YORK CASTLE MUSEUM, YORK
That traditional façade hides a fascinating approach to learning – with some great classics outside
Avisit to the Castle Museum in York during the 1960s was a revelation, even to this lad unconcerned about looking at glass cases of stuffed birds and ancient artefacts.
What sparked my imagination back then was the recreated Kirkgate, a Victorian-styled street named after the museum’s John L Kirk. This included shops and houses into which you could walk and wonder at all the period items on display while aged relatives declared ‘ We had one of those!’ These exhibits have been upgraded for the 21st century and there is also a 1960s street scene.
But in 1967, at least some of the vehicles parked outside in our view would have been of interest too.
That Bedford CA-based ice cream van by the steps would have been my first choice for a visit to spend some of my dad’s hard-earned coins of the realm in exchange for a traditional, creamy treat. The US-style Mister Softee product, served from a Commer Karrier, would have been OK if there was no other choice, but that soft ice cream was definitely a quicker route to brain freeze.
The view is taken from the mound of Clifford’s Tower, a surviving part of the Norman castle. Back then
there was a ‘Trust the motorist scheme car park’ in operation (note the ticket machine); today it costs visitors £2.50 per hour to park here, pay and display.
Looking at this splendid vista I am quick to spot the lovely red Volkswagen Beetle parked out the front, while tucked away on the left of the picture is a pale blue sibling. Beautiful Beetles apart, most of the automotive delights to are British heartland favourites. The Austin estate would have impressed me, but the roof vent suggests that it could be a converted van rather than a works Countryman. The grey Austin A30/35 van on the left, and the green Morris Minor van by the finger posts would have appealed too.
My Uncle Cyril drove an 1100, but the grille on the blue example close to the grass distinguishes it as an MG. The old guard Austins are represented with A40 Somersets and a stylish Westminster A95, while a red Mini makes its presence felt.
My friend’s dad had a Wolseley Hornet so the couple here would have been noted, while the Wolseley 16-60 would have seemed superior to my dad’s Austin A60 Cambridge.
The Cortina MkII would have been quite new, while other Ford delights include standard and Deluxe 105Es and a maroon Cortina MkI. A Vauxhall Viva HA is making its way into the car park (with another example further back) to join the early 1.5-litre Victor already parked.
Other delights are a Triumph Herald in the back row and a post1957 Standard 8 behind the A95. I particularly like the Midget and Rover P5 on the left, almost dancing as they vie for a parking space.
There’s not sufficient space here to list all the cars in this nostalgic scene, so apologies if I have omitted your own particular favourite – you know where to write!
‘That Bedford CAbased ice cream van by the steps would have been my first choice for a visit’ COLD TREATS FROM A VAUXHALL