IN summer, the idea of children having their lessons outside seems sensible. But what about in winter?

That was the reality for pupils of a very special school in York – Fulford's open-air school, or to apply its proper name: Fulford Road School for Delicate and Partially Sighted Children.

In fact, the school was designed for children battling tuberculosis. It was based in a converted army hut in grounds at Fulford Cross.

It opened in Fulford in 1920 but was first established in 1913 in Castlegate – originally in the same building as the Tuberculosis Dispensary, with classes held in a garden next door. In 1919, records show there were 39 children enrolled.

At Fulford, extra accommodation was made and by 1956, 108 children were on the register.

Open-air schools were established across the UK and abroad between the world wars.

Their aim was to tackle the rise of tuberculosis (TB) during that time, under the belief that fresh air would improve health. The schools tended to be away from city centres and sources of pollution.

Children were taught in classrooms with open doors and windows, or outside. And sleeping was done outside or in wards that were exposed to the elements.

By 1937, there were 96 open air-day schools in operation throughout Britain, and 53 that were also residential.

At Fulford, we know that children slept outdoors in all weathers, thanks largely to a book published almost 20 years ago by Brian Sanctuary, who attended the school from 1933-38.

His book, Sleeping In The Snow, had a remarkable picture of children in York asleep on camp beds outdoors in the depths of winter.

Today, we share some other pictures of York's open-air school at Fulford from our archive. One shows children asleep in more forgiving weather (note, always on their right side with two hands under their right cheek), while the other two show the children having lessons outside in the grounds.

Many saw their health improve purely because they received three nutritious meals a day. A menu is recorded as listing porridge and bread and dripping for breakfast, hot suet puddings, stew and boiled fish for dinner, with hot milk and bread and margarine following for tea.

There were lessons as well as periods set aside for breathing exercises, rest and "physical culture".

In his book, Mr Sanctuary observed that "In those early days, more than a few children were able to throw away their crutches. The health of many children improved markedly simply because they were given a decent meal every day".

During our trip down Fulford's memory lane, we uncovered some other fabulous photos. Take a closer look at the horse-drawn tram trundling up Fulford Road into town, dating from 1900. The advert is for Nixey's Black Lead, a popular polish for cleaning cast iron fire places. Note the tram has stairs leading to an upper deck (uncovered), but no passengers. Bystanders look bemused, while two women in fine full-length Victorian clothing and hats, cycle on a near empty road. Changed days indeed!

Jump forward a few decades and we can be reminded how much a loaf of bread cost thanks to this photo of the Co-Op store in Fulford from 1983. A large loaf of sliced Sunblest was 33½p, while you could buy Andrex loo roll for under a pound. Offers also extended to packet soups, Digestive biscuits and flour. Anyone who remembers grocery stores in the 1980s will know they are a world away from what we have today with simple, unfussy fare the order of the day. No chance of finding hummus, halloumi and vegan ready-meals back then!

Two other pictures from the 1980s caught our eye – a snap of Fulford's Main Street with little traffic, and an image of the H Duffield and Son garage in Main Street.

Rewind to March 1974, and our picture shows a bus layby under construction in Broadway, Fulford. It was built as a safety measure to ease traffic danger when cars tried to overtake stopped buses.

Finally, there is a picture of the 16th York (Fulford) Methodist Pack Brownies at Fulford Playing Field, where they planted a willow tree for the movement's diamond jubilee.

Note how they are wearing the now long-gone Brownie tunic, complete with leather belt and beret and white knee-high socks. Oh, how I remember them so well!