Civic societies from across Yorkshire & Humber made a return visit to Pontefract for a quarterly meeting of the regional association, which was hosted by Pontefract Civic Society as part of their 50th anniversary year. Each meeting is themed, and it was fitting that heritage and culture had been chosen for the visit, which started with a dinner at the seventeenth century Rogerthorpe Manor Hotel, a tour of Pontefract Castle for 22 members led by Ian Downes from Wakefield Council, and then the quarterly meeting in the Nelson Room of Pontefract Town Hall saw around 50 delegates.

The visitors were welcomed by civic society chair Paul Cartwright, and patron, Michael Sayles-Fox DL. Paul, which included a brief history of the town and town hall, which also gave an opportunity to see the launch of a new information leaflet on the historic building, which had been prepared by the civic society.

Paul Cartwright, civic society chair, said “The previous visit from civic societies some years ago focused on the heritage of the town centre and St Giles Church, and therefore we wanted to show different parts of Pontefract hence using the castle and the town hall, which were very well received”.

Keynote speakers delivered presentations during the afternoon meeting, Cllr Lynn Masterman, Wakefield Council’s newly appointed Heritage Champion which is a role that Pontefract Civic Society requested its reinstatement. Other speakers were John Walker, Historic England, and Jenny Layfield, Director of the National Coal Mining Museum for England and Chair of Wakefield Cultural Consortium.

For local information visit the civic society website at www.pontefractcivicsociety.org.uk or call 01977 708658 for further information.

Yorkshire’s civic societies standing in the ruins of Pontefract Castle.

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