IT is the big productions of the York Mystery Plays - such as those at York Minster last year or the 2012 version in Museum Gardens - that tend to make the headlines.

But it is the wagon versions of the plays that are, truth be told, closest to the spirit of the original Plays.

In the Middle Ages the Plays, which tell the story of the Old and New Testaments from the creation to the last judgement, were performed on carts or wagons that were pulled by members of York's various craft guilds from one 'station' in York to another.

There were at least 48 Plays in the cycle (some sources claim there were originally more) and traditionally individual guilds took responsibility for different plays. So the shipwrights, for example, would have been responsible for the play depicting the building of Noah's Ark (naturally), the bookbinders performed the scene involving Abraham and Isaac, while the hosiers took on Exodus and the departure of the Israelites from Egypt.

It was recently announced that the Mystery Plays will return to York next year, in a production staged on wagons in the city streets and featuring (for the first time in modern times) a torch-lit evening performance.

It will be great to see the Plays performed once more in the way they would originally have been, out on the streets of York.

There have been several wagon productions in modern times, from the 1950s right up to 'wagon' plays in 2006, 2010 and 2014.

We trawled through our archives to dig out these old photos of earlier wagon productions, from 1960 onwards. Spot anyone you know?

Stephen Lewis