WHILE having a rummage through old cupboards the other day, we stumbled across a battered white envelope shoved into the front of an old file. 'Precious pics - York wartime' said the writing scrawled on the front of the envelope.

And precious pictures they were indeed: a set of almost 20 photographs, taken in the early 1940s by a photographer on The Press's sister newspaper The Northern Echo, showing life on the home front in York during the Second World War.

They are wonderfully real and vivid photographs, capturing mostly ordinary people just trying to get on with things; women joining the WAAF; soldiers (presumably on leave) checking out books from York public library; air cadets being inspected by the Archbishop of York, William Temple.

The glimpses they give of wartime York and wartime styles are fascinating - so much was different, yet so much was just the same.

We'll bring you more of these photographs in weeks to come. But for now here are four: all we've got room for today...

1. A new war recruiting office for the WAAF in Blossom Street. The photo is dated March 3, 1941, and is captioned ‘Wishing recruits good luck as they leave for a WAAF depot.'

2. Young women lining up at York employment exchange on April 19, 1941 to register for national service

3. Serving soldiers checking out books from York public library on January 22, 1941

4. The Archbishop of York William Temple inspecting boys of the York Air Cadet Corps on January 18, 1941