Then and Now Take Two – Heslington Village Main Street

This is a regular series of blogs about photographs of the same place taken years apart. The first of the posts in this series was of a council building in Manchester. I always thought I should give then and now photographs a go. However what I have started to notice is that I have been doing Then and Now photographs unintentionally over the years and have been taking photographs of the same thing or place from the same view or perspective years apart. Now this has come to my attention I have started to intentionally take photographs of the same place.

York is a place I have visited and lived in over the last forty five years. I first went to York on a school trip in 1979 and we did lots of different things. We went to the Railway Museum, the Castle Museum, went up Clifford’s Tower. We visited Mother Shipton’s Cave and Fountain’s Abbey. I made a return visit to York in the summer of 1987 when we had some Yugoslavian Scouts over.

In October 1987 I studied Economics at York University for three years.

I made a return visit to York in July 1993, I stayed on campus and did various things including a return visit to Fountains Abbey.

It was quite a few years later before I visited again, and this time it was a fleeting visit to the university in March 2006 for a meeting. I had flown up to Leeds and hired a car to drive to York and then drove back, all in the one day.

I also was there for a mobile learning workshop in April 2009, and stayed at the hotel by the Railway Station. We did a family holiday to York in March 2013.

It was on the March 2006 trip that I drove into Heslington Village next to the university and took this photograph of Heslington Main Street with a Sony DSC P200 digital camera.

On a return visit to York in September 2023 I took the opportunity to retake the photograph, this time with an iPhone 13.

Apart from some greenery not much has changed. However in the 2006 photograph in the background are two bank branches next to the Post Office. In 2023 the Post Office is still there, but both bank branches have closed and are now empty.

I also took this view in March 2006 from pretty much the same vanatge point.

So I took it again in September 2023.

Again not much has changed, well apart from the greenery on the house.

Grease Lightning…

Grease Lightning…

The photograph is from the 1988 production of Grease at the University of York, the car nearly did drive off the stage…

It was a nightmare getting the car, a fantastic red Triumph Herald,  on stage, as tit had to be manhandled up the stairs to the first floor where the stage was. The engine luckily had been removed.

On the first night during the Grease Lightning song, the car was pushed from the back of the stage to the front, at which point the bloke driving the car couldn’t see the edge of the stage and nearly “drove” into the orchestra pit! I don’t think the audience noted, but you could tell the orchestra did, as the music went off key ever so slightly, as some of the musicians got scared of getting crushed!

I wasn’t in the production, something to do with the fact I couldn’t sing or act… however I was part of the team that sold tickets and managed the event on the days the musical was staged, so I got to see it every night it was on.

Nearly thirty years later, your mind will recall things slightly differently to the way that it happened, my memory recalls the performance as been very professional and really good. Great music, wonderful singing and a memorable performance.

Sadly I have no memory for names, so couldn’t tell you who is in the picture.

I remember you…

York University

Reading a tweet from that Mark Power returning to a conference venue yesterday.

Lofl! The barman at the venue remembered me from last time. November 2010! :)

I was reminded of a similar incident that happened to myself, and as the story was going to be a lot longer than 140 characters decided to write this on the blog rather than filling my Twitter stream with this story.

I went to the University of York to do my degree and those that know York will know that it is a collegiate university made up of individual colleges. Now they were never colleges in the vein that Cambridge and Oxford had colleges, much more a pale imitation. However when I was there each college did have it’s own bar! So though other universities had big Student Unions with a single bar, York had no big Student Union building, but we did have seven bars on campus.

My college was Langwith and the two Ethels that ran the bar back in the 1980s certainly kept us in check. Though I did go to other college bars, I usually ended up in the Langwith bar.

Once I left York, I left the area so didn’t go back to the city and certainly didn’t frequent the bars.

Just under ten years later, following a mailing from York, knowing that I could have cheap accommodation at the university as I was a graduate. I phoned the accommodation office and booked a couple of nights to have a break in the city. As it was the summer break they put me in Goodricke college. Goodricke was the home of the student union and the Rag, so I knew it quite well. It was also the closest college to my final year accommodation.

Though a different college to my own, Goodricke was similar in style to Langwith in terms of build and rooms. It was slightly weird staying again in student accommodation, but it was cheap.

One evening I decided that I would go to the bar, the only bar open on the campus was Goodricke, so off I went for a beer.

So there I was just under ten years since I left the university, in a bar that I did know, but had spent more time at another on campus… and the barmaid recognised me!

It wasn’t my regular university drinking hole, wasn’t my college… and the bar staff recognised me from ten years ago.

Five years later I was vindicated slightly, when at a Library event in London, run by JISC, I started chatting with some Library staff from the University of York and they recognised me too!