Streets almost deserted and only a few souls outside the Minster: York’s strangest New Year yet

1 Jan 2021 @ 10.14 am
| News

This was how York saw in 2021.

In previous years crowds of people fell out of pubs and bars to gather around York Minster and sing in the New Year as the bells chimed midnight.

But this year the cathedral was silent, and only a handful of people were present.

Although the Minster decided not to ring in the New Year, to discourage people from gathering together, some folk did bring their own bells to mark the occasion.

The small band of residents who gathered in Duncombe Place at midnight were all suitably socially distanced.

North Yorkshire Police had warned that they would dish out fines to those who ignored the Tier 3 rules.

Police were on hand, near the Minster, alongside paramedics and the City of York Council Covid marshals, but the mood was good and there were no reports of trouble.

One person shouted “F*ck 2020!” which drew a big cheer.

Elsewhere in York, city bars and restaurants were shut in accordance with Tier 3 rules, and the streets were largely deserted.

And the city entered the New Year, like much of the rest of the world, quietly hoping for better things in 2021.

New Year gallery