SUMMER celebrations at the Manor House in Ilkley on Sunday (August 6) marked a successful campaign to bring the building into community use.

Organised by the Friends of the Manor House, entertainment for all ages was staged both inside and outside the historical building with music, song, dance and story.

Bringing comedy and song was the Penny Plain Theatre Company from Grassington, with their performance of Hardcastle’s Amazing Human Vegetable Machine, providing fun throughout the afternoon.

Generally seen performing at winter Dickensian festivals around the county in their familiar personae as a dishevelled bunch of travelling Victorian thespians known as Hardcastle’s men, this year’s summer appearance in Ilkley refreshes their summer offering.

Performing a pastoral selection of folk songs and shambolic showcasing of talents including fancy footwork and a rapper sword dance, the show transported the audience to a bucolic Victorian era with summer spirit – of the alcoholic kind of course.

A one hour concert from 3pm to 4pm took place in the upstairs gallery which showcased Les Chansonniers from York who perform music mainly from the 16th and early 17th centuries on recorders and viols. The concert also featured Gordon Tyrrall and Geoff Bowen who played music from three centuries of musicians’ notebooks on baroque violin and folk fiddle, Irish flute, guitar and vocals.

The afternoon entertainment was free except for the concert.