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The Edward Carpenter Community
For men who love men

Beamsley Writing and Music Creation Gathering

Near Skipton, North Yorkshire

Mon 3rd to Mon 10th June 2024

We invite you to participate in a week of creative writing, music, meditation and collective nourishing community food creation in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. The programme is suitable for all levels of ability and you don't need any previous experience of writing or music-making to enjoy the week. This is a new venue for ECC and we're excited to have a chance to explore a new location. There will be ample opportunties for workshops, social time with other ECC men or excursions in the local area on this week-long retreat.

Our organisers welcome you to be part of a new approach to facilitating our week together. They will hold the structure of the week for the first 3 days, with a programme of creative workshops and rota slots for creative cooking. The whole group will then come together to determine the shape of the remaining days. We will use our customary base group structure to do this, and the emphasis will be on innovation, creativity and fun!

The Beamsley Centre outside
Beamsley in the landscape
The garden

The Location

Beamsley is located between Skipton and Harrogate in North Yorkshire. It's on the edge of Yorkshire Dales National Park and there will be opportunities for visits to attractions in the area such as Bolton Abbey, Skipton and its castle, Betty's Tea Rooms in Harrogate, or walking in the Dales.

There are good railway services to Skipton (7 miles) from Leeds and Carlisle, and to Ilkley (6 miles) from Leeds. Taxis can be booked at both stations.

The nearest shops are in Addingham (4 miles).

Bolton Abbey

Bolton Abbey



Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway

The venue

The Beamsley Centre was created by members of the Beamsley Methodist Church congregation when the chapel closed, to ensure its future as a holiday centre for disabled people and other charity and community groups. It is therefore fully wheelchair-accessible with excellent facilities including ground floor bedrooms, lifts, wetrooms and en-suite bathrooms. The rooms sleep 2 or 4 in single beds.

Beamsley project website:

A typical bedroom at Beamsley
The dining room at Beamsley
The main room at Beamsley


Your organising team comprises Tim Blades, Chris Rishworth and Dave Tilley. Imran Riaz will be looking after the kitchen and the catering arrangements.

Photo of Tim


Photo of Chris


Photo of Dave


Photo of Imran


Please refer any enquiries about bookings to Dave Tilley, tilsit [at], 07984 529673. For any other queries, you should contact Tim Blades, mozi1972 [at], 07840 400470.

Event Structure

The emphasis of the week is on creativity and collective endeavour. Creative writing has been a popular offering on previous events so there will be opportunities to explore this in more depth. We are particularly keen to explore music, both listening and creating, and participants are encouraged to bring along their musical instruments. We will of course have the ECC keyboard available as usual, and bluetooth capability for sharing music.

Collective cooking is an important part of living in community on ECC gatherings, but on this occasion we wish to spread the load further in a collective and nourishing way. We are particularly keen to hear from confident cooks who might be willing to head up small cooking teams for one or two meals and to share their skills and passion for food. Imran will be on hand to guide, but other lead cooks are also required and will be offered priority booking and a special thankyou gift. If you're willing to be a lead cook, please indicate on the booking form and we'll speak to you further before the start.

There are places for up to 22 men, plus 6 camping. As usual, a number of places will be reserved for newcomers to ECC until the beginning of April.

There is an option for camping in the grounds but you will need to bring your own tent and we need to know in advance. If you intend to camp, please indicate this by ticking the box when you book. If you wish to benefit from an optional discount on the cost of a camping place, please refer to the camping rates in the sliding scale when deciding how much to pay.

COVID-19: Our events are open to men of all backgrounds, some of whom may be medically vulnerable. To help keep everyone safe, we have adopted a set of covid guidelines which we ask all participants to read and adhere to.
Covid Guidelines.

How to book

We're taking bookings now

You don't have to be an existing ECC member to book. Payments for ECC events are on a sliding scale according to your income, and you're invited to pay as much or as little as you can afford. You'll be asked to state how much you're going to pay for your place, and how much you'll pay as a deposit when you book. The breakeven cost for this event is £380.00 (£260.00 for camping) and the rates for different income levels are shown below.

You can make your payment by bank transfer, and you should send it to us straight away to secure your place.

We maintain a generous bursary fund to help men on very low incomes to ensure no-one is excluded for lack of funds. If you don't feel you can afford the concessionary rate, we may be able to help. Simply choose the option to apply for a bursary when you book.

Sliding scale of charges

 Normal rateCamping
Concessionary rate (for people living at benefit levels) £190.00 £100.00
Low income (£10k to £20k) £380.00 £260.00
Average income (£20k to £30k) £450.00 £330.00
High income (£30k or more) £510.00 £390.00
Breakeven cost£380.00 £260.00
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