THERE has been much talk recently about transforming the Castle Gateway area - that whole quarter of York that includes Clifford's Tower and the Eye of York, but also Piccadilly on the other side of the Foss.

The most recent round of consultations were held just last month. The plans, as they stand at the moment, include closing the Castle car park and turning it into a new public space; adding an extension to the northern end of the Castle Museum; a riverside walkway along the Foss behind the Castle Museum, with a pedestrian bridge across the Foss to link up to Piccadilly; and, on Piccadilly itself, a new hotel and flats next to Ryedale House, which is itself already being revamped.

To replace the parking spaces lost by closure of the Castle car park, there will be a new, flood-resilient multi-storey car park (still accessible when the rivers flood) at St George's Field. And the site on Piccadilly where Spark:York now is will be redeveloped as a permanent base for start-up businesses, perhaps with flats above.

Those are the plans, at any rate.

Since it looks to be all change, it's always nice to look back at the way things used to be. A few weeks ago, we looked at the old Victorian prison whose grim walls used to hide Clifford's Tower and the Eye of York from public view. Today, we've dug out some photos which show more recent changes to the Castle Museum. We also have some older photographs of Piccadilly.

Two of our four photos of the Castle Museum were taken from the mound of Clifford's Tower. One, taken in 1964, shows the old debtor's prison and female prison before they were linked by a new concourse that came to act as the museum's main entrance. The second, a wonderful fish-eye picture taken in May 1981, shows much the same view but with the new entrance and concourse linking the two wings of the museum now in place. A third photograph, taken in October 1969 while the concourse was actually being built, shows a workman on top of the new building, laying the struts which would support the roof.

Our final photo of the Castle area, also taken from the mound of Clifford's Tower, shows the view eastward across the Castle car park to the River Foss. There's no date, but judging by the cars and coaches, it looks as though it may have been taken in the 1960s. Three coaches stand almost exactly where, today, the pop-up Rose Theatre is bringing Shakespeare to York...

We also have two old photos of the White Swan hotel on Piccadilly. One, taken in 1910, shows a large charabanc drawn up outside the hotel, ready to take day-trippers for a jaunt into the countryside. The second, taken in 1923, shows the hotel itself, with the 'Popular Bar' on the corner.

Stephen Lewis

Memories of a Roman sewer

Reader Peter Boulton got in touch about the photograph of a Roman sewer discovered in 1972 that we carried in Yesterday Once More a couple of weeks ago.

Mr Boulton's late father Harry was Lord Mayor of York from 1972-1973, and after the sewer had been discovered he and the then Archbishop of York Donald Coggan were invited to look around it. "They both had a bit of difficulty getting out after having had a good lunch before they entered!" Peter recalls. "I remember it well. It caused much mirth at the time, and ribbing, blaming the second helpings of apple pie!"

Peter 's funniest memory about his dad's year as Lord Mayor, however, was from the time a hearse was parked in the Guildhall yard one Friday evening.

"Someone rang The Press and somehow a piece was in about it on Saturday- it was thought the Lord Mayor may have died!" he says.

"Dad read it laughing so much and rang the news desk up on Monday saying he was very much alive!"

The Press would never make such a mistake today, of course...