Heritage Open Days in Selby

Yorkshire’s First Railway Station

Meet the engineer of the proposed Leeds and Selby Railway due to open in 1834 and become a navvy constructing the line as part of his story. 

A family friendly walking tour along Ousegate to Selby Railway Station and onto a platform listening to the tale of and participating in the building of Yorkshire’s first mainline railway. Hear why Selby and the River Ouse were so important in the 19th century and how the navvies risked life and limb in order for the town to be reached by the new technology of the age. See the evidence of how Selby was not long a terminus but became a busy station on the East Coast mainline as railways began to traverse the length and breadth of the country!

The walking tours are included in the Selby Heritage Open Days programme and will be held on:

11 September at 11:00 and 14:00

19 September at 11:00 and 14:00

Please meet Chris at the swans sculpture on the south side of the river by the swingbridge on Ousegate 10 minutes before the walk start time.

Selby Town Centre: A Hive of Activity

Meet a mid- 20th century trader to get the inside story of Selby’s famous Monday Market and a shopkeeper who profits from its presence, both played by the storyteller.

A family friendly walking tour around the centre of the market town of Selby with a tale of two brothers, one a market trader and the other a traditional butcher with his own premises. You will be transported back to a pre-decimal, pre- digital age of post- war community spirit coupled with an eye for a bargain. As we approach the North side of the magnificent Selby Abbey it becomes apparent that even a Victorian epidemic had provided a family predecessor with an opportunity for making an extra shilling………

The walking tours are included in the Selby Heritage Open Days programme and will be held on:

11 September at 10:00 and 13:00

19 September at 10:00 and 13:00

Please meet Chris at the Market Cross 10 minutes before the walk start time.

Image from Selby Times – Bygone Days Number 109

Biram: Barnsley’s Brilliant Inventor!

Performed at Elsecar Heritage Centre on three August Tuesdays: 3rd, 17th and 24th at 10.15, 11.30 and 13.00, a socially distanced twenty minute story with some audience participation in family bubbles. It tells the tale of Earl Fitzwilliam’s steward, Benjamin Biram Esquire, who demonstrates his marvellous mining inventions designed to save lives in the coalmines that come under his jurisdiction. He is honoured by his workers despite the tragedy at Elsecar Low Colliery four years earlier…………

It’s wonderful to be back in Barnsley and to be performing live and in person, face to face!

Benjamin Biram is touched by the presentation made to him by his workmen

Platform 4 Theatre 1991-2016

Broadcast on ITV’s Calendar in 2013, this youtube video was filmed at The National Railway Museum and harks back to the glory days of steam locomotives on the 75th anniversary of the World Record Breaking run on Sunday 3rd July, 1938, by Mallard, LNER no. 4468, designed by Sir Nigel Gresley.

It is just one small part of a quarter of a century’s work by Platform 4 Theatre (1991-2016), co-founded by Chris Cade and Chris Ford, bringing characters to life in and amongst the 3 dimensional objects of the National Collection. Note it’s number of views: 12K (despite the fake moustache!)

Platform 4 Theatre performed over 50 short plays at the National Railway Museum reaching informal audiences of over 400,000 visitors on weekends and holidays over the 25 years of its existence, portraying everyone from engineers and navvies to railway servants and passengers, telling tales from the dawn of railways through to the opening of the Channel Tunnel.

Chris Cade, Chris Ford and Elaine Parker after Platform 4 Theatre’s final performance: ‘The 10.00 a.m.’ (the story of Gresley’s ‘Flying Scotsman’) on Sunday 10 April 2016. It was the end of the line for Platform 4 as NRM’s resident theatre company after 25 glorious years.

A Christmas Carol on screen 2020

No live performances in museums, schools or community venues of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens this year because of the Coronavirus Pandemic restrictions, but a wonderful opportunity was offered to film the story exploring some of the hidden spaces of Cannon Hall. It was shot inside and outside, upstairs and downstairs, on 3rd and 4th November, just before Lockdown 2. See it here on Barnsley Museums ‘youtube’ channel from 30 November.

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Screenshot: CBBC ‘Our School’ Series 6 Episode 20 filmed at York Castle Museum 16 December 2019, broadcast 5.30pm 18 November 2020

Kirkleatham Museum also commissioned a video for their youtube channel which appeared on Christmas Eve:

Chris did appear ‘live’ just the once this yuletide, but it was online on the individual screens of members of Linton Antique Society via ‘zoom’ on the evening of Thursday 10th December:

Chris is now taking bookings for live face to face performances of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens in 2021, via e-mail: chris@chriscade.co.uk or chriscade@btinternet.com and by telephone on 01757 248534

Tommy in the Trenches

For Kirkleatham Museum’s marking of Remembrance Day 2020, part of the true story of Arthur Walker recruited under age to the Wolds Wagoners on 1st July 1914. He went on to serve with the 15th battalion of the West Yorkshire Regiment, The Prince of Wales’s Own, in the Great War. He was taken as a prisoner of war in March 1918 from France into Germany and returned home to the North Riding of Yorkshire after Armistice Day on the eleventh day of the eleventh month later that year.

Arthur Walker’s grave in Foston Churchyard, North Yorkshire
Arthur Walker as a new recruit aged 16 in 1914

Henry Pease

In lockdown during the Coronavirus crisis Kirkleatham Museum (Redcar and Cleveland) approached me to reprise the role of Henry Pease MP, founder of Saltburn by the Sea. I have delivered a one hour storytelling workshop many times over the last seven years as ‘Mr. Pease’ for Key Stage 1 students visiting the museum. Here is the 5 minute 30 second home video, filmed for ‘youtube’. Hopefully, Kirkleatham and all museums and galleries in the country will be able to open their doors again on July 4 2020 or soon after………





The Station Master’s Story

Filmed and edited by Philip J Taylor http://www.greenunderwing.co.uk

Shot on location at Naburn Station on the Solar System Greenway between York and Selby, formerly part of the route of the ‘Flying Scotsman’ on the East Coast mainline from London King’s Cross to Edinburgh Waverley (1870 – 1983). http://www.railwaytogreenway.org

This path now belongs to Sustrans and was the first 10 Kilometres of their National Cycle Network. The track is a wonderful nature reserve with many different species of trees along the way, and an abundance of wildlife to see and hear. http://www.yorkgreenways.org


Screenshot: Chris Cade as The Station Master, Sunday 10 June 2018

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens – 2019

Scrooge 2019A

Yorkshire Tour and York Castle Museum Residency:

Friday 15 November (evening): Stamford Bridge Village Hall

Sunday 17 November: York Castle Museum*

Monday 18 November (evening): Holme Upon Spalding Moor Village Hall

Wednesday 20 November (afternoon): St. Mary’s Church Hall, Nunthorpe

Wednesday 20 November (evening): Yorkshire Hotel, Harrogate

Thursday 21 November (afternoon): Almscliffe Village Hall

Thursday 21 November (evening): Middleton on the Wolds Reading Rooms

Saturday 23, Sunday 24 November: Cannon Hall Museum, Barnsley*

Tuesday 26 November (afternoon): Sandy Lane Baptist Church, Bradford

Thursday 28 November (afternoon): Parkmoor Hotel, Eaglescliffe

Friday 29 November: (morning and afternoon school groups) York Castle Museum

Saturday 30 November, Sunday 1 December: Preston Park Museum, Stockton on Tees*

Monday 2 December (morning): Central Methodist Church, Morley

Monday 2 December (afternoon): Kirklands Community Centre, Menston

Tuesday 3 December (afternoon): Cleethorpes Masonic Hall

Tuesday 3 December (evening): Elvington Village Hall

Wednesday 4 December (afternoon): Park Manor Hotel, Scarborough

Thursday 5 December (afternoon): Mercure Hotel, Bingley

Thursday 5 December (evening): Parish Centre, Burley in Wharfedale

Saturday 7, Sunday 8 December: York Castle Museum*

Tuesday 10 December (afternoon): Bingley Arms, Bardsey

Tuesday 10 December (evening): Coronation Hall, Boroughbridge

Wednesday 11 December (afternoon): Howden Masonic Hall

Wednesday 11 December (evening): Airmyn Primary School

Thursday 12 December (evening): Sowerby Methodist Schoolroom

Saturday 14, Sunday 15 December: York Castle Museum*

Monday 16 December (afternoon): Connaught Court, Fulford

Monday 16 December: ‘An Evening with Ebenezer Scrooge,’ York Castle Museum

Tuesday 17 December (morning and afternoon community groups): Cannon Hall, Barnsley

Tuesday 17 December (evening): Ripon City Golf Club

Friday 20 December: ‘An Evening with Ebenezer Scrooge,’ York Castle Museum

Saturday 21, Sunday 22, Monday 23, Tuesday 24 December: York Castle Museum*

* throughout the day, open to the general public, admission charges apply


Chris first delivered his one-man adaptation of  ‘A Christmas Carol’ at Temple Newsam, Leeds, in 2008. He has been performing it in York Castle Museum’s Kirkgate every year since and at an increasing number of other venues for community groups and the general public across Yorkshire and beyond

Wow! said the Owl

Wow0001Tuesday 4 June 2019 – Storytelling and puppetry as part of the Wow! said the Owl Toddler Sensory Day at Clifton Park Museum in Rotherham. Chris will be armed with juggling scarves and rainbow streamers as well as an owl puppet and ‘a tree’ in order to tell Tim Hopgood’s enchanting tale regularly throughout the day:scan0442Wow said the Owl0001