A photograph we carried in Yesterday Once More last week showing bicycles, buses and a very few cars in Museum Street in 1955 got us thinking about how transport in York has changed down the years.

In that photograph, we suggested, the sheer number of bicycles seemed to be dictating the speed at which traffic could travel. It gave the impression (whether true or not) that the bicycle was king, and that the bikes acted as a natural brake on cars.

One reader made the obvious comment online that the reason why there were so many bikes in 1955 was that many ordinary workers simply couldn't afford a car back then. "(So) the popular mode of transport in those days was your bike," the reader wrote.

It was that comment which made us think about how transport has changed in York - and how interesting it might be to look at the different modes of transport we have used in the city over the last 150 years or so.

A quick search of our online archive revealed a wealth of old photos, a few of which we reproduce here. They range from an 1863 picture of a horse-drawn cart in Lawrence Street to the last of the horse-drawn trams (pictured in 1909), the age of the electric tram and the coming of the motor car. An extraordinary 1966 photo of the car park at York Races on Ebor Day in 1966 encapsulates - just about as well as any photo we've ever seen - the eventual triumph of the car. There's also a nice photo of Rowntree workers leaving the factory by bike at the end of their shift - and even an inside view of the former Reynards car-hire garage on Piccadilly (the site of which is now occupied by Spark:York).

The photos, in date order, show:

1. A horse-drawn cart in Lawrence Street in 1863, pictured by an unknown photographer. The cart was obviously very heavy given the large number of horses required to pull it

2. The last of the horse-drawn trams in York, pictured in 1909. Sadly, there are no clues as to its exact location. Horse-drawn trams served the city for 29 years - which was longer than the new electric trams were to last. Black-edged "In Memoriam" cards were circulated soon after the trams were replaced which read "In loving remembrance of York Horse Tramways which ceased to exist at 11.15pm on Tuesday September 7th 1909. Gone but not forgotten."

3. One of York's 1915 electric buses next to a tram on what looks very like Museum Street. Electric trams operated in York between 1910 and 1935. The York Tramways Company, which had operated the horse-drawn trams until 1909, was bought out by the Corporation of York, which put into effect plans to electrify and extend the city's tram network. It must have seemed like a great new age of transport. But in 1935, just 25 years later, York's tram system was abandoned.

4. Cars, cyclists and pedestrians mingle on Coney Street in the 1940s

5. Rowntree workers leaving the factory. Date unknown

6. The car park at York Races on Ebor Day, 1966. The photo illustrates graphically just how much people relied on cars by this time. How different might this scene have looked if electric trams were still running?

7. The inside of Reynards, the 'self drive car hire garage and car parking business' in Piccadilly, pictured in May 1973. According to the caption, the business was in the process of expanding. The building in which the former garage was once based was knocked down a few years ago, and Spark:York now stands on this site...

Stephen Lewis