Walks and workshops for Wakefield 2017

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Friday afternoon tours, 20th October
Tour 1: An afternoon at the Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield Waterfront

The Hepworth art gallery opened in Wakefield in 2012. Designed by architect David Chipperfield, the building is worth a visit in its own right. Dedicated to the life of Wakefield-born sculptor Dame Barbara Hepworth, the gallery stands on the bank of the River Calder and is part of Wakefield’s Waterfront, a key development area in the city’s regeneration plans.
The tour departs ride outside from Unity Works at 1.30 pm where a mini-coach will take you to the gallery with a member of Wakefield Civic Society acting as escort. At the gallery, you will have free time for the afternoon to explore the collection and perhaps have a look at some of the surrounding area on foot. There is a café at the gallery should you require refreshment during your stay.
At approximately 4.15 (time to be confirmed on the day), your mini-coach will collect you from the gallery to return first to Unity Works and, for those who require transport, to take you on to the Cedar Court Hotel for the Convention Dinner.
It will be possible for those who wish to do so to leave the gallery earlier and make their own way back to Unity Works on foot or by using the free city bus which loops around the city centre approximately every 10 minutes and picks up from outside the gallery.
Tour 2: A visit to Theatre Royal Wakefield, Drury Lane
There has been a theatre on the site of Wakefield’s Theatre Royal since 1776. Today’s building, which dates from 1894 was designed by Frank Matcham.
Your tour will be on foot – the Theatre Royal is directly opposite Unity Works – and you will be escorted to the Theatre by a member of Wakefield Civic Society. At the Theatre you will be met by a member of the Theatre’s staff who will lead a tour of the building. Access to stage areas will be dependent on rehearsals/set up activity for the evening show.
After your visit to the Theatre, you will be escorted back to Unity Works.
Tour 3: A visit to Wakefield Cathedral, City Centre
There has been a church on the site of today’s Cathedral since Saxon times. By the 12th century there was a substantial parish church here but this was largely rebuilt in the 14th century. The church became a Cathedral in 1888 with the creation of the Wakefield Diocese – and Wakefield attained its status as a city. Today, Wakefield’s skyline is dominated by the Cathedral spire, which at 247 feet is the tallest in Yorkshire.
This tour will be on foot. It is a short walk from Unity Works and you will be escorted to the Cathedral by a member of Wakefield Civic Society. At the Cathedral, you will be met by one of their own guides for a tour of the building before returning to Unity Works.
Tour 4: A visit to County Hall, Civic Quarter and Conservation Area
Wakefield became the ‘county town’ for the West Riding of Yorkshire and the West Riding Magistrates met in the Court House on Wood Street at a time when magistrates were responsible for decisions on civil matters such as roads and bridge repairs, as well as criminal cases. In 1889, the West Riding County Council was established and commissioned the building of the County Hall which opened in 1898.
The West Riding County Council was abolished in 1974 and replaced by West Yorkshire County Council. When this too was closed in 1986, County Hall was put up for sale and purchased by Wakefield Council.
This tour will be on foot. It is a short walk from Unity Works to County Hall and you will be escorted to there by a member of Wakefield Civic Society who will then lead a tour of the inside of the building, including the Council Chamber and Committee Rooms before returning to Unity Works.
Coach Transfer to Cedar Court Hotel
For anyone without transport of their own, Wakefield Civic Society has arranged a free shuttle service by mini-coach from Unity Works to Cedar Court Hotel. This will leave from outside Unity Works for the 10-minute drive to the hotel at 4.30 pm and 5.15 pm approximately (exact times will be confirmed on the day). Places will be allocated on a first-come basis.
Taxis and private hire cars can also be booked: a private hire vehicle will cost approximately £5 to £6 for a one-way journey to the hotel.
Sunday morning tour, 22nd October
Tour 5: A Guided Walk of Wakefield’s Civic Quarter
Join Wakefield Civic Society President Kevin Trickett for a guided walking tour of Wakefield’s Civic Quarter. Meeting outside the Town Hall in Wood Street at 10.30 am, the tour will explore the history of the street and its buildings. The walk, which will be over level ground will last approximately 90 minutes.