York Walks /4

Rawcliffe Meadows – revisited

Photographed on 31 October 2004

Exploring beyond the city walls – Chocolate and Chicory: York and beyond, by bicycle

From the flood bank, looking towards the city centre   Looking towards the back of Clifton Park with the old hospital chapel spire

For more information on the meadows, see the website for The Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows.

Just a brief visit, to capture some images of autumn trees around the Meadows. It was going to be a longer stay, with more photographs, but I got distracted on the way by the demolition of the laundry building at the old Clifton Hospital (which is adjacent to Rawcliffe Meadows), and when I got here, the light was getting low. But a few autumn photos, which can be compared with similar views from the summer months, in York Walks /3: Rawcliffe Meadows.

After the recent floods, flood water remains in the lower-lying areas (below).

Sunset in flood water, Rawcliffe Meadows   Flood water remains on the low-lying areas
Former chapel to Clifton Hospital, from Rawcliffe Meadows   Sugarbeet factory chimney, across Rawcliffe Meadows

This is a large expanse of open land, with no buildings to spoil the effect of all that green. On the periphery, two buildings do stand out on the horizon. On one side, the spire of the old Clifton hospital chapel (above, left).

Above right: I had to include this factory chimney against the sunset. I could smell the place earlier on in my walks today, when I was in Homestead Park, and it seems to go well with the other scents of autumn. Some local people hate it, but I think it's a great smell from the British Sugar factory.

I grew up in Acomb, near the factory, and remember how we used to find sugar beet sometimes on the side of the roads, where it had fallen off the lorries on their way to the factory. The sudden upturn in processing activity at certain times of year was referred to as a "campaign". And every autumn, that smell, distinctive and pungent, like bonfire smoke.

Update – 2006

Since this page was written, the closure of the sugar beet factory has been announced. A more recent walk in this area, including views of the factory, is included on this site – see Wanderings: sugar beet and Lammas Lands.