Pickering - Gateway to the Yorkshire Moors
"A historic, market town in North Yorkshire."
The ancient market town of Pickering is reputed to have been established two or thee hundred years B.C.
Its name is bound up in legend and concerns the loss of a valuable ring by King Peredurus. Sometime later he was served a cooked pike and inside the fish he found the ring, and at once bestowed the name Pike- ring on the the place. Over time it mutated into Pickering. So the story goes.
The town shares certain features with those of my own home town. They are both described as the being “The Gateway to “ - Pickering to the Yorkshire Moors, my home town to Wales. Both have the the ruins of a Norman Castle and a Parish Church with historical significance. Both “nestle “ in surrounding hills. So it was perhaps not surprising that I felt immediately at home there.
The spire of the Parish Church of St Peter and Saint Paul is a constant feature that can be seen from almost everywhere as you walk around the town.
Not only is there plenty to see and do in the town itself but the surrounding area is full of natural beauty and historic interest. The coast is only 20 miles away so Pickering provides an excellent base for every type of holiday maker.
Frequent, heavy showers failed to dampen our spirit and we filled every day doing something different.
"North Yorkshire Moors Railway"
This Plaque on the Walls of the Black Swan Inn was unveiled by HRH The Duchess of Kent to commemorate the official opening of the Whitby and Pickering Railway on May 26th 1836.
On that occasion 300 people marched from the Railway station to the Black Swan for a "collation" There they were greeted by a cheering crowd of 7,000 of the Populace while cannons fired and brass bands played.
The railway ran successfully until 1966.The line had operated for 130 years as part of the national rail system but was closed following one of the most controversial Reviews of the Rail Network ever undertaken in the United Kingdom.
The plaque also marks the reopening of the line as the North Yorkshire Railway on May 1st 1973 initially only as far as Grosmont, later extended to Whitby.
It is now the longest private steam railway in the country -
thanks to the enormous effort and commitment of local people.
"The old stock Market"
The sloping Green in front of the Liberal Club ( with yellow door) was once the site of the ancient stock market and the old Market cross still stands on it. In Medieaval times a Royal licence was necessary for a town to hold regular markets and it was from this concentration of trade the the growth of towns developed.
The cross here is a simple pillar with ornamentation at the top rather than a cruciform It was not marked in any way and I wondered if this was in fact a more recent reconstruction. Others I saw in nearby towns were clearly several hundred years old.
You will often see much grander Market Crosses which are in fact small but ornate buildings which often reflected the importance and prosperity of the town.
The Church spire can just be seen in the top left of the picture.
The Liberal Club Building, as well as a meeting place for people of a Liberal political persuasion is also used for various other events, festivities and celebrations.
Indeed there was some kind of party going on there on our last day in town. I can just imagine a Maypole on that Green and would have loved to have seen one there on May Day with dancers.
We also visited Air Museum