Coronation Capers

A patriotic policeman leads Platinum Jubilee Celebrations with a story from June 1st/2nd 1953 as he assumes control and entertains the crowds on the Mall on the night and the morning before the Coronation Procession of the State Gold Coach carrying Princess Elizabeth to Westminster Abbey.

Performance Dates June 2022:

Wednesday 1st (evening): Stillingfleet Women’s Institute, St. Helen’s Church, Stillingfleet

Thursday 2nd (9.45 pm): Kelfield Beacon Lighting

Friday 3rd (morning): Tadcaster Ladies’ Forum, Magnet Sports and Social Club, Tadcaster

Friday 3rd (afternoon): Connaught Court residents, Fulford

Tuesday 7th (morning): Selby and District Family History Society, Selby Town Hall

Thursday 9th (afternoon): Senior Friends, Christ Church, Stockton Lane, York

Tuesday 21st (afternoon): Farm Women’s Club, Kelfield Lodge Farm

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens 2021

Chris returns to Cannon Hall, Barnsley for live performances, face to face, as Ebenezer Scrooge this year. You can see last year’s film, shot behind closed doors in lockdown here:

Full Yorkshire Tour Calendar 2021:

Tuesday 9 November (morning): Thirsk U3A, Parochial Hall, Sowerby

Wednesday 17 November (evening): Addingham Wednesday Club, Addingham Methodist Church Hall

Wednesday 24 November (evening): Thorner Historical Society, Victory Hall, Thorner

Friday 26 November (morning): Wakeman Lectures, Chapel of St. John the Baptist, Ripon

Wednesday 1 December (evening): Yorkshire Countrywomen’s Association, Sutton on Forest Village Hall

Saturday 4 December (evening): St. Michael’s Church, Cherry Burton

Tuesday 7 December (morning): Pontefract Probus, Carleton Grange Community Centre, Pontefract

Tuesday 7 December (evening): Wigginton & Haxby WI, Wigginton Recreational Hall

Thursday 9 December (afternoon): Residents, Connaught Court, Fulford

Saturday 11, Sunday 12 (various times throughout the day): Cannon Hall, Barnsley, open to the general public, booking essential:

Tuesday 14 December (morning): Ilkley U3A Travel Group, Clarke Foley Centre, Ilkley

Thursday 16 December (afternoon): Yarm Ladies Luncheon Club, Judges Hotel, Kirklevington

Friday 17 December (morning and afternoon): Invited Community Groups, Cannon Hall, Barnsley

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: or 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

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).

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.


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