From our archives:

85 years ago

The contract for the underpinning and restoration of the West front of Selby Abbey had been passed to John Thompson and Co, builders and contractors, of Peterborough, after a windfall of £9,000 left by the great William Liversedge. The bequest, with accumulated interest would now enable the Diocese the chance to go ahead with the whole scheme, no expense spared. Australian airman Mr Charles Ulm had broken the world record flight time from England to Australia in seven days, four hours and 47 minutes, beating the previous record holder Sir Charles Kingsford Smith by nearly 11 hours. Showing no signs of fatigue, Mr Ulm declared to the waiting press that he felt very well and had enjoyed his trip. And in Malton, Mr Ward, chairman of the water supply committee, had announced that there was no longer a need for Malton residents to boil the water before use. The water had now been certified as pure.

50 years ago

Everything seemed perfect for one businessman from Banbury, who had stepped into York’s brand-new four-star Viking Hotel. Checking in at the reception for his two-night stay, he then went out for dinner, before being told, “You shouldn’t really be here,” as the £850,000 Viking hadn’t officially opened to members of the public. Newly-wed Mr and Mrs Aristotle Onassis entertained close friends and relatives to a champagne wedding breakfast aboard the millionaire’s luxury yacht. Film star Jane Russell had arrived in York for her first night at York nightspot, The Happy Wanderer, accompanied by co-stars, singer Beryl Davis and her adopted son Thomas, who occasionally played the drums.

20 years ago

Five hundred guests had been evacuated after a suspected arson attack at Scarborough’s most famous hotel. The fire which started during the night, had been confined to a linen cupboard. No-one was injured but one man did suffer from a panic attack, and a woman who suffered from asthma was given oxygen at the scene. And for the first time the original Stephenson’s Rocket had gone on display at the National Railway Museum. Never seen in the city before, the Rocket was the centrepiece of a new exhibition, The Spark That Started A Revolution.