Sunday, January 17, 2016

When the Jorvik Centre was a hole in the ground

This evening York Mix posted 12 vintage films of the city.

One caught my eye straight away, because it comes from August 1979 and so falls during my time as a student in the city.

Watching it today does confirm one memory of mine - and I don't mean the gruesomely distorted sound, which reminds me of film shows at primary school.

No, that memory is of a time before the Jorvik Centre opened. In my student days there was a large archaeological dig on the site. You can see it on the film from 2:27.

As I recall, there was no charge for going round and you were given a Viking oyster shell when you left.

The latest news from the Jorvik Centre is rather grim. It was badly affected by the recent floods and the government has rejected a plea for extra funds to allow a swift reopening.

A report in the Yorkshire Post quotes the former North Yorkshire councillor and Liberal Democrat peer Angie Harris:
"When I visited the Jorvik Viking Centre in York last week it was a scene of utter devastation. 
"It's a world renowned tourist attraction and educational centre, provided by the excellent York Archaeological Trust, of which I am a member, and which depends largely on its funding from the viking centre. The Trust could be destroyed by this enormous loss of revenue."

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