Want to know when to avoid York because the races are on? There’s an app for that!

A day at the races – with a notification screen from the app. Races photograph: Jess Clark
24 Aug 2017 @ 7.50 pm
| News

Have you ever decided to pop out for a quick drink – only to realise too late that it was a race day?

Your vision of a quiet pint is shattered as you are swept up in the tide of noisy, rather inebriated racegoers, as they wash from bar to pub.

That happened once too often to Pete Harris. And he decided to do something about it.

So he created the York Races Warning app – which sends alerts whenever there’s a race day on at Knavesmire.

Swarm the streets

The app sends notifications direct to your lock screen

“I found that, living near the racecourse, I’d occasionally get caught out walking home or trying to get a quiet beer when it was a raceday,” Pete told YorkMix.

“Hundreds of people leave the racecourse at the same time and swarm the streets, and despite the best efforts of the police some areas of York can be unpleasant when the city has a lot of racegoers around.”

The app – available for Android phones here – works by sending a notification on the morning of a raceday so that you can take precautions for the day.

There’s also a useful widget you can place on your phone desktop which shows the raceday warning.

“A secondary feature is that on a ‘safe’ day, the app recommends a pub in York at which you could enjoy a nice pint,” Pete said.

But bad luck if you’re an iPhone user: Pete doesn’t write for iOS and there’s no plans for an Apple version.

York beer fest app

A bar at York Racecourse. Photograph: Jess Clark
Pete has lived in York for over 15 years having arrived to study computer science at the University of York.

“I stayed, in part due to the great pubs and beer available in York,” he said.

He worked as an Android app developer for York agency The Distance for many years before doing the same as a freelance.

Another great example of Pete’s work is the beer festival app.

“I use the Untappd app to log and rate most of the beers I drink (most often in York pubs) and I found that it was difficult to keep track when at beer festivals,” Pete told us.

“I wrote an app and website for beer festivals to publicise their upcoming festivals, and for punters to see the beer list, mark any beers they want to try in advance of the festival, and rate the beers they enjoy on the day itself.”

The app will be used in the upcoming York Beer Festival which froms from on September 20-23 on Knavesmire.

Pub recommendations

A favourite of Pete’s. Photograph: YorkMix
With all this pub and beer knowledge, we asked Pete for his favourite places to go (at least when there are no races on…)

“I strongly recommend the beer at the Falcon Tap on Micklegate – they really know their stuff,” he said.

“Other favourites are the Waggon and Horses and Rook and Gaskill on Lawrence Street.

“You can often find me enjoying a Plum Porter or Citra at the Waggon then heading across the road to the Rook for their stone baked pizza.”

Great pubs, great beer – everyone’s ’appy!