Summer of fun for Selby

Lego building clubs, a story gathering project, and a new exhibition are just some of the activities planned as part of an exciting programme of cultural events that will take place over the next two months in Selby.

Part of the town’s High Street Heritage Action Zone, there are a variety of interesting and unusual events that will take place to capture and celebrate the stories of the town.

There’ll be a Talking Shop Story Collection project that will capture your stories of living, working, and shopping in Selby.  This is an opportunity to share memories of shopping in the Selby in the past, as well as to share the heritage stories already known about the area.

At the Selby Faces workshops you can get the chance to find out about the famous people in Selby’s past and present – and you’ll have the chance to create your own portraits with a watercolour artist. These workshops have previously taken place in local schools and an exhibition of these works by pupils will be open in Selby Abbey from 10 August.

As well as this there will be story time in the grounds of Selby Abbey and the chance to join a Lego Club. You can also view a video of Selby town centre that has been built in the Minecraft game.

Cllr Tim Grogan, Selby District Council’s Lead Executive Member for Health and Culture, said: “There is something for everyone in this programme of events. I’m delighted to see that the town’s rich history is being highlighted in different ways throughout the summer.”

Veronica Fiorato from Historic England said: “We are really pleased to be funding these fantastic summer events through the Selby High Street Heritage Action Zone. They will give local people of all ages the opportunity to both celebrate Selby’s history and contribute their own stories about the town and its heritage.”   

Talking Shop Story Collection 

This is an opportunity to share memories of living, working and shopping in Selby in the past, as well as to share the heritage stories already known about the area. This is part of a wider story-sharing and story-gathering project that will lead to a celebration of the faces of Selby – from the past and from our current heroes.

On 22 July between 1-3pm, come and meet our new character - Marjorie Gasgoyne, (played by story-sharer Libby Pearson) a Selby shopper newly released from WWII rationing. Marjorie will be at Selby Library to audio-record your memories of Selby.  (Book a slot). 

Talking Shop 

Marjorie will return with other characters to 50 Micklegate to share the stories in 15-minute performance pieces. Drop by at one of the four timed slots in the morning and afternoon of 16 August to meet them. 

 Selby Faces Workshops 

Find out about the famous people in Selby’s past and present, and with the help of artist Karen Thompson, use watercolours and ink to create your own portraits of our Selby Faces.  

Karen will introduce the famous people identified as having a connection to Selby, and provide a tutorial about painting portraits with watercolours, before letting children loose with these skills to create several of their own portraits.  

Workshops take place on 10, 17 and 24 of August, 2pm-4pm at Selby Abbey. (For children aged 6-12.)  (Book a slot). 


Be a Wild World Hero and join us for story time fun with the Selby Library team in the grounds of Selby Abbey. Find out about this year’s Summer Reading Challenge Wild World Heroes (for children aged 4- 11) and Buzzy Bee’s Honey Hunt (for pre-school children).  2:30-3:15 30 July, 13 August, 27 August. (No booking needed).

 Building a Lego Selby 

Come along and build something for Selby town centre in Lego bricks.  Drop by the west end of Selby Abbey to find Lego-builders 10 and 11am on 27 July, 11 August, and 18 August. (No booking needed).

Further information including how to book for the different sessions is available here:

Further information

Selby High Street Heritage Action Zone

In 2019 Selby District Council was successful in an application to Historic England to create a High Street Heritage Action Zone in Selby town (Selby HSHAZ), centred around the Grade I Listed Selby Abbey.

The High Streets Heritage Action Zones is a £95 million government-funded programme led by Historic England, designed to secure lasting improvements and help breathe new life into our historic high streets for the communities and businesses that use them. Historic England is working with local people and partners to unlock the rich heritage on these high streets, through repair and improvement works as well as arts and cultural programmes, making them more attractive to residents, businesses, tourists and investors.

About Historic England

We are Historic England the public body that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment, from beaches and battlefields to parks and pie shops. We protect, champion and save the places that define who we are and where we’ve come from as a nation. We care passionately about the stories they tell, the ideas they represent and the people who live, work and play among them. Working with communities and specialists we share our passion, knowledge and skills to inspire interest, care and conservation, so everyone can keep enjoying and looking after the history that surrounds us all.