THERE have been several bridges over the Foss at Castle Mills. An early wooden bridge was destroyed in the Civil War during the 1644 Siege of York, according to - and a later one by floods in January 1746. An 1809 drawing by a 'J Hornsey' shows an arched bridge across the river here, while in 1836 it seems that yet another 'new' bridge was built.

The bridge as we know it today, however, dates from the 1950s. Part of the new York inner ring road, it was officially opened on November 22, 1956, by one Hugh Molson MP, the joint parliamentary secretary at the Ministry of Transport and Aviation.

In our 1950s photograph on these pages, the bridge appears to be almost complete. There are a few paving slabs still to be laid in the foreground, but traffic is already being allowed to cross. Were this work being done today, you can imagine that no traffic would be allowed anywhere near the bridge until every slab had been laid and safety checks had been completed.

Safety standards in the 1950s were clearly much more relaxed. In our photograph, despite the number of workmen still on site, there's not a hard hat, hoarding or health and safety notice anywhere in sight...

Stephen Lewis