Tag Archives: North Yorkshire

How To Build A Beach At Your Event

The Seaside is a popular theme at events and galas these days. No Seaside event would be complete without sand. This is how the organisers of a Seaside Day in Ripon, North Yorkshire tackled the problem. A large plastic sheet was laid on the grass and planks were set up on three sides to create a boundary and to contain the sand which was tipped onto the sheet. There were also small inflatable paddling pools set out round this, also containing sand.  I took this photo at the end of the afternoon just as the event was closing. Earlier on it would have been impossible to take a picture as it was crowded with children digging and building sand castles etc

Seaside Day Sand Pit

Seaside Day Sand Pit

Seaside Day Sand

Seaside Day Sand

Have you held a Seaside Day? Share your ideas with us.

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Mayor For A Minute

It was an honour to be invited by the Mayor of Richmond, Councillor Barry Heap, to visit the Town Hall and take wine with him in the Mayor’s Parlour. We had been invited as a thank you for offering to put on our Christmas Show on Xmas Eve for local children, an occasion I am really looking forward to. The entire Wood family went along ( myself, Hazel, Natasha, Katrina and Daniella ) and we took our neighbours Colin and Lorraine Vincent, Jim and Chris Phillips plus some friends, Graham and Karen Gomersall. We were treated to a tour of the Town Hall, The Mayor’s Parlour and The Council Chamber. Richmond ( North Yorkshire ) is a fascinating place with a very interesting history and Councillor Barry Heap is an expert. We all enjoyed listening to his stories of the many objects and pictures on display. We were even allowed to hold The Great Mace Of Richmond, a priceless ceremonial mace which symbolically represents the authority bestowed on the town Mayor by the Monarch.

The Great Mace Of Richmond

The Great Mace Of Richmond

Another very special treat  was to be allowed to wear the ceremonial robes worn by the Mayor whilst on official duties. This is me when I became ” Mayor For A Minute ” Sadly my moment of fame was short lived and I had to return the chain of office and regalia before I had a chance to try and exercise my authority.

Ron is Mayor for a minute!

Mayor For a Minute

I am very proud to live in Richmond and I am glad that we are able to contribute in a small way to the affairs of the community. I hope our Xmas Show will be a huge success and that we can offer our services freely at other events from time to time work commitments permitting.

Hazel and Daniella examining the Mayor of Richmond's Chain of Office

Chain of Office

How old do you think  The Great Mace Of Richmond is and can you guess how much it is worth?

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Thorp Perrow Circus Mayhem

What a brilliant day at Thorp Perrow Arboretum near Bedale in North Yorkshire. I love this place it is so beautiful. Sir John Ropner and his team have done such a good job in making it  a really nice place to visit. The staff are friendly and helpful, it’s easy to park, there is a lovely cafe, ample seating and even a little plant shop too.

I was there for Circus Mayhem and we had lots of families coming along to try their hand at juggling, stilt walking, plate spinning, diabolo and other fun things too.

Some people brought picnics whilst others bought food and drinks from the cafe and sat round in the sunshine enjoying the surroundings.

Another big attraction at Thorp Perrow is the Bird of Prey and Mammal Centre :

The Falcons of Thorp Perrow is the ultimate family day out, incorporating the opportunity to learn more about birds of prey and associated wildlife, with the enjoyment of hands on experience for all the family.

Here are a few photos I took :

Circus Skills at Thorp Perrow Arboretum, North Yorkshire

Circus Skills

Thorpe Perrow arboretum Cafe

The Cafe at Thorp Perrow

The Circus Tent at Thorp Perrow Arboretum

Circus Tent

Did you enjoy the children’s entertainment at Thorp Perrow? Comments invited.

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Deer Shed Festival Has Balldersby Bopping

The first ever Deer Shed Festival took place last week at Balldersby Park in North Yorkshire. Large numbers of people camped on site for the weekend and enjoyed an excellent programme of live music. There was lots of other entertainment too. Hazel and Katrina from Jolly Good Productions were there Face Painting together with a beginner face painter who the organisers had booked separately. They were kept busy all day. There were also a variety of workshops and other children’s entertainment activities for the kids too.

Deer Shed Festival campers

Deer Shed Festival Campers

Deer Shed Festival Mural

Mural painted by artists at the Deer Shed Festival

Deer Shed Festival Main Stage

Deer Shed Music Festival Stage

If you went to the festival we’d love to hear about your experiences. Did you see Hazel and Katrina? Did your kids get there faces painted? Did you get your face painted? Comments welcome.

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Newton Le Willows Village Hall

Here is another great venue for a Birthday Party in the Richmond, Bedale, Catterick Garrison area of North Yorkshire. Newton Le Willows Village Hall is fully modernised with a lovely function room ( the main hall ) and there is also an adjoining ante room too. The kitchen has been fully refurbished and is well equipped. The rates for hiring the hall are very reasonable and there is excellent car parking. It is an excellent choice for a birthday party or similar function. The floor in the main hall is also fantastic for dancing.

Newton Le Willows Village Hall

Newton Le Willows Village Hall

Newton Le Willows Village Hall

Newton Le Willows Village Hall

To hire the hall Tel 01677 450614 ( this number correct as of May 2010 )

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Face Painting For Beginners

Jolly Good Productions offer training courses for people who would like to become professional Face Painters. We cover everything you need to know to set up and run your own face painting business. The courses run midweek and are of two days duration. They take place in Richmond, North Yorkshire. All materials are supplied but for one to one training you will need to bring a model.

In our Face Painting Courses we cover the following :

  • Health and Safety
  • Equipment
  • Materials
  • Technique

The training courses are very comprehensive and go into detail on every aspect. You will learn everything you need to know about Face Painting with excellent tuition from an experienced expert. Hand outs are provided and there is a certificate of attendance on completion.

For more information call Hazel Wood on 01748 821621

Face Painting demonstration by Hazel Wood of Jolly Good Productions

Face Painting Courses by Hazel Wood

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Find more information, photos and video clips about face painting

To hire a Professional Face Painter go to Face Painter [ Jolly Good Productions ]

For information about Training go to Face Painting Courses [ Jolly Good Productions ]

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Punch And Judy Visit Historic Northumberland

The tranquility of a beautiful Northumberland village was disturbed yesterday with the arrival of Mr Punch and his entourage.

The picturesque and historic medieval village of Blanchland nestles in the Northumbrian countryside and is popular with tourists. The peace and quiet was disturbed for a while yesterday when Punch and Judy were called on to perform at the Lord Crewe Arms Hotel to entertain wedding guests.

Mr Punch said ” We was a little concerned about doing the show at this venue because the hotel is supposed to be haunted and as we already have a ghost we thought it might cause trouble. The resident ghost might not be happy with an outsider putting the frighteners on people on his turf so to speak”

Fortunately all was well and the Punch and Judy Show went ahead to the delight of the guests.

After the show there was time for a quick look round before heading back to North Yorkshire.

Mr Punch recommends a visit to Blanchland if you are ever up that way. It is a lovely place as you can see from the photos below.

The historic village of Blanchland in Northumberland

Approaching Blanchland from Co durham

The Lord Crewe Hotel, popular with ghost hunters

The Lord Crewe Hotel, Blanchland, Northumberland

Blanchland village centre

Blanchland village square

Pretty house in Blanchland

Blanchland has many pretty houses

Picturesque Blanchland

Beatiful stone buildings

Stone Arch

Stone Arch

The Blanchland Deli

The Blanchland Deli

The Lord Crewe Hotel is popular with ghost hunters so if you do go keep your eyes open for strange goings on…you have been warned!

ps Punch recommends the Deli ( nice grub and friendly service too )

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Jolly Good Fun For Army Kids

Jolly Good Productions are based in Richmond, North Yorkshire which is only three miles from Catterick Garrison, now the largest military base in the UK.  Although we are literally on the “door step” we don’t do a huge amount of work in the Garrison. Most of the work we do involves travelling to other areas.

Yesterday Hazel was booked to provide children’s entertainment for the families of one of the Regiment’s based in the camp. They wanted a children’s  entertainer for a couple of hours and asked her to run her “jolly good fun” party. As I was free I offered to accompany her to assist.

As we entered the camp I was amazed at how much new build there had been. The barracks we went into had a lot of new accommodation blocks and there were many other new buildings for headquarters, stores, equipment and training. We were both quite impressed. Having signed in we were directed to a very large modern building in the centre of the complex. Our guide explained that this is where the soldiers come for their meals. It was however a far cry from the old fashioned cookhouses. It was more like a Marks and Spencer’s Cafeteria. Quite posh I thought. The whole place was light and airy, there were comfortable seating areas, games areas with pool tables, electronic games, a mini supermarket, a barbers shop etc etc.  We were allocated a large carpeted area which had plenty of tables and chairs next to it for parents to be able to sit and watch the fun ( in fact many joined in ).

We were set up in good time and the children soon found us. Inevitable there was a wide age range going from preschoolers up to ten or eleven years old. Hazel is a very experienced children’s entertainer and has a great way with kids. Dealing with large numbers and mixed ages requires skill. The children are usually excited and the trick is to keep the fun going whilst also maintaining control. If there is a knack in this then Hazel certainly has it.

I always enjoy watching Hazel running a kid’s disco because of the way she leads the dancing. Hazel is also a  qualified and very experienced dance teacher and so she is always at the front doing all the actions to the party dances ( and she knows them all ) so the children all copy her moves. I’ve never seen another DJ who is able to do this. Most just put the music on and let the kid’s get on with it.

Following  the children’s disco, there were party games, bubble making, parachute games and even some circus skills too.

It had been a wonderful afternoon with lots of variety, lots of fun and lots of happy children.

These are difficult times and it’s nice to know that the army are doing a good job looking after the families of service personnel. We are looking  forward to our next visit to the Garrison.

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Do You Suffer From Wind?

This may seem a rather rude way to start a conversation. After all suffering from wind is a rather personal matter and when it manifests itself in public it can be embarrassing. As a Punch and Judy Man suffering from wind takes on a whole new meaning. For most people a sudden blast of wind results in a red face and possibly the words ” I’m terribly sorry” or else we blame the poor dog. For me a sudden blast of wind in the middle of a Punch And Judy Show can mean disaster. Now I’ve always fancied learning to fly but I’d rather do it in an aeroplane than in a Punch And Judy Booth. The problem I have is not my age or what I ate for dinner, it’s the size of my ” fit up”. I’m proud to say I’ve got a big one. No, I’m not bragging. It’s a whopper! My Punch And Judy show is a fair size. I like to be seen and I like my audience to be able to see me too. The down size of having a big one is that it acts like a sail and its natural tendency is to want to lift off in anything more than a strong breeze. I’ve never actually got into full flight but I’ve come pretty close to it.

I once nearly blew into the Manchester Ship Canal whilst working at the Imperial War Museum North. We were set up on the quayside and fortunately Hazel was with me. As the day went on the wind grew stronger and although IWM staff had provided big metal weights for us to tie down to we were still straining at the leash to be up up and away. Hazel was hanging onto the frame for grim death behind me and I had one hand in Mr Punch and the other clinging onto the frame at the side a bit like a chimpanzee hanging onto a branch. I got through my last performance by the skin of my teeth and then with Hazel’s help we managed to break down the show before we were picked up and deposited in the icy waters close by. The main stage was not so lucky. We witnessed a most extraordinary sight. The entire structure was lifted off the ground. Now I’m not talking about a tiddly little thing, this was a proper stage where moment before a full swing band had been performing. It had an an aluminium structure with a roof over the top. At the exact moment of lift off Hazel and I were lying spread eagle on Mr Punch’s cover trying to fold it up. I saw men running towards the stage from all directions, eveyone grabbing a hold and hanging on tight. Luckily there were enough people to stabilize it…but only just. It too very nearly ended up in the canal.

Another memorable occassion was on the beach at Saltburn By The Sea in North Yorkshire. When a carried my gear down onto the sands it was a perfectly lovely summers day. Blue sky, warm and sunny. As the day went by and the tide started to come in behind me I noticed the breeze picking up. I realised I needed extra anchorage and so started collecting rocks to use as weights. As the breeze increased in strength the more rocks I needed. I started to wonder wether I should be going on a Dry Stone Walling course. By the time I did my last show it really was a battle with the elements, trying to work the puppets and hang onto the booth in the face of an impending gale with my little Sanger of rocks around me, and the sea coming up fast behind. I’m sure that the audience were taking bets on how far into the North Sea I would be blown. It sure beats wind surfing. Fortunately I avoided being swept away and the audience left perhaps slightly disappointed as a flying Punch and Judy Show is not something you see every day.

My most recent experience of near flight came last August at the Wensleydale Show. In past years they have put me inside a marquee so contending with the elements isn’t a problem. Unfortunately this time due to budget constraints there was no marquee and the person in charge put me on top of the hill. If you have never been to the Wensleydale Show then I strongly recommend it. There is so much to see and do and the view from the top of the hill is splendid. Unfortunately the top of the hill is not a good place to site a Punch And Judy Show when its windy and boy was it windy. Now I like a challenge so when the man told me this was my location the army training kicked in. I was determined to hold my ground at all costs. Although it was a struggle just to set up, I managed it and I used all my ratchet straps and ground anchors to lock myself down. My saving grace was that my fit up has a metal framework and is therefore reasonably strong. The entire afternoon was a massive struggle not only to perform but just to avoid being carried away. I had visions of folk down in Leyburn looking up and saying ” is it a bird? Is it a bee? No…it’s…it’s…it’s a Punch And Judy Show!  Against all the odds I did do my four shows and I did stay on the field. It was a relief to hear that next year they are moving me to somewhere less exposed. Oh joy!

As its winter I’m not suffering from wind at the moment. When summer comes and you are struggling to keep your hat on just think of me. I might be on a beach or on top of a hill somewhere facing a far greater problem. Keep smiling!

Has anything like this ever happened to you? ie tent blowing away on a camping trip, embarrassing moments with clothing in the wind etc. If you have a funny story to tell please share it with me.

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