FEARFUL to venture far in the monsoon, the Diary took a short tour of the Walmgate area yesterday.

The hammering rain did little to clean up the derelict INL Club on Speculation Street, the latest suggestion for our list of York eyesores.

Boarded up and covered in graffiti, it was nominated by local resident Barbara Pettitt.

It has been in this state since soon after the club closed in 2002. Residents have complained regularly, but to no avail.

Tourists walking the walls are hit square in the eye by this sorry wreck of recent history.

There is some progress to report, however.

The Diary tracked down the owner of the building, Kevin Mohan, who said work to demolish the building will begin in two to three weeks.

He said he had not been able to do anything earlier because he was awaiting planning permission then a report from City of York Council archaeologist John Oxley. An archaeological dig was completed there recently.

"We are working to build 28 flats there. In a year's time it should be something like," said Mr Mohan.

GOOD news from further along the street. Number 37 Walmgate, across Dennis Street from St Denys' Church, was once covered in graffiti and bill posters. The former house is now home to an electricity sub-station.

Recently it was thoroughly cleaned up in a joint York Pride effort undertaken by the council's street environment team and Northern Electric. It looks vastly improved.

Only one question: where has the street sign gone?

FINALLY from our Walmgate ramble, we dropped into the Age Concern charity shop. In the window is an official Wimbledon blazer. The Diary was told it hadn't been left by a disgruntled Tim Henman, but came instead from an anonymous donor.

The green blazer, "exclusively manufactured for Wood Harris by Brook Taverner", boasts the famous round logo from the world's greatest tennis championships on the pocket. Three buttons decorated by the crossed racquets symbol complete the look

Fitting a 40 inch chest, it is on sale for only £4, and is the perfect ironic garment for our soggy summer.

COUN Steve Galloway was wearing a suit in rather paler fabric for the City Screen launch of the blueprint for York's future.

Without Cars - sorry, Without Walls -was attended by more than 100 of the city's great and good.

After praising the determination of York residents, the council leader gained a laugh with the comment: "I am also grateful to the Evening Press, who are taking a short break from their campaign to have me strung up from the nearest parking meter to support the Community Pride campaign."

FOLLOWING the Diary story about a callous driver who mowed down goslings on Huntington Road, Pocklington resident Marie Hardcastle rings in with a more heartwarming tale.

She was returning, via Bridlington, from a trip to see the Queen Mary II off the Scarborough coast on Saturday, when she joined a queue of traffic.

At its head was a van driver for the firm Smallwood, based at Sutton-on-Derwent, who was patiently allowing a family of geese to make their way to Burton Agnes pond.

"I thought that was very nice of him," said Marie, who has also been a passenger on an East Yorkshire bus which stopped at Wilberfoss to allow ducks to cross.

Write to: The Diary, Chris Titley, The Evening Press, 76-86 Walmgate, York YO1 9YN

Email diary@ycp.co.uk

Telephone (01904) 653051 ext 337

Updated: 09:36 Friday, July 16, 2004