THIS week we've arranged to take a trip back in time to Helmsley.

We found these photographs in an old envelope in our archives.

Perhaps our favourite is the one showing a bustling market in the town's market place in September 1948. "The market place remained busy despite an era of post-war austerity," says the caption. It certainly looks to have been thriving. A second photo from about the same date shows market stalls in front of the town hall, and two men haggling over what looks like a bale of cloth.

Another classic image is the aerial view of the market place taken in 1958. It seems wonderfully sleepy and calm, this time - a Sunday afternoon, perhaps. The square is dominated by the tall spike of the market cross, with its outflung shadow. The bus, looking like a dinky toy, gives perspective, and somehow adds to the sleepiness of the scene.

A bus takes centre stage in another of the photos. It's the Reliance Motor Services bus which ran to Helmsley from York, passing through several villages on the way. The photo was taken on June 4, 1966 - little more than a month before England lifted the World Cup. But sadly for this particular bus service, this was the end of the road. The Yorkshire Evening Press reported that Reliance's York to Helmsley service had been 'killed by kindness' - the kindness of car owners giving lifts to their neighbours and friends. How sad that seems. The man in the centre of the photograph - dressed in a dog collar and long, priestly robes - looks cheerful enough, however. We'd love to know what was in those parcels he's carrying...

The oldest photograph appears to be the one showing boys hanging out around the stone cross in the market place. There's no date but it looks, from the cloths, as though it could be late Victorian. This was clearly an established meeting place, even on non-market days, long before the bikers began to arrive.

And finally, a couple more photos from the 1960s. One shows cars with distinctly curvy Sixties bodies parked in the market place. The other, taken in 1967, shows a bus (presumably not the Reliance York to Helmsley service which had ended the year before, so possibly a service offered by a rival company) driving along a High Street distinctive for its lopped trees. They're referred to in the caption simple as 'the lopped trees in Helmsley', so we assume there was some controversy about the way they'd been trimmed.