Wednesday, 2 September 2009

York Uncorked



We visited the York Castle Museum, which is really a series of buildings that include the former jail. It's among the best museums I've been in. The ticket counter guide told us to expect our trip to take 1 1/2 hours, but Chumley and I were easily there for 3 1/2. I think the lesson to be learned from this fine establishment is sometimes it pays to hang on to your crap. Are you listening, Chumley?
The current exhibits include an expansive one about the Victorian fascination with cleaning. If you've read my post on Althorp, you'll know my feelings on this topic. One of the highlights is a complete Victorian street, including cobbles, that they've recreated indoors. All the shops are fully stocked with haberdashery, pawn items, jewelry, glass -- the sheer quantity of what's on display in the shop windows is mindboggling. You can visit the sweet shop and buy a sugar mouse for 50 pence. I wonder if the Victorians ever splashed out and upgraded to sugar rats or sugar pigeons? Those would be for special occasions, of course.
One area contains time-warpy rooms depicting kitchens through the years. Chumley and I were horrified and amused at once to find that the 80's kitchen is a dead ringer for our own. If I only still owned a microwave as big as Sputnik, we'd be completely authentic. Even our linoleum isn't far off -- it's a vision in mushroom. After a bit of wincing at the stabbing familiarity, we moved on to the prison.
York is officially the most haunted city in England, but I'm not quite sure of the officials on the creep committee. Suffice it to say, there's plenty of gloomy spots and tales of woe that might have won it the prize. The prison wasn't terribly accommodating, and I'm sure no one got a fresh towel in the mornings. At one point, there were 220 separate offenses that incurred the death penalty, and York Prison certainly wasn't afraid of dishing out death on a plate. You can even check the prison's database of prisoners and their fates.I came up spotless, but Chumley has some possible rogue relatives! (We would know for sure that the executed were his relation if the crime had been chronic carriage cleanliness, but it was just highway robbery.)

1 comment:

PatriciaV said...

Hi kids,
This blog was a great idea! It gets the official PMV seal of approval! I especially enjoyed your musings on Althorp. When I come to visit I insist that you take me there! :-)
Believe it or not your uncle and I have actually been to York!! It was about 12 years or so ago when ACOG was in London. They servesd us a catered lunch in the Town Hall and then we toured the cathedral, which was magnifique. Then we hit a sweet shop for sustenance on the bus/train back to London town.

My best to Chumley!!

Love and XXX,
PMV aka MissUnderstood