Choosing Images for the first ever Old Alnwick Calendar

There are around 600 different photographs already on the Bailiffgate Collections website ( see them here if you wish). Every one of them tells a fascinating story of our District and how its occupations, life and leisure developed between the latter part of the 1800’s and the 1950’s. If you have spent a little while browsing just some of them, you will appreciate what hard work-and pleasure- it was for us to select just 12 photographs for the months of our very first Old Alnwick in Photographs 2025 Calendar.

2025 Calendar front page
2025 Calendar front page

Obviously there are many great images of the centre of Alnwick in the archives, and featuring one of the marketplace in the calendar was pretty well a given. Whilst much of the landscape of the market square remains totally recognisable, in other ways it is truly “another country”: imagine seeing dozens of livestock arriving for auction just as we find them in the 1890’s on the March 2025 page. There are, however many other fascinating, and sometimes amusing views around Alnwick for us to choose from. After some debate we could not resist putting Pottergate and its public urinal from around 1910, situated conveniently next to the pant, into the October calendar slot. One wonders what would be the reaction if the facility were replaced today . Perhaps the most dramatic change of all in the town centre can be found in July, where we show racing cars-led by number 59- rolling through on the cobbles in Narrowgate closely -if not dangerously- watched by a group of ladies in fine bonnets and a no doubt terrified horse. Although the A1 is long gone from the streets of central Alnwick, it is interesting to look in the same view today at bollards and pedestrianisation.

Although there is not the space to cover all 12 months here, we must emphasise that the calendar celebrates the whole of Alnwick District, not just the town itself. It was only right on the November 2025 page to remember the terrifying air raid that hit Alnmouth in November 1941. The herring girls that followed the fishing fleet down the East coast each spring are shown at Craster smiling despite what would have been a horrible task with one’s hands soaked in blood and brine every day.

Finally, for all those new to Alnwick who are moving into the Peter’s Mill area of new housing, be sure to look at the December page of 2025. You will find the very mill after which this development is named, fittingly standing in the snow. We cannot date this image exactly, but it is most certainly before 1925, when sadly the mill was demolished.

If every picture tells a story, then these photographs of old Alnwick speak volumes. Do look at the 2025 Old Alnwick in Photos Calendar, now on sale online and in the museum shop.

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