THE WORLD’S most famous physicist was spotted on the streets of York when he visited the city to relive treasured memories of a family trip.
Professor Stephen Hawking has been seen in city bars and museums over the last few days, and has drawn attention wherever he has gone.
Prof Hawking was in the city to visit the National Railway Museum – to repeat a visit he made years ago with his son.
Jim Lowe of the NRM said: “We were delighted to welcome Professor Stephen Hawking to the museum. He was here visiting with his son, Tim, who he had brought to the museum some years ago as a small child.
“They were here for around three and a half hours and in that time had a good look around. They said that they were inspired by Mallard and the story of the A4s and thoroughly enjoyed their visit here.”
The professor and his family also found time to pop into the Yorkshire Museum, where volunteers got a surprise when they saw him looking around the exhibits.
Lee Clark, communications manager, said: “Stephen spent an hour or so looking around the Yorkshire Museum and said he had enjoyed it. The guides were a bit shocked to see him, but they all said it was fantastic to meet such an iconic figure in person.”
The professor also sampled York’s nightlife on Saturday, when he stopped in at nightspot the Biltmore Bar in Swinegate and spent around 45 minutes drinking cocktails, chatting and posing for photos with fans.
Assistant general manager Aimee Neighbour said Prof Hawking, 72, arrived at around 10.45pm.
Aimee said: “The bouncers radioed up to tell me he was here, but none of us believed it.
“We kept saying, It can’t be him, but lo and behold, he was there.
“He was really friendly, and a lot of people were taking pictures. After a while he moved over to the dance floor and seemed to love being right in the middle of things. On the way out he stopped and asked for a photograph with the door staff, which his group then sent to us.
“He’s an iconic figure, an extremely clever guy, and it’s an absolute privilege that he came here.”