The York 50+ Festival in words and pictures

Fresh air at the double: the Dunnington Health Walk
10 Oct 2013 @ 10.33 am
| Entertainment
Fresh air at the double: the Dunnington Health Walk
Fresh air at the double: the Dunnington Health Walk

This is my personal experience of this year’s York 50+ Festival and it’s all about tasters – interests and activities that can be taken up for the rest of the year.

On Saturday, September 28 I found the Lord Mayor’s party tackling the serious business of judging the cakes, biscuits and fancies at the York Bake Off And Tea Party in Bishopthorpe.

Then on to the Family Fun Day at the Poppleton Road Memorial Hall in time to catch the tail end of bingo and the start of a fun tap dancing session.

A sunny afternoon was spent walking along the Foss Valley with city archaeologist John Oxley and hearing about its history for the past 1,000 years, and the evening found me at St Edward’s enjoying a 40-strong school concert party from New Zealand – haka and poi dance included!

On Sunday I was tempted to try my hand at sailing with the York RI Sailing Club out at Bishopthorpe – river tacking in a gusty wind certainly keeps you busy and was I trying to manage a jib or a genoa?

They were playing tennis with gusto in Heworth where I managed to get some more photos before ending up at All Saints North Street for a taste of bell ringing.

It sounded very nice and looked very easy when they did it but when I tried to catch the rope on its way up, it proved extremely elusive! A patient dog looked on with interest…

Lord Mayor Cllr Julie Gunnell checks for soggy bottoms at the bake off
Lord Mayor Cllr Julie Gunnell checks for soggy bottoms at the bake off
John Oxley talks history
John Oxley talks history
The art of sailing
The art of sailing
Sue tries her hand at bell ringing
Sue tries her hand at bell ringing

Monday saw me up and off to hear about the Vanished Chapels of York with Monica Nelson – she covered 16 in her walk, with the group sharing knowledge as we went.

In the afternoon I joined Gwen Vardigans defending the NHS with passion and laying bare the move towards privatisation. After a quick dash to the Friends Meeting House I caught the last few slides of Tibet, had a good chat, and bought a lovely Tibetan woven shoulder bag and matching purse to support the Fairtrade handcrafts from that ancient nation.

The evening saw me out at Stockton in the Forest for a taste of Sequence Dancing under the expert guidance of Susan and Robert – another social activity available on a weekly basis throughout the year at several venues.

Tuesday, October 1 was the International Day of Older People, celebrated in villages, towns and cities throughout the UK and across the world. We are a huge resource for the community and can help ourselves, and each other make the most of life bearing in mind the wise motto: “Yesterday is history; tomorrow’s a mystery; today is a gift and that’s why we call it the present.”

Well, I was off on the Dunnington Health Walk, one of the many regular walks around the city, in the morning and in the afternoon was at the York LGBT Forum’s Over the Rainbow… but Not Over the Hill.

Here my Real People Theatre presented a story from Paper Bag People. We discussed the ten principles of Dignity In Care and how we are all now protected in law by human rights legislation.

Gwen defends the NHS
Gwen defends the NHS
Andy Murray eat your heart out: Heworth tennis
Andy Murray eat your heart out: Heworth tennis
Dancing on tap
Dancing on tap
French choral singing at Ouse Lea
French choral singing at Ouse Lea

I dropped in on the business women’s workshop in the evening and finished up at Bootham School to hear Professor Paul Rogers on Threats To Peace Today – we left with the feeling that where there is life there is hope…

On Wednesday a friend and I pottered off to Discover The Secrets of Coffee Making at Tea on the Green in Acomb where the tables were filled with folk enjoying the aroma of coffee, luscious cakes and friendly chat. John and Rachel have created a welcoming haven of good cheer on Acomb Green.

That evening Ann and I went to join the French Choir Singing at Ouse Lea and found ourselves singing carols in four-part harmony in French before we could turn round along with 22 other fun-filled singers!