Looking for a new property to buy can be no laughing matter. Unless, of course, you’re looking in the village of Thorner – also known as comedy capital of Yorkshire.
The reason for that is the annual Thorner Comedy Festival, which since 2005 has been attracting capacity audiences to see many of the household names of the comedy circuit.
Previous headliners have included Alan Carr, Michael McIntyre, Russell Howard and Josh Widdicombe.
The 14th festival – billed as “almost world-renowned” – will be held this weekend, on Friday, February 23 and Saturday 24.
As usual, the headline acts are genuinely impressive; Shappi Khorsandi is the main attraction on Friday and Russell Kane on Saturday.
That such major stars should be attracted this village between Leeds and Wetherby is perhaps testament to the organisers’ powers of persuasion, but then again, why wouldn’t performers want to come here?
After all, they get to deliver their set in intimate venues such as Thorner Parish Centre and Victory Hall, which was built as a memorial after the Great War. And the village itself is a gem, with two pubs, a village shop and a post office.
There’s also a very good restaurant – currently being refurbished by its new owners – which is due to re-open at the end of this month as Con Amici @ The Beehive.
Residents also value the primary school (Good, Ofsted 2015) and two churches, St Peter’s Church and Thorner Methodist Church.
And there’s also the annual Thorner Beer Festival, which will be held this year on April 21.
If you like the sound of all this, one of the following properties – three of 11 currently for sale in the village – might appeal. Put in a decent offer and you should be laughing.
Hollycroft is a large detached family home with four bedrooms, four bathrooms and plenty of top-floor storage space, and on the ground floor there a sitting room, lounge and large kitchen-diner.
Outside there’s a triple garage with adjoining one-bedroom self-contained annexe, as well as a stable block with tack room and haylage store, plus three acres of gardens and paddocks.
On the northern edge of the village, 6 Skippon Terrace is a stone-built end-of-terrace property with gardens to the front and back. It looks onto with open fields to the front, has an elevated south-facing aspect to the rear, and has three bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and two reception rooms, as well as three good-sized cellar rooms that could be converted.
Finally, just along the road is 24 Kirklands, a split-level apartment with a newly extended lease of 188 years. Occupying part of the ground and first floors of the old Methodist church, it has all the original beams, stained-glass windows and carved wooden fixtures you might expect, plus some more modern additions to the décor. There’s one double bedroom, a bathroom, living room, dining room, study and galley kitchen.
Outside, there are generous communal gardens with an area for laundry and a secure and gated lock-up bike store, plus unallocated parking.