Launch of £400,000 campaign to light up Harrogate's war memorial and Royal Hall

An impression of what a floodlit Harrogate war memorial would look like.
An impression of what a floodlit Harrogate war memorial would look like.

A £400,000 campaign to illuminate Harrogate's war memorial and Royal Hall was spectacularly launched with a special commemorative concert on Thursday night.

The Royal Hall Restoration Trust has joined forces with the newly-formed Harrogate and District Improvement Trust to run the public appeal to raise funds for the war memorial and the Royal Hall to be tastefully floodlit at night.

The I Was Glad Parry centenary concert, which kick-started the campaign, saw Harrogate Choral Society presenting a celebration of the music of Sir Hubert Parry who died 100 years ago, and conducted the Royal Hall's opening concert in 1903.

The well-supported evening of music was compèred by one of Britain's finest actors, Edward Fox OBE, and Prince Charles provided the foreword for the concert souvenir programme.

The line-up included The Amici Ensemble, The Chapel Choir of Exeter College, Oxford, conducted by James Andrew Short, a Parry Wood Organ Scholar, and soprano Keely Jones, all under the auspices of conductor Andrew Padmore.

Russell Davidson, who chairs the Royal Hall Restoration Trust and the Harrogate and District Improvement Trust, said: "The audience was full of praise for the wonderful music, including a piece not heard for a century.

“We have many people to thank for the success of the concert - the outstanding Harrogate Choral Society who are celebrating their 70th anniversary and took time out from organising a number of other concerts to help organise and perform so wonderfully at this celebration; the amazing Amici Ensemble; the renowned Chapel Choir of Exeter College, Oxford - Parry’s alma mater; to HRH The Prince of Wales who as Patron of the Royal Hall Restoration Trust, provided a very special message of support for the concert and appeal.

“Thanks goes to the indefatigable Edward Fox OBE for compèring the concert, and as the great-grandson of Harrogate’s Samson Fox, carries on the family's support for the Royal Hall, and we would like to thank Harrogate historian Malcolm Neesam; sponsors Frances Atkins of The Yorke Arms Ramsgill, Marcus Black of Spirit of Harrogate and Nicky and James Cain of Harrogate Spring Water."

To find out how to donate and support the floodlighting appeal, click here.