Yorkshire Branch Introduction
Message from the Committee
The Yorkshire Branch has been in existence for 50 years, and is the oldest Branch of the Richard III Society. It was formed in 1960 at the time of two important 500th Anniversaries, Wakefield (1460) and Towton (1461) were being commemorated. Members of the recently reformed Richard III Society living in York and the Three Ridings decided to organise some local activities here, in the county which Richard himself had known and loved.
The first chairman of the Branch was R.J.A.Bunnett, who organised talks in Harrogate for members, and made research papers available for study. When he retired, David Murgatroyd of Baildon was elected Chairman; along with Mary Saxton as secretary they established the branch on a sure footing. Under David’s leadership our thrice yearly magazine Blanc Sanglier was begun, local groups were set up throughout the county, and the first Medieval Banquet was held.
About twenty years ago another Yorkshire Branch tradition began, our Spring Lecture, an annual event which is open to the public. The Branch also has an extensive library of books, Papers Booklets and Archives. The Library is dedicated and named for Dorothy Appleyard, after our first librarian and longest serving committee member. The library has been augmented over the years by donations and bequests and is available to members.
In recent years the Branch was in the safe hands of such long standing members as Arthur Cockerill, John Audsley, and dear Moira Habberjam who served as secretary for twenty two years. When John retired in 2007 he was succeeded by Ralph Taylor who had been an active member for many years. We were all greatly saddened by Ralph’s tragic early death less than a year later. The new committee under the leadership of Angela Moreton our Chairman hope to continue the sterling work of their predecessors continuing the fight to promote a better understanding of a much maligned King and the times he lived in.
One of the features of this site is the Historical Sites. Yorkshire contains numerous Castles, Ecclesiastical sites, Fortified Manor Houses, Battle sites and Churches. Many of these sites have a connection with Richard and he would have known them well. Almost all are included on the site.
Yorkshire is of course a vast county. There are no longer groups in various areas so we tend to use York, the centre of the county as much as possible and attend events and arrange outings suitable to our period of interest in other areas where possible. We also keep our events, apart from the Branch Dinner, to daytimes. Events continue to be added as they come along and can be accessed on our events page. We hope at some point to be in an area near you.
We are justly proud of our county, and hope through this site to introduce those who visit the site to the county we call Gods Own Country, or in the words of Shakespeare “this other Eden, demi paradise”, the county we, and Richard, call home, Yorkshire.