VOICES and pictures from the past of one of Britain's favourite seaside communities are going on display at a ground breaking exhibition.

Many of the audio recordings made by Whitby photographer John Tindale lay forgotten for decades until unearthed following his death. Now the astonishing recordings of the voices of people from the Whitby of the 19th century have been used with his dramatic photographs to help create three short films.

They describe life in the world famous North Yorkshire fishing port as seen through the lens of the local newspapers photographer.The main presentation, 'A Vision of Whitby' tells John Tindale’s story about how he came to chronicle the life and times of the people of Whitby.

Among the audio stories are accounts of the death and destruction caused by the First World War bombardment of the town. Also described is the rescue operation launched following the sinking of the military hospital ship Rohilla, just off the Whitby coast, in October 1914.

There are tales of poachers feeding their families by hiding salmon under babies in prams, and descriptions of just how harsh life was for the hungry children of the local primary school. There are also reminiscences of partying until 2am and fun times in Whitby at the Regatta. The main film, 'A vision of Whitby' tells John Tindale's story.

His son David Tindale said: "'My father never stopped taking photographs his entire life, from being a young man to an old gent, and was looking for the story in everyone he met, whether for news, for literally thousands of weddings and significant events, or for those small moments in life that still make the paper in a town like Whitby."

York based film maker Anne Dodsworth of Blow Your Own Trumpet Films was bowled over when she heard John Tindale's archive and was commissioned to make the films, recruiting a Berlin composer to create the music.

She said: "What comes over is the warmth and resilience of the people in these recordings made mainly in the 1970s. It’s quite remarkable they have never been been heard before; they chat about First World War events as if they were yesterday; some are also talking about their strict primary school teachers, in the 1890s," said Ms Dodsworth.

An exhibition from the archive along with the films is being staged at Whitby Museum until May 2022.