York Walks /4

More bits of Clifton

Photographed on 24 October 2004

Former Clifton cinema, now Clifton Bingo


Illuminated sign, Clifton Bingo

Clifton's old cinema. It has, like so many others, been converted for use as a Bingo Hall. There's another former cinema in Acomb, also now used for other purposes. It makes you realise how popular these places used to be in the first half of the 20th century, as not only did our city centre have a fair number of cinemas, but they were also built in outlying areas to serve smaller local communities.

Wall art, Clifton

The most remarkable thing about the cinema is the artwork on the wall alongside it. I took photos of the previous artwork when I first documented Bits of Clifton in York Walks /3, but since then it's been redone, with even more striking images. These are so amazing that they deserve a page of their own: see Clifton wall art.

St Peter's School, Clifton   St Peter's school, bridge over Clifton

On the other side of the road, the older buildings of St Peter's School (above, left). This part of the school was built in the late 1830s, though it gives the impression of being much older. In his book on the buildings of York, Patrick Nuttgens refers to this style as "cardboard gothic". Over the years the school has expanded and added newer buildings. Perhaps most striking of the additions is the footbridge across the road of Clifton, which allows pupils to cross the road without risking being run over. It's a rather attractive structure.

St Peter's School has remained in Clifton for many years, and gone from strength to strength. Other things haven't lasted as well. I'd forgotten that the fishmonger Cross of York used to have a shop in Clifton, near the green, until I noticed that their sign remains still above an archway alongside the shop they used to occupy. It's now a betting shop.

  Old metal sign – Cross of York
Clifton Green  

Still there, and a beautiful green oasis, despite the traffic on all sides, is Clifton Green, with its white fences, trees, seats and horse trough. For a photo of the horse trough and other images of this area see York Walks /3: Bits of Clifton.