tomatoes.
When asked for a response to the event Charlotte Wells-Thompson said “What a day! We have had such a fab time at the Elmet Kingdom Food Day, we have had great response from our local MP Nigel Adams and Alec Shelbrook, also really positively accepted by Lords, Ladies and even George Eustace DEFRA minister. We have even sent a goodie back to Number 10 Downing Street! We have lots of follow up work to do but we can definitely say we promoted Yorkshire food today in good company!”
For more information about Bert's Barrow follow this link to their website Bert's Barrow
The winner of the first prize in the Where The 'Eck quiz is the Trust webmaster John Parker. John has decided however to pass his prize of afternoon tea at Bake My Day on Smawthorne Lane to Trust stalwarts Hazel Parks and Edith and Wilf Rhodes. Asked why he was being so generous John replied “Hazel, Edith and Wilf do some sterling work for the Trust and this is my way of saying thank you. I'm sure they will have an enjoyable time sampling the sandwiches and cakes made by Emma and Ellie.”
The winners are;
Throughout January the Glasshoughton ASDA store will have an ASDA Foundation box dedicated to the Trust. If you ask at the checkout for a green token you can deposit your token into the Trust box and help raise funds towards restoring the water wheel at Queen’s Mill. This is the most ambitious project we have so far undertaken and it will benefit the whole of the Castleford area and beyond.
If we can get the wheel working and producing electricity it will;
On Saturday November 26th over 500 people attended an open day at Queen's Mill which not only raised money for the Trust but also made visitors aware of the scale of the planned renovations for the site. Trust Chair, Alison Drake said: "It was a wonderful success. We were amazed by the number of people that turned up. We had more than 200 people on guided tours around the mill and everyone seemed pleased with our plans. I think it shows the town are staying with us in terms of what we want to do and that means an awful lot to us."
The winners of the Christmas raffle are:
Friday 4th November saw the launch of the second Castleford Beer Festival which was held at Queen's Mill.
The event where over 500 visitors enjoyed sampling the 30 beers on offer was jointly organised by the Trust and Revolutions Brewery in Whitwood.
Mark Seaman, director of Revolutions said; “Castleford Beer Festival would not be possible without Castleford Heritage Trust and a team of amazing volunteers.”
Alison Drake, Chair of the Trust said; “The beer festival was an immense success. We had so many people come it was just fantastic. There was a lovely atmosphere throughout the weekend. I think it was a good beer festival but it was made even better by the venue. We had a younger age group in the mill compared to what we are used to and it brought in people that didn't know about the work we were doing. We ran some guided tours of the mill and everybody said they were really happy and excited about the works.”
On Friday the 7th of October the Trust hosted a preview of their first exhibition of Henry Moore artwork displayed in the Island Gallery. Guests were given the chance to view a selection of work by Moore and also the late American artist Robert Glade. The items were all loaned by their owner Susan Worthington who was the guest of honour at the event. The works by Moore featured a series of collotypes which came about when Moore joined Londoners who were sheltering from the Blitz in Belsize Park underground train station. At that time in 1940 Moore's studio in Hampstead was out of action due to bomb damage, the sketches were subsequently seen by Kenneth Clark, director of the National Gallery who persuaded Moore to become an official war artist.
Robert Glade (1926-2015) grew up in the mid-west during America's Depression and moved to Chicago in the 1950's to join the beat poets and musicians in ‘the windy city’. It was in the early 1960's when Glade met Castleford born Sandra Worthington who was working as a teacher, they moved into an appartment together and in 1966 became engaged. In 1968 Sandra brought Glade to Europe where they toured the art galleries of capital cities, during this time Glade also visited Castleford where Sandra's father, a miner, took him crown green bowling in Queen's Park. From this point on Glade became an arts dealer and collector amassing a great collection of works which included the Henry Moore collotypes. On his death he bequeathed the collotypes to Sandra who has allowed the exhibition to take place.
During the event a series of speeches were given by Trust Chair Alison Drake, Sandra Worthington and local MP Yvette Cooper. Following the speeches the exhibition was officially opened by guest of honour Sandra Worthington cutting a celebration cake donated by Eleanor and Emma Cawthra who run artisan bakery BakeMyDay on Smawthorne Lane.
The exhibition is open to members of the public from October 8th to October 28th ample parking is available.
As part of a WREN funded project, volunteers at Queen’s Mill are working hard with local contractors, TEC Installations and FSH, to provide a new community kitchen and toilet facilities in the Island Wing of the mill. The volunteers meet every week on Thursdays and Fridays to help maintain the building and to work alongside workmen from the local firms. They recently installed a new kitchen and toilets, adding to the facilities available in this part of the building and making it much more useable and available for hire by the community. This part of the mill, known traditionally as The Island, is now being used as a meeting place by local groups and by organisations providing services and activities for local people. It has recently been hired as a wedding reception venue and will be hosting a Beer Festival later in the year. The Trust has been fortunate to be able to fund work by two local firms, FSH based in Airedale Castleford and TEC Installations. The Mill’s maintenance Team Leader, Rod Rayner, said “Both firms worked closely with volunteers at Queen’s Mill and as a result much more has been achieved to make the WREN funded project extremely successful and making the whole project real ‘Value for Money’. We all want to say a huge thank you to WREN for making it all possible.”
On Friday the 16th of September repesentatives from charities magazine Give Local were given a guided tour of the Mill by Trust volunteer Rod Rayner. The party visited on the same day The Canal and River Trust completed the installation of the stop logs which need to be in place before the water wheel can be restored. The picture on the left shows the party along with Chair Alison Drake watching as three one ton weights which keep the stop logs in place are secured to the structure. A short video showing the stop logs going into place can be seen by clicking here.
At the end of the tour the tour party presented Alison with a cheque for £200 which will go towards the hire fees for the weights. An article on the Mill will feature in a future edition of Give Local.
On Wednesday 2nd November a local Yoga teacher is offering people the chance to try Feel-Good Yoga for free.
An hour long introductory session will be held at Queen's Mill beginning at 19:30. Feel-Good Yoga is suitable for men and women, all ages and abilities.
Further details can be seen by visiting Marie's website www.castleford-yoga.co.uk where you can book your place.
A chance visit to Queen's Mill Tea Rooms by Liz Bankhead led the Trust to receive a copy of the Flour Milling & Baking Research Association Bulletin from 1970.
On page 17 of the journal is scientific research undertaken by E. E. McDermott and E. Bankhead (Liz), into the heat treatment of wheat and wholemeal for the inactivation of alpha-amylase. The journal is currently with volunteer John Parker who said, “It’s fantastic to have met someone who worked at the FMBRA, the centre that gave us 'The Chorleywood Process' which revolutionised bread making in the early 1960’s”.
Liz is pictured presenting the journal to the Chair of Trustees Alison Drake MBE.
The winners of the “Grand Yorkshire Quiz” are;
On Monday August 1st the tea rooms celebrated their first anniversary.
Owner Dana Russell said “ It has been amazing and very rewarding working at the heritage site, watching it develop and grow. I have made some great friends and been supported by a lovely team of staff.
The feedback we have received speaks for itself.
I look forward to seeing you all again soon at the tea rooms and enjoying another year together.”
On Saturday 9th July at our last open day we launched our new quiz to raise money to restore Gilligan's Roundabout.
The quiz contains forty questions to test your knowledge of Yorkshire and was written in such a way as to make it difficult to find the answer using your favourite internet search engine.
Contestants will have until the end of August to return their entries to collection boxes sited at The Trust Craft Shop and in Queen's Mill Tea Rooms.
The cost of a quiz sheet is £1 and the prizes which have been donated by our volunteers are:
At our July Open Day the new entrance doors were officially opened by Yvette Cooper MP and Coun. Denise Jeffery with Chair of CHT Alison Drake.
Volunteers are busy working alongside local contractors to refurbish part of the mill with the grant from WREN. The project will provide a kitchen and toilets and open up more of the building for community use and is expected to be fully complete in the autumn.
On Friday 17th of June Trust volunteers John Parker and Dave Weatherson gave a talk to promote Castleford Born & Bread, a book of recipes suitable to use with the flour produced at Queen's Mill. The talk was part of a joint initiative between the Trust and Friends of Castleford Library. The book which was compiled by John has a range of recipes for beginners and more adventurous cooks. It has contributions by his fellow volunteers Delia Perrett and Dave Weatherson, along with a recipe from Yvette Cooper MP and one from her husband Ed Balls. The talk started at 10:00 and attendees had the opportunity to sample biscuits baked by John and bread baked by Dave.
Tom Johnson glazing the uppermost window located above the wheel race at Allinson’s Flour Mill around 1954.
Tom was employed by HH Clarkson Plumber and Glazier, Albion Street, Castleford. The photograph was taken by Keith Lunn, who was an apprentice. Tom fastened himself with a binding strap tied on the inside of the building, climbed out onto the window ledge, and re-glazed the window. No concern for health and safety.
Blue skies and warm weather boosted the attendance when the Trust held its first open day of the year on Saturday May 7th.
Those who attended were entertained with a display of Maypole dancing, also on show were a collection of classic cars, WW1 re-enactors The Time Tarts, birds of prey, craft stalls and mill tours.
The event also marked the official launch of “Castleford Born & Bread”, a collection of recipes compiled by Trust volunteer John Parker.
The book was specially written to complement the stoneground wholewheat flour which is milled on site, as well as the recipes the book contains an overview of the Trust, a history of the Mill and photographs by volunteer Rod Rayner.
The book which sells at £6.99 can be bought at the Trust shop in Castleford Market or from The Queen’s Mill Tea Rooms and Bake My Day on Smawthorne Lane.
For UK residents the book can be obtained by sending a cheque for £9.99 which covers P+P to: Castleford Heritage Trust, Aire Street, Castleford, West Yorkshire WF10 1JL.
For non-UK residents the book is also available on-line in hardback format, to order a copy click this link: Castleford Born & Bread
In early April a group of volunteers dug a trench to install a sewerage pipe for a new amenity block.
The resulting spoil from the dig was of great interest to Trust volunteer and local historian David Pickersgill. The artefacts found give an insight to the 19th century history of Queen’s Mill and the industrial heritage of Castleford.
On Tuesday 5th July a local Yoga teacher is offering people the chance to try Feel-Good Yoga for free.
An hour long introductory session will be held at Queen's Mill beginning at 20:30. Feel-Good Yoga is suitable for men and women, all ages and abilities.
Further details can be seen by clicking the thumbnail or by visiting Marie's website www.castleford-yoga.co.uk where you can book your place.
More of Queen's Mill has been made accessible and available for use by the community in Castleford thanks to a recent grant by WREN. Castleford Heritage Trust applied to WREN for a grant to refurbish part of Queen's Mill and as the work progresses more of the building can now be used for events, workshops and other community activities. The Queen's Mill is now run as a Community Anchor providing a wide variety of support services, workshops, training and volunteering opportunities which are well attended and valued by local people. The Castleford Community Partnership (CCP) meets at the Mill on the 1st Wednesday of every month and the group representatives have voiced their appreciation of the work that is being done by volunteers and contractors to make Queen's Mill and valuable asset to the community. The Chair of CCP, Rheta Davison MBE, praised the work and said that the Mill is already becoming a successful destination bringing trade to the town and helping to make Castleford a more sustainable and attractive place for locals and visitors. The Chair of the Trust said that this recent work has only been possible because of the generosity of WREN in making a grant of £45,000 to Castleford Heritage Trust.
The Trust has produced a book entitled Castleford Born & Bread. Priced at £6.99 the book contains recipes that use the flour produced at Queen's Mill.
It is illustrated by local artists and contains a special contribution of two recipes from Yvette Cooper and her husband Ed Balls.
As well as the recipes the book contains photographs, a history of the mill and an article about former mill owner Dr. Thomas Allinson.
The flour produced at Queen's Mill is ground from Yorkshire wheat grown in the nearby village of Kellington, once ground it is sieved by hand to give a unique wholemeal flour.
The book will be available for sale following its launch by Yvette Cooper MP at our open day on Saturday May 7th
For UK residents the book can be obtained by sending a cheque for £9.99 which covers P+P to: Castleford Heritage Trust, Aire Street, Castleford, West Yorkshire WF10 1JL.
For non-UK residents the book is also available on-line in hardback format, to order a copy click this link: Castleford Born & Bread
On January 19th three new customers for Queen's Mill flour have been signed up after Trust volunteers Rod Rayner and David Pickersgill swapped their usual work clothes for shirts and shiny shoes to make a few sales calls. At Off The Hook fish and chips on Beancroft Road, owner Mark Hopkinson is now using it for his home-made mince and onion pies, while round the corner on Smawthorne Lane, Ellie and Emma Cawthra of artisan bakery Bake My Day had made some into brunch muffins - see www.instagram.com/p/BAj9RisCpSV - within a couple of hours of taking a sample bag and ordering another six kilos.
Meanwhile, Methley Bridge Farm Shop, at Three Lane Ends, is stocking the flour in 500g and 1.5kg bags, having bought all our intrepid sales reps' samples straight away. The pair had intended to call on more potential customers but will have to wait until more flour has been milled, following what David described as “probably the easiest morning's work I've ever done”.
The enthusiasm of all three customers for stocking and using Queen's Mill flour is very encouraging, with Mark, Ellie and Emma all declaring themselves well pleased with its baking properties.