We often get asked why we don’t create a digital archive for visitors to our website to search. Believe us when we say we’ve thought about it, but with over 10-million aerial images in our archive, some dating back to the early 60s, it would be a near impossible task to digitise them all.
So, although we have many landmarks and places of cultural interest digitally archived, many images of UK properties are only stored in our vast physical archive. In order to locate images of private houses taken over several decades, we first have to compare postcodes against our flight record maps to identify in which years aerial photography flights took place.
Over the past 20 years, and particularly with the advent of the Premier League, football grounds around the country have undergone major refurbishments or in some cases moved completely.
Take for instance, Roker Park, home to Sunderland AFC for 99 years between 1898 and 1997. The ground was demolished and the site is now a housing estate with commemorative street names such as Clockstand Close, Goalmouth Close, Midfield Drive and Turnstile Mews.
As we undertake research of our archive, we often unearth aerial images of old industrial buildings that were still operational in the 60s and 70s but have now either fallen into disrepair or been converted in to other uses.
In the North of England textile mills were a backbone of the industrial age, employing many thousands of people across a large swathe of the north. Now many hundreds of mills stand empty or have been demolished, but in recent years restoration projects have begun to repurpose once derelict mill buildings into domestic, tourist and business locations.