Our old car spotters were very interested in a picture of Ripon Market Place on April 1, 1964, from a couple of weeks ago but none of them were blessed with our ability to enlarge the original.

Therefore, everyone agreed that 430 EAJ behind the tree was a Ford, but there were a variety of guesses at a Cortina or a Zephyr.

Yet we reckon when we magnify it, it says “Consul” on the bonnet.

The AJ on its numberplate suggests it was registered in Middlesbrough and was a Yorkshire car.

Alongside it on the front row, is a Rover 90 or 110, with a Hartlepool registration, then we have a Morris Minor, with a pole in front of it, and, on the right, another Ford, probably a Zephyr? The Morris and the Ford both have Leeds registrations.

Read more local history stories in our dedicated Looking Back section

To save any blushes, we won’t mention any names of correspondents this time, but thank-you all for your contributions – and do you think we are right to say it is a Consul?

Darlington and Stockton Times: Ripon Market Place on April 1, 1964. If anyone wishes to identify the two old cars nearest the camera, please email chris.lloyd@nne.co.uk with your suggestions

The Ripon picture featured in our article about the town’s market cross, which is actually an 82ft high Grade I listed obelisk, erected in 1702 by John Aislabie, of Studley Royal, as a way of reminding the city’s voters of his affections even though he was currently sitting as Northallerton’s MP. It worked, as in 1705, Ripon re-elected him as their MP.

Read more: Why Ripon obelisk is more than just a market cross

We’ve looked at the migratory market cross of Northallerton, which has moved up and down the high street over the centuries.

By contrast, Bedale’s market cross is very static. In the 14th Century, it was placed where the town’s three main medieval roads converge on the market place.

Darlington and Stockton Times: A late Victorian view of Bedale Market Place, where the elephant and Lady Morgan, the Windsor fairy, were performing in 1814

In 1251, Henry III granted Bedale permission to hold a market every Tuesday, plus an annual three day fair to be held 40 days after Easter Sunday on the Feast of the Ascension. This market charter shaped Bedale, causing its central street to become a broad market place, lined with prosperous merchants’ houses with their long, narrow gardens running behind them.

Plus it caused the market cross to be placed in the middle, as a reminder of the sanctity of the bargain.

It is on an octagonal base of seven steps and is 3.5 metres high. Market crosses were not really religious items, but in the 17th Century, someone placed an iron cross on the top of Bedale’s, and so it remains to this day.