Our latest project, ‘Young Town Planners’, funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, has engaged with 40 young people from all over York, double the amount of young people we initially envisaged.

The success on that front has been primarily down to the young volunteers who have worked with us: 18 – 19 year olds from All Saints, York College, Ripon Grammar, and York St John. We had the ideas, but they set the pace. We are massively grateful to all involved.

We hit a bit of a brick wall with the Castle area of York. The designs after our group visits were sensitive and tentative, as the historic executions and massacre of Jewish families have always quite rightly struck a sombre tone. After a visit from My Castle Gateway leaders Phil Bixby and Helen Graham, we freed our cogitations and note taking and started flowing a few ideas, based much more on fun (a lot) than irreverence (none at all, regarding Clifford’s Tower – there is a difference). Phil and Helen suggested we looked specifically at the Castle Gateway area with the idea that fun, energy and colour can have as much commemorative power in heritage as statues and stone testaments. This, and a trip to The Van Gogh Immersive Experience at York St Mary’s ancient change helped rejuvenate the whole project, and helped get on board young members of the Chinese community.

Our New Visuality artist Arran Leith created a photomontage based on the ideas of the young people: see our Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/200685033349781/photos/pcb.2345059725578957/2345085098909753/?type=3&theater

After visits to Castle Howard, Clifford’s Tower, Castle Museum, York St Marys, and countless walks along the ancient city walls, the young people came up with some sparky ideas on how to reinvigorate the area, and the return of water was one of them. Arran took this aspect as the main peg from which he hung a concept based on the return of a moat to Clifford’s Tower and, in consultation with the young artists, created his work which is set to be exhibited around York later this month. Locations will include Acomb Explore, Rowntrees Reading Cafe, According to McGee gallery, Fossgate Social, and heavy use in forthcoming My Castle Gateway campaigns. The seeds sown by National Lottery Heritage Fund have reaped a healthy, wide ranging harvest.

We ALL offer you our thanks.




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