Chester, Cheshire: History in Old Images

Vintage postcard of Cemetery Road, Chester, in Cheshire, England

Enjoy a glimpse of history through old images of Chester, in Cheshire, England, UK.

The City Of Chester

The ancient walled city of Chester was founded by the Romans in AD79 – the same year Pompeii and Herculaneum disappeared under the eruption of Vesuvius.

Today the city boasts Chester Cathedral whose first beginnings may stretch back to Roman times, the Norman-era Chester Castle, a number of medieval buildings, and an array of striking Victorian architecture. Visitors and locals enjoy views of the River Dee and walking down to Chester Canal, which was opened in 1779 during the Industrial Revolution.

Chester City Walls were started by the Romans, improved by the Anglo-Saxons and Normans, had their circuit completed by the 12th Century, and were further fortified for the English Civil War of 1642–1651. 

Chester City Walls are unsuitable for families with children, prams & pushchairs, wheelchairs. But if you are physically able, you can still walk along the elevated walkway along the wall for almost 2 miles (3.2 km), which forms almost a complete circuit of the city as it was in the medieval era.

Chester City Walls are maintained by the public sector, so entrance is free.

Meanwhile, many families enjoy a day out at Chester Zoo.

Chester Through The Ages

We start with a trailer for a DVD about the history of Chester, which showcases film clips recorded in the city from the 1920 on.

The video includes scenes of the 1937 Coronation celebrations, the construction of the New Gate, and people skating and walking on a solidly frozen River Dee in 1963.

Chester Memories – MerseysideDVDs on YouTube

1920s Chester Streets

Rare home movie of the streets of Chester in the 1920s.

1920s Chester Street Scenes, UK 16mm Home Movie Archive Footage – Thekinolibrary on YouTube

1920s Chester Street Scenes, UK, 16mm Home Movies – Thekinolibrary on YouTube

This 1920s home movie footage shows road construction underway in in Chester’s town centre.

1920s Chester Street Scenes, Traffic – Thekinolibrary on YouTube

Chester Races in the 1920s

Along with the large crowds and horse race in this 1922 footage, there’s also a glimpse of a steam train going by in the background.

The Chester Cup (1922) – British Pathé

In 1923 the horse Chivalrous won by a length from Happy Man, for the second year in succession, and the cameras were there to record the event.

The Chester Cup (1923) – British Pathé on YouTube

1920s Chester Regatta

Regatta – Chester (1920-1929) – British Pathé on YouTube

Chester in 1934

A Bulwark Of The Legions – Chester (1934) – British Pathé on YouTube

Chester in 1935

A Bulwark Of The Legions – Chester Aka Chester – Scenes Of City And Surroundings (1935) – British Pathé on YouTube

Chester in the 1950s

This video shows Northgate Street in 1950s Chester, in colour.

Chester (not Coventry) 1950s – Independent Film Archive on YouTube

The next video has both old Birkenhead and Chester in the 1950s.

1950’s Cine Film of old Birkenhead and Chester – VideotoDVDWirral

Queen’s Visit 1957

In 1957, Queen Elizabeth II and her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, visited Chester.

After a visit to Wallasey, the Royal couple are greeted at Chester Station by Lord Lieutenant Lord Leverhulme as they disembark the royal train.

After leaving the Town Hall with the Mayor, Reverend E Lawson, the Queen presents Colours to the 1st, 4th and 7th Battalions at the Roodee. The event includes a moment where soldiers have to chase two dogs away.

The Queen and Duke then visit the children and men’s ward at the Royal Infirmary, before attending the new County Hall where the Queen unveils a plaque to officially open the building.

She receives a silver cigarette box as present from the council. (No, she was not a smoker).

Royal Visit To Chester And Wallasey (1957) – British Pathé on YouTube

Chester Gangshow 1962

Footage of the Chester Gangshow at the Royalty Theatre in 1962.

Chester Gangshow 1962 – Chester Gang Show Channel on YouTube

Frozen River Dee 1962-63

The hard winter of 1962-63 was so cold that the River Dee froze.

CHESTER, RIVER DEE ,1962-1963 – BRONPW on YouTube

Chester in the 1960s

Chester 1960’s – Geoff Clayton on YouTube

Chester in the 1970s

A late 1970s home movie of a day out in Chester, originally filmed on Kodachrome Super 8mm.

Chester,c.1970’s. – Brianellwood on YouTube

Football Win 1974

On 13th November 1974, the 4th Division Chester team beat Champions Leeds 3-0 at Sealand Road in heavy rain.

Pictures of the Leeds game are interspersed with cuttings from the Newcastle and Villa games, as Chester got close to being the first 4th Division side to make it to a Wembley final.

Chester 3 Leeds 0 November 13 1974 – WerewolfZevon on YouTube

Chester in 1980

Filmed in 1980 by Dr Stanley Solomons on Kodak Super 8 film using a Eumig Mini 5 camera, this walk around the city includes

  • Eastgate
  • city walls
  • canal
  • Roman Gardens
  • Roman Ampitheatre
  • Trip on the River

They include a photo of the long-demolished Union Hall in a courtyard off Foregate Street. Pevsner’s guide to Cheshire described it as “built in 1809 for tradesmen attending the Chester fairs. A galleried court of which the E and part of the S side  remains. Three-storey. Iron columns.”

Chester in 1980. Views of Eastgate, The Walls, Canal, Roman Ruins, and a River boat on the Dee – Burl Solomons on YouTube

Chester in 1983

Thames TV item first broadcast on 6th February 1984.

Chester – Cheshire – 1983 – ThamesTv on YouTube

Chester In 1995

Chester in 1995 – What Did It Look Like? – Griffomedia on YouTube

2007 Aerial Footage

This 2007 footage above Chester was filmed using a midel aircraft with on board video camers.

Includes the Meadows, River Dee, Groves, Queens Park, Boughton, Suspension Bridge, Old Dee Bridge and Chester Park.

If you find the engine sound difficult to listen to, just turn your device to silent.

Model Aircraft views over Chester, Cheshire – Megapoints Controllers

The Groves 2007

The Pigeon man of old Chester town! – trefechan on YouTube

Demolition of Cheshire HQ

The former Cheshire HQ in Chester was built in the early sixties, but was demolished to make way for an hotel and expensive flats.

This video shows progress over several weeks as the 60s building was gradually demolished.

The final days of the Ugly old Chester police HQ. – Dalesaccount on YouTube

Chester Then & Now

Leaderlive created this next video for their Local Bygones website, comparing the city in the 1920s with 2017.

Chester, England, in the 1920s vs 2017 – Leaderlive on YouTube

Old Photos of Chester

This video showcases old photos taken of Chester between 1900 and 1950.

Old Wirral & Chester – anipsl on YouTube

Next we see a collection of old photos of the market area and Town Hall.

Montage Old Market Chester – thejoesmoe on YouTube

Regional Transport 1960-80s

The next video shows old footage recorded between the 1960s and 1980s, of vehicles travelling aroung Wallasey, Birkenhead, Chester and New Brighton.

The vehicles include buses, cars, trucks, milk float, fire engine, motorbikes, Blackpool Tram and the Royal Irish Ferry Boat. 

You’ll see Wallasey Road, Martin’s Lane, Woodchurch Road, Hinderton Road, and Valkyrie Road.

J, Kent Auctioneers, Worthingtons, No 2B Bus Wallasey Corporation, MPTE, Huddlestons Butcher, Honda ss50 Motorbike, fizzies, Atlantean Bus, and Midibus also appear.

Vintage & Classic Vehicles around Wirral and Chester – Cine FilmVideotoDVDWirral on YouTube

Chester City

Chester City fc Dozens of old Chester City FC pictures now available on – LeaderLive on YouTube

More Pictures of Old Chester

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

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