Village Focus: Shiptonthorpe, East Yorkshire

All Saints Church in Shiptonthorpe.  Pictures by Gary Longbottom.
All Saints Church in Shiptonthorpe. Pictures by Gary Longbottom.
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If you don’t pay attention the village of Shiptonthorpe may just pass you by on the journey between York and Hull. However, far more is happening here than meets the eye.

At one end, the award-winning Langlands garden centre brings welcome trade to this corner of East Yorkshire, deep in farming territory, but it is just one element of village life - as Sue Beadle, who moved here ten years ago, explained.

There is more than first meets the eye to Shiptonthorpe.

There is more than first meets the eye to Shiptonthorpe.

“It’s a small village that nobody realises is even here really, they pass Langlands and think that’s all there is to it. We’re a horseshoe shape off the A1079 and there’s so much going on. We have a morris dancing side, a yearly pantomime and we are just about to do a gala evening.”

Shiptonthorpe is about to strike a chord that attracts more than its villagers. Sue runs the Folk in the Field festival, which took place for the first time last year. Not to be put off by the rain that dogged the folk music showpiece last year, the open-air festival returns on Saturday, June 24 in Station Road playing fields.

This time the event is intended to raise money for local projects.

Sue said: “The village hall used to be the home of the village school and we have all these buildings with their own history but they all need maintaining, so we thought we would do something to help.”

That history extends to All Saints Church, a Grade I listed building with and a well-kept lychgate - one of the village’s two churches.

Shiptonthorpe no longer has a school, while its fish and chip shop is shut and so too its two former pubs - The Crown and The Ship. To recreate a pub at the heart of the community, the village hall committee organises a monthly pub night. Committee member Richard Waud said: “It’s all done on a voluntary basis. We try and do a different beer each month from York Brewery.”

The alcohol licence means parties are also hosted at the hall and the income has helped fund a kitchen extension. Next, a village garden and war memorial are planned for adjacent fields.

Diane and Alan Heaven first set up the village’s Ravens morris dancing side “to do something quintessentially English” to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. It has evolved so that its dancers now wear steampunk costumes.

Diane said: “We also use giant puppets for processions and as part of our dances. Ronald the Raven, which has a wingspan of 13ft, will be unveiled at our traditional May Day dance at Burnby Hall in Pocklington.”

Langlands garden centre is owned and run by Robert Ducker and his brother John. Robert, who is chairman of Shiptonthorpe Parish Council, seemed to sum up local sentiment quite nicely: “It’s a lovely area, there’s a great community spirit and we have lovely views of the Wolds.”

FACTS

Shiptonthorpe lies about five miles from Pocklington and, according to the 2011 census has a population of 503 people.

Plans for a bypass of the village were put forward in 1989 but were later dropped.

Shiptonthorpe was served by Londesborough railway station on the York to Beverley Line between 1847 and 1965.

For details about the Folk in the Field festival, see the event’s Facebook page @folkinthefieldshiptonthorpe.