Carlisle: Local History Old Photos & Films

Carlisle Cumbria England UK local history

There are lots of free-to-view films showing the City of Carlisle in the old days. Plus, local history enthusiasts have compiled photo montages showing the community’s people and places in the past.

Through The Ages

“Postcards from Old Carlisle”

YouTube channel 0ldcarlisle uploaded a montage of vintage postcards showing Carlisle in the past.

“Know Where You Walk Carlisle Pubs”

YouTube channel Know Where You Walk uploaded this video showing Carlisle pubs in the past.

“Carlisle Past & Present Part 1” 

YouTube channel ‘Know Where You Walk’ used synchronised layered imagery to show Carlisle in times gone by.

“Know Where You Walk Carlisle 5” 

A video montage from Know Where You Walk, comparing Carlisle’s past and present.

“Carlisle 2, Turning Back Time 2”

YouTube channel daverobe1 uploaded a promotional film for the history DVD Carlisle 2, Turning Back Time.

“CARLISLE CUMBRIA UK – old photos & soundtrack”

Youtube channel Zigatone uploaded a montage of old photos of Carlisle.

“Old Carlisle. Then and Now part 2” 

This video shows a number of Carlisle settings in the old days compared against the same locations today. 

“Carlisle.. Then and Now” 

A montage of Carlisle’s past and present, made by YouTube channel 0ldcarlisle.

Edwardian Denton Holme

The Huntley Film Archives collection contains a short film from 1911. It records the workers of Denton Holme, an inner city area of Carlisle in Cumbria. 

The streets are bustling with people, with the occasional bicycle and horse and cart. 

Because the men, women and children were curious about the filming, their faces and clothing are captured clearly for posterity. For the majority, this would be the only time in their lives they were filmed.

The City In The 1950s

“Royal Visit to Carlisle – 1958” 

This film from British Movietone records the 1958 Royal Visit of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, to Carlisle. Queen Elizabeth II was unable to attend because of illness, so was represented by her husband.

After arriving by royal train, Prince Philip was greeted at Carlisle station by a number of local dignatories including:

  • Colonel Sir Robert Chance,  BA, JP, Lord Lieutenant of Cumberland – who in 1944 donated Chances Park to the City of Carlisle
  • Councillor Irving Burrow, the Mayor of Carlisle

Prince Philip was then driven in an open car through the streets to a formal ceremony where he received flowers from a young girl called Pauline Farish. Then there was a historical procession, with local people parading in a range of costumes. Some even appeared on horseback. 

He then visited the Mitre Hotel for lunch with the city council.

In the afternoon, a childrens’ event took place at Bitts Park.

Many people turned out to cheer the royal visitor in all the locations shown.

The 1960s

“Marshalling Yards Under Construction – Carlisle (1961)”

Between 1959 and 1963, a new marshalling yard was built in Carlisle as part of the British Rail modernisation programme. Marshalling yards were used to separate wagons and allow a change of crew at a time when freight was commonly transported by rail. 

British Pathé recorded some of the building activity in 1961. Several of the men are seen working.

“Film about the railways and it’s enthusiasts, 1960’s – Film 5869” 

This film, part of the HuntleyFilmArchives collection, won a ‘Ten Best Award’ organised by the magazine Amateur Cine World in 1964. The Awards show was presented at the National Film Theatre, for which an 18 minute extract of this film was created and screened.

It brought the now famous Settle to Carlisle line to national attention at a time when it was little known outside the region.

The whole line from Settle to Carlisle via Horton-in-Ribblesdale, Ribblehead, Dent, Garsdale, Kirkby Stephen West, Appleby, Appleby West, Culgaith, Armathwaite, and Cotehill was recorded on a 16mm Bolex camera. 

Station buildings and local communities appear and are commented on. Also included are diesel train, steam trains and a steam crane. 

“Square Bashing in the early 1960’s. Archive film 97069” 

Hadrian’s Camp in Houghton, near Carlisle, was a military basic training camp opened at the start of the Second World War. It had a gymnasium, teaching blocks, a cook house, baths and approximately 120 huts on site. The camp was closed in 1969.

In the early 1960s footage of the Hadrian’s Camp parade ground practice – known as Square Bashing – was recorded. The film is now held by the HuntleyFilmArchives, who have uploaded it to YouTube.

“British Railways Steam 1960’s Carlisle Station & Kingmoor MPD” 

YouTube channel agdenyer uploaded this 1960s 8mm cine film, which includes shots of Carlisle Kingmoor MPD (Motor Power Depot) and Carlisle Station.

“Royal Scot Pub, Carlisle, 1960’s” 

Oscar Tink uploaded a 1960s silent cine film to YouTube showing the Royal Scot Pub in Carlisle.

“The SETTLE & CARLISLE line from a DMU CAB in 1967” 

Filmed in 1967, this footage shows the train journey from Skipton to Carlisle via Settle, Ribblehead (the viaduct still had two tracks), Ais Gill summit and Appleby, as seen from the  Driver’s Cab of a Diesel Multiple Unit train.

“Carlisle power station” 

Back in the late 1960s or early 1970s, a hobbyist filmed the Carlisle power station. It was uploaded by YouTube channel doctordiesel77.

“Carlisle Scooter Club on Tour 1979 to 1985” 

A montage of photo was uploaded to YouTube by bazman39, showing the Carlisle Scooter Club attending rallies at Scarborough, Great Yarmouth, Morecambe and Dunbar between 1979 and 1985.

The City In the 1980s and 1990s

“Carlisle – early 80s. Lanes demolished + panorama from top of Civic Centre” 

This footage from Tony Marshall shows the city in the early 1980s, possibly 1982 or 1983. 

“Carlisle in the 80s…” 

Richard Murray’s video shows the border city in the 1980s.


YouTube channel DaveSpencer32 uploads videos from across the UK showing bus transport from the past few decades. This footage shows buses travelling about in the city back in 1988.

“Harry Secombe on the Settle Carlisle Railway 1980s” 

Back in the 1980s popular TV presenter Harry Secombe visited the Settle to Carlisle Railway. YouTube channel ageofthe train has uploaded the footage.

“47570 + 87021 at Carlisle Station in 1989” 

This footage from Felixjaz shows the city’s railway station in 1989. 

“Carlisle Scooter Club late 80’s+early nineties” 

This photo montage was uploaded by YouTube channel davemicjack. It shows members of the Carlisle Scooter Club in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

“Carlisle scooter club Part 2” 

YouTube channel davemicjack uploaded a second video montage of photos showing the Carlisle Scooter Club in the late 1980s and early 1990s. 

“UK No 5 Rails around Carlisle 1990 – 1993 by Rail Rover UK – railway video” 

RailwayTV’s trailer shows a number of passenger and freight trains working in the area in 1990-1993. Customers can order higher quality DVD and Blu Ray discs of the full film.

2009 Flooding In Cumbria

“Flooding in Carlisle, Cumbria – Nov 2009” 

It’s estimated that the Cumbrian floods of 2009 caused £276m of damage.

YouTube channel naturearoundme caught the moment the River Eden in Carlisle was running very close to the outer flood defences.

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