History of a name

Published in Letters by

I HAVE been waiting to see an explanation of the West Offices name from one of York’s railway historians, but I have not seen one yet.

I happened to be working in British Railways’ York HQ in 1967, when BR merged two of its regions, making York the headquarters of the combined Eastern Region. This brought an influx of staff from London, and required a few changes to accommodation.

At that point, what we had always known as The Old Station was renamed West Offices, with the prefix W being placed in front of the room numbers.

I have no idea who chose the new name, but at the time it was further west than the other office buildings, which were the main HQ (now the Cedar Court Grand Hotel) and 37 Tanner Row (now English Heritage’s Regional Office).

Of course it lost that distinction when Hudson House was built soon afterwards. However, it is further west than Guildhall, so perhaps the council’s rather odd decision to retain an ad hoc name is as justified now as it was 46 years ago.

Brian Johnson, Woodthorpe, York.

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