Time for a bit of gentle nostalgia …
Going back to those long-ago days of … the late 20th century. And the shops that then made up York’s city centre ‘retail offer’, via this interesting plan I found recently.
The plan records part of the city centre as I knew it, as many of us knew it. Above, Coney Street — generally seen as York’s main shopping street (or it was …) — and the area around it. It has many of the familiar high street shops, some names still part of our city centre, some not. BHS has gone, Woolworths has gone, Boots has since moved into the old Woolworths store. Around those large stores are many smaller retail units, many on the long thin plots stretching back to the river.
In the bottom right, a building that at the time was under alteration, to be Yates. Close by, in one of the small units near the steps up from the narrow lane I’ve written about before is Riverside Records (previously Songs and Stories, and mentioned on that earlier page).
The plan is from a 1996 planning application for the Davygate Centre site, as it was then. Hard to tell if it was put together in 1996 or some time before that. The Davygate Centre is marked in red and thick black outline on this section below.
The Davygate Centre is no longer part of York’s shopping scene, but perhaps the image above provokes memories of shopping there, following its covered route from Davygate to New Street, or vice versa.
I think many people have fond memories of it. I don’t remember it too well, but it appears to have had a good selection of shops, including a computer shop, menswear stores Precinct and Traffic, a wool shop, Gillies Fabrics, a model shop, a camping and outdoor store, a hairdresser. It also had a shop called Weigh Out, which sounds like it sold foods loose, perhaps you could take your own container to be refilled? Anyone remember? (An idea that’s becoming more popular again, it seems.)
Also shown on the above plan is Athena, on nearby Feasegate. A place I do remember spending a lot of time in, coveting various posters, back in the 80s.
The plan also shows the area around St Sampson’s Square.
Brown’s department store is the most obvious retail presence, and it’s still there, though so much around it has changed.
I’ve been trying to write some thoughts and observations on this area for some time, but it all got a bit long-winded, and needs some editing down. Clearly there are concerns over the changes in our town centres. Coney Street is a particularly interesting example of those changes. More on that story later.
For now, I hope this reminder of York’s late 20th century city centre shops is of interest to you, dear reader. (I used to use the phrase ‘dear readers’, but as the gaps between recent writings on here have been quite long recently I think there may only be one reader of it to address, the rest of the readers having drifted away to something more regularly written.)
I’d like to credit the creator of this plan, but there was no indication of who had put it together. It can be found within the planning statement (PDF) for application ref 16/02639/FUL, relating to 11 New Street.
. . . . .
Time for a cuppa, and a look at my half-written things on Coney Street, to see if I can turn them into something succinct and readable. If, dear reader, you’d like to support this resident’s record of York and its changes then virtual coffees are helping to power its pages. Thank you.