Today’s adventures took us to 2000-year old York. This city was incredible; rich in history dating back to The Romans, The Saxons and The Vikings. York is renowned as an archaeological treasure trove and boasts the most intricate medieval architecture.
We had planned to play as a band in York, alongside the impressive Minster, however our plans unfortunately fell through due to morning and afternoon commitments at the Minster. This would have been the most beautiful setting for an afternoon playout. Here are some of the things we got up to instead……..
Bonnie, Robbie, Dave and Barney enjoyed a private boat ride along the river and Robbie then participated in throwing axes at a street performer who was blindfolded on a unicycle. Nice work Rob; an important life skill.
The Ghost Hunters (Row, Leon, Brandon, Daryl, Sue, Alan, Debbie & Karen) dined at the 600-year old Black Swan Inn in York; an old Inn that is said to be visited by a number of ghosts including a man who appears to be waiting for someone, a woman in a long white dress staring at the fire place, and rather disconcertingly, a pair of man’s legs seen wandering around the staff quarters and descending the staircase. Karen tried out the 4-poster bed here, and all were fascinated by the secret tunnel leading from the bedroom towards the church.
Wally the Wall Climber and crew took in all the sights from up high on the wall and then shopped until Wally dropped. Phil and Lee enjoyed wandering the beautiful streets of York and then had a proper wine with some proper Yorkshiremen who made Yorkshire puddings so big that you had to climb into the oven to eat them. Phil burnt all his hair off. Chloe and Brenda enjoyed their Yorkshire pudding on the coach and laughed about seeing ‘Kinky Donuts’. They had visited the National Railway Museum and taken a ride on the railway bus.
Jeff and many others were hissed at by geese. As Nicole comically noted in her FB post, ‘Spent the day in York! What a cute little town. So much shopping, and food shops everywhere. And geese! And geese poop. Everywhere.’ William went to visit Clifford in his Tower (meanwhile Lee had almost fallen from Clifford’s wall) and then visited the market in the Shambles. He also visited the National Railway Museum and got hissed at by geese. Rog and Shirley visited Clifford and got hissed at by geese and then enjoyed walking along the wall before getting lost in the Shambles.
Jacqui Ingram visited the train museum, the Viking Museum and the many shops, and thought that the hop-on, hop-off bus was just awesome. Jacqui overheard some Americans commenting that, ‘Jeeps would be better to ‘do the streets’ in rather than BMWs, minis and Bentleys.’ Overrated. I’d vote for a bicycle. Bec and Gabi strolled through the Shambles and enjoyed the craft shop ‘The Ramshambles’, the teddy bear shop, the antique book stores, the Castle Museum and the ‘Monk Bar Chocolatiers of York’. Gabi was mistaken for a local and was asked for directions.
Kim and Nelson enjoyed game pie (probably the aforementioned annoying geese) and spent time in the lovely wool shop. They also listened to the Minster organist play almost as well as Woodsy back at home. Nelson was seen celeb-spotting for ‘Songs of Praise’ stars. He loves ‘Songs of Praise’. How exciting to be in York on a Sunday Nels.
Jennie and Neil visited the ‘Yorkshire Air Museum’, which was one of a number of WW2 RAF bases that Australian aircrew flew out of in heavy bombers. The Australian aircrews were working within the English squadrons. Many airmen were killed in these battles in Europe. The museum provided lots of information about the Australians, the Free-French, the English and the Canadians, and the background music of wartime tunes provided a nostalgic and haunting atmosphere. Whilst being driven around by friendly taxi-driver Phil, they also spotted some molehills.
Grannymum, Kathy and Kerrie enjoyed a ride on the beautiful carousel and had ice-cream (which Brad and Kerrie, sick of being adults, shoved in each others’ faces), and then their family met up with granddaughter/niece Adelaide who is working in an English boarding school for 12 months. Brad and Kathy reported that the Newgate Coffee Bar serves the best coffee in England. Kez and Jez walked along the wall and particularly enjoyed looking in to the beautiful backyards below.
Monique and Tom loved the York music store and Ali bought a new hat (apparently you can leave it on Ali). Phil’s shoes fell apart after 20 years so he had to buy a new pair, and many of us were almost shot by a Storm Trooper in the street. Alex, Lachlan and Heath found a lovely venue and listened to a jazz trio, and then Heath and Lachy found some self-cleaning toilets. Wow. Lachlan purchased a mini London taxi and a mini Mini Cooper and a cool pencil with the Union Jack on it. Alex and the boys were later found heading for the corch in the wrong direction and then had to pay 40p to use the carpark loos.
Barb, Terry, Harry, Elsie and Tracy visited Betty’s famous Teahouse and enjoyed a scrumptious morning tea in celebration of Barb and Terry’s 50th wedding anniversary (celebrations have now been going for 3 days.) They then took a ride on the hop-on, hop-off bus and listened to the tour guide tell the fascinating history of York. A quick stroll through the Shambles led to Barb having heart palpitations when she spotted an amazing wool store, and Terry having heart palpitations when he realized that Barb might be lost in the store forever. This crew also searched for the Grand Old Duke, to no avail.
Bev told a man in York that she was cold and he offered her a cuddle (gotta keep a twinkle in your wrinkle, Bev) and then met some people from the Bristol Band who had watched us in the Whit Friday comps and thought we were great. Deb was worried about getting Alan and her own tour jackets muddled up, until Bonnie reminded her that our names are embroidered on the left breast of the jackets. Others kept warm in the many coffee and tea shops and bars throughout this beautiful city.
The long coach trip back to Manchester gave us an opportunity to reflect on some more famous quotes and incidents from our travels, all innocent of course:
- ‘Have we got time for a quickie, do you think?’ (Hilly to Barney, regarding an intended puff of fresh air outside).
- Karen: ‘It’s going down Roger. It’s very limp.’ Roger: ‘It always does that.’ (Referring to the blow-up Aussie boppers used by supporters on Whit Friday).
- ‘This is a corch, not a boos.’ (Ryan, one of our corch drivers to and from London).
- ‘We haven’t packed the timpanis. Oh wait, it’s a march.’ (Good work, Tom).
- ‘Tracy, you’ve got nice headlights.’ (Sue Hill, referring to Tracy’s lyre lights for night marching).
- Bonnie: ‘Mine’s hotter than yours.’ Jacqui: ‘Oh, but I’ve been playing with mine a fair bit so it’s cooled down.’ (Referring to our life-saving pocket hand warmers).
- ‘How do they know Waltzing Matilda?’ (Overheard at Whit Friday).
- ‘Are they from South Africa? Oh, I thought they were from NZ.’ (Also overheard at Whit Friday).
- ‘Riawena’s lip gloss has gone in her hole and you can feel it but you can’t get it out. I even tried tipping it upside down.’ (Remove foot from mouth, Leon).
- Craig: ‘Do you want to sit on that pole Sue?’ (Referring to an awkwardly placed pole near their dinner table). Upon telling this story to Tom, he then asked, ‘Did Tracy get hold of it?’, meaning of course, had I heard of the story for the blog yet.
- ‘Oh please, I’m eating…..’ (Niki Alexander’s response when hearing of her grandfather’s silver-haired fox stud stories.
- Leon and Craig also created havoc when they offered to play their [impersonated] didgeridoos for the ladies at Pemberton Band and the ladies were skeptical about where the didgeridoos might have been hidden. Many strange looks were exchanged in fear that something rude might be about to happen. When they heard the boys’ impersonations they were impressed and walked away practising.
Upon arrival back in Manchester, we had a van waiting to collect all instruments and half of the cases to take them straight through to France. Alan provided the good and bad news – tomorrow we are going to France and Belgium, but the bad news: we will be packing the corch at 3.30am for a 4am departure. Noice. Early to bed for most.
In exciting news, we have made 92 new friends on Facebook this week. We have also had almost one thousands visitors to our blog. Thank you everyone! Apologies for the delay in these posts – our Wi-Fi access has been incredibly poor over the past few days.