I WAS surprised to see on the front page of Saturday’s Press a young Barry Grayson (51 at the time the photo was taken) in a piece remembering the York Minster fire of July 9, 1984.

Barry, who was the landlord of the York Arms in High Petergate for many years with his wife Marie, was woken in the early hours by the commotion outside.

He leaned out of the upstairs window and noticed the reflected glow on the buildings and windows across the street.

Quickly dressing, he rushed to the corner of Duncombe Place then, realising the magnitude of the situation, rushed home and collected two cameras, one with black and white film, the other with colour. The rest is history, with many fine pictures taken.

Barry and Marie were very forward looking with the pub trade, making the York Arms one of the first non-smoking pubs in York. Although he subsequently had to return it to a smoking pub, a later idea of allowing openly gay people in proved a resounding success.

At 91 years old, Barry is still going strong; I speak to him most days as I pass my papers on for him to read.

DM Deamer, Penleys Grove Street, Monkgate, York


York looks disgraceful

At the moment York looks disgraceful.

Rewilding is good but has to be done properly. York council has no idea.

There is dog poo in the long grass because people can’t clean it up properly. The weeds look awful and the whole place looks a mess.

The council are using rewilding - as they used ‘no mow May’ as an excuse to do nothing. So many people complaining, so many tourists disappointed.

Karen Hayhurst, Ancress Walk, York