DURHAM'S many landmarks can be seen from the splendid aerial view of the city from 1970 in the gallery above, but as loved as any of them was the police box.

Whereas most of Durham's landmarks, from the castle and the cathedral to the students' union, are loved for their place in history, the police box in the Market Place was loved for its quirkiness.

It was first installed in 1932 with a bobby sitting in it remotely controlling traffic lights he couldn't see. The main traffic was coming single file from the south-east over Elvet Bridge into the Market Place and then out north-west down Silver Street, which was also single file. Then there was the traffic heading north-west up Gilesgate and, for added interest, the cathedral traffic wending its way awkwardly down Saddler Street.

As the picture shows, this domed box seems to have taken quite a hammering from passing traffic. It was replaced in December 1957 with a squarer box, which had two television screens connected to cameras on poles so the policeman could now see what was happening in his blind spots of Elvet and Saddler Street. Some even say that was the first CCTV-controlled traffic system in the country.

The box remained a characterful feature of the city until it was removed in November 1975 when the dual carriageway across the river was complete.