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Issue 4 - July/August 2012

South Leeds


Middleton’s marvellous heritage
- 28-page special

Special Middleton Life heritage project edition


South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012

Issue 4 - July/Aug 2012
Welcome to this very special ‘Middleton heritage’ issue of South Leeds Life, which ties in with the Middleton Life local history project you may have read about in previous issues. We’re devoting our entire issue to the project, which recruited a team of local residents to look into Middleton’s rich history. A fantastic display now stands at Tenants Hall Enterprise Centre in Acre Close. Our friends at Middleton Primary School also contributed a beautiful wall hanging and group members have been to Cockburn School to put together a fabulous stained glass window. It’s been a terrific project involving a number of different groups and has truly brought Middleton together. I’ve loved reading the articles by our community reporters and it’s great to see Miggy’s character shine through. We’ve tried our best to ensure everything’s as accurate as possible, but historians sometimes disagree with each other! If you spot an inaccuracy, drop us a line - contact details are below. Enjoy the rest of this special Heritage Lottery-funded issue. We’ll be back with our regular South Leeds Life in a few months.

South Leeds

PARK: Middleton Park has a rich history. Photo by Alex Smith. INSET: Pat McGeever, Chief Executive of Health for All.

Middleton Life recalls community’s history
by Pat McGeever


CEO Health For All
e’ve always known that Middleton has a fabulously rich heritage and a fascinating

South Leeds Life editor: John Baron Contributors: Martin Bartholomew, Ada Bosomworth, Cockburn School (Kath Penchion, Anna Clapham and Peter Nuttall), Friends of Middleton Park, Paul Hebden, Valerie Higgins, Vera Humphrey, Christine Jenkinson, Lisa Firth, Sandra Firth, Mick McCann, Pat McGeever, Carole McKnight, Middleton Elderly Aid, Middleton Primary School, Middleton Railway Trust, Steve Peacock, Roland Pilling, Alan Shaw, Marlene Silverwood, Robin Silverwood, Pat Smith, Christine Thornton, Frank Wright
South Leeds Life Magazine is published by the South Leeds Information Project, a project managed by Health For All, a local charity. Any views expressed in this magazine are those of the groups/individuals concerned and do not reflect the views of Health For All and its staff. We are independent of all political parties and adhere to the Press Complaints Commission’s code of conduct.

About us

past. But it’s been inspiring to see and hear our Middleton Life group members recount stories of yesteryear and recall fond memories of bygone times. The passion and commitment of the group has been wonderful to see and reaffirms that community spirit is certainly alive and well here! The energy and enthusiasm the group brought each week created a real buzz at Tenants Hall. We hope everyone enjoys the wonderful film members have put together, as well as the exhibition at Tenants Hall which everyone in Middleton is more than welcome to come and see. Our thanks to Cockburn School for their help with the stained glass window and to the pupils at Middleton Primary who’ve done themselves proud with with their wonderful wall hanging! I hope they bring back some fond memories - and uncover something new for others. But above all I hope you enjoy reading about the group’s journey as much as I did.

A group of current and former Middleton residents have become local history reporters and investigated the rich heritage of their community. Led by volunteers from the local community, the Middleton Life project received £49,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). The volunteers explored the history of Middleton, focussing on family life, working conditions and the significant changes in health and medical care at a number of key points in history. The community-based reporters posted their findings on the South Leeds Life blog - www.south - and also write for this magazine. They also put together a permanent exhibition celebrating Middleton’s history at the new Tenants Hall Enterprise Centre, home of Health For All. Fiona Spiers, Head of HLF Yorkshire and the Humber, said: “Heritage is not all castles, museums and old buildings. Memories, stories and reminiscences are a very popular way of learning about our past. The Middleton Life project will allow local people to investigate and share their experiences with the wider community.” The project was run by Middleton-based charity Health for All.

About Middleton Life

Contact us
Telephone: 0113 2706903 Write: John Baron, Health For All, Tenants Hall Enterprise Centre, Acre Close, Middleton LS10 4HX Email: Blog: Twitter: @southleedslife Facebook: Search for ‘South Leeds Life’ Flickr photosharing: southleedslife/

South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012


Park and woods at heart of our past
BLUEBELLS: Middleton Park is renowned for its bluebells. Photo by Alex Smith

Middleton Park and Woods are at the heart of Middleton’s industrial heritage. As we’ll learn in this magazine, mining took part in the woods up until 1968. If you look carefully you’ll see depressions where the old mines were and old

l Middleton Park is a rem nant of the manorial estate wh ich existed after the Norman Co nquest. Middleton is mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086. MIDDLETON MINER: Possibly the first picture in l The bowl-sh aped pits found in the world of a working steam locomotive. It’s the woods are the remains of an dated c1813. early form of coal mining dat ing back to at least the 1660s. l At the northern end of the park there is an earthwork from 1204 demarcating the bou ndary between Middleton and Bee ston. Lords of the manor includ ed the Grammarys, Creppings, Leg hes and Brandlings. l The Brandlings cleared land and built Middleton Lodge in about 1760, creating a country est ate. l The Brandlings exploit ed Reproduced with permission of Science the underlying coal and we BELL PIT: Evidence of early coal mining re reMuseum/Science and Society Picture Library sponsible for building the Photo by Friends of Middleton Park Middleton Railway to transpo rt the coal into Leeds. l Since 1920 the park has been in the ownership of Wade's Charity who lease it to Leeds City Council for a peppercorn rent. l In recognition of its industrial and historical import ance, part of the woodland was scheduled as an ancient monum ent in 1998. l Friends of Middleton Par k group hosts a number of eve nts throughout the year includi ng band concerts, working parties and BROLLIES: A Middleton Life trip in the park. Photo by Alex Smith tours.

bridleways which were used to move coal. Middleton Railway was set up in 1758 to take coal from Middleton to the city centre it’s the oldest continuously working railway in Britain. So you see, Middleton’s got a rich history!

Park and woods history in brief

More articles and videos online at:


South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012

Meet the ML team
An interest in south Leeds history
Steve Peacock
Core group member
I lived in Middleton for around 10 years in the 70s and 80s. I now live in Holbeck but still have an interest in the area - it’s all south Leeds at the end of the day. I have a general interest in history in Leeds, but Holbeck in particular.

Middleton Life launch event unveils history

BIG TURNOUT: The audience listens attentively at the launch event.

Lived in the community for 35 years
Christine Thornton
Core group member
I was born in Middleton and lived there until I was 35 years old. I have some really good memories of growing up in the area.

Learning from past
by John Baron
Magazine editor

Photos: Alex Smith

Volunteering is important
Carole McKnight
Core group member
I am very interested in finding out more about my community and voluntering with Health For All.
ALL SMILES: Ada Bosomworth and Carole McKnight pictured above. INSET: A display of photos and memorabilia brought in by group members.
An Iron Age ‘quern” stone (for milling grain) dating 450 BC was found in a field wall in Middleton in the 1960s but was sadly lost.

Community spirit is alive and well in Middleton! That was the message from Middleton Park councillor Judith Blake at the official launch event of the Middleton Life local history project at Tenants Hall Enterprise Centre. The July 12 event saw the ‘unveiling’ of the four community history panels put together by members of the community and a 25-minute film where residents interviewed each other on their memories. A beautiful stained glass window by volunteers supported by Cockburn School staff and a vibrant wall hanging by pupils at Middleton Primary School were also unveiled. Cllr Blake told the audience of almost 80: “What struck me today was the incredible pride we all have in our community. The work you’ve done here gives such a lift to that pride and a feeling of community spirit. l Continued on page 5
Middleton was originally a small agricultural village connected to Leeds by footpaths and wagonways for horse-drawn carts Pre-1330 the manorial estate was owned by the de Crepping family, from 1330-1706 by the Leghe family.

Middleton’s history: a timeline

In 1086 Middleton was mentioned in the Domesday Book. Its Anglo-Saxon name means “a settlement between two places”.

Life for ordinary folk was tough. The majority would have lived in simple one-room houses which they shared with their animals.

Life expectancy for adults was as low as 20 years old in medieval times.

South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012


panels, film, stained glass and wall hanging

Meet the ML team
Fascinated by Middleton’s mining past
Martin Bartholomew
Core group member
I am a ‘Friend’ of Middleton Park and a member of Middleton Railway. I have always been quite fascinated by history, particularly Middleton’s. I am particularly interested in the mining, railway and tram histories.

to create a legacy
l From page 4 “Different generations have come together to create a marvellous legacy for Middleton. “I feel quite emotional after hearing all the different stories on Middleton’s past.” The project was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Yorkshire and the Humber committee member Ros Taylor told the launch meeting: “Middleton Life was all about getting under the skin of the history of Middleton, and members have certainly done that covering from the time of the Domesday Book, through the industrial age to modern times. I am bowled over. “People have learnt so many new skills. I could feel their passion as soon as I walked through the door. “People understand where they came from, which also helps them understand where they’re going in the future.” The idea of the project came from charity Health For All,
In 1204 a boundary ditch was created between Middleton and Beeston, which is still visible in Middleton Woods.

DREAM TEAM: Core group members of the Middleton Life local history project 2012.

Passion for Middleton
Ada Bosomworth
Core group member
I’ve always had an interest in Middleton’s history. I have a lot of memories of how the area used to be - I really enjoy looking back at the past and learning new things about where I live.

PANEL: John Baron, Meena Jeewa, Cllr Judith Blake, Ros Taylor, Pat McGeever and Yvonne Deane.

which is based at Tenants Hall. CEO Pat McGeever said: “I have always been proud to have worked in a building which was paid for by local people themselves. “We thought it would be wonderful not just to celebrate the history of the buillding, but the wider Middleton community as well. We work closely with local people and I knew there was so much inspiration and energy out there to capture the area’s rich history.” Pat said Health For All was
In 1541 William de Leghe, who owned the Manor of Middleton, plotted to overthrow King Henry VIII. He was hung and quartered.

due to celebrate its 21st birthday this December. The organisation started out with one worker and a small advisory group and now has 70 full-time staff and a number of different community-based projects. She also said she was hopeful the work of the Middleton Life group would continue. Workshop leader Meena Jeewa also outlined the process of how members carried out their research. More details on pages 21-26.
By 1642 mining was well established and Middleton’s ‘colemyne’ was valued at £350 per year. A fortune in those days!

I was brought up here!
Valerie Higgins
Core group member
I was brought up in Middleton and have many memories. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, I’m very proud of where I live.
In 1733, Middleton’s first mining fatalities were recorded with four men killed.

Middleton’s coal mining history is first mentioned in 1632 when the woods and pits were mortgaged to Robert Pierrepoint ...

... but mining in Middleton probably began in the late 1550s.

279 pits in Middleton woods are the remnants of ancient coal mining activity and lead to parts of the park being designated a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Getting buried was expensive with the poor buried in pauper’s graves with no headstone.


South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012

Meet the ML team
More people should take a pride in area
Paul Hebden
Core group member
I have lived in Middleton all my life and I’m very passionate about the area. I’m very active in the community and I believe people should take pride in the area where they live.

Launch event - photos by Alex Smith

Learning new skills
Pat Benatmane
Core group member
I enjoyed attending the stained glass workshops at Cockburn School. It was fun capturing Middleton’s history on the window, squeezing in all the ideas, learning new skills and meeting new people.

Caring about Middleton
Vera Humphrey
Core group member
I really care about Middleton and have lived here a long time. I have a lot of memories which I hope people will be interested in.

LAUNCH: Local residents enjoy the wall panels and wall hanging.
In the 1700s most people were illiterate and there was no access to medicine or healthcare. The first ‘railed’ waggonways were built in the park by Charles Brandling in 1755. The wagons, which transported coal and other supplies, ran on wooden rails and were pulled by horses. By 1820 there were 300 miners underground and 80 surface workers in Middleton pits.

Middleton’s history: a timeline

Cont from p5

Life expectancy for adults is thought to have been as low as 35 years old by the 1700s.

Around 1760 Middleton Lodge was built by architect James Paine as a new residence for the Brandling family.

The Middleton Railway was founded in 1758. In 1812 it was the first commercial line to successfully use steam locomotives.

South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012


Landmarks captured in stunning colour

Meet the ML team
Fascinated by Middleton’s mining past
Christine Jenkinson
Core group member
I have good memories of living in Middleton. My sister Valerie and I have lived in Middleton since 1955 when I was 10 and she was seven. We went to Middleton Primary School and then to the secondary girls school. I’d like to see Middleton go back to the way it was. I’m a member of Middleton Community group.

PROUD: Stained glass group members Roland Pilling, Pat Benatmane, Paul Hebden and John Bates show off their work. Another member of the group, Martin Bartholomew, was unable to make the event.

Wall hanging and window are result of talent and fun!
Hours of hard work, creative genius and lots of fun have proved a recipe for success for Middleton Life. Ten Middleton Primary School pupils attended Cockburn School twice a week to put together a stunning wall hanging on Middleton Park and the history of the community. At the launch event headteacher Samantha Williams said she was very impressed by the colourful work, which includes local landmarks. She said it had given the pupils, who attended a Middleton Life tour of the park and woods with the Friends of Middleton Park group, an insight into the area’s history. Different fabrics and materials were used, with many ideas coming from the pupils themselves. Some of Middleton Life’s members also attended Cockburn School each Friday morning to learn the ancient craft of stained glass and put together a fabulous window. More on the window making on page 26.
Cholera, infectious diseases, poor sanitation and healthcare meant that life expectancy was low. In 1837 many people died in their 30s. Built in 1846 St Mary’s Church in Middleton originally had a fine spire

Going to work on tram
Sandra Firth
Core group member
When I was a lass the Broom Pit was still there, my husband went from school at 15 to work there. We used to go to work on the trams.

Enjoyed the stained glass
John Bates
Core group member
LEFT: Middleton Primary’s wall hanging.

Photos by Alex Smith

I’m interested in Middleton’s history and the stained glass class was a great opportunity for me.

In 1920s Leeds Corporation bought large amounts of land from the Middleton Estate and Colliery Co to build the Middleton and Belle Isle estates.

Following the death of Miss Maude in 1933, Middleton Lodge became the club house for the municipal golf course.

1860s: Middleton Estate and Colliery Co cleared the trees from the centre of Middleton park, now known as the Clearings. The timber was used at the colliery.

In 1920 Middleton Park was purchased by the Thomas Wade Charity and leased to Leeds Council for 999 years.

In 1925 the tramway from Leeds to Middleton opened.

Broom Colliery closed down in 1968, ending three centuries of mining in Middleton. The 1973 Lofthouse pit disaster seven men were killed, including miners from Middleton.


South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012

Meet the ML team
Bowling fan with interest in history
Roland Pilling
Core group member
I joined Middleton Park Bowling Club seven years ago when I retired. I’ve learnt lots about Middleton’s history.

Heritage news from the area Plaque for pioneer who shaped Miggy

A lot to offer residents
Frank Wright
Core group member
I’ve lived in Middleton a long time and my memories have a lot to offer residents. The area has changed a lot.

The pioneer of council housing in south Leeds - whose legacy can still be felt in Middleton, Belle Isle and across south Leeds even today has been commemorated with a historic blue plaque. Social reformer the Rev Charles Jenkinson (1887-1949) was also vicar of Holbeck and was responsible for driving the clearance of many of the slum dwellings in the area during the 1930s and replacing them with state-of-the-art council housing. The plaque is on St John and St Barnabas Church, Belle Isle Road, where he moved his congregation from Holbeck. It was unveiled by Cllr Rev Alan Taylor, who was Lord Mayor of Leeds earlier this year.

BLUE PLAQUE: Commemorating Charles Jenkinson.

Photograph: John Baron. Inset courtesy Leodis

Tenants Hall has a rich history
HISTORY: How Tenants Hall used to look. Photo from Health For All

Many happy memories
Brian Hope
Core group member
I’m a longterm resident with many happy childhood memories of the area.

Check out the Middleton Life film featuring oral history interviews with Middleton residents online at: middleton-life

Tenants Hall may now be a super new enterprise centre for the community, but it also has a rich history. The hall itself dates back to 1955. The building was actually instigated by Middleton’s residents and it was run by the Middleton Tenants and jewellery etc. Householders Association. “We’ve now got 1,500 memResident Vera Humphrey bers, who each pay 50p a believes Middleton was first year. In 1955 we got the Comcommunity in Leeds to have a munal (Tenants) Hall, which tenants’ hall. has been the thriving centre Christine Thornton added of our activities ever since. that Health or All later took it “[The] aims of the associaover on a peppercorn rent tion include to give advice to from the council. all members of the community Here’s an excerpt from the with social and housing probcommunity association’s artilems and ensure a good workcle in the It’s Our Paper free ing relationship community newsletter from Middleton in 1985: “We first started in 1939, meeting in each others’ houses to play whist, have raffles and Christmas draws and to raise money for the associ- ABOVE: The first committee at ation by selling the official opening on June 3, sweets and 1955. RIGHT: A 1955 whist drive.

with all authorities and departments concerned.” Typical activities from 1955 included community hymn singing, whist drives, a Darby and Joan Club, adult social evenings and youth nights. Last year saw a new centre opened thanks to £1.6 million of central government and European Union’s European Regional Development Fund money. The building is owned by the council and run by Health for All. It aims to encourage business and enterprise activities within Middleton and south Leeds as well as providing local people with a place to meet up and take part in social activities.

South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012


Free to roam and play
Christine Thornton
Community reporter
was born in Middleton just after the end of the Second World War and lived there until I was 35 years old. Life was simple then and children played together and made their own entertainment. I played with boys and girls in my immediate neighbourhood and my best friend lived next door. Most of our play was after school, at weekends and during school holidays. Middleton estate was built with houses that had gardens, but most of our play was in the street and on the grass verges. Lots of the neighbourhoods had verges on one side of the streets and in those days, there was nothing to stop us using them as football pitches or rounders pitches. The days of “No playing on the grass” or “No ball games by order” did not come into fashion until much later. Most games were communal. We all played football, using any ball that was available and coats and jumpers used to mark the goal posts. We played rounders with any sort of bat and ball, using the corners of the verges as bases. We played cricket using the garden gates as wickets, with the bowlers running over the road to bowl. Although we lived on a bus route, the bus only came one way round every half hour. We knew the timetable and had to stop play whilst the bus passed. Other games were more seasonal and favoured by either girls or boys. Boys enjoyed playing marbles or “tors” as we called them. They would often play in the gutter and many marbles were lost down the gulley grates. There was always a lot of hanging around when the gul-

Our community history reporters ...

Middleton memories
The greatest place we know
It’s Our Paper
Excerpts from 1985
The following are excerpts taken from Middleton community newsletter It’s Our Paper in 1985... Annie and George Hayward wrote: “Middleton is the greatest and friendliest place we know and we should know as we’ve tried living at the seaside. We moved some years ago to another district - but no way could it come close to Middleton. “We have been here for 50 years and there is always someone to give a helping hand and an ear to listen to your troubles. “Of course, like everywhere else, there is good and bad. But to us there is much more good than bad.” In the same issue, Mrs May Mann writes: “I came to Middleton in 1933. At that time the church was just a wooden structure and stood where the parochial hall and the library were. “The vicar lived at 42 Middleton Park Avenue. “Where the vicarage is now, we signed many petitions for a swimming pool to be built to serve the school and the community, but it never materialised. There were no houses in the small streets behind the Tivoli ... all fields, just a large wooden British Legion building.”


PLAYTIME: Middleton youngsters having fun. Photo contributed by Christine Thornton

lies were cleaned as the lost marbles were retrieved by the workmen and given back to the children. Autumn saw the boys playing conkers – no health and safety issues for us! We played whip and top

FUN TIMES: May Day in thr middle school grounds in the 1970s - photo courtesy D&B Rawden

decorating the tops with chalk stripes in different colours which gave a pleasing design as they spun round. Skipping was popular especially with the girls but the boys did join in at times. The poor skippers were used as winders of the ropes and if there were not enough winders, we would tie one end of the rope to the lamp post which meant that we

could skip with one winder. We used our mothers’ old clothes lines as skipping ropes. Hopscotch was a game enjoyed by both girls and boys but girls were usually better than the boys. We would draw in chalk a large hopscotch on the pavement and take turns. Of course, we had to stop play if anyone was passing and then carry on from where we left off. My mother wasn’t keen on me drawing on the pavement and I was often made to wash the hopscotch off, using a mop and bucket, if it was outside our house. Boys would make bogies, best described as a kind of go-kart. Not many of us had bikes, so this was the next best thing. A set of wheels were needed and these were usually from an old discarded pram. A base was built from old wood which would sit on the chassis and then built up to form the bogey. A length of rope was attached which the driver held to steer. Going down hill was rather precarious as the bogey would gather speed. There were no brakes – a strong foot was needed to slow and stop the bogey!! There were fields at the bot-

Flash Gordon at the Tivoli
Val Higgins
Middleton resident
The old Middleton Tivoli Bingo Hall was once a cinema. It was great to go and see ‘Roy Rogers’ and ‘Flash Gordon’ as serials every week. In the evenings films were shown such as ‘King And I’, ‘South Pacific’ and ‘The 39 Steps’. We loved watching the film stars like John Wayne, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra and Doris Day.

Continued on page 10


South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012

Christine Thornton brought in this photo of a fancy dress parade at the spring fair at St Cross Church in the mid 1950s.

Days when we were free to roam
Continued from page 9 tom of our road where the housing finished. These belonged to a local farmer who grew corn, peas and rhubarb (we called it “tusky”). We would often go roaming in the fields, making dens in the cornfields before harvest time and pinching peas and rhubarb to eat. A great delicacy was to have sugar in a paper bag, dip raw rhubarb in it and eat it as a snack. Another snack was cocoa and sugar. We mixed the two ingredients in a paper bag and ate it by dipping our fingers in it and licking it off. In the autumn, we would go “blackberrying” at a place beyond the field we called Blackberry Hill. We would go armed with jam jars to collect the fruit – no plastic boxes at that time. We would eat as many as we collected. My mother always used the fruit for blackberry and apple pies. Sometimes, we would go wandering off into Middleton Park or the Plantation. The Plantation was a type of scrub land where the Westwood estate was built. When I was a child, it was a kind of wasteland. We usually went gallivanting into the park and woods during school holidays with a jam sandwich and a bottle of “Spanish wine” for sustenance. This was a concoction of water to which we added hard liquorice that was called “Spanish”. We would be out all day and this had to keep us going until teatime. There were no limits to our jaunts. The only proviso was to be home for tea otherwise we would be in trouble from our parents. These outings were like expeditions to us. They would be arranged the day before; permission sought from parents and then on the day the preparation of our snack. We would call for all our friends who were allowed to go and then the world was our oyster. We ran, climbed, skipped and fell. As children we were given free range to play and roam. We spent lots of time outdoors and lots of time roaming free. We were made of strong stuff. I think that my generation was the last to benefit from this.

iddleton is special in several ways. Middleton took its name from being in between (or in the middle of) Morley and Rothwell. Middleton was not part of Leeds, which ended at Hunslet. Rather, it was a village and described in the 19th century as a chapelry in the parish of Rothwell. A very important feature of Middleton was that it stood on high ground four miles south of central Leeds, the water tower being the highest point. This made Middleton a healthy place to live away from the smoke of industrial Hunslet and Leeds. In 1870-72 it comprised of 1,797 acres, and real property £9,261. £4,400 of that was in mines and £30 in quarries according to John Marius in his Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales. St Mary’s church was built in 1846/7 in Early English style. Above the tower was a steeple. The steeple or spire was removed from above the tower in 1939 due to mining subsidence. Coal Mining was important and there were extensive collieries in the area. Originally the coal was transported to the river at Thwaite Gate and then transported up the river to Leeds. This was not very cost effective though. The Middleton estate mines were owned by Charles Brandling, who also owned the land up to Thwaite Gate. This meant he could


A journey through our history
Middleton resident
EARLY ENGLISH STYLE: St Mary’s Church. Photograph
reproduced by permission Leodis.

Martin Bartholomew

build wagon ways to the river. Charles Brandling needed to get the coal to Leeds more efficiently to be able to tender a good price and gain the contract. He came up with a plan to build a wagon way to Leeds (at Tetley Brewery site). This required an Act of Parliament so that the land owners could not change their minds. This then happened in 1758 and Middleton had the first railway in the world by Act of Parliament. At this time the coal wagons were moved by horses hauling the wagons on rails. Charles Brandling won the contract and the rest is history. Middleton Railway is the world's oldest continuously working rail-

way. In 1811 the track was relaid with a toothed rail on one side which was the first rack railway. In 1812 Middleton Railway became the first commercial railway to successfully use a steam locomotive, the Salamanca. There were a variety of different mines with about 274 just in the park area. These included ‘bell pits’ which were less than 20m deep and varied in width at the base from 3m to 12m in diameter. There were deeper mines using horse and steam winding gear. Most of the shafts were likely to have been pillar and stall working. There are also over 2km of wagon ways in the park.

South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012


Our history reporters write about their community...

When I wa’ a lass...
Sandra Firth
Community reporter eration? Well, when I was a lass the Broom Pit was still there. My husband went from school at 15 to work there - long gone now. We used to go to work on the trams through Miggy Woods and see the seasons change, or travel down Belle Isle to town. The trams are long gone now. The Middleton Arms, which was once a hotel, a well-known

Bowling club for everyone
Roland Pilling


hen I was a lass! How often do you hear that said by the older gen-

BINGO! The old Tivola Cinema. Photo by Paul Hebden

pub and a landmark for the trams and buses, has now been demolished and a supermarket is being built in its place. What are they going to put on the front of the buses now?! The Tivoli, our own cinema which we went to as kids and grown ups changed into a bingo hall and eventually went ‘up for sale’. Middleton Secondary Modern School (as it was known in my day) - there’s only half left as the senior side was demolished and now has houses built there. We had May Days on the school field with a May Queen and Maypole dancing, long gone now. The YWCA (or Ydub as we used to call it - or Upstone Hall after Miss Upstone who was our school headteacher) was a wooden building then. Middleton has a mix of housing. We got married at St

Cross Church (still standing) and had our reception at the YWCA 51 years ago. The old Tenants Hall was a well-used building. We had a day trip to the seaside once a year and there were that many buses they were parked all the way round the school. We had pop and crisps and a bit of spending money. Don’t forget, those were the days when not many families had cars, so it was the only time some kids saw the seaside. A new enterprise centre has been built in its place, which we hope will be well used too. We still have Middleton Railway, which is the oldest railway in the world - and it’s OURS! Middleton Lodge in the park is long gone now. And Middleton Hall on Town Street housed prisoners of war but eventually burnt down. Eee, when I wa’ a lass! By the way, I still live in Miggy!


Community reporter

Bonfire night was a special time in Miggy

ell, summer’s here at last, bringing longer, warmer days and the Crown Green bowling season, which runs from April to September. Bowling has been traced certainly to the 13th century, although I’m not sure it’s been in Middleton for that long - does anyone know the answer? I joined the bowling club seven years ago to give me an interest when I retired and am now appealing for new members as our numbers have dwindled, with an age range from 17 to 85 years. There is a social side to bowling - that’s why it’s been so popular over the centuries -. You meet new friends and keep active. Our club can be found on Acre Close, next to the new enterprise centre. Contact me on 271 3852


reparation for bonfire night usually started during the summer school holidays when “chumping” began, writes Christine Thornton. This was the gathering things like old wood and tree branches (chumps) which would be stored in our back gardens. As November


loomed, we would guard our material in case children from other areas stole it for their bonfires. This was known as raiding and this would go on until mischievous night (November 4th), which was the last chance to raid the chumps. Mischievous night was also the time for playing tricks such as

knocking on doors and running away and moving dust bins - nothing too serious. Bonfires were communal affairs, with a large fire being lit on one of the grass verges. Everyone shared fireworks and each family would bring food. Potatoes were roasted in the fire, pie and peas and parkin would be eaten. There would al-

ways be at least one ‘Guy’ made. Adults would be in charge of the food and the fireworks. Rockets were launched from a milk bottle. Old furniture was used as seating, then it was burnt. We were allowed to stay up late and we all went to bed tired but happy. Bonfire night was something special for us children.

Middleton bowling. Photo: John Baron

By 1934, how many houses had been built in Middleton? Was it 2,377; 1,540 or 997? Turn over the page for the answer!


South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012

Christine Jenkinson
Community reporter


e have good memories of Middleton. My sister Valerie and I have lived in Middleton since 1955 when I was 10 and she was seven. Buildings We went to Middleton Primary School and then to the secondary girls school, which was later demolished and housing went up in its place. There were small shops all round Middleton, then small supermarkets were built. The Tivoli cinema was sold and became a bingo hall. A library, a police station and a clinic were in Middleton Park Avenue - now there is a doctors’ surgery and car park. A toilet block was on the Circus with lots of trees and greenery. Several flats were demolished and a new complex was built on the junction of Sissons Place and Middleton Park Grove. New flats were built on the site of St Cross Church Hall. A new building for the community was built in the school yard. Flats in ‘Chinatown’ were demolished, making way for a football pitch. St Philip’s church was taken down and a new small church has been built in St Philip’s school yard. Homes for the elderly were built on the old church site. Broom Colliery was closed in 1968 and the quarry was also lost near the clearings. A horse riding school for the

“Growing up in Middleton was a happy time”
he would like to live in Middleton as he would have better air to breathe and would be in much better health. We all benefited from the move, as we were on top of the hill. We had several doctors in Middleton and also a midwife called Sister Lakin who took care of most pregnancies with home births. We had a clinic in the area of Middleton Park Avenue which dealt with children's ailments such as warts, teeth, eyesight and infections. We all had the usual infections like measles, mumps, chicken pox, scarlet fever, head lice etc, but we didn't have scabies. We had to go to the nearest telephone booth to call an ambulance if anyone was seriously ill. We had no mobiles so it took some time. Family life I lived with my mum, dad, Uncle Albert and my sister Valerie. My dad was a lay preacher and being blind worked at Leeds Blind Welfare in Roundhay Road. There he made coconut door mats. He made carpets for Buckingham Palace and Arab states as well as ‘normal’ carpets. When we were young we used to play in the streets with our friends. We played hide and seek in gardens and played at tig, kick out ball, skipping, football, cricket. When we were old enough we went to the park. We also roller skated. Boys and girls played all these Continued on page 13

MOVIES: The Tivoli, which opened in 1934. First film screened was ‘A Bedtime Story’ starring Maurice Chavlier. Photograph reproduced with permission of Leodis

disabled has been built. The number 12 tram stopped running through Middleton Woods and the number 12 bus took over in 1959. Growing up Growing up in Middleton was happy with neighbours and friends. We all behaved ourselves and didn’t shout at our elders. Our parents were a lot

stricter then. We learned more about life from our parents and didn’t answer back. At school we had to behave, and if we didn’t we got the cane or slipper. All the children had to make their own entertainment. Everyone was friendly and would help each other. Children went to the shops for the elderly. Health I feel that there were many benefits to living in Middleton. When my parents, my sister and I lived in Holbeck for ten years, we had lots of engineering works and factories with smoke coming from the chimneys. Also we had coal fires and the railway shunting yards were nearby. My father had lots of chest complaints about three months of every year. Our doctor asked my dad if

SHOPS: Middleton Circus. Photograph
reproduced with permission of Leodis


In 1934 a total of 2,377 dwellings had been built on the new housing estate in Middleton. They were built to replace slum housing. The estate was the brainchild of social reformer the Rev Charles Jenkinson.

South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012


No school meals and mining memories
Continued from page 12 games together. Mum, dad, Valerie and I went to church on Sunday. Following that Valerie and I went to the Girls Life Brigade. Boys and girls would cycle at weekends to parks etc. We went to the cinema called Tivoli also dancing at Tenants Hall (bopping) and went to youth clubs. The YMCA was in Throstle Road. Mum, dad, Valerie and I went to Primrose Valley, Filey one week every year. Mum had to go on holiday with her rent money, just in case she needed it for emergencies. Luckily we never needed it. At the age of 13 I was a paper girl, then I worked in the shop on Saturdays and Sundays. At 15 I worked full time in the newsagent and tobacconist for three years. Valerie worked for a fruit and veg shop when she was 14 until she trained to be a nurse. My mother worked as a tailoress until the war when she worked for Crabtree Brothers (Crabtree Vickers) making bomb door hinges. She married my dad then I came along. She did cleaning jobs and also looked after our neighbour's children. We had five children for dinner (no school meals for us).

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN: Middleton Arms. Photograph reproduced
with permission of Leodis

INSET: The fateful night last November when the Arms caught fire.
Photograph: Middleton Arms Facebook page

Miggy Arms: end of era ...
iddleton Arms was built as part of the post-1918 ‘homes for heroes’ social housing policy. Although it wasn’t a Listed building, a lot of people thought that it was. It was built as a hotel, tea room and dance and concert room. It also had tennis courts to the rear of it, but they were overgrown in recent years. I spent many a happy hour in there on lots of different occasions as it was used for lots of different events. People used to hire the room upstairs for things like birthdays, weddings, funerals and lots more things. I used to do keep fit in there. It also had a bar in the room. Sometimes I went into the games room to play pool and have a drink or two. Happy times! At Christmas a lot of my family used to meet in the Salamanca room and have a good time together. I think it got that name because the Salamanca was a Middleton Railway locomotive.


Ada Bosomworth
Community reporter Over the years it’s had lots of landlords. About 30 years ago, when my nieces and nephews were younger, the landlord used to throw money outside into the grounds and all the children used to go looking for it. That was at Easter time. Over the years it went downhill. Then came the no smoking policy - that stopped a lot of people going in as well. It’s finally closed for the last time and has been pulled down to make way for an Aldi supermarket. I don’t know what people will ask for now because everyone who didn’t live in Middleton used to ask for the MIddleton Arms when they came by bus. On another note, over the years a lot of the shops on Middleton Circus have changed hands as well. Now we’ve got too many takeways, which has spoiled it with all the litter they create.

FIRECLAY WORKS 1952: Bricks were manufactured here to build the housing estate in the 1920s. Photograph from Leodis, courtesy Mrs C Lee

Mining memories We had a miner living next door and next door but one was a man and his son. Mr Richardson had to leave the mine due to dermatitis. He went to work in engineering. Mr Cotton was caught down the mine at Lofthouse when a wall of water came through the seam engulfing seven miners. Six miners never came out of the mine. Mr. Cotton's body was found and brought out. His son Terry was with him. Charlie Cotton told Terry to get out which he did but he wanted to go back and save his father. Valerie has a neighbour who worked down the pit who has told us lots of stories. One memorable one was about a miner whose fellow miners ate his lunch from his snap tin and replaced it with a dead rat! Another story is about going in the showers. If you turned your back on your mates they took your towel, clothes or worse!


What year was Middleton incorporated into the County Borough of Leeds? 1915, 1920 or 1930? Turn over the page for the answer!


South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012


Shopping changes in community
Christine Jenkinson
Community reporter

Steve Peacock
Community reporter have been interested in the local history of Leeds for many years now having lived in Middleton for a numbers of years during the 1970s and early 1980s. Earlier this year I was pleased to be able to become involved in the Middleton Life project. Not only did it give me a better insight into the history of Middleton, but it gave me the ideal opportunity to pursue my long held interest in trams which I have used to produce the following brief look back at the tramways in Middleton: Back in the 1950s I was a youngster living and growing up in Holbeck. In those days, kids spent a lot of time ‘playing out’; television was in its infancy and home computers were only science fiction. ‘Playing out’ took many forms – football and cricket in the back-to-back streets, tig, hopscotch, kick-out-ball were among the many games we played. One of the areas we sometimes walked to was Middleton Woods. We would walk up Beggars Hill, the quarry path, across Cross Flatts Park, up past the Cockburn playing fields and along a dirt track which ran over the Hunslet/Beeston railway line and then into the woods. There, we might go to the pond where there were paddleboats; sometimes we would collect chestnuts and conkers from the trees in autumn. The woods were a big attraction, not having anything like that in Holbeck. To get to the woods we had to cross the tram track and at this time the trams were still running. It was always exciting to see a tram come careering down the track from Middleton going into Leeds.


TRAMsport in Middleton

dleton. The shops around the circus were the Post Office, Herbert Brown Thrift Stores, Tallants Sweet Shop, Paynes Bakery, Moby’s Fish Shop, Mrs. Teale’s Hairdressing, Kershaw’s Chemist, Gatenby’s Fruit & Veg, Hopkinson’s, Wright’s Newsagent (who I worked for), Gallon’s Grocery, Garrit’s Bakery, Coop Chemist, Earnshaw’s Greengrocer & Florist, Alec’s DIY, Launderette, William’s Greengrocer, Yorkshire Penny Bank, Gill’s Butcher & Presto. On Throstle Lane were Allsopp’s Grocer, Post Office Fish Shop & the Co-op. In Thorpe Street there was the New Shop, Vernon’s Fish Shop, Feinen’s Off Licence, Butcher's Shop, Thornton's Grocery Store & Allsop’s. At Lingwell Road there was the Fish Shop, Sweeting’s Sweet & Cigarette Shop, Baker’s, Gill Butchers Cobbler, Lightfoot's DIY, and two Co-ops, one for clothes and the other for groceries. At the Co-op, as with other grocery shops of the time, they used to bag up sugar in blue bags. Lard and butter were placed on greaseproof paper and weighed. Bacon was sliced to order, potatoes and vegetables were weighed and poured from the scales directly into the customer's bag, unwrapped. A barber was above the fish shop, Geoff Rushworth. In Sissons Avenue were Gill’s Butchers, Aldred’s Greengrocer, Harry Thornton's Grocery & Thompsons Fish Shop. At the side of the Tivoli was Johny’s Barber & Thornton’s Tivoli Shop. There were three shops at the bottom of the Avenue. The Old Village shop was in Mount Pleasant and there was a fish shop and off-licence on Hopewell View. Mr Pickles was a coal merchant at the top of Hopewell View.


hen we were young there were only small shops around Mid-

ON TRACK: Yes, this green island off Middleton Ring Road used to be a tram track! Photo: Stephen Peacock

ALL ABOARD: Middleton’s number 12 tram in 1935.
Photo: courtesy Paul Hebden

Walking along the track was fraught with danger but we would take the chance be-

One of the 'Middleton Bogies' built between 1933 and 1935. Photograph unattributed

cause this added to the thrill of visiting the woods. Unfortunately I never had the opportunity to ride on the trams through the woods, although I used the trams on the No. 8 Elland Road service and rode on trams to Meanwood and Roundhay Park. In those days mucky old steam trains ran on our railways. Alas, buses were beginning to replace the trams on the public transport system in Leeds. For a young boy growing up in this world, the trains, trams and buses were a source of fascination. Like many other kids of my age, I started train-spotting and collecting bus and tram numbers. A horse-drawn tram service started in Leeds in 1871. The first electric trams were introduced in 1891. In the early 1920s, Leeds City Council had started to carry out extensive slum clearance. The need for additional housing to rehouse people from the slum clearance areas resulted in Middleton becoming the location for one of the large council estates that were built on the outskirts of the city. Bricks from

tramway. The green corridor today is where the Fireclay Works at Broom Pit and other the old tramway once ran. materials used in building the estate were transported along a light railway that was Some other memories of the route through constructed through Middleton Woods. the woods: “I rode the Middleton run on many occasions and when When the first residents moved on to the the drivers started on the run heading for Parkside, they new estate, some complained that it was set knocked the tram out of gear and went like hell. The trams in the middle of the countryside without any rocked from side to side. It was like being on a ship. You transport links. To improve this, the light railfelt sick.” way was adapted for a new tram system “I used to ride on the tram to Cockburn School through the (standard gauge of 4ft 8ins) to serve woods from Middleton. Boy, did those trams rock their the estate. It was opened in 1925 way on that track in winter. It was quite scary.” Original and ran from Dewsbury Road, “We used to "back" the trams (sit on the Middleton tram through the woods with a tram back steel bumper) so we didn’t have to routes were: pay, down to Parkside or back home stop in the middle of the 12 - Swinegate to Middleton after we had spent the evening at the via Parkside, an woods for joining or alighting; d return. Crescent Cinema. That tram track 12C - Swinegate it terminated in Middleton – - Middleton could tell many tales if it could speak. Belle Isle - Swine circular route No 12. gate, Some scary I might add. Great fun as (from 24-8-49). In 1933 Leeds pioneered a kids though.” 26e - Swinegate - Belle Isle new bogie tram which was inThe Labour-controlled council Middleton - Swine gate. troduced on the Middleton route finally decided to abandon the (from 24-8-49). that seated 70 passengers and imtramway system in Leeds. proved passenger comfort – known On 28 March 1959 both the Middleton as the ‘Middleton Bogies’. These trams were and Belle Isle routes were closed during the considered by many as the finest trams ever final act of the tragedy known as ‘The Dissomade in Britain. lution of the Leeds Tram-car System’ and the In 1940, an extension from Balm Road to last tram in Leeds ran on 7 November 1959 – Belle Isle was introduced which terminated at a sad day indeed. Belle Isle Circus. This was followed by an exIf trams could be brought back on the route tension from Belle Isle to Middleton in 1949 through the woods I am sure it would be a to join the Middleton route that went through major tourist attraction for the area today. the woods – the last tramcar route developWhen you go through the woods today you ment anywhere in the UK until Manchester can still find remains of the tram track – built their new system in the 1990s. sleepers and ballast - and perhaps let yourThe tramway from Middleton to Leeds self dream, as sometimes I do, of a tram through Belle Isle was initially a segregated trundling down the track on its way into route – the Ring Road is on the right of the Leeds...


Middleton was incorporated into Leeds on 1 April 1920 and soon afterwards the Middleton housing estate, "a vast low-density Corporation-built cottage estate with circuses and avenues" was built using bricks from the Fireclay Works at Broom Pit. It was built on land once used for agriculture including West Farm and parts of Sissons Farm.


South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012

Fanny Maude, Middleton Lodge and the park’s story
Paul Hebden
Community reporter he story of the present Middleton Park starts in 1920 when the owners of the park, Leeds-based Thomas Wade charity, leased the park to the council for a peppercorn rent. The previous owners of the park and colliery (before nationalisation) still had influence in Middleton and Fanny Maude - the daughter of Edmund Maude - was allowed to live in the Middleton Lodge.  She was a great benefactor to Middleton. For instance, paying for the conversion of a cottage and stables into a parish hall in 1923. Now, nearly 90 years later, the Maude Hall (as it was called) is being converted back into a house. My mother recalled how in 1933 when Miss Maude died the local school children filed past her open coffin as a mark of respect. The Lodge became the headquarters of Middleton Golf
HOME: Fanny Maude lived in Middleton Lodge. Photograph courtesy Leodis


Club until 1986 and was demolished in 1992. The death of Miss Maude brought to an end an era dominated until then by one or other landowners of Middleton. The park once boasted a cafe, childrens’ playground with gentlemans’ shelter, band stand, public toilets, tennis courts, bowling and putting greens and a boating pool. Of course, the bowling greens re-

main, the tennis courts are now multi-purpose hard courts and the lake is used for fishing only. All that remains of the paddle boats is the jetty with the iron mooring rings. The playground has had several refurbishments but is still roughly in the same position. As a child in the 60s I remember playing on the remains of the bandstand - it’s rectangular concrete base

looking like a maze to a young boy. A new bandstand is currently being built and soon our visiting bands will have a sheltered area to play in again. The old cafe (top of the wood cottages) was a magnet for young children. There was a high wooden counter with ice cream, lollies and fishing nets for sale. Sadly this too has been demolished. I have two stones that were used for the night-time games of curling in the early 1900s during the usual harsh winters when the lake froze over. These were also stored in the cafe. The park was patrolled by a park keeper, in my day a Mr Anderson, who kept the peace only with a couple of sheepdogs. Getting to the park was no problem. The number 12 tram ran through the woods, stopping at The Clearings and The Lodge. All that remains in the park is the old track bed and as you walk alongside the bed some old wooden track sleepers can still be seen.

hat have Middleton Hall, Manor Farm, Middleton Lodge, Tramway, Broom Pit and Middleton Railway south of Park Halt got in common? Answer - they no longer exist apart from a few remains, writes Martin Bartholomew. They were once full of life; well, livestock on the farm. In our studies of the area we have talked to many residents who remember these when they were full of life. People who we have talked to remember Lady Maude opening Middleton Hall to the local public at Whitsuntide. Fanny Elizabeth Maude died in 1933. Middleton Hall was destroyed by fire in 1962. Middleton Hall itself was built in 1712. We have met the last resident of Middleton Lodge.

My whistlestop tour through lost Middleton


HOME: Middleton’s ‘new’ houses.

Photo courtesy Leodis

Robin Silverwood was that resident as he was the Steward of the golf club. Middleton Lodge was demolished in 1986. Middleton Lodge was built in the 1760's and it became the golf club house in 1936. My fascination with the Tramway was started when I saw a painting of the tram number 12 travelling through the woods. The Tramway was built in 1920 and closed in 1959. The trams made in Leeds for number 12 route, the 265 model, were some of the

most luxurious made. In 1947 Middleton was cut off from Leeds by heavy snow and the only way supplies could be transported to Middleton was by the tram. Middleton Railway north of Town Street where the wagons had been rope hauled up the slope, is my next interest. This line went from Town Street, passing the coal staithes which were by Staithe Avenue and Staithe Gardens to West Pit. This line travelled west with empty wagons then travelling back eastward full of coal. The Tramway travelling east terminated almost opposite the railway line near Middleton Circus. Middleton Railway was the first railway in the world established by Act of Parlia-

ment in 1758. This year is the 200th anniversary of Salamaca, the first successful working locomotive. I live on the Manor Farm estate. The farm was 100 acres and fronted onto Town Street - and the farm buildings were at the top of Manor Farm Way. Broom Pit was the last Middleton pit, which closed in 1968. Richard Scott told me about his mate who worked in Broom Pit and told me that a miner could walk underground from Middleton to Rothwell. Richard also told me that miners sometimes had to walk two to three miles to get to the coal face. They sometimes got a lift back on the conveyor though. Broom Pit was the deepest Middleton Pit at 810 feet (250 metres).

South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012


esidents in our part of Throstle Road were invited to join in the coronation celebrations on 2 June 1953, writes Christine Thornton. There was lots of planning and my parents took the lead. Money was collected every week to pay for the event and was spent on food, bunting, the “royal party’s” clothing and fireworks. Lots of baking was also done. Weeks before the coronation, there was a competition for the girls who wanted to be queen and Shirley Cust, who lived further up the street, was chosen. Mrs Fisher, who lived three doors from us, was the only person in the street who had a TV. On coronation day, her house was open to us all to watch the ceremony. We all took it in turns to bob in Coronation day in Middleton. Photograph courtesy Christine Thornton and out.


Coronation street

Introducing William Gascoigne
Mick McCann
ver wondered where Middleton’s William Gascoigne Centre got it’s name from? William Gascoigne (1612– 1644) was one of the founding fathers of British research astronomy and intellectual heir of Galileo and Kepler whose work he improved upon. He sadly died in his early thirties or who knows what else he would have achieved? He was an astronomer, inventor, mathematician and designer/ maker of scientific instruments from Middleton who invented the micrometer (1641), telescopic sextant, and the telescopic sight. The relatively newly invented telescope was hugely improved and astronomy leaped forward with Gascoigne’s micrometer, which allowed angular distances to be accurately measured and was central to astronomical measurement up until the 20th century. Adding this to a sextant allowed the measurement of the distance between astronomical bodies. His introduction of crosshairs allowed the telescope to be pointed even more accurately and the fact that they were moveable across the lens gave unprecedented accuracy to the measurement of the size of astronomical bodies – using the pitch of the screw and the focal length of the lens. He was the first man to be able to accurately calculate the size of planets. - Mick McCann wrote How Leeds Changed the World


Leeds resident

Times change, but I still love it here
rom being five or six years old my mother would take me and my younger sister Irene into Middleton Park. After we had played in the playground we would go and paddle in the paddling pool. We could see the bottom of the pool but these days it has been connected up to the big pool. The park rangers found it could be dangerous as there was a mine shaft which I think has been capped. After we had played in the park mam would take us for a walk through the woods on the way to the Clearings. We would play hide and seek amongst the bushes. When we got fed up playing in the Clearings she would take us for a walk up to Belle Isle village along a path that runs alongside the tram track. Those trams would get stuck in the snow in the winter months and the drivers would have to shovel the snow away so the tram could continue on its journey into town. When we got to the end of the woods there was a farm and behind the farm


Vera Humphrey
Community reporter was Parkside where all or most of the schools in south Leeds would come for their sports days. The Middleton estate was built up with houses, flats, schools, clinics and churches. We even had a picture house called Tivoli. We had some good Saturday afternoons there. At the corner of the junior boys’ school there was a small police station. Police rode about on bikes in those days and if we were cheeky they would smack us and bring us home. In the 50s and 60s Middleton Park Avenue was a lovely tree-lined street, In summer the tree branches would shade us from the sun and in winter we’d get wet through under the bare branches. In summer we would go to the fields at the bottom of Throstle Road. We used to sail ‘boats’ in the beck. We used to go pea picking at Thorpe Hall - now the fields have had houses built on them.

No corner of Middleton was left alone for long, something was always being built. Middleton Tenants Association was based in the old Tenants Hall - they would have whist drives, dancing and jumble sales. Tenants Hall has since been replaced by Health For All’s new Tenants Hall Enterprise Centre. Where Acre Court now stands, there was a church hall, which also housed a library, but as time went by the hall was closed down, sold to private investments. Wades Charity, which owns Middleton Park, also owns a field on Throstle Road. It was given to the people of Middleton so the children could play on it, but the council bought this field and part of it has houses on it. Changes are brought in but let us hope it’s for the better. The estate is good, health wise, and I have been through the wars but have come out smelling of roses. I still love where I live but we will not always agree on everything. I have lived here since 1942 - and I’m still here in 2012!

Gascoigne’s micrometer, as drawn by Robert Hooke


South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012

Reporters’ feedback
Our reporters on what they liked about interviewing people...

Community reporters video interview their

Video highlights

Christine Jenkinson & Martin Bartholomew
Community reporters ur first interviewee told us that in 1957 she had lived with her in-laws in Acre Road and then moved to the Newhalls and onto Motorola’s Avenue. Her father was in the building trade and her mother was cleaning in places in Middleton. She remembered shops in Middleton such as the Co-op, Frank Almond greengrocer and Paynes Bakery. This lady worked at the Post Office, also at a private institution suppliers (hospitals, schools etc). She then went on to Leeds University and Medical School switchboard. She attended St George’s Church. Children's infections at the time were chicken pox, measles, jaundice, whooping cough and polio. The doctors were Dr. Campbell and Dr. Sefton. This lady is still attending the new Lingwell Croft surgery. One of the doctors there was Dr. Crystal, who was also the doctor for the England rugby union team. The next lady settled in Moor Flatts Avenue after moving around before coming to Leeds. Her mother worked in tailoring for the RAF. This interviewee enjoyed travelling on trams but didn't enjoy travelling from Hunslet to Middleton as they rattled along on rails making a loud noise. She remembers Elliott’s greengrocer near to her home. Going to the park was one of her pleasures. She had good


PARK CAFE: Photo from Leodis

neighbours, but felt that people have changed a lot over the years. A problem for people living where she did was cars dropping off children to school and picking them up. When this lady was young she lived in Portsmouth but they played the same games as Leeds children at that time like skipping, ball games and whip and top. The next lady was Mrs Dawes of Dawes’ Bakery. She came to Middleton in 1948 when Middleton old village was still fields and farms and she remembered cows walking down the street. Her husband built their new house on Town Street as a wedding present for her. Mrs Dawes remembers West Farm at the end of the road. Now there are houses on the previous fields of West Farm. This is now West Farm Avenue. Baileys Farm was on Town Street before the build-

ing of Middleton Hall. Following the Second World War there were Polish families living around Town Street. Mrs Dawes’ daughter and friends used to play on the roofs of the pig sty which separated the two gardens. We also learnt from Mrs Dawes that the first Townswomen’s Guild was started before the war but had to stop when we were at war. The Guild met on Burton Road. The first lady to sign up was Mrs. Aveyard and in 1958 Mrs Dawes joined. Another memory of Mrs Dawes’ was the Middleton Railway running by Burton Road. She remembers the Ballywalk which was a pond by Manor Farm. The hill was known as Rope Hill where the railway trucks were hauled up the hill. During the war there was a fire at Middleton Hall. On the Clearings was an Continued on next page

Some of our interviewees

Betty Dawes

Emma Neild

Carolyn Dawes

Barbara Rawden

Derek Rawden

South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012


your memories
> Continued from page 18 ‘ack ack’ gun to protect Middleton from German bombers. Also Mrs Dawes remembers an Air Show on the Clearings in the 1940s. The next interviewee worked at the Avro Aircraft Factory in Yeadon. People helped each other and this lady remembers a watch repairer who only charged for parts. Children played with scooters (horses heads made with a broomstick and wheels) and dolls houses. Our fifth interviewee told us about the house that they were living in on Winrose Hill. This house started to subside with four others in 1953. There was a coal seam beneath the house and the working had not been back filled. The five houses were demolished and this family had to move to the Cranmores and received no compensation at all. In 1963, Dennis (a face worker at Broom Pit) was involved in an accident. A rock skimmed his head and he was brought out unconscious. He remained unconscious for seven weeks in Leeds Infirmary and was able to talk only after seeing his daughter. Dennis was captain of the mine’s football team. Dennis came home in a wheelchair and the football team never played again. We also heard about her relative that was a fireman. DurGROUP PHOTO: Christine Jenkinson brought in this photo of Middleton youngsters. SHOPPING: Note the adverts on the side of these early 20th century shops Photo courtesy Leodis

fellow residents on Middleton’s past

Reporters’ feedback

was roast beef with Yorkshire pudding or stews etc. They were very filling. People also ate pigs trotters, sheep brain, ducks, haggis and macaroni cheese. Rice, sago and semolina were eaten for afters. After the war many servYou can watch ice personnel were no our oral history film at longer needed and so were ‘demobbed’. A gentleman told us that after he was de- just click on the mobbed he worked in special ‘Middleton Life’ haulage and then became a clerk in the LGI for 20 years. section on the The first area to be built homepage was the old village. In the 1930s the Middleton estate Some of the food that people was built with the aid of five architects. ate was liver, heart, tripe and Charles Jenkinson was a piwarm hot-pot. Also enjoyed oneer in this sort of housing for people who could not afford their own house. Middleton got bigger and is still growing with the New Forest Village. There was a bus going up and down the ring road to the Rex Cinema - the buses were full because only a few people had cars. Shops, doctors surgeries, a clinic for children and adults and a dentist in the clinic area were built. In summer we had our Whitsuntide clothes, these were new clothes worn from Whitsuntide. Many mothers like ours stitched these clothes by hand.

ing the war an incendiary bomb landed near St Cross Church. He dealt with it receiving slight burns and was told off when he got home for being so brave.

Turn to page 24 for more on our oral history interviews!


South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012

Picture perfect -

Broom Pit, 1913

A 1913 group portrait of the staff of Broom Pit and Middleton Fireclay (bricks) companies. The engine house and winding gear of the pit are in the background.

Photograph reproduced with permission of Leodis

Action groups, snow and window jumpers!
ne day at mum’s house I looked out of the kitchen window and saw a boy jump out of a bedroom window and onto the ground from one of two empty houses. I went to see what was going on - the boys had a mattress on the path and were ‘playing’ at jumping from the window. I was worried that one of them may get badly hurt. I had heard about an advice centre that had just been


Christine Jenkinson
Community reporter
started at St Cross Hall to solve the problems tenants had with electric bills and rent arrears etc. I called in to see the staff about the children in Middleton Park Square. We were asked if we would start an action group for Middleton Park Square. I had holes of three foot by two foot and two foot by two

foot in my roof. I had snow on my aerial - and that was housed inside in my loft. The council couldn’t believe it! Our group had a petition to get all the houses in the square repaired and sorted out. We got quite a few houses done and the parents on the street got together to form a committee and sorted out some activities for the children to keep them off the streets. After several years, St Cross Hall had to be demolished so four people and my-

self went to see city councillors in the Civic Hall to ask for a building to be built in the early eighties. Council leader George Mudie told the group we could have the building. The building - Middleton Neighbourhood Family And Advice Centre, now known as Middleton Community Centre - was built at a cost of £100,000.  After a few years we got a £90,000 extension. Its official opening was 13 March 1984.

ry , oral histo e re articles dleton Lif Mo nt on Mid d comme found at videos an ry can be histo and local

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Contribute to Midd by using www.comm leton Life southleed unityrepo - a practic rters. step guid al step e to writin g an artic by le

South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012


Feedback on the day
Chance to learn about where I live
John Whitworth
Middleton resident
I should point out that I’m not actually from Middleton, but I’ve lived in the area since 1970 and I’ve grown very fond of it. I have always been interested in history and while at high school in the sixth form I did a project on the history of Liverpool (my home town). I’ve not had a real chance to study the history of Middleton but had a smattering after helping my daughter to do some research at school.

First meeting draws in the crowds

Ready for action: Christine Thornton and Steve Peacock before the initial meeting. Steve’s a man of taste - he’s about to read a copy of South Leeds Life! Photos: John Baron

Link between project and Middleton Pk
Graeme Ashton
Estate officer, Mid Park
I am the estate officer at Middleton Park. I’m interested in what links can be made between the Middleton Life project and the park. I would like the park to fulfill its potential - including its cultural heritage - to be a valued part of the local community and beyond. This looks like a very interesting project.

Map of memories starts our project
CHINWAG: Members of the Friends of Middleton Park get together.

Highlighting the positives
Michael Storey
Belle Isle & Mid Together
I am part of an initiative called Belle Isle and Middleton Together which highlights the positives of the area and brings people together. I’m interested in making links and learning about our history.

Did you know that in the twelfth century the boundary between Middleton and Beeston became the focus of a legal dispute? Well, that’s one of the facts about Middleton that the 35 people who attended the launch of the new Middleton Life local history project discovered in early February. The event, held at Tenants Hall Enterprise Centre, saw local residents, members of Middleton Community Group, the Friends of Middleton Park, representatives from

local schools and local councillors gather to mark the start of the ambitious project. People enjoyed taking part in a fun quiz which tested people’s knowledge of local history. They marked their memories of Middleton’s past on a map and listed what they thought were important places and events.


South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012

Feedback from the day Hard times for health in 19th century
Vera Humphrey & Pat Smith
Community reporters

Trip to Thackray Medical Museum

Disease and illness in bygone times


In 1824 a dispensary opened where the po or could obtain free me dicines. From 1872 horse-dr awn trams ran in the streets of Leeds. After 1894 they were replaced by electric trams.

e really enjoyed our trip to Thackray Medical Museum. Here are some things we learnt: Schools for poor children: John Metcalf laid the foundation stone of the Moral and Industrial Training School in 1846. It is now the Lincoln Wing of St James’s Hospital. The pupils, who were usually admitted aged seven to nine years old, were the children of unemployed or unemployable people. Variously described at ‘thin and deformed’, ‘slender’, ‘stooping’ and ‘pitted with smallpox’ the children, nearly 500 in number, were taught tailoring and shoemaking and domestic duties to boost their chances of getting a job. Surgery in 1824: Hannah Dyson was an 11year-old girl who worked at Marshalls Mill in Holbeck. Her leg was crushed by machinery and we saw how surgeons had to amputate her leg using saws and knives (pictured above, right). There was no anaesthetic and no means of sterilising equipment or the wound itself. Sadly Hannah died 13 days after the operation. We enjoyed the museum, but we wouldn’t have wanted the surgeons to use the instruments on us!

Hard medicine: Operations in bygone times were a dirty, dangerous and painful Photos by group members experience.

Fancy swallowing some live snails to eat the phlegm off your chest and cure your TB? Or perhaps taking mercury to cure syphilis? Perhaps some liquorice could cure your whooping cough? Those were three of the 19th century ‘quack’ cures the Middleton Life history project crew discovered during their trip to Thackray Museum on February 29. The museum highlights the health and wellbeing of people living in Leeds from the early 19th century right through to modern day. It covers a time when there was no sanitation or clean water, when people lived in cellar dwellings with their livestock and working class people had a life expectancy of just 25 years. In 1890 one in seven ba-

Museum trip highlights health issues of past
bies in Leeds died before their first birthday due to the poor conditions. Some of the conditions people lived in just 150 years ago were shocking. Conditions in Middleton would have been pretty similar. More recently Middleton Life member Christine Thornton recalled her father telling her that he had all his teeth pulled out on the kitchen table in their Middleton home. Members enjoyed their fact-finding trip about how life – and health – used to be.
By 1851 Leeds was growing rapidl y but many of the new ho uses built were dreadful . Overcrowding was rife and streets were very dir ty. Rats were everywhere! A chole ra epidemic in 1849 kil led over 2,000 people

South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012


Reflections on our trip to National Coalmining Museum
GRAFT: Photos from the late 19th and early 20th century. WORKING: Rare photo of Middleton miners in working clothes

Fancy a life down t’pit?
Would you like your six year old son or daughter working down the mine, tied to a stake for 14 hours a day to stop them escaping the pitch black conditions? That was the question posed to members of the Middleton Life group as they went deep underground at the National Coalmining Museum near Wakefield. Middleton’s well known for its mining heritage and it was a fascinating tour around the workings of an actual mine about how things used to be for people working in mines in the past 200 years or so. We donned miners’ helmets and a Ghostbusters-style backpack and flashlight and were taken down into the depths of a mine as deep as Blackpool Tower is tall. John Baron We heard about the squalid and hot Magazine editor were conditions where whole families forced to work in the 1800s and of the dangerous working conditions they faced. Our guide told us about the Hartley Mine disaster in Tyne and Wear which killed 204 miners, the youngest aged just 10. We heard of how whole families worked down the mines, with the father digging for coal in ‘pillar and stall’ works, the mother pulling a heavy sledge of coal (she was called the ‘hurrier’ as the father
TRIP: National Coalmining Museum.

Images on this page courtesy Leeds Museum and Galleries (Crowther Collection)

Hard labour for all the family
Vera Humphrey
Community reporter

Broom Pit was the deepest Middleton pit at 810 feet and longest lasting of the Middleton collieries. Operations at the pit ended in 1968.


oal mining was once one of the best industries in the British Isles - but it was also one of the most dangerous ones. In olden days the miners would make wooden props to hold the roof of the mine up. The props would be made from tree trunks. The mines were opened up centuries ago and in those days they were worked by not just men but women and children as well. When the mines first started, the road going through it would be narrow and the roofs would be very low, so men would have to crawl along on their stomachs with pick axes and a small

candle to light their way. The roof could fall in and the miners killed or trapped. There would be little chance of them being rescued. Some mines were flooded through underground springs and rivers breaking through the walls. Many men, women and children lost their lives so mine owners put flood gates in. There was also the risk of fire. Due to these accidents rescue teams were formed. It must have been a nightmare for families standing at the top of those pit heads waiting to hear news of those miners. The pit village for Middleton Colliery was the old Belle Isle Village. Cottages at the side of the pit were called Waterloo Cottages. My mother in law and the Tipple family lived in the last of these cottages. My father in law Walter Tipple drove the coal train.

Middleton’s rich mining history
Middleton was built around coal. There is evidence of coal mining dating back to the Middle Ages in the shaft mounds, waggonways and similar archaeological features resulting from early mining activity in Middleton Woods. The earliest pits were bell pits in the 17th century or earlier. Later the 1,200 acre Middleton Hall estate supplied coal to Leeds but was disadvantaged in the trade by poor roads. Deep mining arrived with the advent of steam engines which pumped water out of the mines and kept the workings dry and made it possible to raise coal quickly from greater depths. In 1780 a Newcomen engine was installed at Middleton. The market for coal grew as Leeds and its industries expanded and the mine employed 90 hewers and 60 putters by 1808. The Middleton Railway was founded in 1758 by England's first railway Act. Its purpose was to transport coal from the mines to the centre of Leeds.

was often telling her to hurry up). The youngsters, often as young as six, would act as ‘doorstoppers’, opening the doors to the ‘pillar and stall’ shafts. With only one candle between them all, it would be the child who would sit in the pitch black all day. To stop the frightened children from trying to get out, some would be tied to the door. It was hot, filthy, hard labour in appalling conditions. It wasn’t until 1842 that women and children aged under 10 were no longer allowed to work in mines. 1842 was the date the pit ponies – often Shetland Ponies – were introduced. The Miners’ Welfare Fund was set up in 1920. It made you think what the people of Middleton who worked down the mine must have been going through.


South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012

Exploring the rich history of community
Workshop activities
Since February our community volunteers have been meeting regularly to explore Middleton’s history. Using old maps, the internet and their own memories they have tracked the changes over centuries. Here’s what the group discovered during some of the early workshops held at Tenants Hall:
• People started coming to Middleton in the 1930s from Hunslet for the good of their health – there was fresh air here and it was nice and clean. Hunslet and Beeston had the jobs, men from Middleton worked there. The jam factory in Beeston was a major employer. • Moorhouse Jam Factory in Beeston – in the summer apparently you could smell strawberries in Middleton? • There is a fishing community in the park/lake and has been for a long time. • There used to be 10 stone cottages on one side of the lake. • A tram system used to go through the woods – there were beautiful views. Christine Thornton took the number 12 tram from school. • Christine was part of St John’s Ambulance Brigade. They trained every week above the Co-op on Lingwell Road. • Football pitches: ‘Farmer Wards’ in the park were discussed – but don’t exist any more? • Hunslet is where all would go play rugby matches. • There was a ‘Tardis’-style police box where the new clinic is, the old clinic is now the car park. • Open shelter in the park used to be popular. • General tension between Belle Isle and Middleton was mentioned. Some people from Middleton do not use the ‘hub’ because it is in Belle Isle. • Locals are referred to as ‘Miggyites’ and Middleton as ‘Miggy.’

PHOTOS: Christine Jenkinson, Christine Thornton and Valerie Higgins (above) take a trip down memory lane. MAPPED OUT: Brian Hope and Frank Wright scrutinise an old map (left).

Photos: Yvonne Deane & John Baron

Video training: Kerrie and the group.

DISCUSSION: Core group members pour over a map with workshop leader Meena Jeewa.

Two oral history sessions in March saw our group members interviewing fellow residents from Middleton Elderly Aid and the Middleton Methodist Church coffee morning about their memories of Middleton and general life in the community.
Check out page 18-19 for more info on the interviews.

Interviews are videoed

Oral history

Leodis talk on old Miggy photos
More than 20 people attended an open evening meeting about the work of the ‘Leodis’ online archive of old Leeds photographs back in March. Rose Gibson, from Leodis, explained that Leodis was a place where people could find an archive of photographs from Middleton, but also the rest of south Leeds and, indeed, the city. Rose told people how they could search the archives, how to go on guided tours around the site and how to post comments and reminiscences on photos, as well as creating your own albums. Some of the photographs she showed drew much discussion from the audience. Photos included the old Tivoli Cinema,

Leodis talk
and a 1939 photo of advertising hoardings for businesses like Ovaltine, Nestle and Leslie Howard in the movie Pygmalion on the side of Gibbs’ Butchers. A 1948 photo of Middleton Golf Clubhouse, trams, a 1916 image of Middleton Old Village and a more recent one of Middleton Arms followed. The old images were truly breathtaking and generated much discussion. The evening ended with a brief introduction to writing an article for South Leeds Life magazine for core members. Check out more about Leodis:

South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012


Middleton Park on agenda two sessions

History and murder at Friends’ park talk
The long history of Middleton Middleton Park Photo courtesy FOMP. Park - which includes death, mining and some really colourful stories - was featured in a talk to Middleton Life by a couple of community stalwarts. Alan Shaw and Jim Jackson, of the Friends of Middleton Park group, spoke to 15 residents on a warm March evening about the landmark events which have shaped the historic park and its rich mining heritage, which at one point saw a network of deep mining pits under the park estate. Mr Shaw kicked off his talk by focussing on Middleton’s first mention in the history books the Domesday Book in the 1209 by "single combat" and comes through Middleton! 11th century. the construction of a boundary Jim Jackson focused on minThe first mention of coalminbank and ditch, a stretch of ing. He said there was no eviing in the park wasn’t until which can still be seen in Middence to support the popular 1632, he said. dleton Woods. myth that the monks from KirkIn the twelfth century the The murder of Emily Young in stall Abbey mined in the park. boundary between Middleton 1934 drew much discussion. The first pits in Middleton were and Beeston became the Apparently she lived in Garnett shallow ‘bell pits’ followed by focus of a protracted legal disDrive, off Dewsbury Road, deeper mining from the 1700s pute between William met a male friend and The park is now a scheduled Grammary and Adam Middleton colliers was strangled. monument by English Heritage de Beeston. The of the 1770s aged ov Alan showed pho- due to its coal mining past. By er dispute was over 60 years of age could 1755 wooden ‘waggon ways’ tos of the two where the earn 2s a day for a nin ran from the woods to the tram stops in the eboundary lay hour shift. staith at Thwaite Gate in Hunpark - and also through the A 1790s miner could slet, ahead of the railway. the number 12 dense woodland expect to earn three There were accidents a tram. It was noted to which then covfour shillings a day for plenty - four were killed in with irony that the a ered the area. The nine-hour shift 1733, one in 1745. number 12 bus now dispute was settled in

Railway has lots of history

Members enjoyed a trip to the world’s oldest continuously working commercial railway on Saturday, April 21. Unlike our trip to Middleton Park, the weather stayed mostly dry at Middleton Railway. We were treated to a talk on the history of the railway by one of the volunteers, Dave, who told us it was founded in 1758 and is now a heritage railway run by volunteers from The Middleton Rail-

By gum, did it rain! Everyone was soaked to the skin as they spent an hour and a half slipping on muddy woodland paths to discover more of Middleton Woods’ past as a centre of industrial and mining activity. The April 18 trip was led by hosts Alan Shaw and Jim Jackson from the SOAKED: Steve Peacock Friends of Middlelooks for shelter. Photo: Alex Smith ton Park, who

Park trip: It rained and it rained!
kindly braved the downpour and resultant quagmire to give up their time to show people some of the historical hotspots of the area. It proved incredibly interesting. Basically, if you see a large hole in the ground, it’s probably a former mining shaft! It’s amazing the things you can just walk past and not notice

in the woods that probably have a lot of history behind them. And some of the paths you walk on probably date back centuries and were used as mining tracks. The group was joined by ten very polite and well-behaved pupils from Middleton Primary, who were a credit to their school in difficult conditions!

way Trust Ltd since 1960. It was built to carry coal from the pits in Middleton woods/park into Leeds. We also enjoyed a ride on the railway – if you haven’t had a go, do – it’s a lovely little trip! One of our members, Martin, said that when they were building the M1 motorway, the powers that be apparently originally considered some sort of railway crossing as the motorway went across Middleton Railway’s line. Imagine that – a railway crossing on the motorway! Can anyone shed any more light on this?


South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012

Window is a real wonder!
Every Friday morning since the end of April a group of Middleton Life members have been learnind a new skill at Cockburn School- making stained glass windows. And this window is a special one celebrating Middleton’s history and landmarks that will hang at Tenants Hall Enterprise Centre. The class carefully drew out the window in great detail, deciding which images and landmarks to use and which ones wouldn’t fit. The window includes images of the Middleton miner, Middleton Railway, trams and bluebells from Middleton Woods. Each piece of glass is selected for the desired colour and cut to match a section of the drawing. It was hard but rewarding work for the team, supervised by Cockburn’s Kath Penchion. Members included Martin Bartholomew, John Bates, Pat Benatmane, Paul Hebden and Roland Pilling. They were ably assisted by parent/volunteer Paul Crawshaw.

Cockburn pupils rise to radio challenge
Connecting the generations has been an interesting - and important part of the project. Middleton Life members visited Cockburn School in Beeston in April to be interviewed by pupils Jennifer Lancaster and Jessica Walton about their memories of Middleton. The hour-long interview was condensed into a 20-minute ’broadcast’ online as part of a radio programme put together by pupils. They asked questions about a variety of things. Topics included shopping in Middleton in the ‘olden days’ to changes in technology and lifestyles. Members enjoyed answering the questions from the children, which covered everything from central heating to playing out. Jennifer and Jessica were gently quizzed on how they view the area and their lives now.

Planning the new panels
Members of Middleton Life spent a couple of lively sessions planning the panels which now form a focus at Tenants Hall Enterprise Centre. We looked at Middleton’s history in four main periods, dating back hundreds of years right through to the present day. There was a rich discussion about the kind of things we wanted to include in the panels. We quickly came to the conclusion that we couldn’t cover everything, but the panels now create a fascinating guide to Middleton through the ages. We also discussed which photographs would work best, with members bringing in their own family photographs and pictures of the area and some old mementos such as Christine Jenkinson’s old Ration Books from the Second World War. As part of our final sessions members planned what input they were going to have at the main launch event.

ABOVE: Paul, Sandra and Christine prepare for questions.

LEFT: Pupils Jennifer Lancaster and Jessica Walton set the agenda.

South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012


We’ve been Middleton Life 2012
Core Group and community reporters
Martin Bartholomew John Bates Pat Benatmane Ada Bosomworth Sandra Firth Paul Hebden Valerie Higgins Brian Hope Vera Humphrey Christine Jenkinson Carole McNight Stephen Peacock Roland Pilling Christine Thornton Frank Wright

Middleton churchyard Photo by Alex Smith Middleton churchyard Photo by Alex Smith..

Participating groups, organisations and services
Cockburn School Friends of Middleton Park Health for All Leeds City Council Leeds Library and Information Services ( l Leeds Museums and Galleries l Middleton Elderly Aid l Middleton Railway Trust l l l l l l l l l l Middleton Methodist Church Middleton Primary School National Coalmining Museum South Leeds CLC South Leeds Life group

l Thackray Museum l West Yorkshire Archive Service

Oral history interviewees*
Betty Dawes Emma Nield Barbara & Derek Rawden Marlene Silverwood Robin Silverwood Carolyn Smith

Middleton Primary wall hanging
Chloe Farrar Megan Houlgate Joshua Marsden Ryan Nunn Connor Oldfield Danielle Milner Jennifer Lancaster Peter Nuttall Kath Penchion Shannon Mounteney Kaci Raynor Ellie Silverwood Kassidy Sunderland Mrs Kate Timpson

* includes core group above

Martin Bartholomew John Bates Pat Benatmane

Stained glass window

Paul Crawshaw Paul Hebden Roland Pilling

Cockburn radio interviews

Jessica Walton

Cockburn School/South Leeds CLC
Anna Clapham

Graeme Ashton S Atkinson P & M Barber Alison Bates Cllr Judith Blake P Bowler Charlotte Britton Emma Brothwood L Caley R&J Cooper Peter & Marlene Dale Geoff Driver Ivor Dykes Lisa Firth Riose Gibson (Leodis) J Grady Cllr Kim Groves Jane Haswell Erica Hartley

Other participants/volunteers

Jean Haughton Margaret Hebden R & S Hemingway Sheila Huggins Deacon Al Henry Jim Jackson Frances Jones P Mackintosh Mick McCann Pat McGeever Nick Rose Alan Shaw Pat Smith Nuala Stantov Michael Storey Madge Tyldsley Harriet Walsh John Whitworth

Middleton Life project team
John Baron – South Leeds Life Deane Associates – Project management and production support Apple Box – Workshop leader Mair Education – Oral history training and workshop support Kerrie McKinnon – Film training & editing Alex Smith – Photography and training Andy Edwards – Graphic design

Thank you for your contributions!


South Leeds Life - Middleton Life project July 2012

ON TRACK: Images from the big day Photos from Middleton Railway Trust Facebook group.

Railway celebrates steam
The world’s oldest working railway celebrated 200 years of steam by drawing in bumper crowds to a special event. Middleton Railway, which runs from its station in Moor Road, Hunslet, through to Middleton Park, once pioneered the engines that powered the industrial revolution and established Britain’s place as the foremost economy in the world. 200 years on from the first time the commercial steam locomotive Salamanca trundled down its tracks, the volunteers at the railway held a special weekend with a fleet of engines from different eras on display. A vintage bus ferried enthusiasts from Leeds train station and Leeds bus station to the Middleton Railway, taking in the sights. Organisers attracted 1,000 people over the two days. John Blenkinsop’s Salamanca trundled down Middleton’s tracks at Middleton some 17 years before Stephenson’s more famous Rocket. Middleton Railway ferried coal from Middleton’s mines - the last of which closed in 1968 - into the River Aire near the city centre. The railway has been run by a trust made up of volunteers since 1960.

Open every Saturday and Sunday ’til the end of November and every Wednesday in August Tel: 0845 6801758

It’s competition time...
South Leeds Life has teamed up with the Middleton Railway Trust to offer TWO family day rover tickets as prizes in an exciting competition. To have a chance of winning one of the tickets, simply tell us:

How long has Middleton Railway been run by volunteers?
And send your entries to Middleton Railway competition, South Leeds Life, Tenants Hall Enterprise Centre, Acre Close, Middleton, LS10 4HX or email them to Closing date is August 13, 2012.

*Terms and conditions: The ticket is for two adults, two children. The winners will be drawn at random after the closing date. No alternative prizes will be offered. Tickets are subject to terms and conditions set by The Middleton Railway Trust.