Cats feature on BBC Radio York

Posted on 14 February 2008 by Jon

If you’re just tuning in from BBC Radio York, hello and welcome to the site!

I’ve just been on the wireless chatting to Al Ross, who, incidentally, I used to listen to on University Radio York when I was at uni! I’m just listening back to the show – as we’re no longer in York, I tend not to tune in normally!

It seems a lot of people have wondered about the two cats on Low Ousegate – our lovely cats #12 and #13. One story we heard said that the cats were put there to scare the pigeons or mice away from stock.

When we started researching the cats for this website, back in 2005, we spent some time looking through archives at York City Library (now Explore York). We found a small item in a copy of the York Evening Press from 1962 that mentioned the cats. It tells of a TV crew filming for a programme called “Discover Your City” that included a Mr. Robert Patterson of York Castle Museum talking about “many little-known corners and unusual trades in the city.”

The item continues:

“Two other York curiosities were the model cats which cling to the wall of a well-known provision shop in Low Ousegate. Mr Patterson was able to tell the visitors from AR-TV that they were put there in about 1920 on the orders of Sir Stephen Aitcheson, owner of the firm, who thought they would be attractive especially to customers’ children.”

Mr Patterson retired from the Museum in 1974 and unfortunately we haven’t been able to track him down.

Previous: Cats in York on | Next: Tom Adams' last cat up for charity auction