York Diary: Harriet Harman and a Willow disco bouncer, and more on the market

Wowed by the Willow? Harriet Harman. Photograph © Google Street View / University of Salford Press Office on Wikimedia Commons
14 Apr 2015 @ 10.08 pm
| News

Wikipedia is so much more fun than other encyclopedias. For a biography of Harriet Harman, lesser reference works would relate her rise through the Labour Party, her role in the Cabinet and her current position as Shadow Deputy Prime Minister.

They would probable include brief details of her stint reading politics at York University.

But only in Wikipedia will you discover this astonishing ‘fact’:

During her time at York, she attended Goodricke College, met future long-term partner Konrad of The Willow Restaurant, and was involved with student politics.

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Of course The Willow, on Coney Street, is part of York folklore. Ask any resident to list the city’s classiest nightspots, and you might be waiting a while before the name ‘Willow Restaurant, Disco and Bar’ came dancing to their lips.

And Konrad? Well he is the Willow’s most famous bouncer, subject of a million drunken snapshots.

So did Harriet Harman, the niece of an earl and daughter of a Harley Street physician, really go out with the doorman of one of York’s, ahem, liveliest venues?

Or have Wikipedia’s hackers been busy?

This is the verdict of Jim Waterson, deputy editor of BuzzFeed (and York City supporter):

We asked in a previous Diary, why did four advertising banners for York’s new market go up on a building at the top of Shambles – then come down with alacrity?

Interim city centre and markets manager Steve Shooter has been in touch with an explanation. All a breakdown in communications, he says:

It was identified as a possible location and the company involved put up the banners. As soon as we realised they were in a position which hadn’t received planning permission we arranged to take them down.

He said the banners were designed to be used in various locations and that planning permission would be applied for if required before they were put up again. “Whether it will be on that building again or not I’m not sure.”

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