Old York Tea Room sign on Our Lady’s Row, Goodramgate, Row

The Old York Tea Room opened on Our Lady’s Row in Goodramgate back in February.

Led by Tony and Thomas Vickers, the pair have transformed a former candle shop into a welcoming tea room with seating for 14 customers on the first floor.

But as The Press reported last month, Tony and Thomas got into an argument over the seemingly harmless sign on the front of the building, which even sparked a one-man protest.

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In an appeal on social media, the two now say: “We need your help. Check out this beautiful hand painted sign. Is it damage to the building? We don’t believe.”

“We enhanced this building with a simple painted sign. The plaster was new last year after a truck accident and we didn’t touch any heritage material.”

They are calling on residents and other businesses to support them by commenting on York City Council’s planning portal under their retrospective application for the signs.

The Ghost of William Etty – a group formed in the 1990s to save York’s cobblestones from being demolished in city streets – has objected to the sign, claiming it was vandalism of a listed building.

One of the group’s founders, Gordon Campbell-Thomas, made it his goal to have the sign removed because the owners would have put it up without planning permission. Last month he staged a protest outside the tea room.

York Press: Gordon Campbell-Thomas outside the Old York Tea RoomGordon Campbell-Thomas outside the Old York Tea Room (Image: Included)

He said: “The building dates back to 1316 and is a listed building, which means it is of similar importance to York Minster, Clifford’s Tower, St Paul’s Cathedral or even Buckingham Palace.”

“There is a saying: ‘Two wrongs don’t make a right.’ The applicants claim they should do this because other buildings have signage.

“The coffee shop not only has the words ‘The Old York Tea Room’ scrawled on it, but also a large brown teapot about to pour tea.”

Jonathan Bonner, co-founder of Ghost of William Etty, said: “We are not anti-business. We think it’s a brilliant piece of business – they just made a mistake.”

“This begs the question: does York want to preserve its historic buildings in a traditional, authentic way? Or do they want to follow the idea that such signs enhance heritage, which basically goes against the principles of protecting historic buildings.”

York Press: Our Lady's Row early 2000Our Lady’s Row in early 2000 (Image: Newsquest)

The Ghost of William Etty is so named because York artist William Etty led a campaign in the 1830s to save the city walls, and Bootham Bar in particular, from demolition. His statue stands on the exhibition square in front of the art gallery.

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https://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/23780954.old-york-tea-room-sign-ladys-row-goodramgate-row/?ref=rss Old York Tea Room sign on Our Lady’s Row, Goodramgate, Row


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