The York Re-visited Trip April 28th-30th 2023 - report from Barbara Coe
Those members who are regular supporters of the C&TA weekends away will remember that we last visited York in 2016.The year that witnessed high spring tides which brought flooding to the centre of York and forced the hasty reorganisation of C&TA activities on that visit, with the York Minster Broiderers and Fairfax House coming to our rescue.
As was the case in 2016, ‘Wheatlands Lodge Hotel’ was our base for this year’s visit. It is a friendly, family run hotel with comfortable rooms, excellent meals and is within easy walking distance of the city centre. We arrived late afternoon on Friday and after dinner several members enjoyed a walk around the medieval city walls or into the city centre in the spring evening sunlight.
Saturday morning we were off to the National Quilting Museum where we were treated to a private viewing of key items in the collection. These involved not only wonderful eighteenth and nineteenth century quilts made by both aristocrat ladies and working women sewing to make a living but also a bikini and evening jacket!
York Castle Museum was our Saturday afternoon venue with its refurbished fashion galleries dedicated to modern fabrics and fashions. These were in sharp contrast to the quaint displays of drapery and haberdashery in the windows of shops in the Victorian Street which is housed in the basement of the museum.
Sunday morning marked a return visit to Fairfax House – built in the eighteenth century by a wealthy, local merchant as a town house for the York ‘social season’. We were given a guided tour before the house was opened up to the public at noon. The tour outlined the history of the house and the family who built it with special reference to garments and soft furnishings. Then after an al fresco lunch it was off back to Norwich with some happy memories of our second visit to York.
Caroline Whiting is a trustee of C&TA, an art historian and guide at Norwich's Norman Cathedral who is passionate about textiles as an art form, from medieval to modern.