At last Mum and me have had a bigger adventure, this time going to York which is one of our favourite cities. We went there by train, which was a bit of an adventure in itself as, when we got to Leeds station, we found that our train would depart from Platform 9D. This must be the longest platform in the whole wide world and, by the time we’d walked past Platform 9A, 9B and 9C, I thought we must have walked at least halfway to York! Anyway, we made it and the train arrived on time and soon we were in York and on our way to the Judge’s Lodging, where we’d arranged to meet one of our friends.
The weather was perfect – lots of sunshine, but not too hot and not too cold – and so we could sit outside and enjoy a lovely cup (or two) of tea, before moving on.
As Mum needed some money, we then set off towards the York branch of the Yorkshire Building Society, but within only a few yards we found that the road ahead was closed. We could see a policeman holding people back and could hear someone ringing a loud bell, while someone else was banging a drum.
With the European Union elections so near, we thought it was some sort of political demonstration, but it turned out to be the new Lord Mayor of York, Councillor Janet Looker, who had just been sworn in to her new role, rather unexpectedly as the man who’d originally been selected had lost his seat on the council in the local elections at the beginning of May. The swearing-in ceremony had taken place in the Guild Hall and was followed by a procession from there to the Assembly Rooms for a private lunch.
By the time we got through the crowds, however, most of the procession had passed and so we only saw the tail end of it as it wended its way through the narrow streets in the opposite direction to us. That was a bit of a disappointment, but it was more than compensated for when Mum got to the building society and a lady who was working in there recognised her and introduced her to everyone else as “a famous author”. I was so pleased that I got out of Mum’s handbag and introduced myself – and handed over one of my business cards so that she could follow my blog when she got home.
After that, it was a long lunch at the Guy Fawkes Hotel – chicken and black pudding terrine with toast and salad for starters, followed by chicken supreme, potatoes Dauphinoise, spinach and broccoli, but no room for a pudding.
From there we set out to visit our favourite church in York. This is Holy Trinity, Goodramgate, a Grade I listed building, now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust.
Tucked away behind the busy shopping street, it’s a haven of peace and quiet. Yesterday it had closed earlier than we’d expected and so unfortunately we weren’t able to get in, though we managed to take a picture through the gate later. (And, for those of you watching Gentleman Jack on television, this is the church where Anne Lister and her lover, Ann Walker, celebrated Holy Communion at Easter 1834 to affirm their relationship, after which they considered themselves married.)
We then went through to King’s Square, where – to Mum’s delight – a huge roundabout with galloping horses had been set up and was fully working. These roundabouts, also known as Gallopers, fascinate Mum as one of her great-great-uncles, John Washbourne, married into a fairground family in Gloucestershire in the late 19th century and Gallopers was one of the rides they travelled round with, but of course they were driven by steam-power in those days.
One of the most photographed streets in York – The Shambles – leads off a corner of King’s Square and so we had to have a wander down there, take some photographs – including this one of a lot of little bears in a shop window who I hope will eventually get as good a new home as I got.
We also just had time to pop into one of the many eating places along The Shambles and have another welcome cup of tea and a large slice of carrot cake. Then we were off again to do some more sight-seeing and take some more photographs. I think I’ve written enough for today, however, so I’ll tell you about that in my next post.
Follow my next blog: 36. A LOVELY DAY IN YORK – PART II