LOOK at this photograph, and then look again. Yes, it really is York's Blue Bridge: the one which spans the Foss where it merges with the River Ouse.

The large open field to the left of the photograph behind the Foss was apparently called Mollett’s Field. And it can be used to help date the photograph. According to the caption that accompanies this picture on the Explore York Libraries and Archives’ website, the buildings visible on Fishergate behind the field weren't built until 1891. By 1909, meanwhile, the York Glassworks had been built on the field. So the photo dates from between 1891 and 1908. Today, both sides of Blue Bridge Lane are occupied by modern blocks of flats, giving the scene a very different look.

The two Crimean War cannon which once stood one at each side of the bridge can be clearly seen in the photo, facing down the length of the Ouse. These had been captured at the Battle of Sebastopol in 1855 and became York's Crimean War Memorial. They remained in place until 1941, when they were apparently scrapped as part of the drive for metal in the Second World War.

Stephen Lewis