STILL more people have come forward to back our campaign to save York's Mystery Plays.

One offer of assistance has been made by John Bielby, a senior partner in a health and safety consultancy and president of the York Society of Engineers.

He spoke out when we launched our campaign last month, pledging £100 to help fund the plays and appealing for other businesses and individuals to follow suit.

Now he has offered to join the prospective board which may be set up in an effort to ensure the plays are staged again in 2005.

He said he could make use of his professional health and safety expertise to deal with that aspect of staging the plays. Through his position with the Society of Engineers and as a Court member of the Guild of Building, along with his contacts as a health and safety adviser to many local firms, he had excellent links with the Guilds, small businesses and professional institutions of York.

"I can give one day per week to Mystery Plays activities throughout most of 2004 and 2005," he said. "As a consultant and trainer I talk for a living and I'm not afraid to stump round raising money. I would be pleased to help with fund raising or any other role in which I could be useful."

Another offer has come from Pauline Marshall, the chairwoman of York Opera, a former professional singer and the mother of Frances Marshall, who played the Virgin Mary in the last Plays in 2000.

"I doubt if I have the financial or business qualifications to be on a Mystery Plays Board, but I want to express my willingness to be involved in any way with a move to stage the plays in 2005," she said. She had been involved with amateur theatre in the city since the early 1960s and had many contacts in the theatre and music scenes in York, including early music, and the brass band scene through her husband, Clive, who was chairman of the York Railway Institute Band.

Another offer of help has come from Dr Keith Davis, a leading light in the campaign against the Coppergate Riverside proposals because of their impact on York's heritage.

Dr Davis, who said he believed the plays were an equally important part of the city's heritage, added that he had been involved in running festivals elsewhere.

o If you are interested in joining with others in forming a Mystery Plays board, please email