YESTERDAY Once More begins this week with a gentle stroll along the River Foss towards Huntington.

The starting point for the walk is just above Monk Bridge, some time in the 1910s, in a photograph from Explore York's wonderful Imagine York archive. The metal posts which can be seen in the river mark the line of deeper water. To the left of the posts is a shallow slope which once enabled horses to drink in safety. Huntington Road is on the left. The advertisements from right to left are for 'Restaurant Express' trains to the continent via Harwich, Gilbey's Invalid Port, Nestlé Milk and Tetley's.

Next stop is Yearsley Bridge in about 1894, in another Explore image. A group of men are pictured leaning over the top of the bridge. The sign on the right of the bridge - 'Baths, Men Only' - refers to the city's first municipal baths, which were just through the arch on the York side of the bridge. The baths were created in 1860 by cementing the bottom of the river for a distance of 100 yards.

The baths themselves can be seen in our next photo, which dates from the early 1900s. Swimming was free and for men and boys only - no women or girls were allowed. A changing hut was provided, as was a part-time male attendant in summer. The facilities were in use up to the 1930s even though the purpose-built Yearsley Baths, which charged, opened in 1909.

The final photo in our 'Foss walk' dates from the 1910s, and shows the river in the foreground with All Saints Church in Huntington across the water. The church was reached by the bridge to the left of the photo. The river was commercially navigable as far as Strensall between about 1800 and 1860, according to Explore York.

Speaking of churches, the Explore archive has a couple of great images of Holy Trinity on Goodramgate. The church, which escaped restoration by the Victorians, has an interior that intermingles features from the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and is sometimes described as the 'most loveable church in York', according to Explore. One photograph is a charming 1880s exterior. The other, dating from the early 1900s, shows the church as glimpsed through Hornpot Lane, an alley off Low Petergate.

Hornpot Lane's name derives from the fact that in medieval times it was the workplace of the horners - craftsmen who manufactured goods from cow horn and deer antlers. Their products included notches for long bows, cups, pots, combs, book covers and windows. It was a very useful but also very unhealthy trade - the workers were susceptible to horrible skin complaints due to the fluids (mainly based on urine) which were used to make the horn supple enough to cut, shape and split.

And finally, we have a very early photograph of Skeldergate, taken by William Pumphrey in 1853. It is almost unrecognisable to anyone who knows the area today. The buildings shown were on the west bank of the River Ouse at the Skeldergate Bridge end of Skeldergate. They were built on the medieval stone footings of an earlier riverbank property. The building with Dutch gables was the warehouse of a wine and port importer. The building became derelict but was then fully renovated in the 1960s only to be demolished in 1970. The buildings to the left were demolished in 1873-4 and replaced with the Bonding Warehouse, which was built to encourage sea-going vessels to use York as an inland port.

Stephen Lewis

All the photos on these pages, and thousands more, are held on Explore York’s wonderful Imagine York archive. You can browse it yourself for free just by visiting