Report 8th March 2011

Night Shift in York Minster

This week 35 members and friends thoroughly enjoyed Roy Pawsey’s presentation ‘Night Shift at York Minster’. Mr Pawsey was a member of the Minster Police for 14 years and often spent nights alone in the Cathedral. His slides provided “the alternative view” of the Minster away from the usual tourist photographs. 

Mr Pawsey had a rich fund of stories about his experiences working in the Minster and answered questions about the fire in 1984.  The policeman on duty that night did not stay long in the job.  Night duty begins with a check of the building as it is very easy to hide in the choir stalls or even under the altar.  On one occasion he was helping a workman in the Minster tower who asked him to go down to collect his tools – 10 minutes to get down and 20 minutes to climb back by vertical ladders and spiral staircases!  CCTV means that people in the environs of the Minster are more closely scrutinised than they realise – on one occasion our speaker found himself eavesdropping on a proposal of marriage. 

36 members and friends attended – the second biggest attendance in the four years since Ray Coggan retired.

John Taylor

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