THERE have been several bridges at Castle Mills. The present-day one was built (possibly by extensively widening an older bridge - do any readers remember?) in 1955 and 1956 to serve as part of the York inner ring road, linking Tower Street and Fishergate.

We came across this series of old photographs, showing traffic using the bridge even as it was being built and widened, in our archives.

The earliest dates from March 6, 1955. Look closely and you can see, in the top left corner, the twin cupolas of the York cattle market. We also love the advertisements on the building where the Postern Gate pub now stands. "It's Fisons for Fertilzers" boasts one. The other consists simply of a pointing finger and the word 'garage'. Direct and to the point...

One photo from July 1956 actually shows a barge going under the still-incomplete bridge. H Foster and Sons builders' and plumbers' merchant stands on the other side, where the steps lead down to the Castle Mills Lock.

Speaking of which, we couldn't resist including a photograph from August 1982 showing a barge stuck fast in that very lock.

The barge, the Anne Rishworth, was carrying a cargo of 120 tones of cocoa beans to the Rowntree Mackintosh wharf at Navigation Road. The barge would not go forward far enough to let the lock gates close behind it, reported the Yorkshire Evening Press. It remained stuck in the lock for more than a day - though the reason why was a mystery to its owner and crew.

"We have been through before with this barge, without any trouble, but there must be an construction on the bottom stopping us this time," said Mr Edgar Holgate, of Holgate Brothers, Beverley.

Stephen Lewis