Bilton Street

Joyce Warriner and family lived with her grandmother Ada Warriner at 35 Bilton Street from 1948 to 1950. The family moved when Joyce was two, to a house in Tang Hall, because of overcrowding. Joyce remembers returning to visit her other granny at 24 Bilton Street:

We used to come back and visit, it was the only house in the street with double gates, it had a yard with an airraid shelter in it, it had a front room middle room and kitchen, the stairs were through a door in the middle room, the Nolan family lived there

Thanks to Joyce for completing our questionnaire about living in Layerthorpe.

Rose E Senior lived at 23 Bilton Street. Andi Brigham sent us Rose’s memories:

Mum attended Bilton Street school which was across the road from where she lived … she said that she had to walk through pumpers alley to get to school, she remembers that all the children had to have a sleep in the afternoon for about an hour, they would sleep on the floor in the school.


Corner of Layerthorpe (road) and Bilton Street. Photo: Explore York Libraries and Archives


Bilton Street from Foss Islands Depot. Photo: Explore York Libraries and Archives

Black and white photo of back yard, overlooked by gasometer

Back yard of 42-50 Layerthorpe and 1-3 Bilton Street. Photo: Explore York Libraries and Archives

Terraced street

Bilton Street School. Photo: Explore York Libraries and Archives


  1. Trevor Keeler

    The second picture is Redness st showing the entrance to “pumpey passage and Bilton St school. My house was further up on the left.

    [update: the photo referred to has since been moved from this page. See following comments
    – Lisa, website admin]

    • Lisa @YorkStories

      Having read your comment again Trevor I realise that if the second image is Redeness St it shouldn’t be on this page I’ve titled ‘Bilton Street’. The info I have comes from the notes accompanying the image in the archives online collection, this result for a search for Bilton St. I can’t see a way to link to a particular photo’s description on the site, but it says “This large building on Bilton Street was a school” – here’s an image of the text for that photo. If that’s incorrect and it’s actually Redeness St then we should probably let them know. (And I should move it to the page with photos of Redeness Street.)

      • Just updating the info here, with reference to the comments above – thanks Trevor, I’ve been doing some site updates and have now moved the photo you mentioned to the page for Redeness Street. Seems the archives information has now been updated and clarified too, so it says “This large building in this picture is Bilton Street School in Redness Street.” Easy to see how the confusion arose, isn’t it. Presumably the building had entrances on both streets?

        I hope all the other photos on this page about Bilton Street are in the correct place. But your comment Trevor highlights the importance of local knowledge, which I hope we’ll be gathering more of via these pages. Thank you.

  2. Lisa @YorkStories

    I love the names, they didn’t always get added to the maps, did they :) Am guessing that Pumpey Passage led to a water pump?

    • Trevor Keeler

      Never saw a pump there but it went through Redeness St into Bilton St. It was also the one covered area to hang out for us “youngsters” before we were old enough to join the Boys Club, never gave it a thought that there was nowhere for the girls to go.

  3. I think I’m probably thinking about pumps because I’ve been looking at the 1852 map, it’s a beautiful piece of work: – and has many ‘pump’ locations marked. Including in the yards between Bilton Street and Redeness Street (though a century before you lived there).

    I’ve been up to what’s left of Redeness St and taken some photos, will be adding them soon.

  4. I was born at 35 bilton street my mothers family lived at 24 bilton street

  5. Sandra Wreglesworth

    I lived at No. 27 Redeness Street for quite a few years too.

  6. Does anybody out there know the Todd family who lived at 25 Bilton Street, the dad was Walter Todd and the mother was Mildred may Todd formerly Nicholas, there was Ray,Brian and Tommy Todd. Would be grateful for any info, Brian was my dad.

    • Sandra Wreglesworth

      Hi Lucy,
      I knew a family with the surname Todd, in particular Vera Todd and I think she had a sister called Rosemary. I am sure they lived in Bilton Street. She had other siblings but I do not know their names. I am not too sure about this but I think their mum was called Ellen. Do you think it could be the same family?

      • Melanie Starkey

        Sandra, mum Rosemary and her sisters Vera were nieces of Walter Todd. Ellen (Nellie) was my grandma and they lived in Duke of York Street for a number of years before the compulsory purchase by the council resulted in them moving next door to my dad on Tang Hall Lane. Will speak to mum about it this afternoon.

        • Sandra Wreglesworth

          Hi Melanie – good to hear from a relative of names mentioned on this site. Didn’t expect that. Ng sure your mother and Vera will remember me. My maiden name is Durkin. Looking forward to hearing more.

          • Melanie Starkey

            Mum definitely remembered the Durkin family. As soon as I mentioned Uncle Walter she mentioned Millie to me, along with the family. I remember meeting Tommy when my grandma Nellie died. He was extremely kind to me and mum said she and Tommy had been in the same class at school. I showed her the website yesterday and she couldn’t believe all the pictures etc. Mum is very good at remembering people’s names. I take after my dad and forget names/faces all the time…

    • Andi Brigham

      Walter Todd was my mother’s Uncle,this was given to me by my mum (Rose Senior who lived at 23 Bilton Street, she was one of a family of 13 children). Ada Maloney lived at number 22 and was my mum’s Godmother. I have a Directory dated 1951 that lists all the heads of households for all of york and includes layerthorpe.

    • Melanie Starkey

      My mum is the niece of Walter Todd. I know she was at school with her cousin Thomas Todd. I am seeing her this afternoon and will let her know about the website.

  7. Andy senior

    Hi my dads family lived in Bilton street the seniors the pig man might jog people’s memory’s I wold love some info on them

    • Sandra Wreglesworth

      Andy, did your dad come from a large family? If so, it might be the family referred to in earlier posts on this site. Hope this helps.

  8. Andy senior

    Yes my dads family had 13 seniors my dad new Todds he says they was a school down they anyone no the name he says he lived at num 23 he lived next to a yard

  9. Andi Brigham

    Andy you should speak to me as i’m your cousin and have started doing the family tree,got quite a bit of info that you might like. Would love to see old family photos if you have any?

  10. Thank you so much for publishing these images. My Great, Great, Great grandparents lived on Bilton street in the 1800s. He was a shoe maker. Very industrial looking! Is it gone now? Ca you e-mail me?

  11. After reading a lot of these wonderful comments of my birthplace, I feel compelled to join in and mention what I remember of Bilton St/ Redness St, Downhill St and of course Layerthorpe itself.I was born in no 54 Bilton St in 1941 and had an older brother and sister, Tony and Alma. Our mother was a war widow and brought us up by doing what countless thousands of other mothers did Post War.In the two up and two down terraced house lived my Gran Florence (Florrie)Chipchase her two sons Freddie and Lawrence (Fred and Lol)my Mum Doris (Dot) My brother Tony And Me. Our sister Alma was brought up by our Great Grandmother Francis Chipchase who lived on Layerthorpe opposite Ginny Wilson,s second hand shop with Mrs miller,s little shop next door. I often went in for half a gill of milk out of the churn. Many of the people I have read about so far are ex playmates, school pals and general pals larking about on the playgee!!!The memories seem like only a while ago dont they.I will join the site again when nostalgia becomes reality, so until then, take care to all the old Layerthorpe residents. Keith.

  12. Lawrence Chipchase

    My father in law – Lawrence Chipchase was born at 54 Bilton Street he is now 90 year old – he has read all the comments and found them fascinating – it was lovely to hear all the names and enjoy the comments from his childhood – Keith Jones is his nephew and is still in touch with him. It would be nice to hear from other old residents of Bilton Street.

  13. Sandra Wreglesworth

    My father, Dennis Durkin is 92. He was born at No 58 Layerthorpe. His parents were Martin and Dorothy. He lived there until he joined the forces (he was a Chindit). After the war he married my mother and they lived at 31 and then 27 Redeness Street. Myself, as the first of their four daughters, attended Bilton Street School. I left in 1956/7 when it closed. I have heard him mention the name Chipchase. Roughly the same age, their paths will have crossed most definitely.

  14. Sue Gough (nee Morgetroyd)

    My great grandad, John (Jack, Jackie) Neale moved to 29 Bilton St in 1910 with his family. He moved to 54 Redeness st in 1913 after he married Alice Elizabeth Craven. He worked in gum starch at Rowntree’s from June 1903 to 26 May 1954

  15. My great.great.great grandfather William Chambers lived at 44 Bilton Street in 1841.

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