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Meanwood Beck, bridge


Meanwood Beck, bridge
Description:
9th October 1950. View looking south west along the footbridge over Meanwood Beck towards Woodhouse Ridge from the Woodlands Dyeworks on Wood Lane. A stone wall is on the left and metal railings are on the right. Houses and garages are in the foreground and a streetlamp is visible.

User Comments:

Name:
Philip Murphy

Comment:
This was the place where, as a small child, I was perfectly happy.The houses beyond the garage on the left were called Rowley's Cottages, named after two spinster sisters who had lived there during the 19th century, when it was a single dwelling, which was later split to form two homes.My grandparents, Jack and Ada Morton, lived there from when they were married in 1919/1920 until my grandma finally left in 1973, having been 3 years a widow. Jack, never known by his baptismal name, Cyril, was a drayman at the Dyeworks before and after his military service throughout the First World. Ada was in service with the Crowther family, who owned the Dyeworks, always referred to as the "Mill" in my recollection. As a girl, before she had entered service with the Crowther family, Ada had passed the cottages on Sunday walks to and from Woodhouse Ridge and it became her dream to live there once she was grown up. After their engagement the cottage became vacant and Mr. Cyril Crowther,as my grandma always referred to him, let the cottage to them for five shillings a week, which was, at the time, double the cost of the other cottages - of which there were at that time about six. However, over all the years they lived there the rent rose to barely over twice that initial cost. After the Second World War, Jack bred pigs on a smallholding behind the cottages and at different times kept a variety of small livestock. He had always kept animals. There was a photograph in the Yorkshire Evening Post on February 6th, 1931, of my mother, Joyce Morton, with a goat that she had brought into Bentley Lane School for pets day! They raised a family of four,Joyce, Ted, Jean and George. My uncle and auntie, Ted and Jean still live in the vicinity. For small children, in the late fifties and early sixties, allowed the freedom of the cottage, the long garden, the small-holding, the the beck and the immediate vicinity it was a wonderful place to visit and stay. There was no electricity, just one gas mantle, in the single groundfloor room, only a single cold tap, an outside toilet and, of course, no bathroom, so my brother, sister and cousins loved the place. In the suburban spread all around it was a rural oasis, a hybrid of countryside and small-scale 19th century industrial development that should have been preserved and renovated for future generations.

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Name:
W A Hopwood

Comment:
The designation of "Rowleys Cottages" is correct, but they were not named after the two spinster sisters who lived there. They were so called after Benjamin Rowley who, in 1865, extracted ganister from an adjacent quarry and used the mill on this site to crush the rock by steam power. Benjamin Rowley had two daughters, one of whom, married a minister, the Rev WL Carter. ganister: A fine-grained, arenaceous rock that underlies certain coal measures. It is used for its refractory qualities, e.g. to make furnace hearths

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Name:
Philip Murphy

Comment:
I was very interested to read the correction concerning the Rowley family and would be interested to know any more. I always believed it to have been a single dwelling in years gone by and it was a facinating realisation to see how the house had been split both upstairs and down -though when that had happened I have no idea. Clearly the house had been built in two parts, though it was not clear whether one was an extension of the other. When it was a single dwelling it must have been quite a posh little house as it would have had two staircases a large kitchen a large sitting room with a double door to the rear and a small parlour over the beck that was the mill race as it flowed beneath the house from the dam behind the mill. My grandparents lived in the nearest cottage, which had a single downstairs room, with a huge range/fireplace and a tiny kitchen under the stairs, and two adjoining bedrooms upstairs, so privacy must have been at a premium though no one ever seemed to mention it having been a priority and certainly as a child it never bothered me. However, whenever we stayed my brother and I shared the bed that had been my Uncle George's, which shared my grandparents bedroom and she always blew out the candle at bed time and had to undress by the faint light of the gas street lamp that was fixed by the kitchen window. Apologies for the email address.

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Name:
Roy Chaplin

Comment:
I remember the cottages as a child in the late 50's early 60's when my mother and father used to take me and my brothers for long sunday walks from Woodhouse to Meanwood park. I remember the owner of the cottages used to sell pears picked from a huge pear tree in the back garden of the cottages. They were the best tasting pears ever. I can almost taste them now?

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Name:
R SPENCER

Comment:
In the 1950s this small hamlet of cottages and mill workings still had an atmosphere of a bygone age.I remember as a child looking through the window of the engine house and seeing a small horizontal mill engine supplying power to the dyehouse opposite the cottages.

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Name:
John Fox

Comment:
50 yards to the left of the bridge, at the opposite side of the beck to the cottage, was my dad's allotment. After the first world war, jobs were few and far between, and when dad was out of work, he spent most of the next two decades, at his allotment. and so did I when I wasn't at school. Dad's name was Jack Fox, and every one called me Jack, although I was christened John. We had a ramshackle home made greenhouse, which in the summer was full of the tastiest tomatoes, and in the winter, the most exquisite chrysanthemums. The greenhouse was heated from cinders laboriously pushed in a barrow, from the 'destructor' in Meanwood Road. On a Saturday night, dad would enter his wonderful flowers, at the Paxton Society, at Leeds University. If one of his exhibits won, his face glowed with pride. He also grew vegetable's, which kept us from going hungry, as money was tight in those days. On Sunday mornings, I pushed an old pram, which was full of bunches of flowers, and sold them on a round which started at Wood Lane, and finished at Ramport Road, Woodhouse. He paid me sixpence for my efforts. Dad was a friend of Jack and Ada Morton, and would swop his produce for manure, that Jack Morton always seemed to have a plentiful supply. A stout plank would be put across the beck, and dad would ferry barrow loads of 'muck', from the smallholding, to the allotment. Sometimes I was allowed to take a half load. When I got older, I used to fish in the beck, with rod and line. The water was crystal clear, and I would usually catch several roach. Watching me from the opposite bank would be Jack's daughter Joyce, who I thought was beautiful. Occasionally we would meet on the bridge, or go to the nearby shop for some spice. I had a crush on her, but I don't recall telling her this. One Sunday in September 1939, I was chatting to Joyce, at the other side of the beck, when her father told us that he had just heard on the wireless, that war had been declared. Three years later, at 17, I volunteered for the R.A.F. and I don't recall seeing any of the Morton's again.

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Name:
Phil Murphy

Comment:
The pear tree can be seen in image 8922 which can seen by using keywords "beck" and "allotments" in Meanwood. I think these buildings are not in Meanwood,but Headingley.I think the border of the two is the beck.

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Name:
David Wilkins

Comment:
Brought back many memories. I remember Ada and Jack and their four children - Joyce, Ted, Jean and George. I knew the area well and went to Bentley Lane school in the 1940's as well as delivering newspapers in the area in 1949. I remember Bentley Cottages all with only a gas mantle yet they were only 100 yards from the much wealthier houses on Grove Lane.

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Name:
Baab

Comment:
i have crossed that bridge plenty of times in the last 5 years, it looks very different today as it has been left to decay and crumble.

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Name:
John Fox

Comment:
I decided to go down Memory Lane, and visit the allotments where I spent much of my time in the early thirty's. The track from the main road was over grown and neglected, and when I reached the beck I thought I was in the wrong location. There were no allotments - just a field with horses grazing. Over the beck was a neglected bridge, but where were the old cottages to the left and the Dyeworks on the right? I asked a passing couple if they knew and got the reply that they were visitors. I remembered fishing in the beck at the side of my dad's allotment, and chatting to Joyce Morton, whose family lived in one of the tiny cottages. I was confused! was this the bridge that I thought I knew so well? I took a photograph, and when I returned home I downloaded the image and compared it with an old photograph of the bridge. There was no doubt, it was the bridge that I remembered from my youth.

Email:
john.fox14@tiscali.co.uk

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Name:
mick tighe

Comment:
i remember this place well ,many a time i would pass this place ,my mother had a shop at green road just at the top of the ginnell,this was my playground,many happy memories.

Email:
tighemarine@aapt.net.au

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Name:
Pat Burns

Comment:
I used to live near woodhouse ridge in the 1960's and spent many a happy hour there with my friends from next door, and then when I was older did a bit of courting on there.

Email:
npburns@btinternet.com

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Name:
derek morton

Comment:
my older and wiser sister(mavis) has passed some information onto me regards the bridge. the bridge had wooden flooring in her day, I believe the owner of the mill was called gilbert crowther and later is son eddie managed it. next to jacks cottage was eastwoods where pears were sold 5 for a penny. behind the mill was a yard.at the top there were two more cottages + stables (gillys}steppings. we moved into the cottage next to the FIRTH'S later the GRANE'S moved into our old one. the rent for the cottage was four and twopence per week my dad worked in the mill with a George dean and father.+ another man a little older than my dad. in auntie ada's garden at the bottom there was a pear tree which had been struck by lightning and was leaning over the beck. all the children dug the beck a little deeper so they could swim all the school holiday's. our address was 4 rowley cottage wood lane. headingley.leeds 6 the beck was must have been the boundary line between headingley and meanwood.

Email:
morton68@tiscali.co.uk

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Name:
Jack Wallace

Comment:
This particular picture brings back good memories and bad hehehe. As a child your always influenzed by your older siblings.I grew up on the Stonegates Estate and one day out with my stepbrother joe he decided to go into the garden of the last cottage on the left and take a goldfish from the pond. And the owner chased after us. He caught us too and scared the living daylights out of me as he threaten to lock us up. That was way back in 1965/66 and to this day i still cringe at the thought of this big guy chasing us. It taught me a valuable lesson I have lived in London now for 30yrs but i would love to go back and visit this area again

Email:
jack1969_uk@yahoo.co.uk

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Name:
Graham (Ollie) Allmark

Comment:
I remember regularly crossing this bridge on the way back home from Woodhouse Ridge with my brother and our dog Petra.I also remember summer 'sledging' on sheets of cardboard down the hill there in the background (we knew it as Sandy hill). We lived quite a long way from here but my aunt lived about a 15 min walk away.Up until a few years ago I used to come this way on the Meanwood valley trail..The bridge looked just the same as it does in this picture! I attended Bentley lane school which was 5 mins walk from here.Many happy days.. PS: Hello to Jack Wallace

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Name:
carol o''neile/ westerman

Comment:
i use to go accross this bridge when me and my friends use to go on the ridge the ridge was a great place to play all the kids in the school holidays use to play together and we would go on the ridge and have a picnic and play hide and seek it was great fun this was in the 60s there was a band stand we called it the threpanny bit it is still there i use to live on farm hill no 32 i had a lot of brothers and sisters .

Date:
06-May-2010

Email:
carolannoneile@yahoo.co.uk

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Name:
Sally Phillips

Comment:
It's interesting to read all of your comments. The Crowther family you're referring to, as having owned the dyeworks were my great-great grandfather & his sons, my great-grandfather's brother. My gg was Arthur Crowther, who emigrated to Saskatchewan Canada to farm in the early 1900's. I hope to travel back on a genealogy trip one day to this area.

Date:
28-Sep-2010

Email:
phillipsottawa@rogers.com

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Name:
patricia brennan nee firth

Comment:
I remember this bridge and crossing it with parents to woodhouse moor to visit grandparents.We lived farm hill cres.colin geoff sheila firth..Now live syd nsw aust since 1966

Date:
25-Nov-2010

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Name:
geoff chapman

Comment:
I lived in farm hill crescent with g/parents, went to Bentley Lane school, and remember well the Firth family. My grandparents were Clark. Have many memories of the bridge in question, fishing in the beck and sledging on the ridge or past cottages up the hill.Do es anybody remember Goddards my cousins @33 F/H/Crescent.I lived at no 15. Lots of great times after school, playing rugby Bus Vale. Spent lots of time at W.c.c ,my grandfather umpired most of the matches played.Good wishes to all my passed friends who still live locally.great memories.

Date:
14-Dec-2010

Email:
geoffrey.chapman643@btinternet.com

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Name:
pat brennan nee firth

Comment:
We moved to 16a sugarwell mount after mam died 1952..been back 7 times never made it meanwood rd wish i had, grt times on sugarwell hill.the tusky fields.When married lived miles hill 15mths believe gone to the dogs.Wish I could meet old stainbeck schl mates phyllis brown beryl rhodes

Date:
09-Jan-2011

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Name:
jan pears

Comment:
i remember as a child going up the hill (straight in front on the picture)with a sheet of cardboard and sliding on it from the top to bottom,at great speed as i remember!, we called it pigs hill because the owner at the bottom had pigs,this will have been about 1968/69

Date:
18-Feb-2011

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Name:
m.z

Comment:
this is a very stunning work of art

Date:
24-Jun-2012

Email:

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Name:
Maria Hyndes

Comment:
My mother Anne roundhill said her grandparents Alfred (known as gil/Gilbert) and Anne lived at rowleys cottages they had three children polly, Christopher and janey (plus gil/gilberts parents also christopher and jane) lived there. I think my uncle alf also lived there. I believe they also had a small holding and kept pigs but Gil and Christopher junior worked in the mill and Christopher senior worked in the quarry. My mum has similar memories of this magical place and recalls a accident- being told by her father (Christopher junior) - about a worker was killed by a horse, kicked perhaps? My mum recalls her father (Christopher junior) mentioning the crowthers and mortons and Eastwood in his recollections. She said she always thought the mortons cottage was the nicest - first cottage on left after the bridge. In the 60s my mum visited and a blacksmith was working in (what used to be) her grandparents cottage and he offered to sell her the cottage £100! I remember myself going there in the late seventies with my grandfather and it was derelict and (I think) about to be demolished. My uncle alf roundhill will recall more as he lived there in 30s.

Date:
09-Feb-2013

Email:
Maria.hyndes@btinternet.com

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Name:
elaine

Comment:
I lived in cliffdales on meanwood road. Ridge overlooked our houses often played there and on the beck which ran at the bottom of my street. I went to Stainbeck school and had friends who lived in Sugarwells Jean Westerman was one of them. I lived there late forties fifties and early sixties

Date:
10-Jun-2013

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Name:
joycestocks@mac.com

Comment:
I went to school with Joyce Morton and loved to go up to Woodhouse Ridge to play. I also used to sledge down the hill behind the cottage.

Date:
19-Sep-2013

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Name:
Lawrence Malkin

Comment:
This view brings back so many memories. Sledging on the hill behind, crossing the bridge to go up to Woodhouse feast and coming home in the moonlight, catching sticklebacks in the beck and once seeing a leech, looking at the waterwheel in the buildings to the right and the allotments to the left. My father died here on those allotments. On the plot that he loved so much. The dog 'Ricky' went home to 6 Bentley Mount to tell my mother and she came down to find him lying there. As I said...so many memories. Thank you.

Date:
15-Feb-2014

Email:
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