Friday, 30 November 2012

Rocket to the Moon!

Looking at first glance rather like a space rocket on the launch pad is the boiler house chimney at York University, and that white dot in the sky about two thirds of the way up is the moon!
Taking part in Skywatch Friday

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Foggy Morning by the River

The Vale of York is prone to foggy mornings at this time of year, and the mist always lingers by the river.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


Taphophilia is an interest in and enjoyment of cemeteries and the gravestones found there. For me the wildlife that is often present even in city centre cemeteries, and the mix of trees and plants is a major part of it too. All the gravestones tell a story, some more obviously than others, and a little research can often uncover some fascinating and forgotten local history. Many are covered in symbols as well as writing, and sometimes just reading the weathered stones can be a challenge.
There are several memes dedicated to this subject and although not active at present Taphophile Tragics is warmly recommended
Taking part in ABC Wednesday 

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Flooded Fields

A flooded field with winter trees, York Minster, and the York Wheel on the wet and windy skyline. Maybe if we had more trees and plants in gardens rather than decking and gravel all that water (and the birds and insects) would have somewhere to go.

Monday, 26 November 2012

The River is Rising again.....

Yesterday I walked along the tow-path next to these buildings by the river Foss. Today, after a night of heavy rain, ducks are swimming over the same spot. More rain is expected tonight......

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Reflections of Reflections

I always have to have a go at deciphering back to front writing, how about you?

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Ellen Wilson

Ellen Wilson's Hospital on Lawrence Street was built by John Sykes in 1894. It is a row of six single-story brick dwellings. It was intended for aged or infirm women born or resident in St. Lawrence's parish, selected without religious test, and a stipend of 8 shillings a week (0.40p) was given to each inmate.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Dowager Countess of Grantham

Barley Hall currently has an exhibition of costumes from film and TV dramas. This is one worn by Maggie Smith in her role as the acerbic family matriarch Lady Grantham in Downton Abbey. Famous for her one liners she once dealt with an unwelcome house guest as follows

DOWAGER COUNTESS “Well, what on earth’s the matter?”
RICHARD “I’m leaving in the morning Lady Grantham. I doubt we’ll meet again.”
DOWAGER COUNTESS “Do you promise?”

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Keys of Heaven

York Minster is also known as St Peter's, its full name being the 'Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of St Peter in York'.  The keys of St Peter can easily be found within the Minster as here on an entrance gate to a private chapel.
Keys can also be found all around the city, the pub opposite the Minster is what else but the Crossed Keys. An area of the mediaeval city was known as The Liberty of St Peter and governed by the Dean & Chapter rather than the Lord Mayor. Many buildings still have keys carved or painted on them if you look carefully.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A Waste of Money?

These solar compactor waste bins have started appearing on York city streets. Known as the 'Big Belly' bins they not only take more waste than the usual bins but send a message to the council when they need emptying. Sounds good but I have yet to see anyone actually using them...........

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Nuclear Winter

In use from the 1960s to the 1990s this bunker was part of a nationwide network intended to monitor the radioactive fall-out from a nuclear bomb. No longer in use it is now open to visitors as a tourist attraction.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Car park

Car park window in the centre of town.The windows on the opposite side are inverted copies of this one, a nice touch.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Art lessons

This used to be the art and craft room at my school. I was half surprised to see it still standing today, it used to let the rain in 40 years ago! The conservatory had plenty of natural light for drawing and painting, and the potting shed at the back contained a couple of potter's wheels and a kiln for firing our attempted clay pots. No evidence left of any of our artistic endeavours now.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Back to School

More years ago than I care to count this rather elegant building was the old wing of my grammar school. It is still used as a school but has a different name these days. As I walked down the path a small black cat appeared who put me in mind of Nefertiti - the school cat in my day. I wonder if one of her descendants is still patrolling the grounds and stalking the corridors!

Friday, 16 November 2012

Station Hotel

The building next to the York wheel is the The Royal York Hotel, known to locals as the Station Hotel as it is practically situated on platform 2. The hotel was completed in 1878, a year after the station opened.  It featured elegant banqueting rooms and 100 large bedrooms for 14 shillings a night. A 27-room west wing was added in 1896, named Klondyke after the US gold rush of the time.
Taking part in Skywatch Friday

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Pretty Lights

This stained glass design from a window in St Martin-cum-Gregory is used as the symbol for the Stained Glass Centre now situated inside the church. Further information here if you are tempted to visit. Be sure to check opening times though as it is only open occasionally.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Roundabout of the Year

The UK Roundabout Appreciation Society(!) has recently declared this roundabout on Windmill Rise the best roundabout in Britain. I am not surprised, the windmill has been recently restored and looks splendid. Many years ago a good friend of mine lived on Windmill Rise and we used to congregate at her house every New Years Eve for a party. Directly midnight struck we all formed a conga line which skipped it's way out the door, up the hill and around this windmill to welcome in the New Year.
Taking part in  ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Red Door

A bright red door with a cobweb window light above on one of the elegant town houses in Blossom Street.
Taking part in Ruby Tuesday

Monday, 12 November 2012

Boer War Memorial

Meant to post this yesterday, better late than never. Most of the war memorials in York are quite plain. The exception is the Boer War Memorial next to the Minster. It is an elaborately decorated column with niches near the top of the monument for statues representing the men and women who served. On this side of the memorial two soldiers and a nurse look down on passers-by. One of the niches stands empty save for a plaque stating that the occupant was struck by lightening!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Civic Buildings

On the right York Guildhall used by the City Corporation for official business... and the public performance of plays. Built between 1449-53 on land owned by the Guild of St Christopher and St George the building was badly damaged during the Second World War. It was restored to the original plans and reopened in 1960.
To the left the rather Gothic looking council offices built 1888-9. Recent floods have left a tide mark of mud along the base of both buildings.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Three Girls and a Bridge

With Lendal Tower in the background two girls and one angel look down from Lendal Bridge towards the River Ouse.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Chainsaw Massacre!

These logs have been left scattered around the garden at Goddards as a winter refuge for insects and other small scurrying creatures.

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Lady Anne Middleton

Here is a closer look at the statue from yesterdays post. Skelderdale House is now part of a modern hotel but a much older building on this site was a  hospital was funded by an endowment given by Dame Anne Middleton in 1659, the wife of Peter Middleton, the then Sheriff of York. 
It was originally built as a refuge for twenty widows of the Freemen of the City of York. The hospital was later rebuilt and extended in 1829 at the expense of the Corporation of York as stated in the inscription. In 1906 there were 19 occupants and in 1908 each received a pension of £6 yearly, and the use of one room. The hospital was modernized in 1939 to house 10 people and a warden.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Summer

This image of Lady Anne Middleton's Hotel was taken during the Golden Jubilee Summer of 2012, hence the patriotic bunting on the railings. Rebuilt in 1829 the niche above the front door contains a figure of Lady Anne from the original 1659 building.
Taking part in ABC Wednesday

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


Lots of symbols at the top of this 19th century stone from York cemetery. A bird carrying a scroll with the word mizpah written on it. Birds symbolise messengers, often bringing peace. Mizpah is an emotional bond between two people who are separated, this can be a physical separation or the more final separation of death.
The handshake shows a clasped right hand gently encircling a flat left hand. This can symbolise God leading the deceased into heaven, but in this case the right hand with a distinct cuff and the left with a frilly edge likely represent a husband and wife. The extended forefinger, shows a gentle grip rather than a firm one with all fingers bent.
Parted drapes with side tassels place this statement of loss and continued devotion centre stage.
Taking part in Taphophile Tuesday

Monday, 5 November 2012

Back to Front?

A misty morning on the River Ouse. I didn't notice at the time but the Cox is sitting facing forwards in the direction of travel, but with his back to the crew. Is that how they do things these days?

Sunday, 4 November 2012

The Crossing

Standing at the crossing looking towards the choir of Rievaulx Abbey, imagine all those windows filled with glass and the walls painted.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Through the Arched Window..

A closer look at the elegant arches of the church choir at Rievaulx Abbey.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Remains of Rievaulx

Riveaulx Abbey was founded in 1132 by Cistercian monks from Clairvaux Abbey. It nestles in the valley of the River Rye some 30 miles north of York. It was home at one time to 150 monks and 500 lay brothers. The main church can be seen on the right, the impressive looking building on the left is the Refectory which had a 50ft (15.2m) high roof. That must have been quite some dining hall!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

The Water's Edge.....

...was rather closer than it should be in York last month. The Blue Bridge is usually busy with foot and cycle traffic, the blue sign marks the route of one of the cycle paths through the city. The bridge is the same one featured on the blog header so you can see how high the river had risen. Many of the flooded homes and business are still drying out with some of the worst affected having to hack the plaster off downstairs walls back to bare brickwork to allow them to dry out.
Taking part in City Daily Photo theme day
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