York Walks /3

Changes . . .

Photographed July-Sept, 2004

There are changes taking place everywhere in this city. Change can of course be a good thing, though in some cases it's a bad thing, and sometimes we don't know straight away which it is. I'm just one person with a camera and a website, but I'm trying to track some of these changes, insignificant as they might be in the grand scale of things. And all the time I've been walking round I've had a song in my head, with the title "Changes" – not the one by Ozzy Osbourne, but a far better song, a bit older, by David Bowie: "I still don't know what I was waiting for – And my time was running wild – A million dead-end streets -"

(It felt like million streets, but none of them were dead end ones – I usually came out of them with at least one picture, even if it was just of an old weathered sign or a building site.)

House & Son, Blake Street – closing down

Photographed 14 August 2004

Sign for House and Son, Blake Street   Old characterful sign on House and Son door, Blake Street

House and Son have announced that they're to close down this year. As the sign above right shows, they're a long-established local business. I'd never really noticed just how full of character this old-fashioned sign on the door on Blake Street was, until I took more notice when I knew they were soon to leave the premises. The building itself won't go, but this local business that has been around for so long will be gone, and I thought that deserved a mention.

And elsewhere – opening up

'Construction area – No admission' – sign on hoarding, Low Petergate  

Elsewhere, the building boom continues. As I've been wandering around I've discovered a lot of building sites. I don't tend to take photographs of most of them, as obviously one building site looks very much like another, certainly in its early stages. Also the fact that they're occupied by men at work tends to make me a little nervous. But a few construction sites follow, just in case anyone's interested what's being built where.

Low Petergate

Photographed on 29 July & 1 August 2004

Low Petergate redevelopment   Ad for Low Petergate redevelopment, from hoarding

The old private girls' school here closed some years ago. The handsome doorway now peeks out from the scaffolding and sheeting covering the front of the main building, which is to be retained and redeveloped. Yes, no surprises, we see on the sign that this building and some adjoining ones are to be "stylish residential apartments". The advert on the hoarding made me laugh though, with its rather hopeful, slightly apologetic "some with parking". Parking being such a sought-after facility in this city that wasn't built for cars.

  View of building work, from Holy Trinity churchyard

Above, right, the building work can be seen from the churchyard of Holy Trinity Church, where the headstones appear to be standing watching the rebuilding at the back of the Low Petergate buildings.

Moss Street Depot

Photographed on 5 August 2004

Council sign on old rusty gates – Moss St depot  

I photographed this rather decrepit bent sign on these rusty gates on 5 August 2004. The gates were in a high wall around a rather jungle-like overgrown corner where Scarcroft Lane meets Moss Street. From the location, I guessed this was the Moss Street Depot. My friend who lives locally confirmed this, and he also alerted me to the fact that these gates, and the wall, and the greenery behind them had gone, and that building work had started. So I called back, one day in September on the way to York Races and noticed that it's a rather different scene, as pictured below.

Moss St depot site, 5 September 2004   Moss St depot site, 5 September 2004


Photographed on 15 August 2004

View of Spurriergate, 15 August 2004   Spurriergate building site detail

There didn't used to be as much light as this pouring into Spurriergate, and there won't be once the area on the left is rebuilt. At present there's an enormous gap in the buildings where an ugly row of shops was demolished this year, so the light streams in through the gap.

When I passed the site on the morning of 15 August the gates were open in the hoardings so I took the opportunity to take this photo of some rather attractively rusty pipes and other building-related items.

Related pages:

For photos from the other side of the building site, showing the frontage of the buildings on Spurriergate, see York Walks /2: Spurriergate and Peter Lane.

Behind the buildings on the right of the photo of Spurriergate, and continuing along behind the Coney Street buildings, is the river, with a couple of entrances to it from behind these buildings – see York Walks /3: Riverside – off Coney Street and Spurriergate.