(Please see King’s Square paving becomes a national concern for an update)
‘Paving, part 1′, what a title eh, with its tantalising suggestion that there may be a ‘Paving, part 2′ …
But don’t leave immediately as it is about The People’s Square, aka King’s Square. Which was from today to be reinvigorated, mainly by the replacement of its paving, with chunks of gold bullion judging by the cost. This work has now been delayed until September.
I’ve long been an admirer of a nice bit of quality paving, and after a recent exchange on Twitter I know that there are at least three of us. So I’ll press on, striding out across the stuff beneath our feet, worn smooth over the decades. Do join me.
Reflections on paving
‘The sinuous way the materials flow through from Newgate and the Shambles and into Kings Square is particularly pleasing, especially when it rains and the different materials catch the light.’
– said Janine Riley, CYC Conservation Architect, in consultation responses (PDF) to the proposals for King’s Square.
I’ve noticed the same thing, as recorded in this photo from a walk on a wet evening in 2007.
A major part of the planned ‘reinvigoration’ of King’s Square involves the replacement of its paving. Presumably including this bit. The more I think about it, the more this seems like a mistake, but then who am I to judge. Greater minds than mine have analysed the paving situation.
I doubt though that anything can look better than this, shining in the rain. And of course, this being England, we do have a lot of rain, so paving made beautiful by rain seems a good thing to have.
But then it’s not just about how things look, and perhaps some residents find this shiny surface not the friendliest to walk or wheel about on. If you find this to be the case, please add a comment.
When it’s not a wet day these stones look rather dull and lifeless. But still have that attractive curve, heading off around the front of the King’s Court buildings, into Newgate at one end, out onto Colliergate at the other. The tarmac patches are a recent addition, and were mentioned in a comment online a while back. This suggested what we’d all been thinking, that the repaving was going ahead whatever the consultation responses said, and that the stones and setts had just been patched up temporarily, awaiting the removal of the whole stretch.
The fact that this was mentioned at all suggests there are possibly four of us with an interest in paving.
Many places in York have been repaved with modern blocks, which don’t reflect the light, but seem to absorb it and kill it. If that’s what’s planned for here, then that makes no sense to me.
Hard to picture anything better than the characterful curve we have at present, smoothed by decades of residents’ feet and wheels crossing it on a rushed visit to the market, and by the footfall of leisurely meandering tourists. There are perhaps places smoother than other bits, where the tourists stand to take a photo of that picturesque building on the corner.
The line here goes swerving round King’s Court on in its sinuous way regardless of the places it passes, heading towards the market. The new reinvigorated paving might instead include a triangle pointing to the doorway of the Chocolate attraction.