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View from the Balcony - Reg Phillips Take on the Opposition of the Day

May we wish a warm welcome to all travelling from the darkness of Rishworth Moor on the edge of Lancashire to the bright open spaces and fields of North Yorkshire and the picturesque town of Selby

The reverend John Watson (1775) first wrote about the Rocking Stone which is to be found on Rishworth Moor, describing it as, “a group of stones, laid, seemingly, one above another, to the height of several yards, and called the Rocking stone.”  It is said to affect all who approach it and drive them towards Scammoden Bridge and to hurl themselves off, which is very annoying for motorists on the M62 below.

The rocking stone was long ascribed in local tradition to be a site used by the druids.  It was said that in bygone days the great boulder would rock, but this must have been a long time ago as even when Mr Watson described it, he told how “a bass guitar and drums is required on top of a lead guitar to make things really rock “

Close by is the sometimes-dried-up spring known as the Booth Dean Spa, which Watson thought might have been related to whatever ancient rituals occurred here, and said to be related to Dog Hill, where unspeakable practices were observed (particularly on Wednesday nights after 9.30)
Old Rishworthians are former pupils of Rishworth School, which has a long and proud history. It was founded and endowed by John Wheelwright in 1724, and established in a modest but charming old building which is now the Chapel. Today the School is very different. It extends over 130 acres protected by an attractive razor wire fence and six-foot-deep moat, to both prevent incursions by the warlike locals and to ensure that the pupils minds are fully focused. There is also now a wide range of buildings developed to accommodate increasing numbers of pupils.

The sports hall was opened by Joe Royle during his time as manager of Oldham Athletic, a local soccer type club. The sports club (located at Heathfield) was opened by HRH The Princess Royal in June 2007, when she rode to the ceremony across Rishworth Moor, shouting “ If Godiva can do it, so can I “, causing all the assembled guests to keep their eyes firmly to the floor.. The new sports pavilion was opened in May 2011 by rugby player Mark Cueto

Typically, some thirty to forty different clubs and activities take place within the school. from “Project Special Weed” Gardening Club, High Living Gourmet Club, Legal High Science Club, Tinder for Beginners Communications, Debating and Boxing Club, to Adult Film Club and Duke of Edinburgh’s Award are on offer in any given academic year. A fuller list may be found in on the dark web. The whole school, both pupils and staff, is encouraged to take an active part in this wider curriculum, which is regarded as a key ingredient to each student’s personal development. The aim is to ensuring that pupils make the most of their strengths and interests.

Former pupils include well-known names from the Sports and Entertainment industries, such as John Noakes – Blue Peter presenter, Nicholas Connor – Blue Filmmaker, Eric Pornman – 20th century actor, George Ford – Leicester Tigers and England Rugby Union ( and favoured nephew of Eddie Jones), Joe Ford – Leicester Tigers Rugby Union, and Gareth Widdop - St. George Illawarra Dragons and England Rugby League

Please enjoy your afternoon

Where next?

Moortown - 17th November 2018 May we wish a warm welcome to all travelling from the small suburb of Moortown in the big, bold city


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