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Sheepscar Junction, Road-working vehicles

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Sheepscar Junction, Road-working vehicles
Undated. Image shows two road-working vehicles driven by men in suits and flat caps. Their passengers would appear to be dignitaries and it may be to do with extending the tramlines. The vehicles are at Sheepscar junction where Sheepscar Street North, left, Chapeltown Road, centre, and Roundhay Road, off camera, right. Behind the camera are the junction with North Street and Sheepscar Street South. The first electric trams in England using the Thomas-Houston system began running between Sheepscar and Roundhay Park on 11th November 1891. The Leeds Corporation took control of the tramways on 2nd February 1894 and the first route to be completed was between Kirkstall and Roundhay Park on 2nd August 1897. Most of the city's routes were electrified by early 1900s. In the background is Joseph James Mosley, Rent Collector, Estate and Insurance Broker of number 6 Wormald Row, a business established in 1859 and Thomas Petch, butcher, addressed as number 1 Chapeltown Road. The tower of St. Clement's Church is also visible in the background.

User Comments:

Graham A. Schofield

With reference to the comment in the description here:- >>> Their passengers would appear to be dignitaries <<< There, might be an alternative explanation. It must be remembered that from way back in the 19th century, to the mid 20th, managers and foremen advertised their position within their particular industries, by wearing a Bowler Hat. In later years, the Trilby also came into play. So I would think that this image might be portraying a couple of managers or directors, along with their foreman (standing at the side of the first vehicle), who had come to the prospective site in order to consider the potential construction tasks ahead. If they had been 'dignitaries', wouldn't we be seeing a bit of pomp and ceremony, and perhaps a gold chain around some mayoral neck? Or even - let's go the whole hog - "A Brass Band"?




B Hallam

It is frequently difficult with these very old and clearly posed photographs, to know the reason they were taken in the first place. As ever, I am in agreement with Mr Schofield regarding the use of bowler-hats as a badge of one's position of authority over other workmen ... it was common in most trades. I cannot agree with the suggestion in the description that these vehicles might be connected with the tramlines. The vehicles clearly have some form of scoop in contact with the road, and here appear to be clearing what looks like sludge from snow, or whatever. What we should realise from this photo, is that at the time, what we see here, was head-turning technology. It possibly dates from about 1910 given the vehicle number plates which became mandatory in 1904, and in Leeds, I assume they started with U1 - now the official plate of the Mayoral car.


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