Autumn brings with it a change to darker nights and cooler weather – but the Milton Rooms in Malton is set for a bright future with the start of a major programme of refurbishment.

Thanks to funding kindly approved by Ryedale District Council, the work will strengthen the venue's position as a top community and entertainment hub in the area.

The first phase of the renovation work is under way and involves the long-awaited replacement of the ladies’ toilets and the installation of a lift from the foyer to new disabled facilities downstairs.

Chairman of the Milton Rooms trustees, Ray King, said: “We are delighted that the refurbishment work has now begun.

"The work will continue in phases and will result in the historic Milton Rooms becoming a top class 21st century venue serving the whole community.’’

Although the usual vintage dance, ballroom and yoga classes will be going ahead, the number of other events is being restricted until the end of this month when Ryedale Blues Club's monthly nights continue with George Shovlin & The Radars on Thursday the 28th. .

Then on Sunday, October 31 is a Halloween treat for all the family as Kick in the Head Productions presents The Haunted House, with plenty of spooky fun for all ages.

Things get back into full swing in November with RockYard - 80s Disco Night on the 6th featuring a DJ set and top party band and the multi-talented Sarah McQuaid on the 7th.

The first of two book signing events takes place on the 11th, in association with Kemps Books, when best-selling author Alison Weir is in town, followed by An Evening with Robin Ince on the 28th. In between the two is November's Ryedale Blues Club offering, The Steve Fulsham Band on the 25th and Keep The Faith, with a Motown and Soul evening on the 26th.

For a special treat just before Christmas, December 18 sees Abba Tribute Band Sensation recreating the fantastic sound of the iconic foursome to start the festivities in style.

For more information go to

Coming up this month

Thursday, October 28

Ryedale Blues Club

The Blues Club presents George Shovlin & The Radars. George has been inducted into the American Heritage Blues Hall of Fame and is an icon in local blues circles. George Shovlin and The Radars have one musical direction - white Europeans playing blues in the 21st century. Everything they play is rooted in black American music that emerged in the early 20th century and which has continued to evolve up to the present day. Tickets £10 from

Sunday, October 31

The Haunted House

Kick in the Head Productions present interactive, creepy Halloween fun for all the family, with plenty of audience participation and silliness for all ages written by Giles Shenton. Meet the ghost of old Granny Smith who has been rocking in her chair for over 300 years, the haunted stone statue of Scrappy the dog that watches you move around the room and listen to the tale of Nancy, the young maid who disappeared in 1850 who has never left the house and still blows out the candles at bedtime. 3pm. Tickets £10 from

Looking ahead to November…

Saturday, November 6

RockYard - 80s Disco Night

Jump into a time machine and be transported back to an 80s dance floor with DJ Clint Destiny's set, featuring all the best New Romantic, Indie, Rock, Pop and House dance tunes from the decade. Then have a party with Yorkshire's premier 80s function band RockYard, playing a range of songs from the likes of Duran Duran, Simple Minds, Billy Idol, Flock of Seagulls and many more. Tickets £10 from

Sunday, November 7

Sarah McQuaid – Live

The critically acclaimed songwriter and guitarist Sarah McQuaid has released five solo albums and has one of the most instantly recognisable voices in current music, with shades of Joni Mitchell jamming with Karen Carpenter and Lana Del Rey. She has a new album coming out on October 15. Tickets £12 from

Thursday, November 11

Alison Weir – In the Shadow of Queens

Kemps Books with the Milton Rooms presents a talk and book-signing session with Alison Weir, the UK’s top-selling female historian. Alison will give a 45-minute presentation then take questions and sign copies of the book.

In the Shadow of Queens reveals twelve startling tales from the Tudor court, told by those at the very heart of that world. 7.30pm. Tickets: Book & Ticket £28 (In the Shadow of Queens hardback rrp £20), ticket only £10, from

Thursday, November 25

Ryedale Blues Club – Steve Fulsham Band

The Steve Fulsham Band are the North’s top blues-rock trio, providing a sparkling mix of gems from the past and their own compositions. Steve is an outstanding guitarist and the band are a must-see for all fans of live music. 7.30pm. Tickets £10 from

Friday, November 26

Keep The Faith – Motown and Soul Evening

Keep The Faith are favourites on today's Motown, Northern Soul and Soul scenes and have appeared at many UK festivals and events. With a line-up of guitar, bass, drums, keyboards, saxophone and female lead and backing vocals, the band plays authentic arrangements of songs which originated in the mid-60s. Jenni Tarr has recently taken over lead singing duties.

She is a singer and actress who has performed in many musical theatre tours, including 'All Our Yesterdays', 'Rolling Back The Years' and "The Detroit Express Theatre Show". 8pm. Tickets £17.50 from

Sunday, November 28

Robin Ince – The Importance of Being Interested

Kemps Books in association with the Milton Rooms presents Robin Ince. The comedian quickly abandoned science at school, bored by a fog of dull lessons and intimidated by the barrage of equations.

But, 20 years later, he fell in love and he now presents one of the world’s most popular science podcasts. Robin will talk about his new publication, The Importance of Being Interested, answer questions and sign copies of the book. 8pm. Tickets: Book and tickets £25 (The Importance of Being Interested rrp £17.99), ticket only £10, under-18s £6, from

A fun-filled festive treat

Saturday, December 18

Sensation – Abba Tribute Band

Celebrate Christmas with one of the most sought-after Abba tribute bands in the world. The authentic Abba experience will take the audience back to the golden days of the band, with stunning harmonies, costumes and choreography. The event is standing only and there will be limited seating in the bar. Tickets £15 from

Run by the community

The Milton Rooms is looking for more volunteers. Anyone with a few hours to spare can join the team of volunteers and meet new people, learn new skills and support the venue. Email for more information.

Studio Bar weekends

A warm welcome is guaranteed at the refurbished Studio Bar in the Milton Rooms, which is now open to the public for drinks every Friday and Saturday evenings from 5pm to 8pm and from 3pm to 6pm on Sundays, when Studio Sessions - live acoustic music from local musicians - is being planned.

Anyone interested in playing on Sundays should initially email for more information.