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North Street, the Hope Inn and Sheepshanks House


North Street, the Hope Inn and Sheepshanks House
Description:
1872. North Street showing the Hope Inn at the junction of Hope Street (left edge) at number 44 North Street, on the left and Sheepshanks House, right. Sheepshanks House was believed to have been built by William Thornton for Robert Denison, c1715. It was very fashionable at that time to build in brick while at the same time featuring stone dressings and classical architectural detail. This fine house was later occupied by the Sheepshanks family who were merchants of Leeds. (In the 1851 Slade & Roebuck Directory of Leeds, William Sheepshanks is listed there when in those days it was numbered as 120 North Street.) The street is paved with stone setts. A group of three women in Victorian dress, and a man wearing a top hat, stand on the corner of Sheepshank House. In the foreground is what appears to be a tar barrel possibly for repairs to the street. A postcard says 'At this time North Street came as far as the West Yorkshire Bus Station. Note the Georgian House, the site of ABC Cinema' (The cinema and bus station in Lady Lane are no longer there). This photograph is by Wormald of Leeds and can also be found in the Whiteley collection.

User Comments:

Name:
B Hallam

Comment:
In 1910, thirty-eight years after this astonishing photograph was taken, the street with the hand-cart - then known as Hope Street, would become New York Road. The creation of Eastgate, would wait a further twenty-years to eventually continue The Lowerhead Row and replace the then thoroughfare of Lady Lane, whereupon this Southern end of North Street was renamed Vicar Lane.

Date:
31-Dec-2009

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
Chris Youhill

Comment:
Just to be truly accurate, the West Yorkshire Bus station is still there as are its associated office/shop buildings in Vicar lane - but the Bus Company has long gone, and the site is now a car park and taxi office.

Date:
25-May-2011

Email:
chrisbluebus@aol.com

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Name:
Graham A. Schofield

Comment:
Whatever is happening as shown in the bottom right hand corner, does seem to indicate some form of road maintenance. As I know nothing whatsoever about road repairs, I have a question. I do know however that tar has to be melted, and used in liquid form. I understand that it melts at around 80 degrees F, at which stage it can be poured. Looking at the barrel shown here, it is hard to discern any form of heating source beneath it. If this is a tar-barrel, can anyone explain how the tar was kept from cooling and solidifying? I am assuming that the square protrusion on the top, is an ingress point through which liquid tar could be poured, before the cart was dragged to where it was needed. It would be interesting to learn how this scenario was acted out.

Date:
11-May-2012

Email:
GrahamScho@AOL.com

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Name:
John Bean

Comment:
My Gt,Gt,Grandfather John Stead was living at 57A North Street in 1881, so these properties would have been quite familiar to him and his family. He had a tailoring business employing some of his own family and 5 staff. The premises would have been on the photographers side of the road, but around 100yds on the left.

Date:
01-Aug-2013

Email:
beanj@btinternet.com

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Name:
Robin Simpson

Comment:
My Great Great Aunt Jane Webster had a Confectioner's shop at 48 North Street, directly opposite the buildings in this photograph (adjacent to Trafalgar Street). She ran the business from 1852 until her death in 1881, having previously worked for the Markland family - Ralph Markland was a former Lord Mayor of Leeds - as a live-in Cook at Brunswick Place (further to the right of this picture). Jane's nephew Joseph Webster Simpson, who lived at 5 Hope Street, took on the business after her death and then passed it to his son Thomas William Webster Simpson, who ran it until the mid 1920's. The business premises subsequently became Bloomfield's restaurant.

Date:
27-Oct-2013

Email:
Not displayed

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Name:
John Bean

Comment:
Info for Mr Schofield. My grandmother had some photos of her 2nd husband at work. He was a clerk of works for laying stone sets, as he was involved in the relaying of City Square at one time. The barrel was insulated and contained much smaller amounts than its size would suggest. The 'Gas Tar' as I knew it as a child came from the Gas works as a 'by product'. It wasn't Bitumen as is modern 'tar'.It melted at quite low temperatures, as many of my friends in the early 50's would confirm. We used to collect it from between the stone sets on hot summer days and roll it into bomb shaped blobs, push a matchstick into it, so only the red end was visible and then throw them into the air. As the match hit the ground and struck, it set the tar alight. 'Hit' was also what I got from my gran, as she had to use butter to get the tar off my hands. Back to how they laid the tar. A watering can like container was used to pour the tar between the sets which had been laid previously, so only the tar work was left to complete.This allowed the tar to be utilized quickly. Other workers would be exchanging the tanks during the day as they went back and forth to the gas works some were horse drawn units too. sadly the photo's were lost within the family after my grans death so I can only transcribe what I recall. During my working life, at one period I worked within the bitumen trade and often it would remind me of my black sticky hand days.

Date:
10-Jul-2015

Email:
beanj@btinternet.com

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Name:
Graham A. Schofield

Comment:
With reference to John Bean's comment:- Thanks for the information John. I'd almost forgotten about how as kids, in the mid to late 1940's, we would play about in the street or the road (Hardly any traffic in those days), digging out bits of 'Gas Tar' (Coal Tar) from between the 'setts'. As John points out, it was reasonably easy to extract, as it softened rather quickly, especially in hot summer weather. I recall that bubbles would form occasionally, - - - and of course, they just had to be burst. I would think that most children will have gone home with tar glued to their hands, legs, knees, even faces, to be chastised by 'mother', and then have butter or margarine applied in order to remove it, and then to be told 'not to do it again'. Of course, like the little angels we all were, we obeyed. - - - Well, at least until the next time we were 'playing out'. It's funny how things slip from memory. John's comment has jogged mine into recalling workmen pouring the liquid tar into the gaps between the setts, from a long-spouted hand-held container. One can understand when he tells us that a barrel such as shown here, would be only partly filled, as it would have been nigh impossible for a man to pull a completely full one, along what in real terms were somewhat uneven road surfaces. I can also remember workmen melting tar at the roadside, and being told by adults that standing near to it, and breathing in the smell, was good for one's health. I would imagine that the jury might still be out on that one!

Date:
04-Jul-2017

Email:
GrahamScho@AOL.com

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Name:
John Bean

Comment:
Graham's comment, as to standing close to the road laying gangs and their road tar, being good for one's health. I too was informed by my gran of this. But I never thought much of it, however I worked at the Bitumen processing plant for around 3 years and never got a cold or had a sick day !

Date:
04-Jul-2017

Email:
beanj@btinternet.com

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