ON Saturday, September 1, Michael Richardson's Gilesgate Archive is holding an exhibition of colour pictures of Durham in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s.

Michael has called the exhibition "Now that's what I call Durham", and many of these pictures are an intimate representation of the city as it used to be. Most visitors and photographers go for the famous views of castle, cathedral and river, but to remember some of these pictures, you have to have really known Durham as a place to live and grow up in.

The exhibition in St Giles' Church is from 10am to 4pm. Entry is via a donation to church funds, and includes refreshments. This is also an opportunity to look around the Grade I listed church, which was founded in 1112, and which itself has one of those curios that colours a childhood. In the under croft are the bones of whale that were brought to the city in 1778 – the bishops could claim any whale washed up on the shores of Durham. Being taken into the dark, gloomy under croft to see the whale bones was an experience many children remember.

Today's front cover image is also from the exhibition. It shows the construction of the Milburngate Shopping Centre viewed from a window in Silver Street in the 1970s. On the left is the rear of the old Five Ways Inn and to the right is St Godric’s School, the older part of which was an old coaching inn named The Wheatsheaf.

If the pictures bring back any memories or stories, either go along to the exhibition or email chris.lloyd@nne.co.uk. Please note, all car identification has been performed by Michael Richardson. Mr Richardson is therefore entirely responsible for any debates which our legions of old car spotters might wish to begin – would you really have identified the Skoda coming off the Old Elvet bridge?

The Northern Echo:

EMPTY DAYS: The Durham Auto Electrical Services Limited premises on Elvet Bridge lies empty in 1972. Now, it is the home of the Swan and Three Cygnets pub. The business, which worked on starter motors and dynamo rewinds down in the basement, had closed in 1971. It had been run by a Mr Scott, a retired police inspector who used to ‘stamp date’ the lead battery terminal for warranty proof.

The Northern Echo:

EXOTIC MOTOR: What sort of car is that at the junction of Old and New Elvet in 1973? The waste ground behind is where the former county court building and the Waterloo Hotel once stood. They were demolished for the new Elvet road bridge. Our exotic motor making the turn is a Skoda Estelle, and the other two cars appear to be a Renault 16 and a Morris Marina.

The Northern Echo:

CASTLE SHADOW: Looking across Milburngate in 1973, showing, from left to right, Stanton’s fish and chip shop, Maggie Reece’s sweet shop, The Five Ways Inn, and Oliver’s wet fish shop. The vehicles left to right are a Jaguar MK2, Singer Gazelle, Austin 1100 estate, Atlas Copco Compressor and a Bedford C F ice-cream van.