York Civic Trust

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York Civic Trust

Current Activities: City Enhancement Programme

The Rigg monument after restoration, re-dedicated by the Archbishop of York on 11 March 2017

All the proceeds of Sir Ron's new book go to the City Enhancement Fund

Work began to restore the Rigg monument in July

Missing nineteenth century cast iron at Low Petergate, which the Trust hopes to replace
The City Enhancement Programme uses a Fund established to help preserve, restore, enhance, enrich and sustain the city of York. It invests in projects that are suggested either by the Trust's members or other members of the public. The Programme does not carry out work which is the responsibility of the City of York Council, but it does, on certain projects, work with the Council, where all agree a project is important. We have recently recruited a Project Officer to expand this work.

The City Enhancement Programme and its Fund operate through a steering Trust Committee and the projects are run by a series of teams of Trust members. These volunteers take forward a range of projects using the Trust's Fund, which by co-operation with landowners, other organisations and experts can help the projects take shape. The more help, knowledge and enthusiasm the better!
Among the ways you can help is by buying Sir Ron Cooke's new book.  Here is a link to the publisher.  
We raised funds for cleaning up and improving the Rigg monument (seven young people died boating on the Ouse - see this page).
We arranged to improve the special small open space in York - the "pocket park" - besides All Saints Pavement.
Metalwork can also be very vulnerable.  We have restored the gates built by Walker Iron Foundry leading to the churchyard of St Margaret's church, Walmgate (now the National Centre for early Music).
We were also approached about Bridge Lane Gates - the gates to the former Archbishop Holgate Grammar School's playing fields.  We have restored these historically significant gates along with NHS York Hospital Trust.  The gates were cast by the York's important Walker Iron Foundry (on Walmgate) in the 1850s.  But they sustained serious damage to the columns and loss of cast iron detailing to the metal. 
The Trust carried out an assessment of the structure and provided a costed proposal to the NHS, which provided the necessary funding for works to be project-managed by our Project Manager, Nick Beilby.  The gates and some of the columns were removed in 2016 to the workshops of Barker and Patterson in Hull, where they were repaired.  New concrete foundations were designed by Dosser MCA, and the new gates were unveiled on 2 May 2017.

Work is in hand regarding the iron trim on Starbucks at Low Petergate, which was damaged by a lorry some years ago. The missing section of cast iron fender will need to be cast, using the existing as a pattern. 

Other projects which the Trust would like to make progress on are:
  • Other "pocket parks" in central York
  • Improving York's snickelways (eg clutter) and the look of waste disposal sites (eg corrals for bins)
  • Installing a suitable permanent 'banner' across Fossgate to celebrate its identity
  • Repairing, updating and enhancing the Wayfinder finger posts which point to York's attractions
  • Installing plaques at important sites - giving information about local history or notable York residents
  • Rescuing buildings at risk, such as the eighteenth century Tuke family house on Lawrence Street.

We are grateful for any contributions towards our City Enhancement projects, if you would like to help us, please click on the Donate button.