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Regional daily tweets 800 years of history in a day

A regional daily tweeted about 800 years of its city’s history in one day as part of its coverage of a milestone anniversary.

York has been celebrating the 800th anniversary of gaining its royal city charter, with a host of events held last weekend to mark it.

And city daily The Press decided to tweet about events from across the eight centuries on Monday to reflect its history.

The paper set up a @York800 Twitter account for the marathon project, which gained more than 300 followers, with the final tweets about the city posted just after midnight on Tuesday morning.

News editor Gavin Aitchison told HTFP: “We were keen to provide innovative coverage of the anniversary and we wanted to reflect not only the modern celebrations, but the social history of the city over the past eight centuries, and we struck upon this idea.

“York dates back to AD71, but 1212 was when it gained its royal charter and became a self-governing city.

“The Lord Mayors are an important aspect of that, so we decided to include as many of them as possible in the timeline, and then we set about adding interesting, important or quirky historical entries – such as Guy Fawkes, civil war, the construction of the Minster, and also lighter stuff such as a giant porpoise found in the River Ouse and, of course, York City’s famous cup triumphs in the 1980s and 90s.

“I dug through old York history books and our own archives, and managed to assemble a fairly varied and interesting history. It worked really well, complementing our excellent online coverage of the celebrations on the day.

“We’d hoped to tweet the whole thing on Monday but unfortunately there’s a limit to how many tweets one account can send in a day, so we did the final 60 years just after midnight!

“It drew a good response and a lot of praise from people who either followed the whole stream or dipped in and out.”

Events to mark the anniversary included a music festival and a visit from Prince Andrew.


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  • July 12, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Talking of York history…. 22 years before Royal Charter was granted, the keep of York’s medieval castle still bears witness to the most horrifying event in the history of English Jewry.
    On the night of March 16 1190, the small Jewish community of York was gathered together for protection inside the tower.
    Rather than perish at the hands of the violent mob outside, many Jews took their own lives; others died in the flames they had lit, and those who finally surrendered were massacred and murdered.
    It’s the most notorious example of antisemitism in medieval England.

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