Archive for york

Ecclesiastical public bars

Posted in DESIGN, Lancaster, LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA, PAST PLACES with tags , , , , , on July 5, 2010 by echostains

The Parish York

I first came across a church that had been turned into a public house a while ago when we went to York.  I loved it! (see ‘Throwing yourself on the mercy of the parish these days’……….post)   At first I felt a bit uncomfortable about the idea, – but the conversion was so tastefully done and it meant that the church was saved from perhaps demolition or a really drastic bad modernisation, so  I was very much inclined to approve of it.

The Friary Lancaster

On our trip to Lancaster we found yet another chapel that had been coverted into a pub.  The Friary, on Rosemary Lane has a completely different feel to the Parish in York.  The decor I suppose could be called Shabby Chic or Boho: some of the textiles and colours are not for the faint hearted, but there are original touches here and there.  The light fittings in particular are highly inovative, in the sense that they have been fashioned out of rather unusual recyclable materials.  An oil drum, for example, split in half and the inside encrusted with glitter hangs over a table illuminated by bare bulbs.

ten greenish bottles

A wire frame with hanging bottles provide another eye catching light arrangement.  What looks like part of a tyre, is fashioned to become another unusual lighting design.  Strange vinyl sofas with matching covered tables, interspersed with velveteen seating banquettes.  All this – and carpets, red snooker tables.

Footage and Firkin Manchester

This pub used to be owned by the Firkin group, who like to convert old buildings into pubs.  We have one in Manchester which used to be an old cinema – and it’s most interesting pub which still has the balcony.  In the Friary the real ale has gone from this pub now and it’s mainly for students and owned by the Scream group.

The Friary Lancaster

All in all, I did prefer the Parish in York, I thought the space better utilised.  Although the Friary is a good size too, the layout is a little too haphazard and the layout chaotic.  But  that’s probably part of its charm:)  I suppose it’s a sign of the times that the only time some people go into a church is to worship at the bar.  But at least these buildings are being put to use and they are attracting their own congregation.

Excellent Friary Church outer shot from here

A Collection of Time Travel experiences and ‘atmospheres’

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 9, 2010 by echostains

The Vikings make their presence known

I have always had a yearning to travel back in time.  I’ve had four of these experiences – well not actually going back in time, but pretty near.  The first one was years ago at the Jorvic Viking centre in York, where you travel in a car backwards in time and come out into a recreated Viking village, complete with all the sounds, sights and even the smells (including urine).  This has now changed and there is a different way to travel now, which I find disappointing – they should have left the experience alone in my opinion.

The house in the Rock

The second one was also in Yorkshire.  It was in a place called ‘House in the Rock’ in Knaresborough.  The owner Miss Nancy Buckle’s ancestor carved this house into rock in 1770 and generation after generation have lived in it.  Now that was like stepping back in time!  At the time we were shown around, the National Trust were doing their utmost to get their hands on the house  clean it up a bit and probably take the character away from what was/is  a family home. The place had a charm all of its own and I still can’t seem to find out if the Trust managed to get it.

House on the Strand

The third time I went back in time was when I read Daphne Du Maurier’s ‘House on the Strand’.  This is a strange book even for Du Maurier.  In brief: a man rents a remote house in Cornwall (of course) and agrees to be the guinea pig for a drug his biochemist friend has invented.  With its aid he goes back in time to the 14th Century where he has lots of adventures.  But each time he comes back reality blurs between the two worlds….  the book has intrigue and a very strange ending.

18 Folgate Street

The fourth time that I climbed into that time machine was last week when we visited Dennis Severs house, Folgate Street, Spitalfields, London.  I have always wanted to go to this house for years and have never quite got around to it – until last week.  We made an appointment and just went.  Dennis Severs, an American artist (b. 1948 -1999).  Severs moved to London and bought the run down house in 1979.   Folgate Street is very close to the Spitalfields market and at the time of purchase the area was more run down than it is now but attracting Bohemians and artists.

Dennis Severs House, one of the period bedrooms

Severs renovated and decorated each of the 10 rooms  in a different historical style, mostly from the 18th and 19th century creating ‘atmospheres’ and vignettes.  He did this on a budget of

£500!  I first encountered this man, years ago in a Period Living magazine and was flabbergasted at how clever, innovative and resourceful he was and longed to see his house.  Though he lived there himself, Severs invented an imaginary family to people his house,  and he based this family upon the Huguenot silk weavers who would  have lived in the area at that time.  He called them the Jarvis family – and they are still alive in the house.  Whenever you enter a room you feel they have been there before you and just left, leaving clues like a half eaten piece of buttered toast and an upset teacup behind them.  the rooms are like living paintings.  in fact one room is actually based on a Hogarth painting!

more period drama

The house is crammed full of Sever’s collections of memorabilia, plus china, vintage clothing, ephemera.  But these are not dry museum type collections, these ‘props’ are scattered everywhere, as if it’s been casually left that way, nothing is ‘posed’.  Clay pipes lay broken in a fireplace, valentines are wedged into the frames of mirrors, cobwebs hang from the torn and damp velvet four-poster hangings in the poorest room in the house – the attic, where no fire burns.  To get a better idea of the experience (though I urge you to go if you possibly can)  Here is a short video starring the house – and the late Dennis Severs himself:-

Jorvik Viking centre image  here

Read all about Thomas Hill, a linen weaver who built the House in the Rock  by his great great grand-daughter Nancy Buckle here.  We have quite a few pics of this house somewhere which I shall have to find.  This pic came from  here though

Dennis Severs House website recommended and read what people who have visited say here  Severs video from here

Unfortunately we were not allowed photographs in the house, so these images come from herehere and here

A postcard from Yorkshire

Posted in BRONTE BITES, PAST PLACES, YORK BREAK with tags , , , on May 4, 2010 by echostains

We’re always going off to Haworth, (famous for being the home of the Bronte family).  Nothing much changes in Haworth.  We’ve even stayed there a few times, at the bottom of the hill in a 16th century hotel called Haworth Old Hall.  One time, a bat flew in to the bedroom – so I bit it, and it soon flew away…I AM joking, but not about the bat visit.  Here’s a little slide show I’ve put together using some of our photo’s including York.  This time I have not overladen the slide show with images – so I’m hoping the page will load easier than last time 🙂

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Haworth Old Hall, read about it here

Window Shopping

Posted in DESIGN, WEIRD AND WACKY DESIGN, YORK BREAK with tags , , , , , on March 14, 2010 by echostains

On Stonegate

Shops spring up all the time in York – they come and they go.  It’s amazing what sort of shops make a go of it and others who you would think would be  popular just go out of business.  One of the most famous streets in York is Stonegate.  I love this street, not only has it got a great pub (Ye Olde Starre Inne), it also home to the haunted house (very strange place which I wrote about last year).

white stuff window

One of the shops which caught my eye is White Stuff.  This is a clothes shop.  The most interesting thing about this shop is that it has its own cinema! plus its own little bar.  Unfortunately I only found this out after looking for information.  I was very much  taken with the window display. 

Budgie detail

Budgies as a theme are I suppose unusual, but I just loved the way this display was done.   Large printed cardboard budgies with mirrors and millet and feathers all over the floor!

'Bend it like Peckham' window detail

They could have used sandpaper for the bottom of the ‘cage’ (window) but they had a much cleverer idea.  They put newspaper down.  It’s not any old newspaper though.  Someone has  gone to a lot of trouble to invent news stories and headlines featuring………. budgies!

bottle shop window

Here’s another shop that’s either sprung up lately – or we hadn’t noticed it.  This bottle shop is a veritable wonderland of beer.  I have never seen so many different beers under one roof before.   Not only is the window packed with them but there are two whole rooms of different bottles!

Little Bettys

Not a very good picture but, Little Betty’s window display on the same street also stood out.  Among the chocolate rabbits and easter eggs is a chocolate badger in milk and dark chocolate.  Makes a change from the usual bunnies.

mad March hares

Seeing that I have already featured March hares, white rabbits and Alice in Wonderland, I just had to get a picture of these prancing acrobatic ceramic hares frolicking in a shop window – delightful!

Bettys Cafe tearoom

White Stuff article

Legless fish and other food oddities

Posted in RANTINGS, WORDS AND COMMUNICATIONS, YORK BREAK with tags , , , , , on March 12, 2010 by echostains

Haworth Old Hall a lovely place to stay

I had a few nice meals whilst I was away.  One of them – a Venison Noisette in red wine, bacon, onion, mushroom and juniper (Haworth Old Hall) was absolutely delicious.  Another contender was something called Lamb Jennings – described as being slowly braised until it falls of the bone lamb, in rosemary and red wine.  But the thing that intrigued me and put me off a little and made me opt for the venison was not knowing what a Lamb Jennings actually was.  What I mean to say is – what part of a lamb is its Jennings?

Jennings ale

It turned out that I needn’t have worried.  The ‘Jennings’ referred to is actually the name of the ale (beer) it is infused with!  Why not say that?  It sounds delicious!

Pacific cod loin

Another food oddity I have noticed everywhere is ‘Cod Loins’.  I am at a loss with this.  How do fish have ‘loins’?  I can see how a loin or two can be taken from pork – an animal with four legs, but not a fish.

chicken McNuggets in 1997 packaging

My husband always asks what part of a chicken is it’s Mcnuggets?  Well what part of a chicken is it?  Has it seen a chicken?  The thing that has always put me off Kentucky Fried chicken is that some of it has no bone.  How and why does the bone jellify?   Sure, its artistic liscence to include ‘infuse’ or ‘on a bed’ or ‘wild’ rice/mushroom etc. Perhaps it’s just me, but I like to know what I’m eating (and which bit), 

pork cuts as I understand them

Haworth Old Hall where we stayed (home of the Lamb Jennings)

Pork prime cuts here

PS

My new poem on Bookstains is called Last Impression

Jorvic Calls

Posted in BRONTE BITES, LIVING IN THE PAST: NOSTALGIA, YORK BREAK with tags , , on March 11, 2010 by echostains

shambles york

I will be back by the time your read this post.  I have been away celebrating my birthday.  Where have I been?  Where do you think?  To one of my favorite cities ever York – that’s where!

Alice in wonderland

I never get sick of going to this place and we always eem to find new and exciting things to do.   I will be going to see the new Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland movie in 3D whilst I’m there…well I am back now but this post is scheduled and I haven’t been yet.  Confused?  You will be!  I’ve never seen a film in 3D before so I’m quite excitied.  Someone my husband knows said watching it in 3D was ‘better than real life!’  I thought all life was in 3D? lol!

Haworth Old Hall

Of course I have to spend one night in Haworth again….I think you know why.  As it was such a success last year, we are stopping at Haworth Old Hall and hope to have a super duper time.  We may even encounter the bat we saw last year!

Haworth Old Hall

PS

My new poem on Bookstains is called Last Impression

York Break: Haworth still Wuthering after all these years

Posted in BRONTE BITES, PAST PLACES, YORK BREAK with tags , , , , , , , on April 28, 2009 by echostains

haworth-parsonage-and-graveyard witmess to much grief

haworth-parsonage-and-graveyard witmess to much grief

On the way back from our York break, we called in at  Haworth, the Yorkshire village famous for it’s association with the Bronte’s. 

haworth-church-lasting-memorial

haworth-church-lasting-memorial

 There was a time when we used to go once or twice a year, but this was the first time we had been in 3 years.  Nothing had changed.  Perhaps a few new shops and one old favorite sadly, shutting down.

haworth-graveyard on a sunny day

haworth-graveyard on a sunny day

I decided to go in the Bronte Parsonage Museum.  Again, it was years since I had been inside and there were some changes.  More exhibits for a start!  I must have spent a good hour and half in there.

haworth-apothecary-window a wonderland of bygone products

haworth-apothecary-window a wonderland of bygone products

 

I am a huge Bronte fan.  My favorite Bronte’s are Charlotte and Branwell, though my favorite Bronte book is ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily.  Branwell Bronte fascinates me.  There are so many stories concerning him.  It seems the darker he is painted, the brighter his sisters shine……..suspiciously.

haworth-still-the-same

haworth-still-the-same

There were costumes in the museum, worn in the new productin of ‘Wuthering Heights’.  I only hope it’s nothing like the Keira Knightly ‘Pride and Prejudice’……  What a massive disappointment that was. The Bennett’s lived on what looked like a farm, Darcy was downright silly, and as for Wickham (‘who everyone praised to the sky’) and who plays an integral part in the ‘pride’ and ‘prejudice’ of Lizzie and Darcy – well, I think he was seen for approximately two minutes.  Why do they bother?  These type of stories cannot be improved on by sexing them up… when will they learn, it’s what is NOT shown, but which is imagined that has made these stories last so long.

lizzie-and-darcy the bbc version and in my opinion the very best

lizzie-and-darcy the bbc version and in my opinion the very best

 

More of my posts about my York break;

The Haunted House on Stonegate York

Here’s the rest of the journey

https://echostains.wordpress.com/2009/04/26/york-break-a-brief-summary/