Although I left York when I was eight, I have many pleasant memories of the city and the things I got up to there. Of course the Minster and the River Ouse with its wonderful bridges are the essence of York that everyone knows.
18 St Saviourgate was our home, not far from the Minster, and across the way from The Shambles. I loved the old streets and buildings, but we also played on the waste ground behind our house, where these new buildings are now. There were cooling towers here back then.
You can’t grow up in York and not walk and play on the city walls. But on a rainy Saturday we would go into the old Railway Museum, and climb in and out of the cabs of the engines there, or spend the day exploring the Castle Museum.
The grounds of the Abbey ruins were a great playground, and the Museum was full of fascinating items – I remember best the stuffed animals and birds in cases round the main halls. Now it’s the Yorkshire Museum, full of historical stuff, and Richard III is the current star. (Bring him back to York!!!)
I’ve no idea why, but I clearly remember a man with a wonderful top hat who, on a Saturday, would ride up and down this street on a penny-farthing bicycle – probably borrowed from the Castle Museum.
It’s good to go back occasionally and reconnect with one’s roots.