Selby Local Information

Selby is a town and civil parish in North Yorkshire, England. Situated 12.1 miles (19.5 km) south of the city of York, along the course of the River Ouse, Selby is the largest and, with a population of 13,012, most populous settlement of the wider Selby local government district.

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Historically a part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, much of the wealth of the town was facilitated via Selby's position upon the banks of the River Ouse. In the past, Selby had a large shipbuilding industry and was an important port, for the most part due to the Selby Canal which brought trade from the city of Leeds.

The town of Selby is dominated by Selby Abbey which was founded by Benedict in 1069 and subsequently built by the de Lacy family. It is one of the largest parish churches in Britain and is larger than several cathedrals. A notable feature of the Abbey is the 14th century Washington Window, featuring the heraldic arms of the ancestors of George Washington, the first president of the United States: the design is often cited as an influence for the Stars and Stripes flag.

The Abbey was founded when Benedict saw three swans on a lake in Selby, and he saw it as a sign of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. That is why the official crest of Selby is three swans. There was also a very important battle in the English Civil War, named the Battle of Selby. The field where the battle took place is still there today. There are many other historical sites, like the Cholera burial ground, the market cross and the local school, Selby High School.

Selby is expanding to become a large town. New houses and shops are being built on the present town's outskirts with the expansion of the town stretching as far as the bypass, although this has resulted in the loss of some trade from the town centre. Meanwhile the riverfront area is being revamped with modern housing and fashionable flats.

For a time, Selby was the leading coal mining area in the UK and featured some of the most advanced mining technology in Europe. It was the first new mine in the UK for decades and seen as a rejoinder to widespread concern that the British mining industry was effectively shutting down, particularly following the defeat of the UK miners' strike (1984-1985).

Selby Town Hall is regarded as being one of the best live venues in the area (as officially recognised by winning the Yorkshire Evening Post's Nightlife Award). Selby Town Council has been running this venue since 2003, with regular performances of music, dance, drama and comedy. Especially popular are the local band nights, that regularly draw big crowds, as does the annual Battle Of The Bands.

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Selby is the transport hub for the Selby District and features a bus and railway station running routes to many place around the area. Train services run from Selby railway station run direct to London King's Cross, Leeds, Manchester Piccadilly, York and other destinations.

Arriva operate an extensive network of local and regional buses, linking Selby with York, Leeds, Goole, Doncaster and Sherburn-in-Elmet/Wakefieldrunning at least every hour.

In July 2001 construction began on the Selby bypass having been authorised in 1993 for development. The bypass runs from the A19 at Barlby along the southern edge of Selby, connecting onto the A63 at Thorpe Willoughby. The project was delayed due to technical difficulties with the swing bridge over the River Ouse but was eventually completed in July 2004.

On 14 September 2005, Selby District Council was conditionally granted outline planning permission for a state of the art science facility to be built on the site of Burn Gliding Club.

Text and Photographs: Wikipedia & Wikimedia Commons

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