The footbridge which arcs across the A19 to St Peter's School at Clifton is a familiar landmark. So it comes as a shock to see this photograph from 1984, showing it crumpled into the street.

According to the caption, it had been 'destroyed' by a lorry carrying an earth digger, which tried to drive under it - only to find the bridge wasn't quite as high as the driver had thought. A woman cyclist escaped being hit by the fallen bridge by a matter of inches, apparently.

We don't know for sure when the footbridge was actually built - although our second photo today suggests that it may have been in 1975. The photo, which dates from April of that year, shows the bridge with scaffolding surrounding the supports on each side of the road. It looks very much as though it may have been in the final stages of construction. If any readers remember either the bridge being built, or the day it was almost destroyed in 1984, we'd be delighted to hear from you.

We stumbled across both of these photos while searching through our digital archive of old pictures. In a folder marked 'historic photos' there was one entitled 'Clifton'. All today's pictures come from that file.

One, taken in November 1976, shows a community fireworks display in Clifton Park. A sizeable crowd stands on the grass while fireworks leave gleaming tracks through the darkened sky. Those were the days...

Other photos show:

  • Bulldozers moving in to demolish terraced houses in Skelton Street on August 3, 1977. The houses were due to be replaced by new terraced housing
  • Contractors digging below Clifton Airfield, off Kettlestring Lane, to try to find the limits of the Yorkshire coalfield on January 17, 1980. The drill rig looks uncannily similar to the fracking rigs which are so controversial today
  • A 100-year-old train carriage being lowered into the garden of railway enthusiast John Rathmell's house in Melton Avenue, Clifton, on November 1, 1980
  • Youngsters fishing in the Ouse at Clifton Ings on August 25, 1982.

Stephen Lewis