A few days ago a rather impressively swift dash across York meant I got to Micklegate for the start of this year’s Yule Riding — also known as Sheriff’s Riding, that’s what I called it last year when I wrote about it. As it doesn’t belong to the sheriff but is clearly a jolly thing open to everyone then Yule Riding is probably a better name.
Lovely to walk through York in the dark all following the York Waits, music playing. Seeing the traffic at the bottom of Micklegate being held back by a man holding a flaming torch while we all crossed the road was a special moment. Many special moments. A rather surreal one when we turned into the Shambles, passing a cluster of Harry Potter shops, the music rather drowned out by a loud unpleasant noise which I think may have been machines churning out a rather soapy looking substance, fake snow perhaps, which we waded through. It was like we were on a film set for a few seconds, bizarre. Then turned off into the relative calm of the market place, for one of the many proclamations. Then off again down Goodramgate to Monk Bar (pictured above). Then I did a short amateurish bit of wobbly video, at the end of Chapter House Street (it’s on Vimeo, on this link).
Regular readers will know that I’m not a fan of this time of the year and prefer to stay at home being quiet, not spoiling it for people who do enjoy it with my long miserable face and lack of festive cheer. So I haven’t seen York much and hadn’t really appreciated, until 21 December, the lovely Christmas lights. Clearly a lot of effort (and money) has gone into brightening the city with lights.
The Yule Riding procession visited Bootham Bar for another proclamation then headed back up Petergate, the music competing with the sound of the bells ringing at St Wilfred’s as we all crossed Duncombe Place. All festively jolly, even an old misery like me couldn’t fail to cheer up a bit.
St Helen’s Square looked rather splendid, as did the nearby streets.
And then today, Christmas Day, lovely sunshine for a time, and a rainbow over our lunchtime walk.
Hope everyone’s having a pleasant Christmastime.