Did they catch you out? 12 of the best April Fools jokes from York

Seeing red… the Flying Scotsman as Virgin. Photograph: Virgin Trains
1 Apr 2016 @ 8.21 pm
| News

It’s the day for all types of japes, pranks and practical jokes.

And York entered into the spirt with gusto this April Fool’s Day. How many of these did you spot – and did any catch you out?

If we missed any, please put a link to them in the comments.

Flying Scotsman sees red

“Virgin Trains has today announced that customers will soon be able to catch a steam train to work, as it’s revealed that the original Flying Scotsman locomotive will be joining its fleet later this year on its East Coast and West Coast routes.”

So said Richard Branson’s jokers, with the special offer of 25% off your ticket “for customers who help shovel coal on their journey”.

A paint job at the National Railway Museum. Photograph: NRM on Twitter
A paint job at the National Railway Museum. Photograph: NRM on Twitter

Apparently the National Railway Museum had agreed to release the Scotsman back into service:

The makeover will be taking place at the museum in York, where fans of the iconic engine can watch the transformation as it’s painted during the museum’s fantastic Scotsman Season.

Sky-high wi-fi

What a coo… A pigeon, Photograph ©  Robert Claypool on Flickr
What a coo… A pigeon yesterday. Photograph © Robert Claypool on Flickr

Is your wi-fi flaky? Fed up of pricey broadband bills? Fear not, York entrepreneur Peter Harrington has the answer…

The man behind educational business software SimVenture revealed a most amazing discovery – pigeons could be fed special pellets that turned them into a free wi-fi network in the sky.

Pigeons weren’t the first birds they tested:

A pecking order quickly established itself. Parrots were no good. Every time email signals were beamed to them, they came back time and again – repeating themselves…

You can read all about this flight of fancy on Peter’s blog.

Warship on the Ouse

We're gonna need a smaller boat…
We’re gonna need a smaller boat…

York Rescue Boat caused a few ripples when they revealed their latest vessel… A scary looking warship.

“Check out the newest addition to our rescue boat fleet covering the rivers in York,” they said on Twitter.

“I’ll feel a lot safer mooring in Museum Gardens now,” replied Mike Pyott.

Tracker dogs

Oi, keep your feet off the upholstery… Photograph: NYMR / Anthony Chappel-Ross
Oi, keep your feet off the upholstery… Photograph: NYMR / Anthony Chappel-Ross

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway was introducing a carriage exclusively for dogs, it announced.

“As our doggy companions enjoy the scenic route, staff on the steam train wheel through a treats trolley, offering all the most scrumptious goodies that is sure to keep all pooches happy…”

This one certainly had the finest pix, by former York Press photographer Anthony Chappel-Ross – you can see a gallery of them here.

And it even made the Guardian‘s April Fool round up.

If it were true they’d probably need a steam cleaner as much as a steam locomotive of course…

Elton John for York Pride

The prospects of Elton playing Knavesmire are about as good as a candle in the wind. Photograph © Ernst Vikne on Wikipedia
The prospects of Elton playing Knavesmire are about as good as a candle in the wind. Photograph © Ernst Vikne on Wikipedia

York Pride revealed a major coup – only Sir Elton John playing the event this year!

Not only that, but Cher and RuPaul. More details were due after midday, but somehow we’re still waiting.

Huge Queen statue for Heslington

How York Vision envisaged Her Maj, giant style
Long to reign over us… How York Vision envisaged Her Maj

The wags at York University paper York Vision splashed on the plan to install a 300ft statue of the Queen at the Heslington East campus to mark her 90th birthday.

According to their story, they wanted Her Maj to unveil the monument, but she was too busy partying, so

Unfortunately, the University has been dumped with Prince Andrew instead.

Big screens at the Ball

Announcing a load of Golden Balls…
Announcing a load of Golden Balls…

York’s first community-owned pub, the Golden Ball on Cromwell Road, was abandoning old fashioned nonsense like bar billiards and real ale.

“We have decided to make some changes to our lovely pub with at least 10 huge Sky Sports screens covering every inch of the walls, made the garden room into a vending machine heaven and got a new microwave as we couldn’t fit a kitchen in,” they announced on their Facebook page.

“To pay for all of this we’ve done away with the bar staff and hand pull range and you can buy canned Special Brew and alcopops from the newly installed vending machines…”

This went down well in some quarters. “About time! And get rid of those glossy green tiles on the front of the building and have it stone clad, why don’t you!?” said Gill Rushworth.

Free beer!

Meanwhile Lawrence Street boozer Rook & Gaskill kept it simple with this eye-catching Tweet:

Onto a Winner

King’s Staith restaurant Winner Winner was planning to boldly go where no York eaterie had gone before…

Excited to announce our plans for opening a second Winner Winner, in space.

After discussions with the appropriate areas, we are the chosen restaurant for a trial to provide the workers of the Space Station, with an option to come and eat normal ‘earth food’ while on their duties.

Matthew Lucas Young asked an important question: “Seems like a nice idea, but what’s the atmosphere gonna be like up there?”

In the pink

The good folk at Mecca Bingo on Fishergate were changing their corporate look…

By the left…

You're never to old to learn… Photograph: yortime
You’re never to old to learn… Photograph: yortime

For one day only, York Learning introduced… Ultimate Courses for Left-Handed Learners.

These included:

Left-hand DIY – Includes how to use left-handed screwdrivers (and where you can buy them).
Left-handed Sewing – Make your own left-handed tea towel.
Left-handed Typing – No need to get your hands crossed on this specially designed course.
Left-handed Pottery – Learn this valuable skill and make your own left-handed mug.

Love Mumy xxx

And we finish with the youngest prankster on the list…