A NEW book delving into North Yorkshire’s history has been published, and Ryedale features strongly on its pages.

The book draws upon the wealth of Historic England archive photographs of Yorkshire.

It is called, with a directness that any Yorkshireman would surely appreciate ... Historic England: Yorkshire.

And it includes some stunning images: a crane at Goole docks; sheep being herded through the centre of Helmsley; RAF Fylingdales in the days when the early warning system was made up of ‘golf balls’ rather than the mysterious pyramid of today; and the Humber Bridge under construction.

Author Andrew Graham Stables, whose previous local history books include ‘Secret Richmond & Swaledale’, says the aim of his book is to ‘explore the four corners of the county, from the industrial centre of Sheffield to the beauty of historic York, from the important port of hull to the industrial heartland of Leeds and Bradford’.

Yorkshire, he writes in the introduction, is a “county of huge contrasts, with vast swathes of unspoilt, beautiful countryside littered with picturesque villages and long stretches of an ever-changing coastline. West Yorkshire towns like Huddersfield, Halifax and Bradford were the beating heart of the Industrial Revolution and the steel towns of South Yorkshire...were fuelled by... coal mining.

“Swaledale is home to Britain’s highest pub... the most well-known slavery abolitionist came from Yorkshire, the county claims ton be the birthplace of club football and Rugby league (and) York, with its layers of heritage, includes Shambles (and) the oldest working convent in England.”

There are almost 100 pages of extraordinary photographs in the book, most with reasonably informative captions. One disappointment is that many of the photographs are undated: that can make it difficult to relate them in your mind to other things that were going on throughout the last hundred years or so. Bt there are usually enough clues in the photos - clothes, the style of cars and so on - to give you at least a rough idea of when each was taken.

We have room for only a small selection today. But if you love Yorkshire and you love old photos, it might well be worth checking out.

The photographs show:

1. RAF Fylingdales, before the ‘golf ball’ early warning installation was replaced by today’s mysterious pyramid

2. The Humber Bridge under construction in 1975. Work on the bridge began in 1972

3. Goole docks, date unknown. According to Mr Stables, the history of Goole really began in 1633 when Dutch engineer Cornelius Vermuyden diverted the River Don to flow into the Ouse rather than the Aire. This was done for King Charles 1, who hunted at Hatfield Chase near Doncaster and was fed up with the land flooding...

4. Robin Hood’s Bay which, in the eighteenth century, was ‘considered the busiest smuggling community on the Yorkshire coast’, according to Mr Stables. “It’s isolated position, protected by marshy moorland on three sides, was a natural aid to this sensitive business.” Date of this photo unknown

5. South Sands, Scarborough. There are hundreds of holidaymakers - some with bathing machines in the sea

6. Terry’s factory off Bishopthorpe Road, seen from the air. York racecourse can be seen in the background

7. A shepherd herding a flock of sheep along the street in Helmsley, with All Saints Church in the background. Date unknown.

Historic England: Yorkshire by Andrew Graham Stables, Amberley, £14.99