Posts Tagged ‘York’

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4468 Mallard was built at Doncaster in 1938. The A4 class was designed for the North-Eastern Railway by Sir Nigel Gresley to pull high speed express trains. Mallard remained in service until 1963 working the route between London and Edinburgh. Mallard is the holder of the record for the fastest steam train in the world at 125.88 MPH. This record was achieved on 3rd July 1938 on the Stoke bank section of the east coast line near Grantham. It was a risky business as a curve occurred in the line just beyond the Stoke bank and the engine needed to break heavily to ensure it remained on the rails, During this the engine overheated (a problem that had been foreseen) and the engine had to be removed from service for repairs. Mallard also took part in the 1948 Locomotive exchange trials when locos from different regions of the newly formed BR were trialed on routes they did not usually run. Mallard hauled a train from London Waterloo to Salisbury but failed following the run and was removed from the trial. Mallard also pulled the last Steam hailed flagship ‘Elizabethan’ express from London to Edinburgh on 8th September 1961.

In the 1980s the engine was restored to working order and after being used for a number of years for pulling railtours become part of the static collection at the National Railway Museum, firstly at York (till 2008) then at Shildon (2008-2010) and subsequently back at York.

The plaque on Mallard commemorating the Stoke bank record

The plaque on Mallard commemorating the Stoke bank record

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Class 47 – ‘Prince William’ – 2004. Science Museum Group Collection © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Class 47 No798 was built at Crewe and entered into service in 1965 and was employed on a wide variety of duties including heavy freight and express passenger services. It regularly pulled the Royal Train during its working life. It was originally without a name until August 1985 when it was named ‘Firefly’. It was renamed ‘Prince William’ in 1995. It was presented by its owners EWS Railways to the Science Museum collection when it was withdrawn from service.

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47798 ‘Prince William’ at National Railway Museum, York

No trip to York is complete, at least for me, without a visit to the National Railway Museum.

My first stop this time was the South Yard where 60103 Flying Scotsman was parked up in between trips on the mainline. Unfortunately, it was parked around a corner of a building so it wasn’t accessible for good photographs.

Next stop was the Station Hall which as its name suggests is set out like a large station with trains in bay platforms, enabling you to walk alongside them.

At the moment it is hosting a display of Royal Train carriages from different periods of history.

In the Grand Hall, there is a display on Express trains featuring the Eurostar (which runs between London, Paris and Amsterdam) and the Japanese Bullet train, the Shinkansen.

It is now over 50 years since steam was phased out on UK railways and so aside from the steam locomotives more diesel and electric locomotives are being added to the national collection for preservation.

But finally, no visit would be complete without a stop at my favourite class of locomotive, the Gresley A4 Pacifics, here represented by 4468 Mallard. Last time I was here was to see all 5 of the worlds remaining A4s together to celebrate Mallard’s record-breaking run.

York 2018: Barley Hall

Posted: October 31, 2018 in History, Medieval History, UK, York
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Barley Hall is situated in the centre of York. Parts of the house date from around 1360, when it served as a lodging for priests and monks from Nostell priory visiting the Cathedral. In 1430 it was rebuilt and in 1466 was leased to William Snawshall, a goldsmith, who would become an Alderman and later Lord Mayor of York. In 1489 William moved away from York and a series of different tenants held the Hall. Following the dissolution of the Monasteries, it became the property of the crown and continued to be let to tenants. At some point in the 16th or 17th centuries, it was sub-dived into different dwellings and by the early 20th century had become used for workshops and storage. By the mid 20th century it was in a very poor condition and in 1984 it was bought by the York Archaeological Trust. In the 1990s following extensive excavations, the Trust took the decision to restore the Hall to its Medieval state. It was named Barley Hall after the founder of the YAT. they tried to preserve as much of the original building as possible but centuries of poor maintenance meant that some timbers etc was too far gone to be saved and had to be replaced.

As you walk around the hall today, it is set up exactly as it was when William Snawshall, Lord Mayor of York lived there.

As with many Cathedrals, the roof of York Minster sores upwards creating a sense of immense space. There was a lot of maintenance work going on including the restoration of the organ and so the centre of the Cathedral was full of scaffolding which rather obscured and spoilt the impression on this occasion though. Still, this work has to be done and I imagine it is one big headache trying to keep an 800-year-old building in tip-top condition.

There is some fantastic stained glass on display in the Cathedral.

York 2018: York Minster

Posted: October 29, 2018 in History, Medieval History, UK, York
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The first church on this site was built around 627 AD by the Kings of Northumbria and 100 years later the first Archbishop of York was recorded. The Saxon Church, which had been rebuilt in the 8th century following a fire, was seriously damaged by William the Conqueror’s forces in 1069 during the ‘Harrying of the North’. William appointed a new Archbishop who set about building a new Cathedral on the site. The present building was built between 1220 and 1472 in the Gothic style.

York 2018: Medieval Streets

Posted: October 26, 2018 in History, Medieval History, UK, York
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It is just a delight to wander down the Medieval streets of York city centre and see the wonderfully preserved Medieval buildings.

York 2018: Weekend of History

Posted: October 24, 2018 in Announcements, History, UK, York
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A long weekend in the wonderful city of York to attend the York History weekend and the chance to hear some of the countries leading experts talk about history from the ancient world to Brexit.

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Also, it was a chance to re-visit some of the fascinating historical sights in the city. Apart from day trips to the National Railway Museum, it is probably 20 years since I spent longer than a day here and much has changed.

River Ouse looking towards Lendel Bridge (top left), Medieval Houses (top right), York Minster (lower left), and Bootham Bar, one of the old city gates (lower right) 

The weekends’ talks were held in the Yorkshire Museum and in the Kings Manor and my focus this weekend is on Anglo-Saxon England. I also visited the National Railway Museum (a must for any visit to York), York Minster, Barley Hall, The Yorvik centre and The Richard III Museum.

York Railway Station

Posted: September 14, 2018 in History, Trains, UK, York
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York has one of the busiest Railway interchanges in the country with trains to all parts of England, Scotland and Wales

Video by Michael Jiroch (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQksZSC6YIc)

York Castle Prison

Posted: September 13, 2018 in History, Post medieval history, UK, York
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Following its demise as a military base, York castle was used a prison. New buildings were added throughout the 18th century including a county prison, a new courthouse and a female prison. The last civilian prisoners were transferred out in 1900 although it continued to be used as a military prison until 1929.

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Prisoner Graffiti

Prisoner Graffiti

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Exercise Yard

Exercise Yard

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The courthouse remains in use as the headquarters of York Crown Court, but the prison buildings were transfered for use as a museum and today house The York castle Museum.

The most famous prisoner to be held in York was the Highwayman Dick Turpin, who had fled from Essex to Yorkshire when it became likely he would be arrested. He lived under the assumed name of John Palmer. However some local magistrates were suspicious of how he funded his lifestyle and he was arrested in 1737 on suspicion of horse theft. His true identity became clear when he made the mistake of writing to his brother in law from prison and the letter was read by the local magistrates. He was tried at York in March 1739 and executed the following month.

HERE LAYS - DICK TURPIN
Photo by Carl Spencer (http://www.flickr.com/photos/82887550@N00/)

Dick Turpin's Gravestone
Photo by Xerones (http://www.flickr.com/photos/xerones/)