HISTORY comes alive in these photographs taken in Yeadon a century and more ago.

They are the work of prolific local photographer Ernest Ethelbert Slater - who left an astounding legacy of images detailing day to day life over a number of decades.

Some of the images are so sharp they could almost have been taken yesterday. Others have clearly been affected by the ravages of time.

Many of the people and scenes photographed in his extensive body of work will have been well-known locally. Some events - such as the arrival of the circus - will have been a cause of great excitement.

All the images, from the website of Aireborough Historical Society, give a fascinating insight into the people and places of Yeadon around 1900 or so. Many of them were taken onto glass slides and were digitally transferred by John Hobson.

One picture shows blacksmith J E Thompson as he shaped a metal object on his anvil using a hammer and tongs. The image is undated but it is known that a blacksmith named Thompson was listed on Kirk Lane in 1910.

Next to him an extremely clear photograph taken in 1915 comes with the description “ Mr Peel’s Whit Monday”. Both old and young are formally dressed in what were probably new Whitsuntide clothes. One boy is wearing a straw boater, while the girls are dressed in Broderie Anglaise.

There will have been great excitement in Yeadon when elephants came to town in 1900. The circus appears to have been visiting when this photograph was taken of the massive beasts surrounded by a gaggle of young boys.

Wormald’s Grocers, at the bottom of the Steep (Town Street) would have been a familiar scene for many Yeadon people when this picture was taken in 1900. A man stands in the doorway of the shop with two young children at his feet.

A street scene, from 1900, shows Sandy Old Way, now simply known as Sandy Way.

On the left is the Waggon and Horses Inn which closed in December 1913. During the First World War the building became home to a group of Belgian refugees. It was bought by Aireborough Council in 1937. On the right is Willow Cottage, which later became a bed and breakfast business.

Clerks at work in the Yorkshire Penny Bank can be seen in an undated photograph. The first Yorkshire Penny Bank branch in Yeadon was in the old school on Town Hall Square. The branch’s opening hours were very limited - only from 6pm to 7pm on Saturday evenings. The West Riding Penny Savings Bank was established in Leeds in1859. It was extended to the county’s other ridings in 1860 and changed its name to the Yorkshire Penny Bank. In 1959 it underwent another name change to become Yorkshire Bank.

Whitsuntide featured in many of Slater’s pictures - and on the right hand page we can see a Whit Monday Walk in 1922. The walkers, probably a chapel group, were pictured at the bottom of the High Street.

The final image, with the title “Reeds” is of E E Slater himself. It was taken in 1900 and shows Slater holding a bundle of reeds and standing in a small boat along with another man.

Ernest Ethelbert Slater was born in 1850 the son of Ann, nee Murgatroyd, and Philomen Slater who was the author of The History of the Ancient Parish of Guiseley.

Ernest went on to become the manager of Manor Mill and lived in Hopeville House in Yeadon, on the corner of Harper Lane and South View Road, now Rufford Avenue. He died in 1928.