Burn is a small village straddling the A19 to the south of Selby, North Yorkshire.

With a population of  just over 400 people, the village comprises around 190 houses, The Wheatsheaf Pub, Burn Methodist Chapel and the thriving Burn Cricket Club. Burn is also home to Burn Gliding Club based on Burn Airfield, made famous due to the presence of 578 Squadron during WW2 and in October 2012 the village saw a new memorial unveiled in memory of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s 431 (Iroquois) Squadron, founded at Burn in November 1942. The then commanding officer and warrant officer came over from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, where the modern day 431 Squadron (“The Snowbirds”, the Canadian equivalent of the Red Arrows) is based, specifically for the ceremony.

For all its diminutive size, Burn has a huge community spirit. Pulled together by common causes – fighting ever-increasing traffic on the A19 which effectively cuts the village in half, opposing plans for a new gypsy and traveller site on Burn airfield and pulling together during Covid, residents are looking forward to once again enjoying a regular programme of events and celebrations.

Burn took part in The Big Lunch, the national initiative started by Cornwall’s Eden Project to persuade whole communities and neighbours to get together at street parties, for ten consecutive years – only pausing in 2020 and 2021 due to Covid.  The village also has a reputation as a celebrity-magnet as stars, and more recently, local community ‘heroes’,  queue up to be the next ‘Lord of the Manor’ in return for performing the Burn Christmas Lights switch-on.

Xmas 2012 Jon Hill

Following Lee Davison from Helicopter Heroes in 2007, the first ‘Honorary Lady Mayoress’ to undertake those duties was the nation’s favourite soap star the late Jean Alexander (Hilda Ogden of ‘Coronation Street’ and Auntie Wainwright in ‘Last of the Summer Wine’). She was followed by the late Harry Gration, BBC presenter, who served as  Honorary Mayor, while Christmas 2010 saw Berwick Kaler, York Theatre Royal’s Panto Dame and author for over 32 years, address the gathered crowds as Queen Victoria and receive the much coveted ‘gold’ key and freedom of the village – not to mention free ale in perpetuity in The Wheatsheaf – in his new role as ‘Grande Dame of Burn’.

BBC Radio York’s Elly Fiorentini joined the village ‘Hall of Fame’ in November 2011, becoming honorary Baroness of Burn, with YTV Calendar news reporter Jon Hill being made honorary Viscount of Burn in November 2012 and his colleague Christine Talbot became honorary Duchess of Burn in December 2013. Christmas 2014 saw Selby Rock Choir invited to be the guests of honour and in 2015, Yorkshire Rows, the 4-woman trans-Atlantic rowing team, became ‘Honorary Sports Ambassadors for Burn’. 2016 saw local postie Myles Boothman do the honours and be named Honorary Postmaster General as Royal Mail celebrated its 500th anniversary. Minster FM attended in 2017 and Paul Mudd, Divisional Commander of the Yorkshire Ambulance Service became ‘Honorary Medical Officer’ as a thank-you for his switching on of the lights and November 2018 saw Jez Rushworth, interim Fire Chief, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, be named ‘Chief Fire Officer for Burn’. In 2019 Martin Wedgwood, North Yorkshire Police Neighbourhood Policing Inspector for Selby, was ‘elected’ Chief of Police for Burn.

Christmas festivities in 2020 and 2021 were tailored to the constraints of Covid-19, with a drive round ‘Santa sleigh’ visit on two Saturdays leading up to Christmas – big thanks to many village volunteers and local businesses for their donations of time, effort, materials, equipment and expertise and to residents for the amazing amounts of charity cash raised in both lockdown years.

Cricket matches, BBQs and pie and peas nights in the pub for charity, bacon butty mornings and a range of other events organised at Burn Methodist Chapel, a Remembrance Service and carol singers at Christmas are some of the activities which encourage community spirit in Burn.

That spirit came out in force for Burn’s returning ‘Big Lunch’ (another casualty of lockdown for 2020 and 2021)  on 5 June 2022 – when over 200 residents celebrated Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee at The Wheatsheaf with a BBQ with live music, stalls, a quiz, a fantastic supply of village-made cupcakes and a phenomenal £800raised for charity.

Burn Parish Council, under the chairmanship of Chris Phillipson, meets, with some publicised exceptions, on the last Thursday of each month in the Methodist Chapel.

We want to be open and accountable and encourage residents to attend our  meetings – it is your village and we are here to listen to your views and represent you.

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