Wednesday, 31 July 2013

C is for cafe

This barge has been converted to a floating cafe, and it brings along it's own table and chairs too.
Taking part in ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, 30 July 2013


All the information you need to find your way around and enjoy your visit including those all important toilets!

Monday, 29 July 2013

Birdseye View

Anyone visiting the Minster and climbing the tower would have had a unique view of the cycling race circuit.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Congratulatory Handshake

 A handshake from a local celebratory for those helping to support the racing teams..........................

Saturday, 27 July 2013

and the winner is........

Lots of cameras and big screens up around the city for the cycling races, the picture quality was much better than it looks here of course. This is the winner of the ladies race, Hannah Barnes, on a victory circuit

Friday, 26 July 2013

Bunch of Cyclists

There are lots of sporting terms used in cycling, many of them French, about the only one I recognise is Peloton. Collective nouns for cyclists - a Fluorescence perhaps or maybe a Lycra, any other suggestions?

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Several laps in...

...... and it was all starting to take a bit more effort.................

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

B is for Bikes

Yesterdays expectant onlookers were waiting for these guys. This is a stage of the British National Circuit Race Championships which took place in York last weekend. Lots of cycling excitement around at the moment with Chris Frome winning The Tour de France, and The Tour due to pass through Yorkshire next year. 
Taking part in ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Watching & Waiting

I wonder what we are all waiting for? Stop by tomorrow to find out.

Monday, 22 July 2013

Cycle Hazard

Cycling around York can be especially hazardous this time of year. I had just cycled down the cycle lane here 5 minutes earlier and another coach decided to discharge it's passengers whilst stopped at traffic lights. I narrowly avoided running down the first person off the coach and got a stream of verbal abuse for my trouble. Why do some people think shouting makes taking a stupid action OK?

Sunday, 21 July 2013

George Stephenson

George Stephenson was born in 1781 and become known as known as the 'Father of the Railways'. Born into a North East mining community he started life working in the local colliery. He was illiterate until his late teens as his family were too poor to afford to send him to school. 

As a pioneer railway engineer he had to build the rail tracks, and design bridges cuttings and viaducts. In 1829 his steam locomotive The Rocket won a competition to decide who would build the engines for the newly formed Liverpool and Manchester Railway company. His rail gauge is still the worlds standard gauge and his statue in the NRM looks down on all the work that followed on from his early efforts. Wonder what he would have thought of the Japanese Bullet train?

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Mickelgate Bar

A view of Micklegate Bar looking out from the city, a less imposing view than that from outside looking in. The arch remains, however the barbican was removed in in the 1820s as were the gates. Local legend claims the gates were taken down as they were no longer able to be locked at night since the gatekeepers children had lost the keys whilst playing with them!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Victoria Bar

This is Victoria Bar which was opened in 1838. Close by is the remains of a much older way into the city through the wall, an old postern gate. In the mediaeval records this gate was known as the Lounlith or Hidden Gate. This was to distinguish it from the Micklelith or Great Gate around the corner. Come back tomorrow to see the Micklelith!

Thursday, 18 July 2013


Sometimes buildings, (like humans!) really look like they have had a hard life. This building looks like it started out life as a rather handsome house with a view over the city walls. A some point it was divided into two properties so the middle windows had to go. The bottom right with the tiled wall and arched window looks typical of a Public House front so some time spent dispensing alcohol I think. Now a specialised shoe shop selling orthotics operates out of the front left with a typical old fashioned shop front.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

A is for Astrological Archway

The arch above the doorway of St Margaret's church on Walmgate dates from the mid 12th century. Amongst the collection of carvings of devils and dragons one of the arches is decorated with the signs of the Zodiac.
Taking part in ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Poster Art

I am quite a fan of poster art so these caught my eye. The four destinations are carefully chosen to be easily reached by train from York. North to Edinburgh, West to Wales, East to Scarborough and South to New Brighton.

Monday, 15 July 2013

Library Square Patrol

It can get pretty rough at the Library when the latest J. K. Rowling hits the shelves.........................

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Royal Train

Nothing understated about the Royal Train! I wonder if this was the locomotive that brought Queen Victoria to dinner in York in 1854? Rumour has it that she stopped to dine at The Station Hotel, a meal paid for by the city. At the insistence of some of the city counsellors the Royal Household was later sent a bill for the food. Victoria never visited the city again and the blinds of the Royal Train were always drawn as it passed through York on the way to Balmoral!

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Dwight and Nigel

Last but not least the two A4s named after individuals. Originally called Golden Shuttle, Dwight D Eisenhower was re-named after the 2nd World War Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe. Usually to be found in the National Railroad Museum in Wisconsin she, like Dominion of Canada, has made the transatlantic journey to be with her sister locomotives for Mallard's 75th anniversary.
Sir Nigel Gresley is named after the designer of these iconic (not a word I use lightly!) steam engines as she was the 100th Gresley Pacific locomotive to be built.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Union of South Africa

Standing next to Bittern is one of the two A4s painted in British Railways Brunswick Green livery. Originally called Osprey she was renamed within a couple of months to commemorate the newly formed Union of South Africa. She was named Osprey again in the 80s and 90s for political expediency.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

A closer look at Bittern

Bittern set a new speed record for a British preserved steam locomotive on the main line just last month when she reached 92.5 miles per hour. Looks like the old girl still has a bit of oomph left!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Three More

Next in line are left to right Dwight D Eisenhower, Union of South Africa and Bittern. Both Dominion of Canada and Union of South Africa were named after Commonwealth countries and were used to pull the "Coronation Service"

Tuesday, 9 July 2013


World speed record holder for steam traction Mallard and her sister locomotive Dominion of Canada side by side. I am going to indulge my fondness for the A4 class of streamlined 4-6-2 steam locos this week!

Monday, 8 July 2013

An Overseas Visitor

Thirty four A4 locomotives were built in total. Dominion of Canada was built in Doncaster in 1937, that is just 25 miles from where she stands today, but she must have travelled hundreds of thousands of miles between then and now. Most of the A4 locomotives were named after birds, Dominion of Canada was to have been called Buzzard but received the name Woodcock instead. A Canadian Pacific railway whistle was fitted to her in honour of her change to her final name. She was withdrawn from service in 1965.
She is normally to be found at Exporail, Quebec but is back in the UK for 2 years.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Mallard 75 - The Gathering

On the 3rd of July 1938 A4 class locomotive Mallard reached 126 miles per hours coming down Stoke Bank. That world speed record for a steam locomotive still stands. To mark the 75th anniversary of the record breaking run the other five remaining A4 class locomotives still in existence have come to York Railway Museum for two weeks to stand alongside Mallard in the great hall.

They look stunning, and this is one popular exhibition!

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Converted Chapel

This Methodist Chapel near to Victoria bar has been converted to apartments, a mix of holiday lets and permanent dwellings.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Golden Gromit

Ginnels Gates and Ghosts has been visiting another UK city, one that has something of a reputation for quirky art in public spaces. This summer there are 80 Gromits spread around this city for 10 weeks. Any guesses where the Gromit trail might be located? See here for the answer, or more information if Gromit is new to you.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

An Audience with Constantine

Two young subjects (and one slightly older) approach the Emperor Constantine across the newly opened plaza outside the south transept entrance of York Minster

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Y is for Yarn Bombing

Yarn bombing or Guerilla Knitting as it is also known is one of my favourite things as it always makes me smile! Imagine my reaction when I discovered that the exterior of York Art Gallery had been covered in the stuff whilst I was away on holiday. Knitted pigeons had lined the window sills alongside the real pigeons, and the entire façade was covered in random swathes of brightly covered wool. I hurried down on my return to York to catch sight of the last remaining evidence - this bombed bicycle propped up against one of the gallery columns.
Taking part in ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Buttercup Railings

It is not often you get the chance to look up at a Buttercup. These are growing in the churchyard that is all that remains of St Mary (Senior) Bishophill. The neglected churchyard was rejuvenated by a local collective of volunteers known as The Bishophill Billies. The Church of England gave a rather lukewarm response to this public spirited gesture  noting that “we need to respect the fact that it is a graveyard and an important archaeological site, so no digging too deep or planting vegetables”.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Art Nouveau Façade

I decided to steer clear of the Roman, Mediaeval and Gothic architecture found in York and opted instead for something a little more modern for this months theme day. This Art Nouveau façade can be found on a shop front in Coppergate. Built in 1908 for G. W. Harding it has an interesting decoration of two partially clad ladies. I wonder what the original shop sold!
Check here for façades from around the world
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