Looking down on Donny brings back memories

Aerial view of Doncaster town centre as it looked in 1991.
Aerial view of Doncaster town centre as it looked in 1991.
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We can all identify certain parts of our town, whether it be the present day or some years ago, but it gets a bit tricky when shops and buildings, and sometimes even whole streets, disappear with alarming regularity.

But when it comes to views from the air, the concept is totally different and many people find it difficult to realise just what they are looking at until they find a recognisable point to start from.

So this week for something completely different we are giving you this wonderful view of Doncaster taken in 1991.

What makes it slightly different is that it is in colour. It’s pretty easy to spot some of the landmarks but if you don’t recognise St. George’s Church (now the minster), better put the page down now.

In the foreground is the girder bridge leading to Friars Gate alongside the area of grass and scrub which is a giant car park nowadays.

Crossing the bridge and turning left (on the photo only, not in today’s traffic arrangement) takes you along Greyfriars Road and past the sub aqua club on your right followed by what was Ye Old Crown pub (now a saddlery and outdoor/horsey clothing store).

Opposite this is a blank space which doubled as a lorry park, but before that there once stood one of Doncaster’s most recognisable structures, the imposing Joseph Rank/Hanley’s Flour Mill.

Move your eyes onwards and things really get interesting, no college to your left yet but what you can see is a big multi-storey car park which fills part of the space where the North Bridge roundabout now stands.

There’s a hidden little car park there now near the Ye Olde Crown Inn but not on this image. The building you see was Askews where you went for quality printing, it’s still operating but in Balby these days.

On we go then, what an adventure! It was way back then when in the pitch black you would park your car, climb the smelly concrete staircase and cross a narrow Indiana Jones style footway which wobbled when you bounced on it to take you from the car park across the ring road to Market Place where you popped out next to Platts Engineering (now Table Table and Premier Inn hotel.

Bottom right now and you can see from this view of its roof and car park just how much of an area the Hillards supermarket covers, it’s now a Tesco.

There was a bustling community of streets and houses, including Lord Street, and massive tram sheds and trolley bus depot then which was built back in 1902 and lasted until the 80s.

Although 20 years ago ain’t exactly a lifetime, if you’re only a young sprog, forget it and ask your mam and dad.

Having said, that even a few years of looking back can be infectious.

Enough of the reminiscing, have a go yourself, once you find a spot you recognise you will find it really does bring back the memories.

To help you get your bearings, the wide road on the right of the picture is Frenchgate, starting at the Arndale Centre, now the Frenchgate Centre, and disappearing away into the distance becoming High Street and Hall Gate as it goes.