The Wild West Came to Town

Posted on 20 November 2012 | Narrative

I was a schoolboy in 1954. The school was the Yorkshire School for the Blind which was housed in the King’s Manor in Exhibition Square.

Imagine our delight when we were told that the very famous William Boyd was coming to visit us. You might ask, “Who is William Boyd?” Well, he was the very famous cowboy, Hop-along Cassidy. He was on a UK tour and stopped at York. His escort was Mrs Billy Butlin, who told William about the school for the blind. He stood outside the King’s Manor and requested to go and see the kids.

William stood in the middle of the lads and let them see his cowboy outfit including the famous big white Stetson, cowboy boots and trousers. Before he left, he gave everyone a commemorative coin which had his head on one side and a motif on the other. After three quarters of an hour, he found out that there were girls in another part of the building so he popped in to see them.

The visit was the talk of the school for the rest of the summer term. Needless to say, the game of Cowboys and Indians carried on long after he had gone.

- Brian Smith