Help unravel The Cold Bath Road Mystery – a curious tale of disappearance and transformation in Edwardian Harrogate

5 June 2014

A free family event – featuring puppetry, performance and storytelling – will take place in Harrogate over the weekends 7- 8 June, 14-15 June, and the 5-6 July when the Tour de France is coming to town.

The Cold Bath Road Mystery is one of 47 events officially selected to be a part of Yorkshire Festival 2014 – the first ever 100-day festival to precede the Grand Départ in its 111 year history. Presented by North Yorkshire based Chrysalis Arts, this event is also part of North Yorkshire Open Studios 2014.

It’s 1907 and Miss Emmeline Larkspur, a celebrated botanical artist, has vanished on a visit to Harrogate. She was last seen in the vicinity of the disused bathhouse on Cold Bath Road and help is needed to solve the mystery of her disappearance.

The story will unfold as audiences take a gentle stroll up Cold Bath Road, one of Harrogate’s most attractive streets, to the source of Harrogate’s original cold spring. Alongside the performance, a series of artists’ installations and clues along the way will help reveal the mystery, which culminates in a visual transformation that will delight all those that witness it.

The Cold Bath Road Mystery is led by writer and storyteller Matthew Bellwood and artist and puppeteer Viv Mousdell. It also features work by visual artists Josie Beszant, Kate Maddison and Serena Partridge. The Edwardian-style decorations and garlands that will festoon Cold Bath Road were created in a series of open community workshops and by the students and families of Western Primary School.


Chrysalis Arts Director, Christine Keogh, said: All the artists have really gone to town to bring the different elements of the story brilliantly to life. We’ve also had such great support from the residents and businesses of Cold Bath Road.


The event is free to attend and lasts approximately an hour. It starts at The Royal Pump Room Museum, Harrogate at the following times:

Saturday 7 June – Sunday 8 June: 11.00am and 2.30pm each day
Saturday 14 June – Sunday 15 June : 11.00am and 2.30pm each day
Saturday 5 July: 11.00am
Sunday 6 July: 2.30pm

Advance booking is not necessary but participants will need a copy of a trail map which can be collected in advance from the Royal Pump Room Museum, Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate Tourist Information Centre or Cold Bath Road shops and galleries. The trail can be followed at other times by following the map.

North Yorkshire Open Studios artists based in Harrogate will also have copies of the map and several of the open studios are within easy walking distance from Cold Bath Road.

One of the aims of the project is to encourage visitors to explore an area of Harrogate which they might otherwise miss and to do so at a gentle pace, spending time visiting some of the interesting shops and galleries to be found there. “As an arts organisation, we have a strong commitment to the Slow Movement and to creating and commissioning art which encourages people to take their time to enjoy it,” comments Chrysalis Arts Director, Rick Faulkner.

Further information about the project is at or on twitter @ColdBathSlowArt

Yorkshire Festival 2014 runs until July 6 and will also include hundreds of fringe events. Visit, Yorkshire Festival on Facebook or follow Yorkshire Festival 2014 on Twitter – YFest201

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