Love Affair with a City

Posted on 20 July 2012 | Narrative

“York Stories 2012 prompts me, now 72, to look back on my long, fond association with York, the city that still exercises a powerful hold on my thought, imagination and heart.

In 1960, while studying at Sheffield University, I came with fellow-students to see the Mystery Plays.  In great excitement we ascended the creaking scaffolding, took our seats and waited. The Medieval texts we had studied were brought to magical life and as the sun set deepening shadows washed the remains of St. Mary’s Abbey.  It was captivating and York has held me in thrall ever since.

My very first post upon graduating was at Queen Anne Grammar School in York where I discovered the privileged joys of teaching responsive students.  A period of travel followed that included teaching in Australia and Germany, but in 1971 a second chance came to return to the school in York where I had been so happy.  Now I had seen something of the world, I leapt at the opportunity. I have not wandered since!

York is a splendid backdrop to my life. I have no complaints about tourists and simply love being in the midst of the bustling throng.  How lovely that so many wish to visit our City.  Thanks to its enterprising people, York has had and still has an impressive ability to reinvent itself and survive catastrophe.

Eight hundred years after receiving its Charter, it is still buoyant and its gifts generous and varied.  I see it as something of a sentient being, a friend, quirky yet faithful, fallible but glorious with a loving heart still beating strongly.”
- Sheila Taylor