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

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

Stories Galore in Barnsley


From Barnsley Seam Coal and the Oaks Colliery Disaster of 1866 through to Barnsley FC’s F A Cup winning goal in April 1912 and beyond, the stories behind objects in the collection were shared in ‘Experience Barnsley’ in the February 2019 Half Term holidays with three generations of family visitors.

The handling objects included a CEAG Safety Lamp, Subbuteo players in an Oxo tin, a cricket ball, a Slazenger tennis ball, a rag doll, a ladies’ purse, a bobbin, a lacey hankie, a medicine bottle, a scent bottle and a Sunday school prize book. They all have a Barnsley connection and inspire a tale to be told and in many cases a song to be sung.

I’m back at ‘Experience Barnsley’ in the Town Hall telling those self same ‘Stories Galore’ at 11.30 am on Saturday 13 July, 2019 and at ‘The Lightbox’ in the afternoon at 1.45 and 2.30 as part of the programme for the official launch of Barnsley’s new library.

Whilst libraries are closing here and there nationwide, how refreshing it is to see one opening!

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens – 2018

To mark the 175th anniversary of the first publication of the Dickens’ classic by Chapman and Hall, 186 Strand, December MDCCCXLIII

Wednesday 21 November (afternoon): Imperial Crown Hotel, Halifax

Saturday 24, Sunday 25 November: Cannon Hall Museum, Barnsley*

Wednesday 28 November (afternoon): Saltburn Golf Club

Wednesday 28 November (evening): Bishop Burton College

Tuesday 4 December (afternoon): Heath Cottage Hotel, Ossett

Thursday 6 December (afternoon): Wainstones Hotel, Great Broughton, Middlesbrough

Thursday 6 December (evening): Ilkley Manor House – All Ticket Event, see:

Saturday 8, Sunday 9 December: York Castle Museum*

Monday 10 December (evening): West Thorpe Methodist Church, York

Wednesday 12 December (afternoon): The Bridge Inn, Walshford, Wetherby

Thursday 13 December (morning): St. Aelred’s Community Centre, York

Thursday 13 December (afternoon): Dubrovnik Hotel, Bradford

Friday 14 December (evening): York Castle Museum: ‘An Evening with Ebenezer Scrooge’  – All Ticket Event, see:

Saturday 15, Sunday 16, Monday 17, Tuesday 18, Wednesday 19, Thursday 20, Friday 21, Saturday 22, Sunday 23, Monday 24 December: York Castle Museum*

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