From Wharfedale Observer, June 18th, 2019
MEMBERS of a creative business hub in Ilkley are looking forward to sharing their wares with the public at a celebratory Open Doors day on Saturday [22 June] from 11am to 3pm. The Castle Collective is made up of tenants of the 150-year-old cottages in Castle Yard, next to the 14th century Grade 1 listed Ilkley Manor House. The businesses have been moving in since 2018, after the Ilkley Manor House Trust took over the running of both sets of buildings from Bradford Council, with the aim of creating “an ambitious heritage, learning, creative and leisure quarter” in the town.
Visitors on Saturday will be invited into the cottages and yard to see and sample what the Castle Collective businesses do.
There’ll also be refreshments, cakes and beer in the yard, from neighbouring Outside the Box café and The Flying Duck pub.
Among those exhibiting will be traditional jewellery maker Libby Jubb, who runs workshops for individuals and groups, and who will give people a go at hand-stamping copper tags.
Jenny Howarth and Nicky Whitehead, of Ilkley Complementary Therapies and Yorkshire Flower Essences, will offer people the chance to enjoy taster complementary therapy treatments and test flower essence products, some of which have their origins in plants on Ilkley Moor.
Fine artist and photographer in portraits and creative products, Laura Mate, will be selling unique art prints and greetings cards from her studio.
John and Sarah Gamble, of Art School Ilkley, run creative courses for adults and young people including life drawing, print making and “Draw through Stitch”. They’ll be holding a “community draw”, which encourages people to draw and comment on each other’s creations.
Garden designer Melissa Morton will be displaying her designs and a film by Charlie Swinbourne of Eyewitness Media, who won a Royal Television Society Writer award last year for his programme Deaf Funny, will be shown.
Other Castle Collective members include award-winning public relations expert Jane Cameron, whose company Look Lively Media is expanding to include video and animation and children’s book illustrator Hannah Tolson, whose clients include publishers Bloomsbury and Oxford University Press.
Castle Collective member and photographer Laura Mate said: “In the cobbled yard next to the Manor House, these cottages provide a great creative space. And with many of us working in complementary fields, we can collaborate as well as support each other as small business owners.
“We hope plenty of people will come down on Saturday to see what we do and have some fun at our festive event.”
The MP for Keighley and Ilkley, John Grogan, is also based in the cottages. He said: “The site in Ilkley, which once housed the town’s Roman fort is now the new creative hub of the town. The Open Doors day on the 22nd will be a great opportunity for local people to see the wide variety of things going on in the cottages.
“And the good news is that after a miserable beginning to June, the weather forecast for the day is for some sun and temperatures of 18 degrees!”