Beverley, East Yorkshire: History in Old Images

Old photo of the Saturday Market at Beverley, East Yorkshire, England

Enjoy a glimpse of history through old images of Beverley in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England, UK.

Deaf Community Wedding in 1940

It’s the summer of 1940. Duncan McKenzie and Nesta Holgate arrive for their wedding at Beverley Minster, accompanied by friends and family.

The couple had been baptised in Beverly where St John, adopted by the 19th Century deaf church as the patron saint of deaf people, was interred. They would marry here, and be laid to rest together here too.

This war time wedding captured newsreel attention because both Duncan and Nesta were deaf. They, and many of the wedding guests that day, used sign language.

34 year old Duncan McKenzie was a widower, labourer, and conjurer. He was the grandson of sword swallower Susannah Mapplebeck. Through much of his life he would work at travelling fairs.

22 year old Nesta Holgate was the daughter of a shipyard worker. Nesta’s sister was to live next door to the couple for many years.

In 1946, Duncan and Nesta had a baby boy, called Peter. When Peter was still very young, he was taken into local authority care and put up for adoption.

Nesta died in 1998.

In the year 2000, 94 year old Duncan took a train trip to Bridlington, a regular occurence to buy his favourite brand of vodka. On his way back he fell asleep and missed his stop. When the police woke him up, they sent him to the Deaf Institute in Sheffield for a temporary stay. He died a few days later.

Problems contacting Duncan’s family meant they were not present at his funeral or cremation. His ashes were placed with Nesta in a plot she had bought years before in St Mary’s Cemetary.

The TV programme See Hear replaced the simple wooden cross, which just had Nesta’s name on it, with a new memorial stone naming both of the,.

Deaf And Dumb Wedding (1940) – British Pathé on YouTube

Beverley in C.1964

Clear, remastered footage takes us through Beverley’s streets around 1964. Captures a wide range of shops, businesses, buildings and home, pedestrians, cyclists, and cars.

You’l notice lots of people walking along with, or stopping to chat with, to their friends and neighbours. While there are plenty of cars compared to many UK streets at the time, it looks as though finding a car parking spot was not a problem.

A Drive Through Beverley RE MASTERED c 1964 archive ref – East Riding of Yorkshire Council on YouTube

Beverley Market C. 1965

Footage from around 1965 captures stall holders setting up for the Saturday Market, and some of the many customers who came to browse and buy.

Saturday Market shopping in Beverley 1965 (archive ref EYBE) – East Riding of Yorkshire Council on YouTube

Beverley Through Time

See Beverley’s famous Saturday Market, historic Minster, and many other locations as they look in the modern age, then transformed to the same spot many decades before. The elephant parade must have been quite a sight!

Beverley Through Time – The Time Travel Artist on YouTube

More Pictures of Old Beverley

Old Beverley‎ in East Yorkshire, England, enjoyed through historic photos, vintage pictures & archive film. Browse history in these fascinating old images of a bygone era on my Pinterest board.


East Riding Archives on Flikr

BBC: The story of the couple in the ‘Deaf and Dumb Wedding’ of 1940

YouTube sources shown under each video.

More about East Yorkshire

Categorised in