Wednesday, 20 July 2011

York Castle Museum.

Castle Museum York.Castle Museum York.

Warringtons Victorian carousel.Warringtons Victorian Carousel in front of Castle Museum.

Summer! Who are they trying to kid. Our relatives in New Zealand are getting better weather than us and they are into Winter. Anyway we headed back into York on the bus again under blue skies but the weather forecast was for heavy rain and hail. Well there was no sign or hint of this as we arrived back in the city.

Armourment through the ages.Armourment through the ages.

A quick change of bus to take us to the York Castle Museum (as recommended by Lesley on Nb Caxton) and the sun was still shining. We entered the museum about 10.45am and became thoroughly engrossed with the Prison side of the Castle first. Prisoners in this day and age have nothing to complain about when you read how they were dealt with back in the 18th and 19th centuries. The only way to get fair treatment was to bribe the Gaoler if you had the means to do so.

Castle Museum, The Sixties display.Castle Museum, The Sixties display.

Castle Museum, The Sixties displayThe mantra of the Sixties. “Love”

It was about 12.30 when we thought that we had better find somewhere to have our picnic lunch. As we arrived back at the main entrance we found to our horror that it was pouring with rain and there was indeed hail sliding down the windows. It was at this point we realised that we had only done half of the museum as we hadn’t visited the Victorian section. This covered life over the last 200 years.

A 1950's style lounge. Castle Museum, York.A 1950's style lounge. Castle Museum, York.

Scene's around York.Museum Gardens in York

With the manufacturing of chocolate here in York being a big source of employment, the names of Rowntree and Terry have a long history in the city. It’s amazing that so many historic families such as these were Quakers. The Rowntrees’ especially were compassionate people who put their heart and soul into becoming fair employers and bringing about the welfare state we all take for granted these days. One thing I learnt was that George Cadbury, the founder of Cadbury Chocolate was an apprentice for two years to Joseph Rowntree Senior in his Grocery store. During the Irish Potato famine of 1845 Joseph Junior set up a soup kitchen to feed Irish refugees who had fled Ireland to York.

Scene's along the River Ouse. The millenium bridge which wasn't completed until 2001.The Millenium Bridge across the River Ouse which wasn't completed until 2001.

Realising that only one man in five and one woman in three couldn’t read and write, Joseph and his two brothers set about adult education in the back of their shop in their spare time after a long day at work. Joseph was also responsible for setting up a library for his staff and later with the help of his son Seebohm set up York City Library which was opened by his adversary, Sir Joseph Terry of Terrys’ chocolate fame. To this day the Rowntree family story continues with the Rowntree Society which is like a family tree linking everybody with York.

National Railway Museum road train.National Railway Museum road train spotted today.

Like other famous people such as Isambard Brunel, Robert and George Stephenson, Josiah Wedgewood, Titus Salt, James Watt, Thomas Telford and James Brindley, many were Quakers but all were men well ahead of their time.

Mares and foals at Beechwood Grange.Beechwood Grange Horse Stud where the Caravan Club site is in York

Another enjoyable hour and a half passed by quite rapidly but it was time to head back into town for our bus home. We caught the tour bus outside the museum which got us back as far as the City Art Gallery when we thought that we had better head off on foot as we were unsure that the tour bus would get us to our destination in time. As we crossed the city there were occasional showers but nothing like earlier. It turned out our bus was running late due to an accident and atrocious weather but at least we wouldn’t have as far to walk back to camp as we had done yesterday. We had no sooner got back to the motorhome when the skies opened up once more and we were deluged with pouring rain for over an hour. Needless to say the camp is suffering with a great deal of flooding.  We managed to get the laundry washed and dried between heavy showers and walked all around the camp to the laundry to avoid the flooded areas.  There is more torrential rain forecast this evening and overnight.  Hopefully we wont need to swim.

1 comment:

Lesley NB Caxton said...

Did you enjoy the Castle Museum then?
What is your intinery now as August is getting so close?