Dr Peter J. Shield PhD, ARP is an award-winning photographer, retired archaeologist, broadcaster and author. Among his various assignments, he worked for Associated Press, for the Maltese Government Information Department and for the Times of Malta under Mabel Strickland.

In August 2019, he donated  to Heritage Malta around 350 negatives of photographs to form part of the National Collection. These photos were shot by him in Malta during the late 1950’s. This photo collection is a historical gem that covers several local themes, acting like a time capsule of days gone by.

Help us preserve the story of our nation. Click here to send us your photos and stories.


Initially, the fear of the COVID-19 pandemic shook populations right from their roots. The need to shut ourselves from the rest of the world seemed horrific if not tragic. Yet the ability of humanity’s ingenuity to find ways of surviving once the shock is over, is brilliantly captivating.

Although seemingly isolated in their houses, people found their way out on balconies and on rooftops. Away from the streets and yet close enough from a safe distance, people rediscovered these areas which up to some years ago used to serve as meeting points among neighbours and passers-by.

This week’s selection of photos from the Shield Collection that was donated to Heritage Malta focuses on roofscapes. The photos were shot by Dr Peter J. Shield PhD, ARP from various vantage points offered by churches in Malta and the Citadel in Gozo during the late 1950s.

Due to popular landmarks which are present in each of the photos, it is not difficult to recognise the locations. Besides their nostalgic value and their comparative potential, the beauty of such images is in the detail which good observers will perceive.

View from Mellieha Parish Church

View from the Cittadella

View from Hamrun Parish Church

View from Siggiewi Parish Church


After experiencing the hardships of war, people living in the 1950s had a deep eagerness to return to normal as well as a strong thirst for change. This week’s theme, HAPPY RETURN, focuses on places of entertainment and leisure.

Heritage Malta is curious to know whether any of the readers have ever been to any of these bars, cinemas, theatres, music halls and venues during the late 1950s. Do these entertainment places still exist? Do they still serve the same purpose or have they changed business? Do the readers have any memories about these entertainment spots which they would like to share? And the big question – can you identify someone in the photos?

Happy Return Bar

Chateau Buskett

Bar – Strait Street, Valletta?

Ħal Luqa

Catholic Institute

Manoel Theatre

Ħal Far



During the 1950s, all British men between the ages of 17 and 21 were required to serve for two years in the National Service. After the end of the Second World War, Britain’s world status was changing rapidly as one colony after another began to demand their independence.

The Empire was slowly fading into history and the threat of another war was still lingering in the air. It was no time to loosen up. The British forces needed to be prepared and adequately trained to defend their country. Many of the soldiers were sent to train at the remaining colonised countries, including Malta.

Among the collection of 350 photo negatives which were shot during the late 1950’s by Dr Peter J. Shield PhD, ARP and recently donated by him to Heritage Malta, we find intriguing traces of such times.

Entitled ‘Standing Ready’, this week’s theme focuses on teams of British soldiers during their military training in Malta, particularly at the bays of Għadira and Mistra.

Heritage Malta is encouraging you to engage with these photos by sharing any information which you might have about them. Do join in the fun!

Mistra Bay

Għadira Bay


Memories of mothers of another time are captured in these photos dating to the late 1950s. Can you recall being with your mother in any of these places?

Can you help us identify where this photo was taken? Can you recognise the area? Click on the image below and leave your feedback in the comment section.

Can you help us identify where this photo was taken? Can you recognise the area? Click on the image below and leave your feedback in the comment section.


When we take photos, we endow memories with a physical presence. Each time we look at an image, we are transported right back to that place or to that person at that particular moment in time. Yet the same photo might have a different meaning to each one of us.

Take a look at these images. Can you recognise any of the places or any of the people? Do share with us the stories which these photos can tell.

Can you help us identify where this photo was taken? Can you recognise the area? Click on the image and give us your feedback in the comment section.

Can you help us identify the exact location where this photo was taken? Click on the image and give us your feedback in the comment section.


Ħajr Malta Audiovisual Memories – Arkivji PBS

On 28 April 1958, the General Workers Union (GWU) ordered a national strike which was mainly caused by the bad social and working conditions of the working people. Matters worsened when the British Authorities closed the Malta Drydocks, thereby threatening the livelihood of more than 13,000 families. The Malta Labour Party joined the GWU in the demonstrations.

The strike started from early morning. Some streets in Valletta were barricaded by the Police, including the area around Castille and the Times of Malta, while protesters blocked the roads of some villages with huge stones, mainly to prevent the movement of British military vehicles.

Matters escalated when fighting ensued between protesters and the Police, the latter being also assisted by the British commandos, in Raħal Ġdid and Marsa. The worst incidents took place at ‘It-Telgħa ta’ Kordin’.

The day after, the British Government issued arrests to some of the protesters who were mainly GWU officials, MLP Ministers and supporters.

On 1st May 1958, Workers’ Day was celebrated at the Empire Stadium in Gżira, since it was prohibited from organising any events in Valletta.


We were informed that this marketplace was located in Birkirkara.

Do you remember it?
Can you identify this location or any people showing in the photos?