Events in 2016

June 2016,

…and we’ve just finished our project, supported by Heritage Lottery Fund, promoting the work of Benjamin Seebohm Rowntree in relation to his work in business management.

One of the main things we’ve produced is a short book on The Rowntree Legacy  together with a  Poster Exhibition that has been available at several venues around the country in the past few months. See also this  Factsheet  that gives a quick overview to his remarkable achievement as a whole.

We created a film installation (Seebohm Rowntree 360) with accompanying atmospheric music by contemporary artist Floating Points.

And this plaque on his birthplace went up on 1 June.






March 2016,

…the year started with a real ‘Stamp of Approval’ for Joseph Rowntree, courtesy of Royal Mail.

Pictured here with the York ‘Posties’ is Julia Unwin (right) from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.



On 15 March 2016 Royal Mail issued a set of six new stamps commemorating British Humanitarians. Joseph Rowntree proudly sits, as the overseas stamp of £1.33, alongside John Boyd Orr, Josephine Butler, Sue Ryder, Eglantyne Jebb, and Nicholas Winton.

The stamps commemorate these individuals’ challenging of the causes of inequality, deprivation and ignorance, repairing shattered bodies and minds, and rescuing the vulnerable.

They were driven human beings, sharing two significant characteristics – a natural concern for their fellow citizens of the world, and a single-minded desire to help those in need.

Liz Grierson, Chair of the Rowntree Society, said:

‘The Royal Mail have given Joseph Rowntree a real ‘stamp of approval’ for his work and legacy by including him in the group of humanitarians honoured in this set of stamps. In his lifetime he worked hard to improve the life of his employees and the people of York. He created a factory with working conditions that presaged the welfare state, a model village (New Earswick) that has thrived for over a century, and a succession of schools, parks and theatres that continue to educate and entertain to this day. With his wealth he established the Joseph Rowntree trusts that have taken forward his aim of a fair, democratic and peaceful society. Joseph Rowntree was a humanitarian much admired for his work and vision and we hope the stamps will inspire interest and action in humanitarianism wherever they are sent.’

On the evening of 15th March, to celebrate the stamp launch, we held an event in the evocative surroundings of the Victorian/Edwardian Street of Kirkgate, amongst the bill poster for HI Rowntree’s Icelandic Moss Cocoa, the Rowntree snicket illustrating Seebohm Rowntree’s work on Poverty in York, and the Cocoa Temperance Room. It was especially lovely to see so many members of the Rowntree family attending (images below top left, third right, fifth right) who helped with the lucky dip when we gave away four first day covers to some very happy winners!


British Humanitarians Presentation Pack 

Defining a ‘humanitarian from the ‘Oxford English Dictionary

Notes on Joseph Rowntree as a Humanitarian written by the Rowntree Society