2018-19 Programme

Updated:  20 September 2018

2018-19 Programme – all events take place at the Norwegian Study Centre, Quantum House, Science Park, University of York,  Heslington,  YO10 DD  and start at 7.30pm unless otherwise stated.

Presentations  are followed by informal discussion over light refreshments.  Visitors are always welcome as guests.

Thursday 13 September: Scandinavian Women Artists.  A presentation by Dr Jan Cox.

Tuesday 16 October:  Norway seen through the eyes of German wartime artists.   Professor Erik Tonning, Director of the Norwegian Study Centre, University of York

Wednesday 21 November:  Craft Evening.

Friday 7 December: Lucia Celebration at York Minster.  7.30pm (doors open 7pm).  A collaboration between YASS and the Dean and Chapter of the Minster.  Collection during the service (for the benefit of CoScan Travel Fund and York Minster).

Friday 14 December: Lucia Celebration at Bedern Hall.  Admission by ticket only (arrangements for buying tickets to be confirmed).

Thursday 24 January:  Mikael Niemi’s Popular Music.  Michael Gratzke, University of Hull.

February:  date tbc (during VIking Festival):  Mari Wickets,  Gothenburg City Museum

Spring Walk:  date and  venue tbc

Thursday 21 March: Wolves and Water- reflections on Finland and Iceland.  Presenter Beth Smith, a recent recipient of a CoScan travel award.

Wednesday 10 April:   Evening of Scandinavian entertainment and AGM

Thursday 16 May:  Danish Film.

Saturday 22 June:  Sankt Hans Celebration.   Details tbc


Last season’s programme:

Thursday, 28 September, 2017: 100 years of Finnish Independence

A celebratory evening to begin at 19.15 and to include Finnish snacks and  a short talk by Risto Karvinen.


Wednesday, 25, October, 2017: Why York is Special

A presentation by the York Civic Trust that will focus on the City and some of its Scandinavian connections.


Thursday, 16 November, 2017: Craft Evening

A chance to learn Christmas decorations Scandinavian style and prepare something for Bedern.


Saturday, 2 December, 2017: YASS’ Christmas Party

To be held at Bedern Hall.  Scandinavian and English carols, dancing and refreshments.  Friends and children most welcome.  Admission by ticket only.

Friday, 8 December, 2017: Festival of Light, York Minster

YASS joined with York Minster in an evening service featuring a Swedish choir and a candle-lit Lucia procession.

Saturday, 20 January, 2018: The YASS Midwinter Walk

Wednesday, 24 January, 2018: Four Churches and a Marchioness

Why do people in Somerset, after nearly 400 years, have reason to remember Helena Snakenborg, Marchioness of Northampton?

Brita Green told  the story of Elizabeth I’s Swedish lady in waiting and her links with four English churches

Thursday, 22 February, 2018: Men with their Horses, Women with their Cows

Swedish photography from its invention in 1839 up to 1900.  A talk by Johanna Mannerfelt that looked at the use by early pioneers of the medium – through to the work of artists and writers  such as Strindberg, Zorn and Munch

Thursday, 29 March, 2018: David Wallin, Swedish Nineteenth Century Artist

Isabelle Gapp spoke  about ‘the last romantic’ in Sweden, a painter who chose to distance himself from modern trends

Thursday, 19 April, 2018: Annual General Meeting

Reports, elections, discussion, refreshments and Nordic entertainment

Wednesday, 9 May, 2018: Bear Island

Dag Kjelldahl, an authority on Bjørnøya, with three books written on it, developed the  fascinating talk he gave some years ago

Saturday, 23 June, 2017: Celebration of Sankt Hans (Midsummer)

YASS’s traditional Sankt Hans Aften with bonfire and party.  

Sunday, 24 June, 2018: The YASS Midsummer Walk


Events in the 2016-17 programme included:

Sunday 25 June 2017 11:45: YASS midsummer walk – Hull (European City of Culture).

Saturday 24 June 2017:  Celebration of Sankt Hans.   YASS’s traditional Sankt Hans Aften with bonfire and party.  Venue and details to be confirmed.

Tuesday 22 November 2016:  Craft Evening.   Christmas decorations Scandinavian style !  Instructions and materials were provided.

Friday 9 December 2016: Festival of Light at York Minster.  YASS joined with York Minster in an evening service which featured the Swedish choir and a candle-lit procession.

Friday 16 December 2016: Lucia Celebration at Bedern Hall.  YASS’s Christmas party !  Including lighting of the advent wreath, candle-lit Lucia procession,  Scandinavian and English carols, dancing round the Christmas tree and refreshments.  Friends and children welcome.  An event not to be missed !   Admission by ticket only.

Wednesday 18 January 2017: Birkin to Balestrand.  The Revd Dr John Roden described and illustrated the fascinating story of the building of Norway’s only Anglican ‘stave’ church, which was inspired by the pioneering mountain-climbing daughter of a 19th century Yorkshire rector.  Click here for a downloadable poster.

Saturday 21 January 2017:  YASS midwinter walk.    

Wednesday 22 February 2017: Harri the Falconer – an odd tale from seventeenth century Iceland.  Related by YASS member, Ruth Eillson.

Thursday 30 March 2017: Nordic Art – the modern breakthrough.  Based on a major exhibition and book of the same title, David Jackson will discuss movements such as Realism, Naturalism, Symbolism and Modernism as exhibited in the works of major artists such Edvard Munch, Akselli Gallen-Kallela and August Strindberg.

Thursday 27 April 2017:  Annual general meeting and evening of Nordic entertainment and food.  

Wednesday 10 May 2017: The battle of Fulford Site.  Archaeological discoveries that have been made by Chas Jones.

Events in our 2015-16 season included

Saturday 25 June 2016: Celebration of Sankt Hans (Midsummer). YASS’ traditional Sankt Hans Aften with bonfire and party.  Circlets of fresh flowers or posies in hats, were worn !

Wednesday 12 June 2016: YASS Summer Walk. – 18:00 –  An evening walk was lead by Dr Nicholas Evans from Hull University, focussing on the city and seven centuries of Scandinavian heritage.

Thursday 12 May 2016: My life as a Dog. A Swedish film introduced by Richard Crossley.

Thursday 21 April 2016: Annual General Meeting and evening of Scandinavian food and entertainment.  Reports, elections, discussion, refreshments and Nordic entertainment and food / drink !

Wednesday 9 March 2016: The Humber as a Stepping Stone to America. Dr Nicholas Evans, from Hull University, will explore the reasons behind the mass Scandinavian migration that used the Humber as the starting point for the journey to America.

Tuesday 9 February 2016:  Hurtigruten.  The Norwegian company, Hurtigruten, provides exciting voyages following the Norwegian coast. YASS committee member and regular traveller to Norway, Philip Paul, relates some of his own experiences.

Saturday 23 January 2016:  Winter Walk

Thursday 21 January 2016: Reflections on Norwegian Stave Churches. Mike Stallybrass, an authority on the stave churches of Norway, will speak about their evolution and structure and highlight examples of special significance. To bring his subject to life, he promises a sensory experience!

Friday 11 December: Festival of Light – AT YORK MINSTER YASS joins with York Minster in an evening service featuring a Swedish Choir and a candle-lit Lucia procession. Commences 7.30pm admission from 7pm.

Thursday 3 December: Lucia Celebration in Bedern Hall. YASS’ Christmas Party! Lighting of the Advent wreath, candle-lit Lucia procession, Scandinavian and English carols, dancing, lighting of the Christmas Tree and perhaps even a visit by the Tomte! Refreshments. Friends and children are most welcome. Admission by ticket only.

Wednesday 11 November 19.30: In Celebration of the Danish composer Carl Nielsen’s 150th Anniversary – at the Norwegian Study Centre at the University of York.  An evening to mark the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth. The speaker was David Archer. Click here for downloadable pdf poster.

Saturday / Sunday 17/18 October: Trip to Norfolk – POSTPONED TO A LATER DATE.  Following the talk given by Dr John Toy on the veneration of St Olaf, members are invited to pay a visit to some of the places in Norfolk closely associated with his worship. Dr Toy will be our guide and make sure we miss nothing. Details to be issued separately.

Friday 18 September: Finnish Expatriate Parliament 1997-2015.  The Finnish Expatriate Parliament, founded 1997, is a cooperative forum for Finns living abroad.  Reino Ruusunen, Deputy Chairman (Central Europe) of the Finnish Expatriate Parliament, talks about the expatriate’s status and the Finnish approach to expatriate nationallity. 

Events in our 2014-15 season included

Wednesday 17 September 2014: The Life and Music of Otto Olsson YASS committee member and organist Philip Paul provides insight into the neglected Swedish Romantic composer Otto Olsson (1879-1964) onthe fiftieth anniversary of his death.

Wednesday 8 October 2014: The Madness of Bishop Grundtvig  N. F. S. Grundtvig (1784-1872), a shaper of modern Denmark and a founder of the Folk Highschools, suffered a lifelong bipolar disorder. Sid Bradley, YASS committee member offers a account of the sanity and creativity in Grundtvig’s ’madness’.

Thursday 6 November 2014: Christmas crafts Anna Airaksinen of The Old Blacksmith’s Shop, Foggathorpe, demonstrates the craft of making Scandinavian Christmas decorations in straw. Interested in trying your hand? Bring an apron and sharp scissors.

Friday 12 December 2014: Lucia Celebration in Bedern Hall YASS’s Christmas Party! Lighting of the Advent wreath, candle-lit Lucia procession, Scandinavian and English carols, dancing, lighting of the Christmas Tree and perhaps even a visit by the Tomte!  Refreshments. Friends and children are most welcome. Admission by ticket only.  

Wednesday 17 December 2014: Festival of Light, York Minster YASS join with York Minster in an evening service celebrating St Lucy and light, and featuring the candle-lit Swedish Lucia procession. Open to the public, admission free, 7.30 p.m (doors open 7pm).

Thursday 15 January 2015: Veneration of King Olaf Haraldsson as saint in the English Church St Olave’s Church in York, founded before 1055, is held to be the first English church dedicated to St Olaf (martyred 1030), Perpetual King of Norway. Dr John Toy, formerly Chancellor of York Minster, speaks about the early veneration of St Olaf within the English Church.

Saturday 17 January 2015: The YASS Midwinter Walk. Organised by Bernard Turgoose, details  here.

Tuesday 3 February 2015: The delights of using out-of-date travel guides to Scandinavia. YASS member Chris Kyriacou browses through a variety of travel guides published in the first half of the 20th century, lavishly illustrating his talk with slides.

Wednesday 25 March 2015: Finland – Expatriates and the homeland The Finnish Expatriate Parliament, founded 1997, is a cooperative forum for Finns living abroad. Reino Ruusunen, a Vice-Speaker in the Speakers’ Council talks about the expatriate’s status and the Finnish approach to expatriate nationality.

Wednesday 15 April 2015: Annual General Meeting Reports, elections, discussion, refreshments and informal entertainment and singing – Scandinavian style !

Thursday 14 May 2015: The Scandinavian treasury of song Come prepared to sing and learn new songs to add to YASS’s song- repertoire – chiefly Scandinavian but the odd English one may creep in. YASS members Margot Blanchard and Sid Bradley lead. Refreshments.

Saturday 16 May: The YASS Summer Walk Organiser Bernard Turgoose. Meet at St Gregory’s Minster in Kirkdale where Sid Bradley offers a short tour of the Anglo-Saxon church. Lunch at Beadlam Grange. Walk in adjacent moorland. Details nearer the date.

Saturday 20 June 2015: Celebration of Sankt Hans (Midsummer) YASS’s Traditional Sankt Hans Aften with Bonfire and Party. Circlets of fresh flowers or posies in hats may be worn! Buffet supper. Venue and other details to be announced nearer the date.