Wednesday, 22 October 2008

12 Shambles

I received an email recently from Gail's Man at Nottingham Daily Photo, telling me about his own connection with York.

He has roots here, right in the very heart of the town. His great-grandfather, William Riley, a chimney sweep, lived at number 12 the Shambles in the 1880s. And his uncle, William Everett, was born just round the corner, at 30 Little Shambles in 1898.

Today, I went to investigate 12 the Shambles, pictured above. One of the street's characterful medieval buildings, it is now a sweet shop, and the manageress was happy for me to have a look round and take some photos - and interested in the story of the building's one time inhabitant!

Inside it looks every part the olde worlde shop - but it would of course, like most of the shops in the Shambles, have been a butcher's at the time William Riley lived here.

The beams are fantastic. I even had a peek behind the shelf units and you can see the same wooden beams across the walls. From oak trees that lived quite a long time ago!


You can see evidence that this was once a butcher's on the top photo as the heavy window sill is where meat would have been displayed, and also on this pic (right) behind the shop sign, meat hooks are still visible (some bent to accomodate the sign). In Victorian times, meat would have been hanging outside most of the shop fronts in the street.



No meat today - just lots of colourful sweeties. These pictured are all traditional Yorkshire boiled sweets. They had Yorkshire mixture too, which was always one of my favourites as a kid.

There are another couple of storeys above the shop, which I presume was where Gails Man's great-grandfather lived. These are all offices now, and I didn't manage to venture up in this particular building, although I did in an almost identical one a few doors down. But that's for tomorrow.

15 comments:

Kate said...

Ruby, These photos are wonderful, and a great connection to another blogger. What a great piece of history!

Tanya said...

Wow that is so cool Ruby! Love the history, with the connection to Gails Man and so sweet of you to go investigate and show pictures. Very cool!

NYD said...

I know that this will sound a little daft, but aside from the obvious cultural differences between the towns in which we live, I find that there are quite a lot of textural similarities between our burgs. The pavement, brickwork and contrasting blend of the new encroaching on tradition makes me feel very comfortable here.

Neorelix said...

York is one of my favourite places in the UK - I just love it and return frequently for the fantastic atmosphere and brilliant buildings. And yeah, I used to go to Bury quite a lot when I was younger - mainly to visit the Harley shop. Once that moved to Newmarket I only go to the beautiful Bury infrequently...

Ruby said...

Thanks Kate and Tanya, I love investigating things to do with the past!

NYD, it's weird how there are threads of similar things between places all over the world. I've been noticing that when browsing the daily photo blogs.

Neorelix, good to hear you like York. I'll be going to Bury next week. Didn't know there used to be a Harley shop there. There's just Bowyers and Crazy Horse now but I think those haave regular motorbikes.

Chuck Pefley said...

What a great investigative reporter you are! Great story. And now, I need some fudge! Sheesh! Thanks a lot :)

Gail's Man said...

Hi Ruby, thanks a lot. It's fantastic. On a copy of the census that I have 6 people in total lived at No 12. 2 of the youngest worked as confectionery assistants. I don't know whether they worked in a shop like you've shown or in a factory like the old Terry's one, as York at one time was quite famous for chocolate making.

marley said...

This is really interesting, and Gail's Man's link to it is just brilliant. It's good that lots of those old features are in tact behind the sign and shelving units.

marley said...

Me again! I just wanted to let you know that I've passed on an award to you! Details at my blog. I'm glad I discovered your little slice of 'The North'. It keeps me in touch with my family roots!

Hilda said...

Oh, Ruby, that was a wonderful thing to do for Gail's Man! And I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the history of this little building. I adore those wooden beams!

babooshka said...

It's a mall world when you start blogging. The amount of people I come across who have conncetions to my island is amazing. Great post today. Gary my partner's family on his dad's side are Yorkshire men and he himself is Lancastrian so he is barking!

Jackie said...

Hey Ruby, thank you so much for your comment on Glasgow Daily Photo, I'm glad to provide you a little link to your earliest roots! I can't believe I hadn't spotted your blog before. I love York - in fact I got married there last year! (at St Cuthbert's on Peaseholme Green). I'll definitely be making this a site I look at daily from now on!

Can I put in some requests for views? My favourite restaurant (possibly anywhere, but definitely in York) is El Piano, which is very photogenic quite apart from the amazing food. I'd love to see you give it a wider audience!

Ruby said...

Chuck, hee hee, there's plenty of fudge around in York. I shall have to send you some virtual fudge!!

Gail's Man, it's a pleasure, I really enjoyed doing this. There would certainly have been space for 6 people living above the shop. I would guess the confectioners would have worked in nearby shops too? Some of my ancestors who lived in Sheffield at this time were confectioners too.

Marley, WOW, an award! Thank you so much. I am honoured!

Hilda, thanks. Gails man has done me a favour - it so much more interesting looking at the history of a place if it can be lnked to a person.

Thanks Babooshka, yes you're right. I also have a connection to the Isle of Man, which I haven't told you about yet!

Hi Jackie, that's a great recommendation for El Piano. I haven't been there yet myself but I do love the look of the place. I shall let you know when a pic goes on, so that you don't miss it!

Cynthia said...

I wish I had a story with a connection like that! Great work :)

GrandAnglais said...

Love the boiled sweets! They also figure prominently in my blog - along with beer!