THERE have been countless photographs of Exhibition Square taken down the years. But not many, surely, can have been as good as the first three photographs on these pages today.

The images all come from the wonderful collection of old photographs of York held by the Yorkshire Architectural and York Archaeological Society (YAYAS), which is 175 years old this year.

The pictures of Exhibition Square don't have specific dates on them, but must have been taken in the early 1900s - or possibly even earlier, in the case of the one showing the horse-drawn bus pulling into the square. The cobbles in at least one of the photographs can be clearly seen. And the photographs show that the square has been a busy connecting point for buses and taxis (horse-drawn or otherwise) for well over 100 years...

Two more YAYAS photographs show a unique moment in York's modern history - the breakthrough of Piccadilly onto Pavement in 1912. One shows the newly-cleared entryway to Piccadilly looking south-east from Pavement. The other appears to have been taken looking northwards from Piccadilly itself: although we're not quite sure of the precise angle. Perhaps some readers can enlighten us?

And finally we have two more photographs from the YAYAS collection. One shows Skeldergate in the early 1900s with, on the right, the distinctive Dutch-style warehouse that has long since been pulled down. The last photograph claims to show York as seen from Monk Bridge. Two gas towers are visible in the near distance, and behind them rises the tall chimney on Foss Islands Road which still stands to this day.

Stephen Lewis

BLOB The Yorkshire Architectural and York Archaeological Society (YAYAS) has been promoting and protecting the history, heritage and architecture of York and Yorkshire since 1842. You can find out more about the organisation by visiting