There aren’t many things sadder than a fire in a bookshop. Just after midday on 6 March the large Waterstones store in Above Bar caught fire. The city centre was brought to a standstill by thick black smoke as thousands of pounds worth of beautiful books burned. I wasn’t there but I saw a video on Facebook and felt like crying. Continue reading Fire, demolition and disaster
For many years the medieval walls from Bargate to Polymond Tower have been neglected and largely forgotten. They are so well hidden behind the shops on Hanover Buildings and the old Bargate Shopping Centre many people don’t even know they are there. Those that do venture along York Walk are often met with a dark, dingy, rubbish strewn journey. With the demolition of the Bargate Centre, this is about to change. There are ambitious plans to open up York Walk and make a feature out of the walls and towers there. Demolition work began a few weeks ago and today, as I was in town on business, I thought I’d see how it was going. Continue reading The metamorphosis of the forgotten walls
Today was CJ’s birthday. It was also a beautiful, blue sky, late autumn day so what better way to celebrate than with a little walk and a nice lunch? As CJ is fond of both history and graffiti, I thought I had just the walk for him. As for the lunch, neither of us had a clue where to eat but, as our walk would end up in town, we’d be fairly spoilt for choice. Continue reading A birthday walk, graffiti, a legend some lunch
For once I had a proper plan. There had been extensive research, route plotting, notes taken and some very interesting stories ready to tell. CJ and I left home early feeling rather excited. We had a ferry to catch, the sky was blue, the sun was shining and it felt a little like a holiday. Then we got to the ticket office and it all went wrong. Continue reading Plans, disasters and a last look at the Bargate Centre
Mid May 2013 and, not only did we have a wedding to prepare for, but we had to get the house ready for a guest. Commando Senior was recovering from a broken hip and was going to be staying with us for a while. Logistically it was a bit of a nightmare and I was a little concerned he’d find the hustle and bustle of our house a bit of a culture shock after the peace and quiet of Commando’s sister’s farm. There was also a final walk through the deserted Bargate Centre.
18 May 2013
The day started early after more walking dreams. This time I was walking round London, there were square blue and white markers hidden on walls amongst the road signs, each had a little motto on and I had to find them all. It had a frantic, slightly panicked feeling about it and I woke with a start, almost breathless as if I’d really been powering along the London streets at top speed. It seems like the feet aren’t doing any walking but the brain sure is. How odd. As I was awake it seemed silly not to get up so I did. Continue reading preparing for Commando Senior and the demise of the Bargate Centre – first published 18 May 2013
Typically, once I left the river on Sunday, the sky began to brighten a little. Isn’t it always the way? After a quick stop to replenish my tissue supplies I made my way up towards the centre of town and, on a whim, decided to cut through the back of the abandoned Bargate Centre to see what, if anything, was happening to the hidden stretch of medieval wall there. Continue reading hidden gems, the medieval north walls