Street Entertainment

We went to York again. It’s about 45 miles away, just a short hop up the M1, a trot along the A64, park up for free at Askham Bar Park and Ride, pay £5 return for two of us, bobs yer uncle. A few weeks ago I signed an e-petition and retweeted several times a tweet condemning York city councils plan to make the traditional street performing area in King’s Sq. into a seated eating and drinking area. As if there aren’t enough. It’s all to do with the Chocolate Story in King’s Sq. which has sprung up over the last year and has grand plans to expand out onto the street. It’s a total rip off anyway, £7.50 to walk round a gallery with pictures and models of chocolate things and processes. You do get to taste chocolate but drinks and foodstuff have to be paid for.
I had a chat with one of the street performers and he said we’ve won for now, yaaay! But as he says, they’ll be back next year, the corporate greed merchants will apply the “but the street performers don’t bring any revenue to the city” card. It was a good act today. typical street performer, far from perfect and littered with corny jokes and comments. Today he cajoled a Czech kid onto the “stage” with a lad from Tynemouth and even though the Czech lad hardly spoke a word of English, he was a star, throwing flaming sticks, dancing and even wearing a lime green tutu. The large crowd enjoyed it. I’m sure they all enjoyed it far better than they would if they were ripped off for a fiver for a chocolate latte and biscuit if the cafe cum museum has it’s way and York city council fall for their proposal, which would be sad and morally wrong. Long live street entertainers. It was funny to see a 3 piece including drum set but entertainment is entertainment. The bloke cutting kid’s names out of a veneer of wood was really good, practice makes perfect he said. Yeah! With a single fret saw blade and pedal power to oscillate the blade, he was bloody brilliant.
Those of you with good eyesight will notice a cat stalking a pigeon on the roof, there are 16 cats over the city of York to spot, in compromising positions. They are not real.






  1. I love York and the street performers are part of what gives it its unique character. In my opinion, it would be short-sighted and foolhardy of the council to chase them away.


    • Well, the writing is on the wall this winter by all accounts. I hope not, I mean, the place is perfectly suited for small plays, entertainment etc. As with all city councils, they know best until they get voted out then like us, see things normally again.


    • The chocolate story might be worth a visit, considering a cup of real lemon juice, ie 3 halves of lemon squeezed and topped up with water for £2.30, maybe the choccy thing is decent value??


    • I noticed the cat whilst I was looking up squinting into the sun at the street performer when he was telling us about the stupid council plans. There are cats climbing walls and allsorts, there is a trail you can follow to find all the cats.


  2. Yorks great, My first ever away from home school trip was to there and i don’t think i’ll ever forget it…..great place. Street entertainers make places, in a way towns are making money from them as they bring people in who wil no doubt spend a few quid, we’ve spent many a day going from street artist to entertainer when funds are low. I’m away into Edinburgh tomorrow with Trintrin and the kids, the amount of free street stuff during the festival is fab. York cannot be allowed to go down the corporate route, the charm it has is priceless.


  3. I remember you saying before how much you liked York. Get yersel down lass, there’s a bookmarket on Sept 14/15th at the racecourse. Trouble is, lugging the bloody things back home. Heavy things books. We brought three huge bags full of Dutch books back from Holland once after a short visit to Deventerboekenmarkt. :))


  4. The street performers are one of the reasons for going to York!

    Maybe they ought to just combine the Yorvik centre with the Chocolate story and sell chocolate vikings there.


    • Well….we passed the Jorvik centre on the way back to Cliffords Tower park and ride stop and the pen and ink was pretty bad. I’m not sure whether it was the artificial smell of viking shit they use down there or the schoolkids queuing to get in!


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