A few weeks ago on these pages we reproduced, from the book The Streets of York, a watercolour showing the gateway on Micklegate that once led through to Holy Trinity Priory, the great medieval monastic house of God that stood behind Micklegate until it fell victim to the dissolution of the monasteries.

The gateway, in that watercolour, was partly bricked up but still quite elegant. It has 'long since been demolished, although we are not quite sure when', we wrote.

Step forward Peter Byrne. Mr Byrne, 79, who lives in Acomb, has some family heirlooms. Among them is a charcoal sketch showing that same gateway. Mr Byrne's picture was quite a bit more recent - it was made, he says, in about 1905, by a Mr Ernest Stanley Kay, his great uncle. So it suggests that the gateway still stood as recently as that. it was subsequently knocked through tio make the entrance into Priory Street.

Mt Byrne also has a second sketch of the gateway made by his great uncle - this time from 'inside'. It reveals that by about 1905 (and possibly long before), the gatehouse had been converted into a ramshackle cottage. a set of wooden stairs run up one side, and there is a verandah running along the top, over the archway itself. It probably wouldn't have passed today's health and safety standards, Mr Byrne admits - but it was probably a fairly snug little home for all that, as homes of the day went.

The two charcoal drawings were framed by another member of Mr Byrne's distant family - a John Richard Swales. Mr Swales was married to one of the Kay sisters, and he kept a picture framer's and fine art dealer's business on Blossom Street, next to the former Windmill Inn. The building was knocked down in about 1909 for the widening of Queen Street, but Mr Byrne has a photo, which he shared with The Press...

Stephen Lewis

York in a frenzy over Royal visit

ON the morning of July 7, 1948, York was in something of a frenzy. At 10.20am a special train was due to arrive at York Station carrying none other than the King, George VI, his wife, Queen Elizabeth (known to the nation later as the Queen Mother), and their second daughter, Princess Margaret.

The Royal party were to spend a whole day in the city, visiting the Castle Museum, dropping in to the Mansion House for refreshments, then heading for Knavesmire for the aptly-named Royal Show, before leaving from the station again at 5pm.

We know all this from a souvenir programme for the day, which was kept as a family heirloom for more than 70 years by Phillip Fowler. It was presented to The Press by Mr Fowler's wife Ena, who was going through her husband's things after he sadly died earlier this year.

"Visit of Their Majesties King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and HRH Princess Margaret," says the wording on the cover.

Inside, the programme set out what was in stall for the Royal party that day. It was all highly choreographed, not to say regimented.

"10.35: Arrival at the Castle Museum," the programme says. "The Royal Party will... inspect the Museum, being conducted by the Chairman, the Trustee and the Curator, and accompanied by the Civic Party.

"11.10am: Their Majesties will leave the Museum and proceed via Tower Street, Clifford Street, Nessgate and Coney Street to the Mansion House.

"11.15: On arrival at the Mansion House the Royal party will be greeted by the Lord Mayor (Alderman Wm Dobbie) and Miss Joyce Dobbie will have the honour of offering a bouquet to Her Majesty The Queen.... After the presentation Their Majesties may inspect some of the Civic Plate and can, if desired, retire to the Drawing Room where refreshments will be available."

Reading those dry words, you can just picture the frenzy of bobbing, curtseying and fluttering that would have accompanied the visit - Miss Dobbie, presumably the Lord Mayor's daughter, must have been in quite a state.

Remarkably, we even have some pictures which have survived from the day. One shows the Royal party on the steps of the Mansion House, another the Queen emerging from the Castle Museum with her daughter behind her.

It all looks very much like a Royal visit today, except that the royal party has changed. And how like a younger version of her sister Princess Margaret looked...