Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday 18 September - York, Mansion House and Railway Museum

The Mansion House, the Lord Mayor's official residence, was open for guided tours.  The guide was excellent. He really knew a lot and was able to present it in an amusing fashion. Unfortunately no photography was allowed. The ground floor room was for the lower orders and not nearly so well appointed as the upper floor which was decorated for the senior people including royalty. In the past, as today, the powerful politicians were able to line their pockets and give favours to their friends. There were also some illustrations of dumb decisions made by city council.  A beautiful, graceful curved arch bridge was built across the river. Unfortunately the arch was too steep for coach horses to pull a coach over so all stage coaches had to stop, to allow the passengers to get out and push the coach over the hump.
Lunch was at Jamie Olivers.  We started with a vegetarian platter and pork scratchings while the main was Rabbit risotto and pan fried sea bass.
Posh Pork Scratchings
 Afterwards I went to the Railway Museum while Mary went home to pack. Not much has changed since I was at the museum a couple of weeks ago although I was pleased to see that the bell on King George V had been polished.
I had my picture taken in front of 2500 which I fired when at Shoeburyness
The bell looks much better now that it has been polished
Before polishing the copper band around the chimney/stack I always ensured the blower was off - and I hoped that a "friend" didn't reopen it and get soot, steam, smoke and hot water in my face.
The Rocket replica looks good from this side but it has been cut away on the other side.
Tomorrow we leave York for London.  Our stay in the Shambles has been a great success and has, if anything, exceeded our expectations.  We went to our two favourite pubs, the Blue Bell and the Olde Starre Inne.
At the Blue Bell I had a pint of Timothy Taylors Landlord, an all time favourite. While we were in there a short woman came in and nudged up to the bar.  She said she didn't know anything about beer and didn't drink it, pointed to one pump and asked for a taster.  She asked the fellow next to her what he thought and he said it was good.  She ordered a half and asked the barmaid how much she  was allowed to drink.  She then said she had difficulty in making friends, pointed out that she was only 4 foot 10 inches and was 33 but most people thought she was just a student. Two women at the end of the bar, regulars, looked at each other and rolled their eyes as it was obvious she was trying to pick up a man.
Things were quiet at the Olde Starre Inne where I had a Westerham Brewery Pale Ale.  I managed to score the last packet of scratchings.

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