Monday, 30 April 2012

Rain Dance

What was I thinking? A few weeks ago I said it never seemed to rain here anymore. Two dry springs in succession and we seemed to be heading for a third. Well all change, the day after a hosepipe ban was placed over much of the southern UK it started to rain, and it has not stopped since! This was my windscreen today, between wiper sweeps, as it continues to pour down.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Sign of the Times 3

Well at least you know exactly what to expect if you visit this bar!

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Off-road Parking

An unusual sight outside a town house in York, but given the price of petrol these days who can blame someone for using the 'works van' for commuting........................

Friday, 27 April 2012

Not so Grotesque

Far less alarming than yesterdays owls are these two grotesques set on the outside of St-Martin-Le-Grand on Coney Street. Actually I think the term grotesque does them an injustice as they look to me like two cuddly baby dragons. St Martins was a 15th century church that was almost completely destroyed by a Baedecker Raid on York in 1942. It was rebuilt in the 1960s as a shrine of remembrance for all who died in the two World Wars.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Two Hoots

Continuing the bird theme, these two carved owls are in Rowntrees Park, overlooking the childrens play area. Not sure what the children make of them but I think they look rather scary! I can't decide if they were carved with those two sinister looking holes or if the local woodpeckers have been at work.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

What's in a Name?

Although it is looking a little the worse for wear this is one of my favourite pub signs in the city. I really like the way the birds wings mirror the flames. The Phoenix, as I am sure you know, is a mythical bird that every 100 years or so sets fire to itself and emerges from the ashes to begin a new life. I can never decide if this picture shows the end of the old Phoenix's life or the emerging of the new. What do you think?

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Front Garden

This piece of stone is in a terraced house front garden, sheltered behind metal railings. I have walked past many times without really looking at it, this time I stopped and turned back to look properly, and from this angle saw something other than just a big rock amongst plants.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Airspeed Ltd

Just a few doors down from the Merchant Adventurers' splendid hall in Piccadilly is this rather delapidated building. Most recently used for paintballing, now empty, it was built in 1931 as the home of Airspeed Ltd. Hard to imagine aeroplanes being built in the middle of York nowadays. One of the directors was Neville Shute Norway, more famous perhaps for his literary career, and one of the original shareholders was Britain's most famous aviatrix Amy Johnson, a local girl from Hull. Should this be preserved as part of aviation history or knocked down as an eyesore?

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The Adventurers' Lantern

This lantern can be found outside the entrance to the Merchant Adventurers' Hall. Atop the lantern sits golden winged horse (Pegasus) flying across blue and white waves. This symbolises travel over water and emphases the role of the Adventurers' in overseas trade. Some of the intricately carved woodwork of the 650 year old Hall can be seen on the gable above.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Modern Amphitheatre

This is the Odeon cinema building on Blossom Street, now a Reel cinema. It first opened in 1937 and the very distinctive Art Deco style building is typical of Odeon Cinemas. They were sometimes likened to the big transatlantic ocean liners of the 1930s. It closed in 2006 only to re-open, still as a cinema, in 2009.

Friday, 20 April 2012

How Many Doors?

This is the impressive main entrance into Holy Trinity church on Micklegate, the large  door is usually open and I had not noticed the door within a door until this recent visit. It is certainly large enough for me to step comfortably through.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Sign of the Times 2

In contrast to the empty shop of yesterday there are some new business ventures in the city. There has been a pub, nightclub or bar on this site for many years, although it does seem to change its image regularly, which is part of the plan I guess.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Sign of the times 1

This was a favourite haunt that sadly closed down just over a year ago. As you can see from the window they did try to diversify but to no avail. Although I shopped in here I also bought books on line. Do you still buy new books from a real rather than a virtual shop?
A real sign of the times is that no business has started up on this site since.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Spring in the Cemetery

A spring view of part of the Victorian area of York cemetery. In the foreground is a large stone cross which is a memorial to 'Harriet Dickinson, wife of Alfred Dickinson, Wine Merchant of this city'. In the background is the Grade II* listed cemetery chapel designed by James Piggott Prichett. Completed in 1838 it is based on the Temple of Erechtheus one of the three main temples on the Acropolis in Athens. A rather pagan linneage for a funeral chapel! 

Taking part in  Tapophile Tragics

Monday, 16 April 2012

A taste of Summer

This is a view down Pavement (so called because it was one of the first street in York to be .... yes you guessed it, paved in stone) on a busy Saturday morning. Shoppers, cyclists, tourists and photographers are all here, enjoying the unseasonally hot spring weather.
Taking part in MellowYellowBadge

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Halo Halo

These semaphore saints were originally made in 2004 for an art exhibition in York Minster. The artist is Terry Hammill and he made them headless to show that it is possible to communicate without words if you are able to interpret symbols. He is also making the point that the Minster is full of symbols if you know what to look for.
If your semaphore is a little rusty, or like mine non existent, highlight between brackets to see the word these saints are signing with their halos (christ)

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Priory Remains

This is a view of Holy Trinity Church on Micklegate that suggests this building was once much larger. Indeed the church is all that remains of a Bendictine Priory church that was set in a seven acre monastic precinct. The present building formed a part of  the nave of Micklegate Priory.

Friday, 13 April 2012

Hard Edges

Modern buildings of brick, glass and concrete are something of a contrast to the softer limestone blocks of the city walls reflected in the lower windows.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Clifton Green

Clifton Green horse trough was built in 1883 and rather thoughtfully has a lower tier also filled with water for which I am sure many smaller animals and birds are greatful. It is still filled with water but has a series of dire warnings attached stating that "The police are instructed to apprehend any one playing with or dirtying the water" and "Any person injuring the trough, cover, seat or trees on Clifton Green will be prosecuted as the law directs". Finally in case you are still in any doubt "For use by animals only other users will be prosecuted by order".

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


This stone compass is sited near the city walls, visitors arriving by train will almost certainly pass it on their way into the city. It probably served as a useful orientation mark before GPS was widely available!
The quote is from Ezekiel - "Thou wilt say unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live."—Ezekiel 37:9. Given the date of 1946 it is presumably a second world war memorial

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

A Message of Hope

This wonderful old stone is a grave marker from the churchyard of Holy Trinity in Goodramgate. Nowadays it is usually the relatives of the deceased who choose the wording on the gravestone. This appears to have been chosen by the deceased himself with the intention of leaving a comforting and hopeful message to his wife.
Go Home Dear Wife, and shed no Tears,
I must lie here til Christ appears;
And, at his Coming, hope to have
A Joyful Rising from the Grave.
Taking part in Tapophile tragics

Monday, 9 April 2012

Chapter House Ceiling

This is the medalion at the centre of York Minster Chapter House Ceiling. Built at the end of the 13th century the chapter house roof is a free vault unsupported by any central column. The ceiling was painted by Thomas Williment in 1844-45 with a floral and heraldic moteif. The keys of St Peter appear as the Minster is also St Peter's Cathedral, and the other symbol is probably a representation of Archbishops vestiments. In the centre is the Lamb of God.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Digs then Diggers

Whenever the developers move into the centre of York they are usually preceded by the archaeologists, who race the diggers to see what secrets of the city's past they can unearth before the concrete returns. The Hungate development is the largest of its kind in the city for many years, earlier phases seen behind the excavations have been completed and are now occupied. Prices range from £250,000 - £485,000 to purchase "Eco-friendly apartments and townhouses situated amidst leisure facilities, offices, cafes, car-free open spaces and its own nature reserve". 

Hungate is described as the future of urban living but it has a past too. Seebohm Rowntree's report on this area of the city in 1901 "Poverty a study of town life" concluded that it's inhabitants were visibly poor – showing ‘obvious want and squalor’. In the 1930s York Corporation used new powers under the 1930 Housing Act to begin slum clearance in this area.  Whole streets in Hungate were pulled down, and the residents moved to new council homes built outside the city centre.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

365 vision

Also on display in the Minster are some of Ghislaine Howard's 365 daily images. She started making these 6 x 8 inch paintings in October 2006, each inspired by a story in that day's edition of the The Guardian newspaper. She continues to paint the images daily and notes that "When I started making the series I intended to continue each day for a year - now I see no reason to stop" a comment that I suspect applies to many CDP photographers. 

Friday, 6 April 2012

Good Friday

York Minster is dressed for Easter, the huge wooden cross is hanging in the Crossing and around the walls of the nave are a series of paintings by Ghislaine Howard depicting the 12 Stations of the Cross. Painted as a millenium project these pictures have been exhibited in cathedrals throughout the country around Easter time. This Easter they have come to York, and here are two of them.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Maundy Thursday

Every year at Easter the Queen visits a cathedral or abbey and hands out Maundy money to local pensioners in recognition of their service to the local community or church. This year the Queen will present the Maundy money in York Minster. Since the fifteenth century the number of Maundy coins handed out, and the number of people receiving the coins, has been related to the Sovereign’s age, this year it will be 86. Yeomen of the Guard (Beefeaters) carry the Maundy money to the ceremony in red and white purses held above their heads on golden alms trays.
In another royal tradition started in 1389 by Richard II the Monarch always enters the city of York through this gate, Mickelgate Bar, and pauses to touch the Sword of State as they pass. The route under the Bar is currently one way, outwards, I dare say however the traffic flow will be reversed for Her Majesty today.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Despite Frosty Mornings

I love Camellias and this elegant little one was a pleasant find in a city garden last weekend. We have had frosty mornings and hot 'summer' days all in the space of a week so I am impressed it is still in flower

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

York Cemetery Founder

The elaborate Gothic style memorial in this view of York cemetery  is dedicated to Alderman Jonathan Grey. He was a lawyer who served on the Board of Health during the cholera epidemic of 1832. One of the main problems the board faced was finding burial grounds where the cholera victims could be buried sufficiently deeply to ensure they did not present a risk to the health of the living. The overflowing mediaeval parish church graveyards meant that few graves could be sunk deeper than three or four feet, and it was not unusual to see human bones lying around the city. Alderman Grey was instrumental in establishing the York Public Cemetery Company around 1836, and ensuring the city had somewhere to bury it's dead for many years to come. 
It is ironic that although he lived in York Jonathan Grey died (and was buried) in Hastings. I suppose the logistics of transporting a body 270 miles were considerable in those days. He is commemorated by this stone eddifice that was subsequently used as a burial vault for members of his family.
Taking part in Tapophile Tragics.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Hoping for a lucky break

Murals are most unusual in York so I was suprised to come across this example as I walked down Bootham. It is in a narrow alley next to Clifton Bingo Hall and features a series of hands in varying poses. I assume the crossed fingers are intended to bring luck to the players in the Bingo Hall.
Taking part in Monday Murals

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Chapter House Street

Well it is not too hard to find a cobbled street in York. They may look quaint but are rather uncomfortable to walk on, and lethal in heels or wet weather when the cobbles become very slippery. Fortunately it there is usually a modern pavement running alongside the cobbles. This is Chapter House Street which leads up to the Minster. I was going to shoot something artistic for the theme day, rain drenched cobbles glistening in the sunshine type of thing, but it never seems to rain here any more!
Thanks to Julie saving the day you can see other CDP April theme day pictures here
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