York Industries Through Time by Paul Chrystal and Simon Crossley

York Industries Through Time by Paul Chrystal and Simon Crossley

Published in 2012 by Amberley Publishing. ISBN 9781445602141. Price £14.99

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This book looks at the role of business, tourism and industry throughout the history of the city, and is split in seven sections. These sections cover (i) The Guilds, (ii) Streets, Rivers and Markets, (iii) Industry, (iv) Retail and Shops, (v) Cafes and Hotels, (vi) Tourism and (vii) Other Businesses, such as insurance. The book is comprised of photographs, with accompanying text.

There are some fascinating photos in the book, such as the old railway photos, showing the signalling control room in 1951 and the old varnishing shop at Holgate. The book though covers a wide time period, and there is a photograph from 1989 of the old Evening Press Offices in Coney Street, notable for a lack of technology and some very over-burdened shelves!

Although the book looks at some of the large businesses which have been an integral part of York’s history such as Rowntree’s, Terry’s and Craven’s, there are also photographs of some smaller businesses which traded for many decades in the city. Examples include Barnitts home and garden store, which is still trading on Colliergate after over 100 years, and others such as Bowman Removals on Monkgate, which was established in the 1840s and lasted until the 1970s.

Overall, this is an interesting book with many photos to browse through, representing a light read but which reminds the reader of some elements of the history of the city, and some new sites to look for.