Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Museum Garden Squirrels

Most of the Squirrels in the Museum Gardens are a little bit cautious but the one in the bottom photo was very confident chasing tourists for food. One Indian lady was very disturbed by his pushy manner and every time she backed away he took a few steps closer to her. Eventually something spooked him and he ran off but was soon back demanding tit bits.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Banks Music Shop - Lendal

I was thinking the other day that Banks Music has been around York for long time, I remember it when it was in Blake Street on the corner of Stonegate and my aunt from Canada bought my brother and I our very first guitar as a Christmas present. Looking at the signage above the door I see that it was established in 1756 so has been going for a really long time. Other music shops have come and gone over the years but Banks manages to stay in business.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Purple Man Contemplating Costume Change?

The purple man street entertainer is often seen in Stonegate, here he is looking in the window of the shop outside of which you can usually find him perched on his purple cycle. He is looking at the suit of armour, do you think he may be considering how the suit of armour would look coloured purple?

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Another One Bites The Dust?

Is the credit crunch really starting to bite or is it a case of Richard Branson knew exactly what he was doing when he sold Virgin Megastore record shops to Zavvi? Maybe a little bit of both is true, he certainly is a sharp operator and seems to know when it is time to get out of a business area. This weekend saw some ugly scenes at the Coney Street Zavvi shop with customers with vouchers that were not being honoured getting very irate.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

The Little John - Castlegate

Like a lot of pubs around the town The Little John is showing some signs of wear and tear. Notice the green paint around the base of the building is starting to flake and chip.

Friday, 26 December 2008

As promised yesterday a couple more photographs of our visit to Rievaulx Abbey in North Yorkshire. The top one was taken as the sun came out from behind the clouds whilst the lower one was taken whilst the sun was still hidden giving the stonework a cold feeling further enhanced by the green algae on the wall behind the pillars.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Winter Sunset at Rievaulx Abbey

Season's greetings to all my readers, an eccelsiastical picture today. One afternoon last week we spent the afternoon at Rievaulx Abbey just to the north of York. The day had been overcast and grey nearly all day until we were just about to leave and warm oursleves up in the car, when the setting sun came out from behind a cloud and lit up the abbey creating long shadows and suffusing the buildings with a honey glow. More pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

All Saints Lantern Tower in background of St Saviourgate

In the background of St Saviourgate you can see the lantern tower of All Saints Pavement and the curve of the stonebow building. St Saviourgate runs parrallel to Peaseho;me green and Stonebow before joining York's shortest street Whip Ma Whop Ma Gate.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Christmas Buskers - King's Square

Christmas buskers with festive adornment on their music stands, obviously hoping to make lots of money leaving the tuba case open as a collecting pot! To me they were playing the notes but it lacked character and spirit. It might have sounded better if they thought of themselves smiling and made themselves a little less mechanical.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Winter Colour - Museum Gardens

I just could not resist the winter colour with St. Mary's Abbey in the background. at the Museum gardens. Can you see the plumb Robin on the right hand side of the photo just above the dogwood?

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Rougier Street from City Walls

I always feel that Rougier Street has a bleak feeling to it. It almost serves as a bus station or terminus but doesn't quite make it. The Norwich Union building formerly Yorkshire Insurance has an overpowering feel as does the office block above what used to be Leedhams garage.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Statue of George Leeman

As you walk from York Station towards the town centre you will come across this imposing statue of George Leeman who served three times as Lord Mayor of York and played an important part in the railway history of the area.

Friday, 19 December 2008

Museum Chambers

The Museum Chambers building on the corner of Blake Street and Museum Street has finally had the wraps removed to appear spruced up after being shrouded for several months whilst it was sandblasted.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Petergate Fisheries

One of our national dishes is the ever popular Fish and Chips. To translate for our friends across the pond, chips are what you guys call French Fries and not those thin slices of potato fried in oil that come in a bag in various flavours like cheese and onion, salt and vinegar etc. we call them crisps! Sadly the traditional Cod that was used in fish and chips is now getting rarer and you are more likely to get a fish called Pollock these days, just as tasty but the flesh is not quite such a pristine white as cod. This is Petergate Fisheries, my first recollections of this Fish and Chip shop was after a hospital trip for a check up on a broken arm and my mother took me to the dining room at the back of the shop before we caught our bus home 8 miles out in the country where we used to live. Fish and chips is probably one of the earliest fast takeway foods in Britain.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Christmas Tree - St. Helen's Square

This sadly mishapen Christmas Tree is in St. Helen's Square in Front of the Mansion House. Pity somebody didn't spot that awkward looking branch at the top and snip it off before the tree was erected! The tree is covered in small white lights which don't show up all that well in daylight.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Christmas Tree - York Station

There seems to be very few Christmas trees around this year, you can always rely on this one though in the entrance to York railway Station.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Festival of Angels - Ice Carvings

Swinegate and Little Stonegate were humming with activity over the weekend with the Festival of Angels. Numerous ice carvings were on display which seemed to fascinate the young children who could not resist touching them. There were also numerous food stalls giving the area a very lively continental feel.

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Layerthorpe Gasometer from City Walls

Now that the leaves are off the trees you get a clear view of the gasometer in Layerthorpe from the city walls.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Quilt Museum Garden

The garden is now coming on apace, plants have been planted and there is just a bit of paving to be completed. It is now starting to look like a gardenand less like a building site.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Milladdio's Cod Father - Goodramgate

Opposite the Oxfam shop in Goodramgate is a fish restaurant called the "Cod Father" the hanging sign board for the restaurant is another humourous piece of work by Milladdio.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Massive wooden corner support

Every time I pass this support post I am impressed by the size and volume of wood. However, when you look more closely at it you can see that it is in fact made up of several pieces of wood cleverly interlocking together. In fact it is a bit like some of the joints I have seen on architraves on Barrat homes, no sorry, it is better than a lot of the awful joints I have seen on Barrat homes. Have you worked out where it is?

It is on the corner of the National Trust shop on the corner of Goodramgate and College Street next to St. Williams College.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Gate to Holy Trinity - Goodramgate

even this gateway to Holy Trinity in goodramgate is suffering from trees growing on top of the gate, There is a Buddleia growing in the left hand side of the gate.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Book Clearance - Goddramgate

This one of my favourite places to visit, it is one of those shops that sells clearance books at a discount price, very popular with the whole family as a source of Christmas presents as we all like a good read. We have sometimes ended up with duplicates though!

Monday, 8 December 2008

HSBC - Parliament Street

Not a particularly interesting building but it does dominate this corner by the fountain in Parliament Street. It is very much a modern functional concrete box. I wonder if might become as detested as Stonebow house as it weathers.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Straker's Passage - Fossgate

I couldn't decide which of these two photos to use so I ended up using both! Straker's Passage runs from Fossgate to the back of the telephone exchange where you can link with Black Horse Passage or continue to the right around the end of the telephone exchange into Hungate. The area around Black Horse passage had a disreputable reputation with numerous pubs and brothels and was demolished during WWI and the Stonebow road driven through.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Foss Upstream from Blue Bicycle

I was tempted to stand on the pedals of the Blue Bicycle parked outside the Blue Bicycle in Fossgate for this shot but ended up taking the shot through the decorative spindles of the bridge. The willow tree is in the small park behind the telephone exchange and you can just make out the top of the Rowntree Wharf building just off centre.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Fossgate Bridge over River Foss

River Foss looking particularly blue when looking from the Merchant Adventurers in Piccadily towards the Blue Bicycle. The tall monolith in the background is the telephone exchange.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Climbed up the stairs to Clifford's Tower to take this one. It is the view towrds Rowntrees Wharf and the old power station chimney at Morrisons. Rowntree Wharf is anothe former warehouse converted to apartments and to the left you can see new apartments being built at Hungate.

I should be back from Sri Lanka tomorrow barring mishaps. There will be a post as usual though as I intend to use the scheduling facility in Blogger.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

St. Mary's Castlegate

Another of York's redundant City centre churchs, St. Mary's Castlegate is now used for staging art exhibitons. The current installation piece is called "The Memory of Place" and has been extended from the original finish date.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Lamp Standards - Ouse Bridge

This is the least adorned lamp standard in terms of additions by the local council. Why oh wwhy do they have to clutter beautiful items of street furniture like this with items like parking restriction signs? Although this one has no parking restriction signs it does have a number on it and a message of where to contact if the light is not working including the number on the pole. There was a time when they had a man to go round checking the lights but not anymore; they now rely on the public to let them know when things are not working.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Ouse Bridge

The first bridge in York was built by the Romans and linked with Stonegate. This was replaced by the Vikings who built a wooden bridge where the present day Ouse Bridge is sited. In 1154 a large crowd gathered on the bridge for the return from exile of St William of York. It was more than the structure could bear and it collapsed into the river. A stone replacement was built but was partially swept away by flooding in the winter of 1564/5. The repaired bridge had a magnificent central arch spanning 81 feet and was described by Defoe as the greatest in England. In 1810 work was stared to dismantle this bridge and replace it with the New Ouse Bridge designed by Peter Atkinson the Younger and was completed in 1821.

Notice the handy shelf which idiots use to stand on during hot summer days before launching themslves off the bridge into the water below if they are lucky or into the bows of a pleasure boat and breaking bones or killing themselves if they are not so lucky.

In the distance you can see the lantern tower of All Saints Pavement Church.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

View from Queenstaith to Kingstaith

From Queenstaith over the River Ouse you can see the buildings along Queenstaith. In the far left is the King's Arms pub famous for being flooded when the river rises. The building was originally built as a customs house for when ships travelled up the Ouse to York. It was known as the Ouse Bridge Inn before succumbing to being rebranded as the King's ArmsOn the far right of the picture is the Lowther Hotel, another public house. Cumberland Street runs uphill next to the Lowther.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Unloading Gantry - Queenstaith

Now derelict, the gantry forms a frame for Skeldergate Bridge in the background. At one time there were numerous warehouses along Queenstaith and Skeldergate serving the river traffic of goods. Nowadays most of the warehouses have either been converted into apartments or knocked down and replaced with large apartment buildings or been converted to some other use.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Lowther Hotel - Viewed from Queenstaith

The river is running serenely at about normal level and a gull has just wheeled into the frame in the bottom left completely spoiling the composition.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Carr's Lane - Bishophill to Skeldergate

This picturesque cobbled lane runs between the Golden Ball on Bishophill down to Skeldergate. There is an explanatory plaque on the wall with a brief history of the lane. It should not be confused with the similarly named Carr Lane in Acomb.

Text of the plaque .......
Formerly known as Le Kirke Lane, Kirk Lane or Kirkgail (13th century)

Later renamed Carr's Lane, possibly because John Carr, distinguished architect and Lord Mayor of York lived in a large residence on the north east corner of the lane.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

The Old Rectory - Victor Street

This is another building I have not found any information about yet but it seemed a very striking building to me as I walked along Victor Street in Bishophill area. Looks like I'll have to do some digging.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Imposing Building Near Victoria Bar

I don't know what this building was originally, it seems to shout "Unitarian Chapel" at me but I honestly don't know. Even today I am not sure what it is used for but suspect from the number of doorbells at the entrance that it is probably now a block of flats or apartments if you want me to be a bit more posh!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Opposite the Victoria Vaults is Victoria Bar, how many of you thought it was another pub when I mentioned it in yesterday's blog? In York, bars are gates and gates are streets, easy when you get used to it but confusing when you are not. Entry and exit through the bar is controlled with a card operated rising bollard which was installed to stop cars rat running through the Bishophill area.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Victoria Vaults - Nunnery Lane

Just a little further on from the Trafalgar Bay is another Public House known as the Victoria Vaults, almost facing Victoria Bar. I am not sure how old the building is but has a very similar structure to Woolpack House in Peaseholme Green.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Trafalgar Bay - Nunnery Lane

Running at right angles to Blossom Street and Micklegate is Nunnery Lane which runs down the side of the convent. Just beyond the convent is the Trafalgar Bay public house. The nuns seem to be well served with public houses with the Windmill opossite them on Blossom Street, The Punch Bowl across the Junction in Micklegate and The Trafalgar Bay more or less on the back doorstep, not that I have ever seen any nuns in any of them!

Friday, 21 November 2008

Bar Convent - Blossom Street

Standing on the other side of the junction to the Punch Bowl in Blossom Street is the Bar Convent. There used to be a school associated with the convent but got swallowed up when secondary education in York was streamlined with all the Roman Catholic schools being brought under one umbrella. The convent has a small museum and Cafe both of which are open Monday to Friday from 10:00 until 16:00.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Wetherspoons Punch Bowl - Micklegate

Standing on the junction of Micklegate and Blossom Street is one of the pubs known as The Punch Bowl. There is also a Punch Bowl in Stonegate and used to be one on the Corner of Haxby Road and Lowther Street which change dnames to the Independent some years ago. To tell them apart you always mentioned their location when talking about them.

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Citizens Advice Bureau - Micklegate

This building nestling in the shadow of Micklegate bar has seen several uses over the years, I can remember when I first left school (many years ago now) it was the Youth Employment Centre. The Citizens Advice Bureau has been here though for a good number of years.

Recently there was a problem with the management of the service and all the volunteers walked out. Following an enquiry and the resignation of a manager the volunteers have now returned to work.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

St Sampson's Church - Church Street

Like a lot of the churches in the city centre St Sampson's is no longer used as a church. Nowadays, it is used as a centre for over 60s. The church stands in Church Street next to St Sampson's Square and the market can be accessed from either end of the church down Patrick Pool or Silver Street.