York theatre group devastated by blaze – but vows ‘the show must go on’

The aftermath of the blaze. Photograph: Rowntree Players on Twitter
26 Jan 2020 @ 12.33 am
| News

A York theatre group is appealing for help today (Sunday) after a fire tore through their sets and props.

The blaze was reported around 7pm last night at the farm business units, Moor Farm, off Moor Lane, Murton.

Six fire crews brought the fire under control.

But not before it had consumed props and sets belonging to the Rowntree Players theatre company.


Sharing the news on social media, Rowntree Players wrote:

  • A fire has devastated our Panto store. We are calling for all (over 18s) hands on deck tomorrow (Sunday) from 9am to help salvage anything possible. Anyone who has a van or a trailer would be great.

    This is devastating news for us and a long and expensive job ahead so please give your time generously.

    There is no power and it is wet and dirty so please come warmly dressed in clothes suitable to a very mucky task.

    We are also now looking for a new home for Rowntree Players props, set and tools so if you have any contacts who may be able to help we need a large unit in the York area.

‘Terrible fire’

Photograph: Rowntree Players on Twitter
The Rowntree Players is the oldest amateur theatre company in York and one of the oldest in the country.

Established in 1912 as the ‘Cocoa Works Dramatic Society’, the company has been entertaining York audiences for more than a century.

At least six fire crews responded to the blaze which did so much damage to their storage unit. At one stage they were using so much water to tackle the fire that Yorkshire Water tweeted that it was causing low water pressure in the area.


The theatre group paid truibute to the fire service, saying:

  • Tonight a terrible fire spread into the Rowntree Players store causing a huge amount of damage and destroying significant amounts of our precious sets, props, tools and guttered pantomime necessities.

    Rowntree Players would like to thank the amazing fire crews for their fantastic work in bringing the fire under control and salvaging everything they could. Utter professionals in a dangerous and overwhelming situation.

    Luckily nobody has been hurt and Rowntree Players will rise from the ashes. As ever the show must go on.

If you can help, get in touch with the Rowntree Players via their Facebook page.