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Rotation Office Yard, Kirkgate

Rotation Office Yard, Kirkgate
C1863. View onto Rotation Office Yard, located off Kirkgate, situated between Kirkgate and the central market. It is adjacent to number 115 (showing gas lighting on ornate brackets) and was entered by a narrow passage which was often crowded by market people on Saturdays. The Rotation Office was used by magistrates meeting in routine matters. Originally established on Call Lane in 1775, by 1796 a new office was opened in the upper floor of a house in Kirkgate. The Leeds Library had the bottom floor. Facing are the premises of C. T. Tiffany, brush maker at number 118 Kirkgate. On the wall is a poster advertising a Wax Work Exhibition. This poster is likely to date the photograph to the very early date of 1863 as the local newspaper, the Leeds Mercury, advertised the "largest Exhibition travelling - Never before in Leeds" between the 9th March and the 9th April of that year. It was entitled "Allsop's Royal Collection of Wax Work Figures" and held at the Music Hall, Leeds (The purpose-built Music Hall, 1792-1870, was located at number 12 Albion Street and is now demolished - see Leodis Image: 2004512_30929202). Admission to the wax work exhibition was one shilling during the day and 6d after 6.00 pm with children under 10 at half price. On the right are two shops with signs above the windows. The one nearest the camera is the business of William Kirk Duxbury, Stay & Corset Maker (he is also listed as a Stay & Corset Maker AND Brickmaker in White's Leeds & Woollen District Directory for 1870.) The brick manufacturing business was Sims (John) & Duxbury of Oatlands, Camp Road.) W. K. Duxbury also had a shop or stall for his stay & corset enterprise at number 2, Kirkgate Covered Market. Adjacent to Duxbury's is the Tailoring and Drapery business of Richard Bowman whose residence was in York Terrace, off Leopold Street, New Leeds. Both these proprietors and the brushmaker's, C. T. Tiffany's, were established in this yard in 1863. Some of the propietors of the shops and businesses, and perhaps, inhabitants of the yard, are likely to be pictured in this very early photograph. Other businesses existing and listed in Rotation Office Yard in the year 1863 include; Joseph Johnson, Bookseller & Printer; William Milner & Son, Plumber & Gasfitter; Henry Coxon, Pawnbroker and William Reynolds, Confectioner & Fruit Merchant. New Market Street now occupies the site of Rotation Office Yard. Photograph by Wormald of Leeds.

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