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I'm amazed to learn that there are some people out there who have never even heard of Beverley, despite the fact that it is the principal town of East Yorkshire and it is frequently on the Tele. If you every watch Channel 4 Racing then you?ll know that Beverley has one of the premium racecourses in the country, but there?s a lot more to the town than that. I don?t want to bang on about it being a historic town, although it is, and if your interested in history there?s plenty here to interest you. Beverley minster, of course, one of the best in the land, the old friary nearby, which has been converted in to a YHA hostel, the market place, and market cross, The North Bar (gate) to the city, and a host of other period buildings. Beverley was formally the main market town for the area and farmers from all around the surrounding district would bring their produce to sell to the local community, everything from livestock, at the cattle market (now demolished to build the new Tesco), to the fruit and veg markets, still held every Wednesday, at ?Wednesday Market?, and on a Saturday at ?Saturday market?( of course). Saturday market is the main market day, and is held in the town centre, a huge cobble stoned area known as Saturday market. There are only about two or three fruit and veg stalls at Saturday market these days, but they are of good quality, which I suppose makes up for quantity. The market has diversified over the years, in order to survive, though I think Saturday market has always been a general market, whereas Wednesday market, held in a much smaller square up the road, is always fruit and veg. On a Saturday the goods on offer range from fruit and veg, to, a cut price sweet stall selling cakes, continental biscuits, and chocolate seconds which are near perfect, from Terrys of York , just up the road, there is a second hand bookstall, a hat stall, a picture framers, a shoes stall, computer consumables, farm produced cheese, home ba ked pies, local produced wine, fishing tackle an country sportswear, Barbour jackets and stuff, A bag stall, an electrical stall, tools, household goods, arts and crafts, mobile phones, a meat auction, two mobile cafes. The whole world and his wife seems to be there on a Saturday selling just about everything you could dream of. It?s worth coming into town on a Saturday just for the market. Beware though because, much of the car parking space in the town centre is unavailable on a Saturday because the market is held in its place. You will have to park at Tesco and walk through a side street which is only two or three minutes walk away. You can thumb your nose at Tesco as you walk past, as they had to demolish the beloved cattle market to build the flipping thing. Other shopping in the town consists of the main street ?Butcher Row?, which leads all the way from Saturday Market, which is really the town centre, and the heart of the town all the way to Wednesday market which is the much smaller market, and the end of the shopping parade. This walk is about a mile and will take you through the main shopping street of the town. This street is now fully pedestrianised, so it is a nice walk through town on a Saturday if you have a small family with you. It?s best to come on a Saturday if you?re just coming for the day as you will have all the street musicians playing the full length of the street in the summer when it?s busy, just toss ?em a bit of small change. The shops down this avenue include, Burtons, Kwiksave, Currrys, Max Spielman, Heron, WH Smith, Woolworth, Dixons, Halifax, Marks and Spencers (food only), Oxfam, two bookshops, one, of numerous fish and chip shops all of which are the best in town dependent on who you listen to, people are very tribal and loyalistic, in these parts about there favourite chip shop you know. If some one tells you go to so and so?s it?s the best in town, just smile politely and say yes sounds lovely I?ll try it and be on your way. Don?t start an argument or a conversation about it or you?ll be there all day. There?s the race course, up on the Westwood, that?s a giant stretch of common land, on the edge of the town, used for recreational purposes. It seems that everywhere you go someone has been to Beverley races. I was in London a few years ago and I went to have my Tarot cards read in Covent Garden, and I told the old dear, that I was from Beverley, and she said ?Oh yes, Beverley I go up there, whenever I can, for the Racing?. I don?t know why I was amazed but I was, I suppose it?s like being hundreds of miles away from home, and bumping into some one who lives in the next street, as you do. She had her pack of cards in one hand and a racing form book in the other, maybe I should have asked her for a few tips on the 3.30. ( I wonder if she ever wins anything?) The next scheduled meets are on the 2nd , 9th ,17th , 22nd June 2004. The prices are, Club Badge £16.00 ,Junior Club (18-21) £11.00 ,Grandstand & Paddock £10.00 (OAPs) £7.00 ,Minster Enclosure (formerly Silver Ring) £5.00, (OAPs) £4.00, Course Enclosure(per person) £3.00 (OAPs) £2.50 Per Car £4.00 For more info www.beverley-racecourse.co.uk I?m not someone who goes to the races a lot, in fact I never go. Not because I object, and there are a lot of people who think it should be banned like fox hunting, I just don?t find it very interesting, or exciting. I think it?s because I have seen it on the Tele, and it?s the most boring thing in the world unless you?ve got some money on it, and then it?s the most exciting thing in the world for about 2 minutes, and then it?s the most miserable thing in the world, and then it?s finished. I?m not much of a gambler and I just don?t see the point of watching unless you?ve got money on it. Having said all that I know there are a great many people who DO like a day at the races and far be it from me to put you off. I have actually been to Bev erley race s, only it was about thirty years ago, and I don?t remember winning anything much. I think I came home with a collection of bookies tickets, of all the horses I hadn?t won on. I don?t think this childhood experience put me off I just was never that interested in horses. I still go up there on the odd occasion, and I must say it is a very evocative and atmospheric place, you can almost hear the horses thundering round the track. You can imagine all the crowds there on a Race day shooting and cheering their horses on , well you can if your barmy like me. It?s best to go on a Sunday when there is no one else working there, it?s spookily empty and quiet. The race course is actually part of the common land so you can walk freely over it, though have a bit of common sense, and don?t go hurtling round in your 4x4. There are usually the girls from the local stables exercising the horses up there so keep an eye out you don?t get caught under a cavalry charge, and don?t step in anything unpleasant. It?s nice if you like horses because there?s always some around most days of the week. Speaking of the common land that?s the Westwood I mentioned earlier. It?s been common pasture land since the Town was founded by John of Beverley in 700.. If you live in Beverley I think you have the right to graze your sheep up their or cattle of something, but as I don?t have any I don?t know the exact ruling on that one. The main interest to the people of Beverley is this is the main outdoor recreational area for doing almost anything you want, within the realms of decency. There?s a big hill, called Hill 60, we used to have to run up here as part of the cross country run, in my school days, and it?s Hell. We had to run the full length of the Westwood, up to the race course, and back being perused by a sadistic sports master, and this hill, Hill 60 was on the way back when had just about had enough. If you?ve ever been cross country running you will know what I mea n. It?s a long slow climb, and it goes on forever, the backs of your legs are turning to stone, and there?s this madcap sports master chasing you on , like something out of Tom Browns Schooldays. Happy memories? For some reason I never did know why, but in the summer it?s the kite flying capital of East Yorkshire. It?s good because it?s got a long lingering slope that if you run against it with your kite behind you can really catch the wind. There?s a veritable sea of kites up there on a hot summers day. Good if your visiting with Kids, just remember to bring your kite, the other good thing, is that this where the Burgess ice cream van parks up, so you can get your taste of the local ice cream as well. Unfortunately the ice cream parlour in the town which was there for many years has closed down recently, so that?s a bit of local history gone for ever. Though as far as I know the vans are still running. Mmmnnnnnnn.....haven?t had one of those for years. So you?ve been up to the race course, you?ve lost all your money, you?ve come down the hill to buy an ice cream, assuming you still have a few pennies left, you?ve been to fly your kite, now how about a round of golf whilst your up there. Yes believe it or not there is an 18 hole golf course on the Westwood which stretches over half the common land, so as well as dodging horse muck, and cow crap you have to keep one eye out for low flying golf balls...FORE! It?s not quite as dangerous as it sounds, most of the fairways are well flagged and as long as you know it?s there you should be alright. I don?t know how you go on for a round of golf though, I seem to think they are a bit sniffy about who plays on their course. YES it?s one of THOSE type of golf clubs. Don?t tell them that I told you this, but THAT golf course, is on COMMON land, and they do not like people doing it but any one with a golf club can go up there and play a round, and there is nothing that?s NOTHING they can do about it. In fact there are a lot of local lads w ho do exactly that. All you need is a couple of Irons and a putter, and a ball of course, and you can thumb your nose at the toffy nosed so and so?s ..........Fore! The only thing is, I think they own the greens, ( I know they think they own the Westwood!) but I?m not sure, about that, but it doesn?t seem to stop the people playing up there that I?ve seen, they don?t look like golf club types to me. There?s some definite don?t?s on the Westwood that is definitely no camping allowed, you?ll have the local plod down on you like a ton of bricks, or the pasture master. There?s a high point on the Westwood, marked by an old derelict windmill, the Black Mill, named as such because of it?s colour, it?s painted in black pitch. It?s the highest point on the Westwood which is why it was built there, to catch the wind, and you can see a magnificent vista of the whole town. In fact you can see as far as Hull 15 miles away, not that Hull?s a very pleasant sight near or far....urrghh.......however you can see Beverley Minster, one of the towns treasured possessions. Beverley Minster is a Gothic masterpiece, you can?t really visit Beverley without going for a look inside. I haven?t been in myself for over twenty years, I have lingering memories of interminable school church services every Christmas, in the freezing winter, there?s no heating in there and in the winter it?s like standing in a refrigerator. Every year we had to parade down there mime a few hymns, the only people really singing were in the choir, if you had any sense you faked not being able to sing, at the audition and that was an end to it. I notice my old music schoolmaster, is now the director of music, at Beverley Minster, I saw him across the road the other week, don?t tell him what I said, he might come and cane me, even though it was over 20 years ago. Having said that it?s a spectacular place when it?s full of people, and the organ is magnificent when it?s in full flight. I mustn?t grumble, it?s a fabulous place to visit, I think its still free to enter, but please make a donation to the restoration appeal as the roofs falling off, a bit. There?s a wealth of stone carving inside, ranging from the medieval gargoyles and musicians, to the 19th century organ screen, which features carvings by James Elwell, father of Beverley?s prodigious artist, Fred Elwell . If you are familiar with Fred Elwell, or not you can see examples in the local library and art Gallery, Champney road .It?s great to see it at this time of year because when the sun hits it, it radiates luminescence, from the stonework, and if you see it from a distance it positively glows, it has a real presence, and glory. It?s not as big as York Minster up the road, but it?s every bit as impressive. I think they did Songs of Praise in there once, all the local pensioners argy bargying to get on the Tele, as they do. The services are generally, Morning Prayer 8.30, 17.00 on a weekday, and Holy communion 8.00, and 10.30 on a Sunday. Also Choral evensong 18.30, some Sundays. If you want more info on services go to www.inbeverley.co.uk, go to the link for Beverley Minster and look up, services.or go to, www.beverleyminster.co.uk Minster opening times. Weekdays 1st May - 31st August 9am - 5:30pm 1st September - 31st October 9am - 5pm Sundays 1st April - 31st October 12 noon - 4:30 pm 12 noon - 4:30 pm Please note that the Minster will be closed to visitors: Tues June 8th, Wed June 9th, and Fri June 11th, 9:00am-3:00pm. It is also one of the venues for Beverley?s Early Music Festival which is currently taking place. Tickets and details on (01964)658338 If you want to stay longer than a day and you need accommodation, there is just a couple of minutes walk from the Minster, the YHA hostel. No not arrrggh.........in fact ooooo ooohh. The hostel is the old f riary buliding. It has been ex tensively and sympathetically restored an refurbished, and really looks quite posh indeed. I have never been inside, but I can see it, from the train, coming in from Hull, as the railway track runs right past it, and the grounds and building really do look spectacular. I think the National Trust had something to do with it, during the restoration. It?s not you standard grubby town centre YHA hostel, It?s very much up market. Prices from £7 per night for under 18's, but the booking form also caters for adults though I don?t know what the policy is there, I know you do not have to be under 18 to stay at YHA anymore. Tel 0870 770 5696, Beverley Friary Youth Hostel. There are also a smattering of B&B?s about the town I can?t recommend any in particular, and the rather self important Beverley Arms Hotel. I think it has a 3 star rating from the RAC or something, any way its where you stay if you want a bit of posh and can afford it, from £43 pp. I think it?s over rated and puffed up, but then I would because I can?t afford to stay there. They also have a dining room which is open to non residents I believe, but you are not limited in Beverley for the want of something to eat. Only a couple of hundred yards from the local bit of posh, The Beverley Arms, there is a branch Dominic?s, which seems very expensive for what is primarily a Pizza restaurant, but it?s meant to be posh inside so you pay your money and you take your choice. I assume there aren?t any posh people reading this for some reason, if there are I humbly apologise, this review is primarily for ordinary people, m?lord. There always seems to be something going on in Beverley. Coming soon, there is the annual folk festival. 17th -20th June This is an annual booze up disguised as a music festival. There are venues all over the town. The main venue for most ,and best of the gigs is the ?White Horse?, Hengate, otherwise known as ?Nellies?, after a previous lan dlady. The locals continue to call it Nellies because it confuses non locals, and they can never find it. There, you are in on the secret now!, I don?t drink in there any more anyway so I don?t care....I think it was an old coaching inn, whatever it?s been there hundreds of years and is part of the fabric of the old town. There?s a smokey old room upstairs which is where the gigs take place and it?s alway jam packed. In fact you usually have to buy your tickets well in advance, it seems to sell out and get more popular each year. It?s the 21st year celebration so it?s likely to be a super booze up, ...so be warned. Beverley Folk Festival Tickets Weekend Season ADULT £54.50 CHILD (6-12) / OAP £27.50 YOUTH (13-17) £37.00 FAMILY (x2 ad+ x2 ch) £136.00 Evening Season ADULT £37.00 CHILD (6-12) / OAP £18.50 YOUTH (13-17) £23.00 for further information, www.adastely.demon.co.uk We had a national Morris men dancing competition a few months back which is typical of the type of thing that goes on in Beverley. Teams of morris men and traditional dance troupes, like clog dancers and that appeared from all over the country, to parade and dance their way through the town centre. Accompanied by their musicians, they danced all the way to the top of the town , and they danced backed down again. The streets where a cornucopia of flying streamers, garlands, sticks, and bells, swords, clogging their way from one side of town to the other. I never realised there were so many different types of morris men, I thought they all looked like cricketers, with straw hats and bells on, but no there was every kind of costume imaginable. I think Beverley, is lucky in that it has still retained much of it?s historical charm, even though there has been some redevelopment in the town centre, shops like Currys,, and Dixons do not lend a great deal of old worlde charm to this histo ric town. Some people say it is like a m ini version of York and in some respect it is, we certainly have the history, and the buildings, and with York being only 40 miles away the comparisons, are there to be made. Beverley though has it?s own quite different character, which you can only experience by visiting. Beverley is actually the county town of East Yorkshire, and as the administrative centre of the county, it is always a busy and vibrant place. All the county council headquarters are here, and so it is quite an important town really, far from just a quaint, little town with a bit of history. If you staying in Beverley for any length of time, you may want to take a trip out of town for a day. Beverley is well connected by rail, to the east coast, you can go to Bridlington and Scarborough, for the day, it?s not far on the train, but bear in mind you might meet a lot of people from Hull, because that?s where they all go on their ?days out?, just thought I?d warn you. there?s a tatty looking B&B ?Hotel? opposite the station, if you want somewhere cheap, I don?t know how much it is but it doesn?t look expensive, but I?ve never been in, so I don?t know at all. I?m sure it?s very nice. Apart from that I can?t really recommend any where I?ve been. I can only suggest that you go to the ? i know yorkshire? web site, they have a selection of B&B, on their list and also, a few self catering cottages, I know there are quite a few of those around. Also the local tourist information office.01482 391672/867. There is also an extensive list on the www.inbeverley.co.uk web site. There really is a lot more to Beverley than I have had space to mention here the best way of finding out what is coming up is to visit the www.inbeverley.co.uk web site, for a full listing of Race meetings, music events, festivals, church services, local events, etc. there is a small local map showing you the main town centre, and various links, to places of interest, and local organisations. There i s even, a virtual pub crawl, Beverley having an incredibly high density of pubs per population, though I shouldn?t bother with that, I should just get down here and see for yourself.
Six months ago, I moved away from my beloved London, because I finally managed to get what I consider to be a good job, “Up North”. The job is based in Kingston-Upon-Hull (commonly known as “Hull”), and because of not wanting to live in Hull; I decided to move to Beverley, which is a historic market Town close by. So, being a newcomer to Beverley (and Yorkshire on a general scale) I have decided to give you my views and (hopefully) at the same time tell you a little about it… **Beverley in Brief** Beverley is situated in The East Riding Of Yorkshire, and about eight miles from the centre of Hull, and about the same distance (perhaps a little more) to the Humber Bridge. As said, it is historic, and the name derives from either “Beaver Lake” or “The Beaver clearing in the woods” – No-one knows exactly which one – I wish historians would make up their minds! The real reason Beverley is ‘famous’ is because of the Minster (which I will say more about later) and Saint John of Beverley, who is the Patron Saint of the Deaf and Dumb. Beverley has a lot of nice architecture, such as the house of James Elwell and the bars, which were the old entrances to the Town. Beverley is twinned with Lemgo in Germany. **The Town Centre** Beverley Town centre is reasonably big, with lots of traditional shops such as Robinson’s the Butchers and also G. Jack’s the delicatessens. There are also a lot of Chain shops, such as WH Smith, Woolworths and Andy’s Records. There are two main markets, Wednesday market that is in (wait for it…) Wednesday Market, and Saturday Market, which is a bigger market at the other end of the Town. There is also the Cattle Market, which is a big trading point (Well it was, until the Foot & Mouth crisis started). The Town centre is mainly pedestrianised, and although a lot of shops have been modernised, there are still a lot of original features to the centre. **Shopping/Supermarkets** There are three main Supermarkets in Beverley, two Safeway’s and one Morrisons. A Tesco’s is being built soon, which is likely to put the Safeway’s out of business. There isn’t really a shopping centre, instead a small shopping arcade, which has a few specialist shops. **Pubs/Clubs/Restaurants/Eating Out** There are lots of pubs throughout Beverley, some which are nice for Sunday Lunches, such as “The Sun Inn” (Formerly the “Tap & Spile”) and “The Monk’s Walk” (Which was named after the walk which the Monk’s took the dead bodies of sufferers of the plague to the plague pit). If you were thinking of a night out, Friday I would recommend more than Saturday night, because on Saturday nights all the squaddies from the Army Base in nearby Leconfield come down, and to be honest it gets a bit rough. The two main “drinking pubs” are “The Push Inn” and “The King’s head”. Out of the two, I would recommend the second, mainly because they have decent toilets! There’s one club in Beverley, called Parker’s nightclub, which isn’t very big. Other than that you’ll really have to travel into Hull. There are quite a few nice restaurants in Beverley. There’s Wednesdays, which is cheap and nice, and a couple of Chinese and Indian restaurants. Like most Towns, Beverley does have lots of takeaways, of all varieties, and it has quite a lot of Fish and Chip shops. **Sport & Leisure** There aren’t any professional clubs in Beverley, though if you’re willing to travel then there’s Hull City FC and Hull Kingston Rovers RFC in Hull. There are some good amateur/children’s teams of most sports, and there’s Tennis Courts and the Beverley Racecourse. There’s a small swimming pool and also a leisure centre (which isn’t particularly good) and the odd gym etc. On the leisure side of things, Beverley is the proud owner of the longest running cinema in Britain – The Picture Playhouse – It’s very small, has a funny smell and gets films months after they’re released – though it does have a wide selection of Ice creams! Beverley has one museum as far as I know, The Army Transport museum. I’ve been, and unless you’re interested in that kind of thing, than it can be a tad boring… **Churches** I wouldn’t particularly say Beverley’s a religious place as such, though it does have a lot of churches. The most famous of which being Beverley Minster, which is meant to be the most beautiful Church in Europe. Then there’s St. Mary’s, which has a statue of a white rabbit, which was supposedly the inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s “Alice In Wonderland” books. Beverley has the odd parish churches dotted about, such as St. John’s and St. Nicholas’. **Newspapers** I don’t know why I’ve added this section in, but it might be of interest. There’s the Hull Daily Mail, which is published every day except Sundays, which gives local and regional news, along with pages of adverts. There are two Beverley papers, The Beverley Advertiser, which is run and written by the Hull Daily Mail, and also The Beverley Guardian. The Hull Daily Mail costs 27p, and the other two are delivered free door-to-door. **Transport** I can’t say that the Transport links in Beverley are brilliant, but they are there, which is something. The train station is small, with two platforms, and is on the Bridlington to Hull line. Hull is about 15 minutes on a good day. In Hull there are many connections, such as direct to London, Manchester Piccadilly and Leeds. The service to London is very good, though I think the authorities have to work on the others. The buses are Ok I suppose; there are “X46” buses that run from Hull to York and vice versa. For an adult, it costs about £2-4 return from Beverley to York, which I think is a high price, considering they are never, and I mean never, on time. There are buses that run around the town, and are quite good. **Schools/Colleges** The schools in Beverley are very good; there are three secondary schools, one mixed and two single sex schools. Beverley High, which is for girls, came about 23rd in the country in the league tables last year, and the Grammar School for boys is about the same. They are a lot better than Hull Schools, which have been bottom of the table for at least three years now, and a lot of parents living in Hull are trying to get their children into the Beverley Schools. There are some good primary schools in Beverley, and then some not so great. There are Church Of England Schools and indeed Roman Catholic. Beverley has a college, ermm, called “Beverley College” (how original) which does a variety of different courses for all ages. **In Conclusion** There are lots more things that I could say about Beverley, but those I’ve said are what I believe to be most important. There are some bad things, such as the fact that with Hodgson’s Of Hull (a chemical making factory) Hodgson’s of Beverley is the 3rd most polluting factory in England. I know that Beverley used to be a tannery town, and it is quite disappointing that a lot of tradition has been lost, as I know I would have loved that. Beverley is a very nice place to live in; I have found that everyone is friendly (it must be the dear old Yorkshire Folk!). I don’t think I’ll stay in Beverley however, because I love London so much. Still, if I ever have children I would love them to grow up in a Town like this. Although Beverley is getting mor e and more modernised, and congested with traffic etc, the surrounding countryside is beautiful, and at the time of writing, Beverley definitely gets my thumbs up, there’s no doubt about that! noodle.gorillaz2001©