Eight more wonderful old films about York from British Pathé newsreels

A still from the 1930 British Pathé film of York ‘in colour’
26 Apr 2015 @ 8.22 pm
| History

This time last year British Pathé released its entire archive of newsreels onto YouTube.

At the time we picked out half a dozen classic clips about York.

Twelve months on, and it seems about time to select a few more showing the city as she was…

Glimpses Of York – in Colour (1930)

This is a truly remarkable bit of social history. York is going about its business in 1930 captured by the cameras and then given a rare stencil colour treatment by the Pathé Pictorial team.

It shows the city’s streets were much quieter, with a few cyclists and the occasional motor car or van. And almost everyone wears a hat.

Princess Royal In York (1934)

Here’s one that will be of particular interest to anyone who lives in the flats at Monkgate Cloisters, formerly York County Hospital. The film shows the Princess Royal, aka Princess Mary Of York, daughter of King George V, opening the new extensions at the hospital – built at a cost of “over £25,000”.

Married to the 6th Earl of Harewood, “since her residence in Yorkshire has become more and more closely identified with the county’s activities,” the commentator says.

Wedding at York Minster (1936)

Charles Duncombe, Conservative politician and 3rd Earl of Feversham, marries Anne Wood, the daughter of the Earl of Halifax, at the Minster, with the Archbishop of Canterbury officiating.

It was the event which “the social world has been bubbling about for days” says the commentary.

Minster’s gargoyle makers (1966)

“Here at York Minster they’ve got gargoyle masons at work making modern replacements for the old monster guards, whose hideosity has been weathered away…”

And now the gargoyles in the film have spent nearly 50 years facing the elements themselves. Features new recruit Geoff Butler – who went on to become head carver.

Lester Piggott rides for the Queen (1954)

For the first time Lester Piggott rides a horse owned by the Queen, Perambulator. Piggot was “the 18-year-old wonder-boy jockey” who earlier in the year had won the Epsom Derby on Never Say Die.

But there was no winner for him on this York Racecourse outing – Perambulator finished fifth.

York – Railway (1938)

No soundtrack here, but the footage shows the Henry Oakley No 990 locomotive. This engine, the first of The Great Northern Railway Small Boiler Class C1 locomotives, had been withdrawn in 1937, the year before this film was made.

It was named after the general manager of the railway and is now part of the National Railway Museum collection.

Wedding At York Of Prince Edward (1961)

Another Minster wedding – a royal one this time, and one that many in York will remember. Katharine Worsley is seen driving from Hovingham Hall to the cathedral to marry Prince Edward, Duke of Kent.

Great footage of people sleeping out on the streets to stake their claim to the best spot to see the action. And plenty of stars to spot too – including Douglas Fairbanks and Noel Coward. The Queen wore the white rose of York on her hat.

A collection of Yorkshire mayors (1935)

All the mayors and bigwigs from across Yorkshire come to York for a service marking the 100th anniversary of the Municipal Corporations Act, “the act which first put local government in the hands of councils elected by the people”.

First into the Minster, the Lord Mayor of York, William Henry Shaw, who was a railwayman and one of the founders of York City FC.