THERE was obviously something special going on one sunny day in Burton Stone Lane in about 1890. Why else would the children in our first photo have been lined up so neatly for a photograph?

They're quite smartly dressed, too - the girls in Victorian frocks and neat straw hats, the older boy in what looks very much like plus twos. There's a much younger boy, too, in shorts and knobbly knees. Behind the children is a whiskered man in a hat sitting on a horse-drawn cart.

It is a very leafy, tranquil scene. Does anyone recognise which part of Burton Stone Lane this is?

This photo introduces a selection of images from Explore York's wonderful Imagine York photo archive. They don't have much in common - apart from the fact that they all feature children...

Here they are:

1. Children on Burton Stone Lane in Clifton in about 1890

2. Children playing on Ogleforth in about 1880. The gentleman watching them looks smart: there were a number of well-to-do houses in this area. Notice the neat division of boys to one side of the street, girls to the other

3. A group of children behind a flock of geese on Osbaldwick Green in about 1900. The white rendered house is Stanley House (No 57). The larger house is No 59 and those on the right are Nos 61 and 63. Nos 57-9 were used as an asylum (the second in the village) from 1821. This was run for many years by Elizabeth Toes until its closure in about 1876

4. The garden on Tower Street being enjoyed by large numbers of people - many of them women with children - in about 1890. At the time this [photo was taken, the curtain wall of the prison dominated the area

5. Children playing on Broadway Grove, Fulford, on April 25, 1957

6. There's more of an inner-city, backstreet feel about this image, which shows Wilson's Row in Layerthorpe in about 1933. The gasometer looms in the background. A woman is entering one of the houses and several children are playing in the street. The shop on the corner is I. Smith's drapers. It has a sign that offers boot repairs. The sign inviting people to 'Join our club' refers to a method of putting money aside each week to pay for goods

7. Another inner-city photo. This one, taken by the York Health Department, shows a young girl with a child in a pushchair in Calvert's Yard off Tanner Row in about 1933. The children are standing in front of two outdoor toilets. The photograph also shows a bicycle, washing line and dustbins. This property was demolished between 1937 and 1940.

Stehen Lewis

All the photos on these pages, and thousands more, are held on Explore York’s Imagine York archive. You can browse the archive yourself at