Photo c.1930 of a man leading a working pony and a puppy
A brief introduction to Historic photography

10 Amazing Archive Images of 20th-Century Yorkshire

Jump back in time and discover some archive photography of Yorkshire.

Our Archive team has gone to the Hessle of collating some intriguing images of beautiful Yorkshire. So, Settle down and be Idle for a few moments, as we Jump to it and spin you a Yorkshire Yarm that we’re sure you will a-Dore.

Jack Mitchell, Archive Cataloguer, takes us on a wide ranging tourist trip of the White Rose County.

Me old Muker!

A black and white photograph of a man and his horse, carrying milk jugs on either side. A village can be seen in the background.
Photograph taken 1930. © Historic England Archive. View image wsa01/01/07699.

Taken in Muker, North Yorkshire, this image fabulously encapsulates the rural way of life. Milk churns, mule and flat cap. Yet, this is juxtaposed by the delivery lorries that lurk in the background, hinting towards a more mechanised future.

Craven those (Yorkshire) Dales

A black and white photograph of an empty street lined by cottages.
A street in Yorkshire, taken in 1925. © Historic England Archive. View image wsa01/01/00757.

The Yorkshire Dales are visible in the distance from Main Street, Appletreewick. Today, the bucolic view of stone cottages and boundary walls has changed little from this 1925 image.

Yorkshire Tea stop

A black and white photograph of two people standing outside of a tea room.
A tea room, 1925. © Historic England Archive. View image wsa01/01/00760.

No day trip around Yorkshire is complete without a refreshments stop. The Laburnum House tea rooms was situated in the village of Appletreewick and catered for the intrepid motor tourists of the 1930s.   

Take to market

A black and white photograph of a marketplace with a church tower in the background.
A marketplace, dating from around 1930. © Historic England Archive. wsa01/01/00059.

The stalls and delivery trucks indicate that the market has come to town. Market Place, in the town of Helmsley has reportedly held a market since the 13th century. It still takes place every Friday, if you fancy a visit.

Fancy a drink?

A black and white photograph of two-storey pub and hotel.
The Black Swan Inn, taken in 1940. © Historic England Archive. View image wsa01/01/a0196.

Warm ale and public houses are woven into the very fabric of Yorkshire’s being. A treasured part of almost every town and community in the county, it is hard to picture Yorkshire without its pubs.

The Grade II listed Black Swan is situated on Market Place in Kirbymoorside, North Yorkshire.

Swing the willow

A black and white photograph of a family playing cricket on the beach, 1930
A family playing cricket on a beach, taken in 1930. © Historic England Archive. View image wsa01/01/g0584.

Although it is trite to say; Yorkshire folk really do enjoy their cricket. Some of this country’s greatest ever cricketers, such as Fred Trueman, Adil Rashid and Katherine Brunt all hail from the county.

This relaxed family fixture is taking place on Filey beach, north Yorkshire.

Sun, sea, sand and… Scarborough!

A black and white photograph of crowds of people on a beach with a large hotel in the background.
Holidaymakers on a beach, taken in 1924. © Historic England Archive. View image wsa01/01/05779.

Yorkshire has a number of popular seaside resorts, but they don’t come any bigger than Scarborough. The famous Grand Hotel is clearly visible in the background as it perches atop the sea cliff. 

The town has ably hosted generations of Yorkshire tourists and it remains a fabulous place to visit. However, a cup of tea now costs a little more than the ‘tuppence’ advertised in this image.

The ‘Yorkshireman’ tug

A black and white photograph of crowds of people walking along a harbour.
Crowds walking along a harbour, taken in 1929. © Historic England Archive. wsa01/01/0522.

The harbour in Bridlington is packed with local day-trippers. Pleasure cruiser the ‘Yorkshireman’ enters a busy dock area ready for another trip around Yorkshire’s lovely coastline.

Slow down

A black and white photograph of a man using his horse to pull his a car out of a ditch.
Photograph taken around 1920. © Historic England Archive. View image wsa01/01/07431.

There is no need to rush. Take in the scenery. Enjoy the views and the rolling Dales.

In Aysgarth, Wensleydale, the slower pace of life certainly had its advantages.

Walter Scott Postcard Company

These images are taken from the Walter Scott Postcard Company collection, which comprises over 25,000 negatives. The company was established in Bradford, West Yorkshire in 1905, by local photographer Walter Scott.

Although little is known about Walter Scott himself, about one third of the collection focuses on Yorkshire.

You can search thousands of these postcard images on our website.

Further reading

4 comments on “10 Amazing Archive Images of 20th-Century Yorkshire

  1. artculturetourism

    What incredible photos!! A wonderful archive blog indeed. Many thanks for sharing!

  2. Bob Carswell

    I was born in Harrogate in 1944. I left for Canada at the age of 4 months. It is nice to see these older photos of the place where I was born. Thanks.

  3. Trevor Colluney

    The great days of big cameras 2in glass slides and the epidiascope — thank you for presenting these images to me

  4. j .metcalfe

    the photo – slow down- is taken outside gayle on road to outershaw NOT aysgarth .

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