‘For people all over the world, York is a delightful and interesting city to visit, with its cobbled streets and its overhanging houses,’ says Valerie Singleton as she strides down Shambles.
It was her opening to a report for Blue Peter, broadcast in 1973 and never seen again. Until now.
The clip has been released as part of the project to open up some of the BBC’s Yorkshire archives, as part of the local democracy reporting scheme.
It’s a fascinating trip down memory lane, and one which highlights the early moments of the project that became the world-famous Jorvik Viking Centre.
For Valerie, it was her second visit in a few weeks. She’d previously reported on York’s Roman sewer system (she got all the glamour jobs).
She was back because of a discovery underneath the York Coffee House on Pavement.
The café was closed before being turned in to an extension of Lloyds Bank next door.
Archaeologists had been in to explore the basement – and uncovered the remains of a Viking settlement.
It was the first big clue that underground York contained the remarkably well-preserved remains of Jorvik. And it came just a few years before excavations at what became the Coppergate Centre discovered even more of the Viking city, leading to the creation of the Jorvik Viking Centre.
In her report Valerie interviewed York’s own Indiana Jones, Peter Addyman – even then the director of the York Archaeological Trust.
Then at the lab she tried on Viking rings, and even combed her hair with a Jorvik comb.