IMAGINE draining a deep pond only to find, emerging out of the receding water, the outline of an old van. How on earth did it get there? And what might still be inside?

That was exactly the thought that occurred to workmen who, in June 1987, found a white Ford van at the bottom of a pond at the old East Moor airfield at Strensall that was in the process of being drained. The van, it turned out, had been stolen a couple of years earlier. "Divers were sent down," says the caption to this photograph, no 1 on our list of seven photos of Strensall. "But there were no bodies inside." Thank goodness for that...

We stumbled across all the photos on these pages in an old folder marked, simply, Strensall. They date from the 1970s/ 80s and 90s. And while there's nothing to link them other than the fact that they show Strensall and its surrounds, we hope they'll conjure up a few memories.

Our other photos show:

2.Troops helping firemen on Strensall Common. Rounds of blank ammunition had exploded in a grass blaze near the firing range, the caption to this photograph says. Firemen from York, Tadcaster and Malton worked with 'extreme caution' for more than five hours to control the flames, which spread over five hectares. There's no date on this photograph, sadly, but we guess it dates from the 1980s or early 1990s. If any readers remember this fire, we'd love to know more...

3. A new footbridge being built over the railway at Strensall on October 29, 1983

4. October 18, 1973: "A Strensall industry since the last century ends its career next Thursday, with the closure of the Strensall Brick and Tile Works Ltd," says the caption to this photograph. "The site was bought by a London property company."

5. October 9, 1989: Strensall level crossing. A report said leading athletes in a road race had jumped over the closed barriers, despite warnings. We're not quite sure why that meant the road markings had to be repainted, though...

6. April 12, 1990: Strensall Station. The station, the caption says, was 'last used for timetabled services in the 1930s'.

7: November 1, 1992. A class at Robert Wilkinson Primary School in Strensall. Do any readers recognise themselves?

Stephen Lewis

  • We welcome contributions from readers to Yesterday Once More. However, we would ask you not to send in original old photographs, as we cannot guarantee that these will be returned. If you have old photographs or documents you would like to share with us, either send copies, or contact Stephen Lewis at or on 01904 567263.