HERE’S an extraordinary photograph: one which captures an extraordinary moment in York’s modern history.

The date was October 1986: and what you are looking at is the metal supports for the temporary roof installed following the devastating Minster fire of July 1984 finally being removed.

A 200ft crane was used to lift the two-and-a-half ton metal sections off one by one. In this photograph, workman Bill Fairweather appears perched high up on one of the sections, overseeing its removal.

Once the temporary roof was gone the Minster’s new roof was revealed for the first time. It wasn’t until a month or so after this photograph was taken, however, that the new roof was officially topped out. That ceremony was performed on November 28, 1986, by the Dean of York the Very Rev John Southgate, who climbed onto scaffolding high up on the Minster’s flank for the purpose.

Stephen Lewis