Municipal and Endowed Charities

There’s a lot to be said for picking a book at random from a shelf in the library, opening it to a random page and reading what you find there. There’s also a lot to be said for not doing this. Lucky for you I’m going to say almost nothing about either of those things because this is what I encountered when I tried the experiment a few minutes ago:

That is from page 143 of the York Directory of 1921, otherwise known as the York City Year Book.

All the businesses in the adverts I have read so far in this book are defunct. Ben Johnson and Co. Ld no longer sell typewriters, Merrit & Co have given up being purveyors of fine goods and Pizza Hut has not even been invented yet. But all is not lost! I turn the page and note that The Halifax Equitable Benefit Building Society are still going strong in the centre of town and the Territorial Army are surely marching back and forth on a parade ground near here.

Some things change and other don’t. We don’t buy the same goods as we used to (although we still buy good per se) but money and war are still in vogue as much as they ever were. Make of that what you will.

The library shuts in a few minutes and so, sadly, I’m going to have to replace this repository of bygone … stuff on the shelf but fear not: Pizza Hut is open for business until nine post meridiem and that, my friends, may well be my next destination.

Don’t worry, I shan’t need to take a random book from a random shelf there; I have packed one of my very own. 🐸


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