Old York reappears before our eyes in mesmeric photo montages

[raw][/raw]In Museum Street, horse-drawn carriages replace modern traffic

Modern drinkers fade away as old working vessels return to Kings Staith

Modern drinkers fade away as old working vessels return to Kings Staith. Pictures by Andrew Farris, OnThisSpot.ca

Would you like to turn back time and see old York reappear before your eyes? Canadian photographer Andrew Farris has done just that, and the results are mesmeric.

History-mad Andrew has taken every opportunity to travel from his Vancouver home around the world to “the places where history happened”.

He’s previously chronicled London, Newcastle and Edinburgh. And now Andrew’s turned his camera on York to produce some remarkable “then and now” vistas.

Using a bit of digital trickery he has overlaid modern shots on pictures from the Explore York archives. The result: modern life dissolves before your eyes as the streets and river scenes of yesteryear return as if by magic.

These static shots only give you half the picture. You can see the full results on his website, On This Spot.

A familiar shot from now and then, looking down Lendal Bridge

A familiar shot from now and then, looking down Lendal Bridge

Andrew told us that he was a big fan of York.

As a history buff it was easily my favourite city, though overall I’d give it a tie with Bristol for first.

It felt as if York had more history there per square foot than anywhere else I’ve visited, and I sat by the side of the Ouse for a time wondering if I would have rather been raised in York than British Columbia, which is beautiful and mountainous but overwhelmingly new.

All the history I’ve spent my life studying happened in York and places like it, and being somewhere where you can touch it and sense it is invigorating and also a bit awe inspiring.

In Museum Street, horse-drawn carriages replace modern traffic

In Museum Street, horse-drawn carriages replace modern traffic

A traffic light is one of the contemporary additions to this time travelling streetscape at Micklegate Bar

A traffic light is one of the contemporary additions to this time travelling streetscape at Micklegate Bar

Many of the older pictures in his montages are by one of the world’s earliest photographers, Roger Fenton, “who spent time photographing York in 1853 before going to the Crimea to invent the art of war photography,” Andrew writes on his blog.

“His works, many of which are included here, allow us to see deep into the past with a level of detail possible in exceedingly few other places.”