IT WAS last used in 1953 as Britain celebrated the Queen’s coronation, but now heritage fans are hoping to get a portcullis on York’s historic Bar Walls back to working order.

Three of the bars on York’s walls - Monk Bar, Walmgate Bar and Bootham Bar - still have a portcullis in place - but it is thought none have been lowered in more than 60 years.

Now Keith Myers, part of a community organisation called the York Heritage Group, is pushing for the wooden gate to be restored to working order, bringing a piece of the city’s rich heritage back to life.

A city councillor for the Acomb ward, Cllr Myers said he and others had been working with city archaeologist John Oxley for some time in the hope of getting enough support to see their ambitions realised.

This weekend the city’s Lord Mayor Cllr Barbara Boyce was invited along to the walls to learn about the project.

Cllr Myers said: “If we have got something that could be used I think it should be.

“We need support and funding. We need to get an engineer to assess exactly what would need to be done to lower the portcullis. Once we’ve done that we need to find out how much it would cost to get the portcullis working safely.

“To get it into working order would be lovely.”

Showing people the portcullis being used as it would have been would bring the city’s history to life for many, he added.

They want visitors to the walls to be able to “look through the gate and imagine people rushing up to it with bows and arrows and sword”.

“This is a piece of living history and I think we should embrace it.”