The Old Seacroft Shopping Centre

Bunkers, shelters and other buildings
Bert
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Postby Bert » Thu 22 Jul, 2010 10:04 pm

This thread just brings the memories rolling back. When I left Leeds at the age of 18 in 1962 my Mam and Dad were living in Poole Square on the Council estate in Crossgates. Me being the last of their three kids to leave, they got themselves moved to a flat in one of the tower blocks just below the Seacroft Centre, then, when they decided the high-rise life was not for them, got themselves moved again to one of the flat-roofed terraced houses built on what used to be the grass verges of South Parkway, and from there to a similar bungalow a bit further down South Parkway when Dad became too ill to cope with stairs.

From the 1960s to the 1980s I visited them there regularly, and whenever I did we always ended up in one of three places: The Sovereign - which was a decent, friendly little pub serving decent ale; the working men's club just next to the clinic (where my Dad was caretaker), which was a good night out with some great turns and more good ale; and a big hall I vaguely remember as being attached to the base of the Queens tower block of flats immediately below Seacroft Centre, which later I think became just a bingo hall but where in those days you could go to see nationally known acts. I went there with Mam and Dad to see Lonnie Donegan. Dad kept yelling out a request for Gambling Man until Lonnie called him a drunken old git and told him to shut up (before graciously apologising - rightly too 'cos Dad was only about halfway through his first pint of the night - and explaining that he couldn't do it because he didn't have the right backing group with him).

In short the whole Seacroft Centre was jumping - just a really great working class place to live and enjoy life. What the hell have we done to ourselves as a nation to cause places like that to go to hell?
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chameleon
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Postby chameleon » Thu 22 Jul, 2010 10:15 pm

Bert wrote:
This thread just brings the memories rolling back. When I left Leeds at the age of 18 in 1962 my Mam and Dad were living in Poole Square on the Council estate in Crossgates. Me being the last of their three kids to leave, they got themselves moved to a flat in one of the tower blocks just below the Seacroft Centre, then, when they decided the high-rise life was not for them, got themselves moved again to one of the flat-roofed terraced houses built on what used to be the grass verges of South Parkway, and from there to a similar bungalow a bit further down South Parkway when Dad became too ill to cope with stairs.

From the 1960s to the 1980s I visited them there regularly, and whenever I did we always ended up in one of three places: The Sovereign - which was a decent, friendly little pub serving decent ale; the working men's club just next to the clinic (where my Dad was caretaker), which was a good night out with some great turns and more good ale; and a big hall I vaguely remember as being attached to the base of the Queens tower block of flats immediately below Seacroft Centre, which later I think became just a bingo hall but where in those days you could go to see nationally known acts. I went there with Mam and Dad to see Lonnie Donegan. Dad kept yelling out a request for Gambling Man until Lonnie called him a drunken old git and told him to shut up (before graciously apologising - rightly too 'cos Dad was only about halfway through his first pint of the night - and explaining that he couldn't do it because he didn't have the right backing group with him).

In short the whole Seacroft Centre was jumping - just a really great working class place to live and enjoy life. What the hell have we done to ourselves as a nation to cause places like that to go to hell?


That's a wonderful picture you paint Bert and certainly in the earlier days I can see where you are coming from. In the latter years the picture was very different and it was certainly not a comfortable place to be most of the time, inhospitable and crumbling decay.

Even the maisonettes you talk of have gone of course. Built as an affordable expedient to improve the housing stock to one of the designs encouraged by the government' building design and research centre - they prove to be a disaster for faults and longevity despite their early promise (There are few homes to that breed of construction remaining in their original form, either having been pulled down or essentially rebuilt with different materials). Non the less, far better than the asbestos prefabs which ran down South Parkway before them.    
Bert
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Postby Bert » Fri 23 Jul, 2010 9:42 pm

I'm sure that's all true Chameleon, but my gut tells me that Seacroft Centre didn't go to hell because its buildings rotted; its buildings rotted because it went to hell.    
raveydavey
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Postby raveydavey » Fri 23 Jul, 2010 10:00 pm

Bert wrote:
I'm sure that's all true Chameleon, but my gut tells me that Seacroft Centre didn't go to hell because it's buildings rotted; its buildings rotted because it went to hell.    


There is probably a lot of truth in that. I can remember going there as a kid in the 70's and early 80's and the place was rammed full, especially on a Saturday. By the late 80's it was getting run down and it died a slow lingering death by the late 90's.

So what went wrong? There was ample free parking, fantastic public transport links, a good selection of shops for all pockets and tastes
Speaking the Truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act – George Orwell

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chameleon
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Postby chameleon » Fri 23 Jul, 2010 11:20 pm

raveydavey wrote:
Bert wrote:
I'm sure that's all true Chameleon, but my gut tells me that Seacroft Centre didn't go to hell because it's buildings rotted; its buildings rotted because it went to hell.    


There is probably a lot of truth in that. I can remember going there as a kid in the 70's and early 80's and the place was rammed full, especially on a Saturday. By the late 80's it was getting run down and it died a slow lingering death by the late 90's.

So what went wrong? There was ample free parking, fantastic public transport links, a good selection of shops for all pockets and tastes


Apart from a change in clientel, the advent of the early larger supermarkets in part I suspect.
keyholekate
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Postby keyholekate » Sat 24 Jul, 2010 2:45 am

chameleon wrote:
raveydavey wrote:
Bert wrote:
I'm sure that's all true Chameleon, but my gut tells me that Seacroft Centre didn't go to hell because it's buildings rotted; its buildings rotted because it went to hell.    


There is probably a lot of truth in that. I can remember going there as a kid in the 70's and early 80's and the place was rammed full, especially on a Saturday. By the late 80's it was getting run down and it died a slow lingering death by the late 90's.

So what went wrong? There was ample free parking, fantastic public transport links, a good selection of shops for all pockets and tastes


Apart from a change in clientel, the advent of the early larger supermarkets in part I suspect.



Im not sure what you mean by a change in clientel but in 1980 when I first moved near to Centre as we called it then it was a very busy place,especially Friday and Saturday I could walk over from the multi storey twelfth floor flat I lived in with my husband and new baby in his Silver Cross big pram with a big shopping tray underneath.All my shopping used to fit under there as well as a big bag of spuds and a party seven for the husband lol.I used to have a dreadful perm at Keith and Co,call in the YEB for my electric rebate,pay the tv rental (we had the latest push button tv with a teak surround on wheels too) I loved the market downstairs,especially Mr Spences stall,from there I used to buy oven cakes and lovely ham and usually a cake too.The fruit and veg stalls were great full of lovely spring cabbages and caulies and the like.There was a stall selling Marks and Spencer seconds and another to get your bras and undercrackers.The curtain shop was handy for getting the nets though why I had nets in a twelth floor flat I dont know,must have been cos I was in the curtain club there.I can still remember the chap in Marlene Joyce(we are back upstairs now),he looked like Mike Reid the DJ. . Think his name was Roger. . . .he used to let you put clothes away and pay weekly,by the time you got them the kids had grown another size up.There was a shoe shop ,I though it was called Curtises at one time but could be wrong,I bought my baby boy his Jumping Jack shoes from there.Back downstairs to the wool shop owned by a husband and wife I could get some wool and if I got stuck with the pattern the lady would put me right,I liked knitting on an evening ,crikey I sound a right proper wife dont I? Millers carpets was the place to go,he also used to let you pay weekly,I dont think many people had a credit card then and my husband used to get his wage in a packet every week so I quite managed the housekeeping well,lived to my means as it were. By now I had two boys and took them to see a Mr T lookalike on that stage ,they had a photo took with him lol. At Easter there was always some church parading through and singing hymns.Shopping at the Centre was great in those days,we used to sit on a concrete bench and have a cig and a chat with many friends who we bumped in to,all asking if we were off in Seacroft club tonight and we usually would be.Pubs were not open all day then so you werent out that long.Are we really better off now?The computer has been a great thing for me,I love it I really do but this has got to be one thing thats changed how we live hasnt it?I do everything on it,all I need is a commode and I wont have to move off it. I also think the Cross Gates centre is going down the nick too. . how many card shops and pound shops and cash converters shops do we need?Times really have changed.
Bert
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Postby Bert » Sat 24 Jul, 2010 9:11 am

Great stuff Keyholekate. Gave me a lot of pleasure reading it. If you aren't already writing novels on this kind of theme you should seriously think about taking it up! As you imply, it can't have been so much a change of the Centre's clientele as the loss of a lot of it and the social degeneration of those who remained. If it was all just the inevitable result of the computer age God help us all, because there ain't gonna be no stoppping that.
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chameleon
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Postby chameleon » Sat 24 Jul, 2010 11:37 am

Bert wrote:
Great stuff Keyholekate. Gave me a lot of pleasure reading it. If you aren't already writing novels on this kind of theme you should seriously think about taking it up! As you imply, it can't have been so much a change of the Centre's clientele as the loss of a lot of it and the social degeneration of those who remained. If it was all just the inevitable result of the computer age God help us all, because there ain't gonna be no stoppping that.


In trms of the indigenous population you describe Bert, that was my implied meaning in ver simple terms - though I hasten to add, that not everyone should be tarred with the same brush, there were and still are many, more than respectable and very pleasnt people living around there and I will be at the front to defend that feeling, perhaps the ratio of they to others with rather different social values and outlooks had altered.

jim
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Postby jim » Sat 24 Jul, 2010 12:18 pm

Social degenerates? A great term for those who by their behaviour are determined to alter the norms of a civilised society in a downhill direction. The major problem is a complete disregard for their fellow human beings' concerns and feelings, and a determination to push that attitude in our faces. Unfortunately to use such a term generally would offend the PC brigade - and I've probably done it already! That was easy, wasn't it?(offending the PC brigade, I mean!)    
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chameleon
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Postby chameleon » Sat 24 Jul, 2010 2:39 pm

jim wrote:
Social degenerates? A great term for those who by their behaviour are determined to alter the norms of a civilised society in a downhill direction. The major problem is a complete disregard for their fellow human beings' concerns and feelings, and a determination to push that attitude in our faces. Unfortunately to use such a term generally would offend the PC brigade - and I've probably done it already! That was easy, wasn't it?(offending the PC brigade, I mean!)    


Fine with me Jim - PC or not, if something is the case, why not say so - our new PM seems to agree with his Big Society Idea - (I use Big Society as an example but the topic is edging on political discussion though and we'll leave that bit there - this isn't a place for political airingsWink).

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