In the Footsteps of “Hank” Haydock, A Performed Walk in the Park.


Duncombe Park Woods

19th JUNE  2021

TIMESLOTS:   10.30am, 12.30, 14.30 & 16.30pm

“Brilliantly designed and scripted by Helena Fox, and excellently performed by George Stagnell and Esme Schofield. If you were not one of the “fortunate forty” to have the privilege of seeing their “Performed Walk” in Duncombe Park – you missed a treat!” The Helmsley Archive for In the Footsteps of Hank Haydock, a walk in the park.

“Verbatim Theatre at it’s best” ★★★★★ – for Helena Fox’ s Bomb Happy

Commissioned by Ryedale District Council in 2021 to encourage local communities to safely engage with theatre once again, this extraordinary live theatre walk provided a unique opportunity for Ryedale residents to see their local parkland in new light – as it was in 1943, when it was requisitioned by the Army for tank training ahead of the D-Day landings.

It’s the summer of 1943, Helmsley.

In the distance the rumble of approaching tanks can be heard, as the Second Battalion Cold Stream Guards make their way to Duncombe Park. Amongst them is nineteen- year- old Dennis “Hank” Haydock, about to undertake tank training ahead of the Normandy Campaign.

Get your army/walking boots on, pack tons of energy and join Cold Stream Guardsman Dennis “Hank” Haydock on this simple, site-specific, one man performed walk (or route-march!) off the beaten track through the secret hidden remains of Duncombe Park’s WW2 tank encampment to reveal Hank’s haunting real-life experiences, and see the park as you have never seen it before.

From his time in the camp to VE Day, this unique theatre experience, inspired by his written memoirs, interweaves verbatim monologues to bring Hank’s powerful first-hand experiences vividly to life in the actual camp where he was stationed just prior to the D-Day Landings.

Commissioned original illustrations, by York artist, Jay Sillence ( InkBlot Films), influenced by the works of war artist Eric Kennington (Tanks and Tank Folk) who visited the camp in 1943, together with historic photographic images courtesy of both the Duncombe Park Estate Collection & The Helmsley Archive capture this historic camp in the early 1940’s.

POST SHOW MEET THE VETERANS  12.30pm and 14.30pm performances only:

 An opportunity to meet the last three remaining York Normandy Veterans after two of the walks including Green Howards veteran Ken Cooke, who knew Dennis Haydock. Please make sure you book on these 2 performed walks only.

Social distancing applies.


Written & directed by HELENA FOX (BOMB HAPPY)

Reviews for Bomb Happy

 ” This really is a must-see play, which will stay with you forever.” ★★★★★ – Paul Reed, BBC Historian,

“…a powerful sense of immediacy and involvement” ★★★★★ Broadway Baby

Performed by GEORGE STAGNELL (BOMB HAPPY, Private Peaceful )

Review: ★★★★★ “Stagnell skilfully takes charge and It’s impossible to take your eyes from him….haunting performance”(Edinburgh Festival Magazine for Private Peaceful, Pick Me Up Theatre.)

Production Trainee– Esme Schofield.

Funded through Ryedale District Council’s Small Arts Grants.

Produced in partnership with Helmsley Arts Centre & Duncombe Park.