It was Twenty Years Ago Today …

Photo of a red phone box

Old technology, from the old days … (Marygate, Jan 2004)

After a longer than usual break in adding anything to these pages – over 18 months – I thought I should get around to some kind of update, and it made sense to get around to doing that today, as it was twenty years ago today, 8 January 2004, that I went out for a short walk towards the city centre, in the last light of that day, with my first digital camera. That was the start of what became York Walks, then York Stories. I wrote a piece about this ten years ago today, on the tenth anniversary.

York Walks/York Stories was a project I found fascinating, and rewarding on many levels. Including in that it got me out walking a lot, which is of course good for health, including our mental health. Putting the website pages together, text and photographs, was time-consuming, but I felt inspired to carry on, and particularly so when I got so many emails from people who were enjoying reading the pages.

For a few years, particularly from late 2011 until late 2014, this site was a busy place I was able to put a lot of time and enthusiasm into, and always appreciated comments and contributions adding to this record of York and its changes.

Eventually, of course, the postings became less frequent, as it can be difficult to retain enthusiasm for such a long-running project, and to find time for it and retain interest in it as changes happen in life and there are other things more important to focus on. Like losing parents, as I have in recent years, which brings a different perspective.

There have been gaps before, and some of them have been quite lengthy, and they became more frequent. Most recently, additions to these pages stopped for more than 18 months. This followed the death of my Mum in June 2022. Mum was 90 and had been having health problems for quite some time.

Since then I’ve been focused on other things, and haven’t been able to write, haven’t wanted to, about York or anything much else. I’ve been coming to terms with many changes of recent years on a personal level, rather than changes in York. I look at the local news websites every day, but beyond that haven’t felt any engagement.

Now, however, I find I start this new year feeling that I perhaps should return to my old stomping ground, make time again for local walks in and around the city, again take note of the changes. Mainly because of this rather significant anniversary – 20 years. Also because I realise that there are areas of York I haven’t been to for a few years. Probably most areas of York, in fact. I’m familiar with the changes in my area, but haven’t been able to keep up with the rest.

I may revisit the places I took photos of back in 2004, or some of them. Whether I’ll want to post photos online and write about them I don’t know. I’ve spent a lot of time over many years in front of computer screens, and the kind of blogging activity I spent a lot of time on doesn’t have the appeal now that it did. I don’t want to be too online too much of the time, and I don’t want to spend time on social media.

But, I recognise that I have a large archive of images spanning 20 years, and in early 2022 I started to compile an ebook based on them. I might continue with that, and might add a few items from it here. Or perhaps walk along the bar walls from Bootham Bar to Monk Bar, as I did back in 2004, and see where that leads.

Today, I had thought about revisiting Marygate, but having done that on the tenth anniversary, and in recognition that there haven’t been any hugely significant changes down there, as far as I know, it didn’t seem like a good idea after all. Added to that, it’s not a sunny day, it’s cold and overcast and miserable. I usually avoided photography-based York walks on days like that even when I was all those years younger, so thought I’d avoid it today too.

There may be some additions in due course, if it’s a sunny day and I feel like a local wander. In the meantime, just want to say how much I’ve appreciated hearing from so many people via the comments, and email, over the years. And I also appreciate, and will never forget, that in a particularly difficult time – the year of that tenth anniversary – financial contributions helped it all stay afloat, when it looked like it wouldn’t.

More later perhaps. For now, all the best, dear readers, and a happy new year.

About Lisa @YorkStories

Lisa @YorkStories is the creator, administrator, and writer of content on She can be contacted on this link or via Twitter, @YorkStories
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  1. Great photo; I love old telephone boxes!

  2. Nice to see you active again!

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