Frost Fair!

Joanna_ImageSmallSunday 1st December 2019, 10am – 4pm

King’s Manor, University of York, Exhibition Square, York YO1 7EP

Thin Ice Press invites you to our first festive Frost Fair, hosted in the historic King’s Manor. Join us to celebrate York’s printing heritage, find out more about historical adventures on the frozen Ouse, do a little bit of pre-Christmas shopping — and try your hand at letterpress printing.


In 1715, a London Frost Fair boasted nine-pin bowling, ‘Cripple Atkins roasting an Ox’, boys sliding, a printing booth, a music booth, a shoulder of mutton roasting in a string, a tavern, a rolling press, a geneva (gin) booth, a gingerbread stall, a goldsmith, ‘Huffing Jack’, and a husband-and-wife team of poets, ‘rhyming on the hard Frost’.

We’ve done our best to recreate that spirit. Join us for
– letterpress printing from Thin Ice Press and The Print Project, including a chance to print your own souvenir of the day;
– lino prints from Joanna Lisowiec, who has been working on some magical new prints for the occasion;
– gorgeous jewellery from Karen Ward;
– a pop-up bookstall from Fox Lane Books, with titles chosen by University of York English Department staff and students;
– gingerbread made to an eighteenth-century recipe;
– ninepins, children’s activities (including story times), poetry readings, and talks;
– the King’s Manor refectory, open from 10-4; serving mulled wine, mince pies ánd other refreshments.

Programme for Talks and Readings
11.00am     Children’s story time I
12.30pm     Poetry reading from Cliff Forshaw and Mary Aherne
2.00pm       Talk on frost fairs and ephemeral printing from Professor Gillian Russell
3.00pm       Children’s story time II

King’s Manor is off York Exhibition Square, next to York Art Gallery (see on a map). The Frost Fair will be held in the Huntingdon Room and Anteroom.

Tables are free and we do have a couple of spaces still available. If you would like to know more, please email

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