SURFING through The Press' electronic archive of images the other day in search of inspiration, we came across an extraordinary photograph from 1897. It shows excited crowds filling the top end of St Leonard's Place, lining the city walls and even standing three or four deep on the steps leading up to Bootham Bar. Flags and bunting wave, and there's a real sense of movement and excitement about the photograph.

The image comes from Explore York's Imagine York archive. And the occasion? The diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria, of course.

This was celebrated on June 22, 1897 - and celebrated was the right word. York held a variety of events to mark the occasion, including a procession of assembled York dignitaries (which is presumably what those people in St Leonard's Place were watching), a children's fete in the grounds of Bootham Park, a 'Grand Fashionable Performance' by the Royal English Circus and a tea for '1,200 Aged and Necessitous Poor'.

We found in our electronic archive a photo of the children's fete - and also an official portrait photo of Queen Victoria herself taken for the jubilee (she doesn't look notably happy at having to sit to have her picture taken).

There have been jubilees celebrated for other monarchs since then, of course - and we've dug out a few photos of those, too, for good measure. They include a photo of a street party held in Union Terrace in 1935 for the silver jubilee of King George V; Street Parties in Frances Street and Wellington Street in 1977 for our own Queen's silver jubilee; and, from 2012, a photograph of a formal dinner held on a temporary lawn brought into the nave of York Minster to celebrate the Queen's diamond jubilee.

For Royalists and non-Royalists alike, it is interesting to see the way the people of this city have celebrated these events down the years...

Stephen Lewis

This crowd are gathered at Bootham Bar to watch a 'Procession of the Corporation, Magistrates, Clergy and other dignitaries' celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897. Imagine York website

This is the Children's Fete which was held to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee on 22nd June 1897. York held a variety of events to celebrate the occasion including a "Tea to 1,200 Aged and Necessitous Poor" and a "Procession of the Corporation, Magistrates, Clergy, &c., &c." The Royal English Circus gave a "Grand Fashionable Performance" and there was a breakfast and a gala