TODAY, the fight to clean up York's air focusses mainly on reducing pollution from cars. Back in 1960, when this photo of York rooftops was taken, there was clearly another issue: smoke rising from chimneys in the city's close-packed terraces.

There are few things more pleasant than a roaring coal fire on a cold winter's night. But as this photo reveals, that comfort came at a cost. The Clean Air Act of 1956 introduced measures to reduce air pollution, including 'smoke control areas’ to reduce smoke pollution and a requirement for smokeless fuels. So views like this quickly became a thing of the past. Modern gas-fired central heating also has a big environmental impact - gas is a fossil fuel. But at least it doesn't pump smoke into the air directly above our heads.

As to exactly where this photograph was taken: in the background you can see curving railway sidings. Those must be the carriageworks: so this photo presumably shows the Leeman Road area.

Stephen Lewis