WE love the dramatic view of Skeldergate which kicks off our latest series of postcards of old York.

The hand-drawn cart in the foreground is presumably a form of light fire engine.. A fireman can be seen high up on a ladder against the Dutch-style gables of the warehouse to the right of the image. He seems either to be rescuing someone from the roof, or possibly passing a pail of water to him. Crowds of excited onlooker in Edwardian dress look on. It is a wonderfully composed image, full of drama, movement and danger. no wonder someone saw fit to turn it into a postcard.

This image, like the others on these pages today, comes from the collection of the Yorkshire Architectural and York Archaeological Society (YAYAS).

All are postcards of city centre streets between 1900 and 1920. The other scenes today show

- Walmgate in 1902. The street is cobbled, the shops reasonably prosperous-looking, somewhat belying Walmgate's reputation in the early 1900s as a slum. Perhaps this was just the 'right end' of Walmgate - the end leading to Fossgate and the city centre. The row of children in the foreground look suitably awed to be having their photographs taken - all but the little boy standing with his legs apart second from the right, who seems capable of taking anything in his stride...

- Fossgate in 1920. Still cobbled but otherwise - apart from the horse and cart - immediately recognisable to anyone familiar with the street today

- Goodramgate in 1920. The view is looking towards the city centre, with Our Lady's Row - York's oldest buildings - on the right beside the laden cart

- Three views of Gillygate, in 1903, 1903 (at the junction with Lord Mayor's walk) and 1910. Tramlines are clearly visible in the 1910 image - and a ram can be seen in the distance. Oddly, if you look beneath the cart in the foreground, the tramlines seem to curve into the middle of the street. Can anyone explain why?

Stephen Lewis

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 www.yayas.org.uk