Tuesday, June 15, 2004

100 years ago: Mudlarking was a popular exercise at present amongst the youngsters of York, and it provided them with a chance to break down any social barriers that may ordinarily exist. Immaculate collars and well-polished boots provided no bar for lads, as columnist TT commented: "No matter how dressed or to what 'station' (good word 'station' - there are so many thousands of degrees in this great world of ours) in life their parents may belong, are pretty much all the same. It is only when they grow older - I would that I could think, "and wiser" - that they begin to put fences round themselves and stick up notices to 'keep off the grass'. At present, the slowness of the water in the Ouse and the Foss appeals to all of them equally." TT put down the attraction to the strangeness of seeing laid bare that which has always been covered, and to be able to walk and poke about where ten or 12 feet of water, more or less murky, had previously shut out investigation.

50 years ago: Anyone walking along Station Road the previous week would have seen men hard at work on a carpet bed design of St Mary's Abbey in the moat. The design, which was copied from a Yorkshire Evening Press photograph and was made up of 1,500 carpet bedding plants, had to be completed in time for the Festival. Measuring about 22ft by 15ft, the design was expected to last until the frost came, and the York Parks Superintendent said it would get better and better as the year went on. The grey which was the most prominent colour in the design was formed by antenara tomemtosum, better known as "cat's ear".

25 years ago: One of the features of York's skyline could be seen in all its glory now the scaffolding which surrounded it had been removed. The weather vane on top of BR's Eastern Region headquarters had been regilded by York Civic Trust and so the representation of a North Eastern Region Class S 4-6-0 steam locomotive once more shone out above the city. It was the third regilding as part of a new initiative of York Civic Trust, which was already responsible for similar work done at St Mary's Church on Castlegate and York Law Courts.

Updated: 08:48 Tuesday, June 15, 2004