Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Lift up your eyes 14

Still in Stonegate which is rich in interesting buildings. I love this one with loads of features that I like. Note the mediaeval four overhanging stages, the carved timber surround, the leaded windows and the xposed timber framing on the attic story.

Monday, 30 March 2009

Lift up your eyes 13

What a wonderful place this is! You can see the mediaeval origins with upper floors projecting out beyond the floor below. I love the patterned tile work and bay window. Also you can add in the fact that they sell some really good beers in here as this is the York Brewery's Yorkshire Terrier in Stonegate. Inside there is a stair lift up to the upstairs room and toilets. Probably the only remaining remnant of the buildings former use as a shop that sold disability aids like walking sticks, wheelchairs and stair lifts.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Lift up your eyes 12

This Starbucks in Coney Street always strikes me as ana interesting building. I enjoy the contrasting brick and stonework. Evidence of the building's former existence as a branch of Martin's Bank can be seen on the corner of the building in the gold and red shield. The carved angels around the top of the ground floor level may not be to everybodies taste but they do add a certain character to the building.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Lift up your eyes 11

As people rush up and down Coney Street they don't usually bother to look at this superb row of
buildings which includes another Orange mobile phone shop next door to Carphone Warehouse which is two doors from Vodaphone. I think there are about eight phone shops in Coney Street. Do we really need that many? Perhaps the credit crunch will see some of them go. I remember the Orange shop in the picture used to be a shop sellings brass door furniture called "Knobs and Knockers". Here you get a front on perspective of the mediaeval building practices mentioned yesterday. I had to position myself very carefully to get the top of the buildings in as I was the standing in the passageway from the old Evening Press print works.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Lift up your eyes 10

The modern shop fronts hide the mdiaeval origins of these buildings in Coney Street. The age of these buildings is revealed by the way that the upper stories overhang the lower stories. Taxes were levied on the footprint of buildings hence the trend to build buildings with a greater floor area above the ground level.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Lift up your eyes 9

It isn't worth lifting your eyes too far here it isn't worth it. The interesting section of this building is the art deco ornamentation in the shop signboard. The Wallis shop next door also has similar decoration. Probably built as a set of three originally.

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Lift up your eyees 8

Hotel Chocolat next to Curry's Digital in Coney Street is this wonderfully artistic upper floor window divided into three sections with decorated pillars to the side. I love the rounded tops of the windows and the lacework cutout of the wood above the window. Although the structure of the upper window is reflected in the lowerwindow the black paint makes it less noticeable. I just do not like too much black paint, makes places look dreary. More of the art deco tracery above Curry's Digital tomorrow.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Lift up your eyes 7

The Lecture Hall and School part of the Elim Pentecostal Church ahs now been taken on by the proprietor of the Biltmore next door after his lease on Oscar's Wine Bar was no renewed this year. There were court wrangles about ownership of the name Oscar's Wine Bar which saw the premises moved to the new location in Swinegate. Although the general theme of the building next door is carried through this door does not have an arch over it although the upper window is the same shape and size as the one next door.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Lift up your eyes 6

Like most cities, some buildings become redundant from their original use and get recycled with another use. Even glitzy modernistic Singapore does this to a small extent but not to the extent we see it in York where we have a centuries old tradition of adapting buildings for different uses. This is a typical example, formerly the Elim Pentecostal Church in Swinegate became a restaurant called the Biltmore Bar and Grill when congregation numbers became unsustainable and the building was sold off. The contrasting brickwork around the doors and windows give the building a grand look when combined with arched brickwork above the door and the arched shape of the large upstairs window.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Lift up your eyes 5

This one is by way of a small quiz that should be very easy as there are observational clues in each of the photos that should lead you to the identity of the building. Having said that I am going to distract you by pointing out the Buddleia growing on the roof which is probably leading to the ingress of moisture into the wall causing penetrating falling damp.

The meals special offer in the window gives a clue that it is a pub and the artistic etching of the glass in the window shows an ecclesiastical symbol that should give you the name of the pub. The photo below shows the etched glass in a bit more detail.

As Rolf Harris would say"can you tell what it is yet?" Most of you will have identifed it as The Cross Keys in Goodramgate just a stone's throw from York Minster.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Lift up your eyes 3

H Samuel have recently moved into these premises at the junction of Feasegate and Market Street which displays a marvellous combination of stonework and brickwork. Probably more valuable than the stonework inside! Opps sorry that was Ratners wasn't it!

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Lift up your eyes 2

Still in Parliament Street, this wonderful brick and stonework can be seen above Dolland and Aitcheson on the corner of Parliament Street and Church Street next to St. Sampson's Square.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Lift Up Your Eyes 1

York is very much like a lot of other cities in the UK with lots of shopping streets in the centre, you'll find the majority of the multiple shops around plus one or two home grown ones. In fact you could be excused for thinking that you could be in any town in the UK. However, I have said it fairly often be prepared to look at buildings above the ground floor level and you get beyond that boring sameness of the major Multiples and large flat plate glass windows.

To start this series off we are in Parliament Street home of the plain modernistic stone and glass facade of HSBC. Look around though and lift your eyes up to find the gems that are walked past everyday. This fine ornate example stands above a shop called Claire's. The details have been picked out in a contrasting blue and white almost a reverse Wedgewood effect. I think this shop is about where a John Smith's pub called "The Clock" used to stand. This may well be the decorative housing for the clock. I'll have to see if I can find some old photos of this area. See photo below for a contextual setting of the ornamentation including the complexity of the windows.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Spring is sprung the grass is ris

Went out today looking for signs of spring. Daffodils by the city walls near Monk Bar and the Ice House a definite portent of Spring. Lets not be hasty though, about this time last year the Daffs were out and then we had a covering of snow a few days later.
Another sign of Spring or even that Easter is not far off now, a cross in the churchyard of St Cuthbert in Peasehome Green surrounded by crocus.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Paving Works at Walmgate Bar

Approaching Walmgate bar I could see a yellow JCB working next to the bar and wondered what was going on. When I got to the bar there was a lot of activity with new paving stones having been laid and distinct cycle track visible going through the barbican.

The work also includes a light controlled pedestrian crossing by the bar so that walkers do not have to divert a couple of hundred yards along Walmgate to cross from one side to the other.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Royal Dragon Cantonese Restaurant

The Royal Dragon used to be a pub noted for the music groups that performed there when it was the Spotted Cow, not to be confused with the nearby Brown Cow in Hope Street just over the city walls. On the side of the building is an entrance to the Walmgate Hotel so presumably the building has been divided up into two business properties.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Edinburgh Arms

I have to admit to the fact that this is a pub that I have never been in. See yesterday's post to see one potential reason. It is right in the middle of the central block of a one way system. Years ago it was a Cameron's pub and Cameron's beer in York had a very bad name although you could get a godd pint outside of the city, all they sold inside the city was usually awful. Maybe I'll drop in there one day soon, I must admit I was tempted the afternoon I took this photo but thought it was too good an afternoon to be inside drinking beer and not warm enough to sit outside at the tables with traffic whizzing by.

Thursday, 12 March 2009


This always seems to be a nightmarish area for traffic to me. It is always busy with a one way system around the block with multiple lanes. I don't think that I have ever tried to negotiate the central block on foot for fear of getting mowed down by traffic. I'm not aware of Fishergate School ever having produced any famous pupils although one of the former teachers Mike Cooke does appear in an episode of Heartbeat where he is a musician for the Goathland Plough Stotts as they get off an old motor coach. Mike Cooke also ran a Longsword Group for some of the older lads at this school and for the 1st Heworth Scout group until he retired.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Royal Mail Van Passing The Lighthorseman

I am more and more convinced that the present Labour goverment are clandestine members of the Conservative party. They have been blindsided on the dubious goings on with banks simply because they turned a blind eye to the bonus culture and underhand manipulations going on. Now to cap it all they want to sell off part of the Royal Mail. I have completely lost faith in the Labour party, I'll not vote Conservative and the Lid Dems have made such a mess of York that it does not inspire to vote for them at the national level. So what will I do at the next election, well that will be a secret between me and the ballot box! So what does this rant have to do with picture, non except that it is a photo of a Royal Mail van passing The Lighthorseman pub in Fulford Road. I suppose you might just say that I saw red!

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

School Crocodile - City Walls

It must be a nightmare for teachers bringing a party of children on a visit to an exciting place like York, it certainly can be for residents when they encounter a children's tourist crocodile, although most are intrinsically well behaved it is often quite evident that some of them are in their own little world and are not paying attention to instructions or commentaries as they are busy chatting to each other. Note the young girl in the centre of the group swinging her leg over the bollard. They also seem not to have developed any spatial courtesy and awareness and will form a solid block on the pavement as they wait to cross the road and not leave space for other pedestrians who may wish to get past them, but then that is true of most tourists, become a tourist and you seem to lose that spatial courtesy that allows locals to go about their business as you gawp at the wonderful sights. I know I have been guilty of this myself and so have built a bit of tolerance to this phenomenum, and of course now I am retired I am not in an all fired rush these days.

Monday, 9 March 2009

More signs of spring - York Cemetry

York Cemetry is managed in a way that is wildlife friendly. This group of crocus adds a cheerful touch of colour as we come out of the winter months and being a sunny day it was warm enough for bumble bees to be out collecting nectar. I followed this bumble bee as it flew from one flower to the next and caught it as it gathered a portion of nectar from the flower head.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Munition Workers Memorial - York Cemetry

After I left school and started work I did a day release course to further my qualifications and travelled to Leeds by train for a day of study lasting from 9 inthe morning to 9 at night. On the train as we passed between Garforth and Cross Gates there was an area where you could sometimes see tanks being tested up over mounds and round tight cornered tracks. This is the site of the Barnbow works and scene of a tragic explosion on Tuesday 5 December 1916 which caused the deaths of 35 women. Some of the women killed were workers from York who travelled daily from York by one of the many trains that served the Barnbow works. Below the memorial stone is a fragment of the headstone for Mary Wortley one of the women listed on the memorial.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Flowering Cherry - York Cenmetry

A warm sunny afternoon, ornamental cherries flowering, it gives the feeling that spring is just around the corner. You can be certain though that if I am showing photos of cherry trees in blossom that we will be having some more snow before too long. Last year I when I showed cherry trees there was snow very quickly folowed.

This was the wintery scene at the appropriately named Ice House by Monk Bar on 23 March last year when we woke to a blanket of snow. This scene always reminds me of a Christmas pudding topped with a sprinkling of icing sugar, all that is missing is the sprig of holly!

Friday, 6 March 2009

York Cemetry - Cemetry Road

I have often driven past the York Cemetry but never had occasion to go in. So what a way to spend my birthday afternoon than have a walk in the sunshine and have a look around. Opened in 1837 the cemetry went into liquidation in 1966. Passing to Crown ownership it became overgrown and dilapidated until the Friends of York Cemetry was formed and took steps to revitalise it. It now makes a tranquil space to visit and is being managed in a wildlife friendly way.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Former St. Mary's Church

St. Mary's church is one of the City centre mediaeval churchs that has become redundant as a church and is now used as an art exhibition centre. It mainly puts on Installation Art Pieces see my earlier blog for the Memory Of Place exhibition.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

St. Helen's Square

I always think of this block in St. Helen's Square as being the "Betty's Block" as it is probably the longest occupier in this block. One thing I had not noticed until I looked at the picture is the rather obtrusive CCTV camera on the end of block above Betty's.

Monday, 2 March 2009

Doors Within The Walls - St Wilfred's Church

The door of St. Wilfred's church in Duncombe place always fascinates me. It always looks a spendidly ornate fancy cake.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Olio & Farina

Oil and wheat starch! The name just doesn't work as well in English as it does in Italian. This new delicattessan and shop is in part of the former House and Sons building.