CAN you remember the first time you had a Big Mac or a Thick Shake?

McDonald's arrived in the UK with a bang in the 1970s and by the 1980s it had revolutionised the fast food industry.

It opened its first York restaurant in 1986 in Blake Street - in the former site of the Half Moon pub.

York Press: The Half Moon, Blake Street, YorkThe Half Moon, Blake Street, York

We've gone through our archives to take you right back to that date - and beyond - to serve you up a tasty meal of McDonald's nostalgia.

Several of our photos date from 1986 when the restaurant first opened and show smiling staff tucking into burgers and take-away drinks.

One photo shows Ronald McDonald, the clown well-known to youngsters at the time through TV ads, dropping in on the York restaurant during a surprise visit in 1987.

It was part of a nationwide tour by Ronald - who was visiting every McDonald's restaurant in the country.

York Press: Ronald McDonald visits the Blake Street McDonald's in 1987Ronald McDonald visits the Blake Street McDonald's in 1987

In York, he was pictured with Natasha Clark, aged six, her brother Craig, aged four, Samita Moolani, aged two, and Namita Moolani, aged nine.

On a less happy note, our photo from 1991 shows a window cleaner removing anti-war slogans daubed on McDonald's windows in 1991 as part of protest action against the Gulf War.

York Press: McDonald's in York - cleaning off the No War graffiti McDonald's in York - cleaning off the No War graffiti

All the doors of the Blake Street restaurant had also been glued shut. Protesters also attacked York Crown Court where "No Gulf War" was sprayed over the building.

We also have a dramatic photo of a fire crew attending to a fire at the building in 2001.

York Press: Fire at McDonald's in Blake Street, YorkFire at McDonald's in Blake Street, York


McDonald's time line:

1974: The first restaurant opened in Woolwich, south east London in October.

1975: The first advertisement appeared on UK cinema screens.

1976: The first TV advertisement was broadcast.

1982: Breakfast was introduced to the menu. The head office was relocated to its current site at East Finchley, north London.

1984: Chicken McNuggets were introduced to the menu.

1986: Drive-thru restaurants opened and Happy Meals were introduced.

2000: The McFlurry ice-cream dessert was launched

2017: McDonald's announces trials of McDelivery and also begins rapid rollout of click-and-collect app.


We hope you enjoy looking at these photos. If you have some of McDonald's over the years, please share them with us via the Send Now button below.

And why not join us on our Facebook page Why We Love York - Memories, where we share our stories and snaps of York over the years.