WE'VE got some great street scenes for you this week - starting with one which almost doesn't look like a street scene at all.

It was taken in the early 1900s, and shows four children (with two more in the background) in Victorian dress sitting on a bench in Tower Gardens.

Behind is Tower Street - although the angle at which the photograph was taken means it is almost impossible to see the street itself: the only sign it is there is the streetlamp on the far right.

The really striking thing about the photograph, of course, is the forbidding wall of York's Victorian prison which looms in the background, almost hiding Clifford’s Tower from view.

It is that juxtaposition of the innocence of childhood with the grim prison just behind that makes this such a striking photograph: clearly the children aren't worried at all by the forbidding prison walls just behind them.

The prison, which was built in 1835, was demolished exactly 100 years later, in 1935.

This photo, like the others on these pages today, comes from Explore York's wonderful Imagine York archive. They mostly date from the early 1900s, giving a glimpse of how streets we're familiar with today once looked...

1. Tower Street from the Tower Gardens in the early 1900s. The high granite walls surrounding the castle were demolished in 1935. Tower Street was fairly wide and ran parallel to the walls but the angle of the camera has virtually eliminated the gap - the street lamp gives the only indication of the street. Clifford's Tower is in view behind the wall

2. Micklegate Bar, photographed from Blossom Street some time between 1910 and 1916 (the date is from the tram destination board). The Windmill Hotel is on the left. Parker Bros chemist occupies the other corner of Queen Street - this business continued here until 1972

3. Walmgate, looking towards the bar, in about about 1905-9

4. Walmgate in about 1915

5. Boyes Remnant Warehouse, pictured here in the early 1900s, was on Ouse Bridge. It opened in York following success in Scarborough

6. A row of shops on Clifton in about 1933. The photograph shows J.W. Bean and Co,which was a grocers and off-licence (No. 90); Miss Kathleen Dandy's cafe and sweet shop (No. 88); and Herbert Arthur Wilkins' newsagents (No. 86). There is a board in the street advertising the shows at the Picture House - Flanagan and Allen are starring in 'Alf's Button Afloat'. The cafe has a handwritten sign offering ices

7. The corner of Peter Lane and Market Street in York city centre in 1914. The Public Benefit Boot Company occupied this site for a number of years from 1913 to 1931. The notice indicates that Mr John Howard would be auctioning Nos. 1 and 2 Peter Lane on Tuesday March 24, 1914

Stephen Lewis

All the photos on these pages, and thousands more, can be seen on Explore York’s Imagine York website. Browse it yourself at imagineyork.co.uk