Focus on Knaresborough: Images of People

By Gwyneth Endersby, Record Assistant

The people of Knaresborough are represented both formally and informally in historic photographs within our collections. Portrayed are individuals, family or friendship groups, official groups, and social gatherings at town events – each scene captured at a particular place and point in time.

The vast majority of Knaresborough images we hold are Edwardian in date, with some from the late Victorian period. Some of the images are helpfully annotated and dated, whilst others have no associated information whatsoever. They are, nevertheless, a valuable historic record, providing researchers with another perspective of the town and its people. The examples shown here are drawn from a number of collections held at the Record Office.

EF423-0019 Banks of the River Nidd (From the Masham Local History Group collection)

This informal shot shows people gathering along the banks of the Nidd and on the steep steps leading up Castle Hill during the popular Water Carnival. Moored on the far bank is the Marigold houseboat café, run by the Riley sisters during the early 1900s. The advert for “Walton’s Knaresbro’ Linens”, on the gable end of a riverside building, is a reminder of the importance of this long-standing industry to the town.

MC00014 Tradesmen’s Procession, Knaresborough Market Place, c. 1910

Digitised as part of the Unnetie project, this view of Knaresborough Market Place shows the Tradesmen’s Procession (held every June, up until WWI), passing through. To one side of the proceedings is the ‘Votes for Women’ demonstration, which includes smaller name placards on either side of the main sign labelled: “Miss Pancake” and “Miss Jelly”.

MC00022 Charles Wox (right) outside his Bootmaker and repair shop

Cordwainer Charles Wox (1869-1954), poses with his assistant in the doorway of his shop at 74 High Street, Knaresborough.

MC00076 Park Grove Methodist chapel choir, c.1920

The Park Grove Methodist chapel choir, Knaresborough, captured for posterity, circa 1920. Minister Ogle presides in the front row, whilst Minister Gillot stands behind

R/M/KN 1/1/34 Wesleyan Preachers of Knaresborough Methodist Circuit, 1871

An official photograph within the records of Knaresborough Methodist circuit, shows named portraits of all the Wesleyan preachers in 1871. Knaresborough circuit originally covered a wide area, involving 27 chapels – three of which were in the town itself (Gracious Street, Park Grove and the High Street).

MC00019 Knaresborough Silver Band with National Reserve volunteers, 1914

In this poignant image from 1914, members of Knaresborough Silver Band pose with volunteers of the National Reserve at the railway station before they leave for active service. The Silver Band is still going strong today, and we hold their minute books and accounts in collection ZKB.

Fresh air and exercise in the Edwardian era: these images of women cyclists and a group of tennis players are from a collection of around 100 glass plate negatives, found in an old photographer’s shop on Cheapside. Whilst there is no attached information regarding the subjects or their particular locations, the images are nonetheless packed with intriguing visual details of the period.

Many more images of Knaresborough are available to view and purchase via our online shop

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