AS PANTO season is with us once again these fascinating photographs show scenes from productions which were staged more than a century ago.

They were all performed in a Yeadon theatre which was once thriving but which is now long gone.

The images, from the archives of Aireborough Historical Society, were all taken at the old Theatre Royal or Peoples Theatre - known locally as the "Peeps".

The AHS website says: "It was built in 1876 for the 1st Yeadon Amateur Dramatic Society and seated 800 patrons plus more in the balcony.

"George Herbert Teale, a local businessman who played a prominent part in many local and Civic affairs was instrumental in getting the theatre built.

"He suggested that members of the YADS pay a weekly sum into a fund, this was supplemented by takings from a shop, when £100 was reached the wooden building was erected.

"It was a popular venue until 1915 when the Council refused a public performance licence as the balcony was unsafe.

"It was then used as a drill hall for local volunteers until the end of the 1st World War, a Mr Wade from Apperley Lane bought the theatre at auction then the next owner was 'Tinner' Harrison of Yeadon."

The new owner of the premises had gained his nickname because he manufactured all types of tinware including pans and dark room lamps for photographers.

He changed the theatre into a covered market with stalls, selling vegetables, fish, meat, poultry, cloth, clothing and sweets.

He used the dressing rooms as his offices and works.

The AHS website says: "One of the stallholders was Norman Warren, who sold fruit and vegetables, he bought the 'Peeps' from the Harrison's around 1940, and it was later destroyed by a fire and was ultimately demolished in 1957.

"Tinner and his family lived in what was known as the Bacon Factory on Yeadon High Street, it is thought when he acquired the property it was a bacon processor’s and a house.

"Later they moved to the Haw. There were 8 children, Edward, Harold (played cricket for Yorkshire as a bowler), Arthur, Clifford (he followed his father into the tinning business), George, Frances, Kate and Hilda.

"The home on the Haw Street came with land and fields, 'Tinner' was also a local Methodist lay preacher, he is buried in Yeadon Cemetery."

A picture of two young girls in Aladdin shows Evelyn Bailey and Dolly Waterhouse who were regular performers at the Peeps in the early 20th century.

Another photograph shows a group of pantomime fairies posing with fans in Aladdin, which was staged in 1912.

Also in Aladdin were Hilda Dennison and Margaret Bailey and another image shows an unidentified man acting as the Grand Visier.

Sinbad was staged at the theatre in1913. The Yeadon Amateur Dramatic Society production included two characters 'Salt and Brine' who can be seen here and who were played by Dick Lupton and Tilly Windus.

Another image shows a large group of children who appeared in Sinbad. They are - back row left to right, Kathleen Lupton, Emily Bailey, Ethel Parker, Ivy Bailey, Alice Jackson. Front row left to right, Dolly Waterhouse, Evelyn Bailey, Lena Dennison, Ethel Ives, Ida Webster and Rosie Myers.

An undated image shows two girls appearing in a pantomime presented at the Yeadon theatre. One of them is known to be Lizzie Surr. The photograph is believed to have been taken between 1909 and 1912.

The Peeps was the venue for Cinderella in 1911 and a trio from that production are pictured. Charlotte Marshall (centre) is seen with Miriam Gibbs and Nellie Webster. The girls are described as the 'CLMOLO' Trio.

Pantomime has its origins in 'Commedia dell'Arte', a 16th-century Italian entertainment which involved music, dance, slapstick style comedy and acrobatics - themes which will be familiar to audiences today.

In late Victorian London lavish productions featured huge casts and stunning costumes and could last as long as five hours.

It has become customary for pantomimes to open on Boxing Day.