JAPA Paper Mill Clock + Morley Town Hall

Public timepieces, on buildings, churches, etc.
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Re: JAPA Paper Mill Clock + Morley Town Hall

Postby jonleeds » Mon 28 Dec, 2015 11:35 pm

Heh heh! I was 'born' in a house on Rooms Lane, well my dad owned a lovely through terrace house that was part of a terrace where the end house was the home of the vicar of Morley that was located at the top of what is now known as Rooms Fold. The first in a decades long period of residential housing development began to the rear of these terraced houses which in the 1980s the locals referred to the region of 1970s period houses as 'Toytown' due to the peculiar design of the houses which resembled 'Lego' type houses of the modern design type.

I believe that also in the 1970s St Peters parish church had its own vicarage built adjacent to the church which stands at the junction of Rooms Lane and Victoria Road. I recall my father was involved in the construction of this modern Georgian style large rectory which is still in use, albeit in a smaller garden plot as up until the 1990s the vicarage stood within its own substantial grounds that were later on sub-divided into individual building plots for more private houses.

There was also a recreation field to the rear of the vicarage / St Peters parish church. Back in the 1970s / 80s they would have an annual summer church fete within the vicarage grounds. The fetes would be very well attended and I recall the vicarage garden had a lovely pear tree from which we used to gather huge quantities of pears that the then Reverend Hind's wife would make into perry (like an apple cider type drink) which would be offered as prizes in the raffles / tombolas throughout the year. I can remember as 8-9 year old lads my chums and I got hold of a bottle from where they were stored in the garage to mature! Needless to say there were some headaches the next day...

Another peculiar thing I recall about the vicarage garden was that it was one of the couple of places I know about in Leeds where there stood a substantial sized Mulberry 'bush'. I say 'bush' because it was really more of a tree sized and we were under express instructions to never climb it due to the branches being extremely delicate and not able to bear the weight of a young boy without snapping off. Every year we would gather pounds and pounds of delicious mulberries from this tree, I think apart from one other time this was the only time I ever tasted mulberries which on the whole arent available to buy commercially from supermarkets or anywhere else. Very unusual but delicious tasting fruit which would appear annually in copious amounts. I remember gobbling them down with clotted cream in a bowl that the lovely Mrs Hind would supply us with in return for us picking the fruit as well as helping out with gardening related tasks - raking leaves / weeding etc.

These are just some great memories from a wonderful childhood spent growing up in this charming small town. I'll never forget the old-fashioned type fun we used to have camping out in the local woods, building dens, going on exploratory bike rides in to the next town of Batley, or even straying as far as Leeds city centre to run riot around the Jolly Giant or Lewis's toy department! Myself and my mate once spent an hour or so creating a lego skateboard figure which was about 3 foot high in the Lewis's toy department and the staff were so impressed with what we'd done they put our creation on top of the aisle end and awarded us with a choice of a cheap range lego toy each! How mad?! These day's we'd have probably been arrested or held by security guards until social services could pick us up and stick us in care...
Have your fun when you're alive - you won't get nothing when you die... have a good time all the time! - Chumbawumba!

And no matter how things end, you should always keep in touch with your friends - Dave Gedge
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Re: JAPA Paper Mill Clock + Morley Town Hall

Postby Leodian » Mon 28 Dec, 2015 11:47 pm

Great memories jonleeds. :) They are just the kind of every day life things that should be recorded.
A rainbow is a ribbon that Nature puts on when she washes her hair.
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Re: JAPA Paper Mill Clock + Morley Town Hall

Postby jonleeds » Tue 29 Dec, 2015 1:45 am

Thanks Leodian! I'm pleased you've enjoyed reading my little snippet of life as a young lad in Morley. Its nice to be able to share fond memories with fellow Leeds folks cos no doubt similar scenes of childhood are common to a lot of Leeds residents, and for anyone new to Leeds or the forum to hear how we used to live in years gone by.

It makes me wonder also if when we write these threads that our material will be here online for decades to come and that who knows who might be searching the 'net in many years time will be reading our stories / memories. I guess what I mean is maybe its possible to transcend time by posting publically accessible stories which could be still around long after we ourselves have gone?! Who knows?

This is all still a relatively a new medium, but if Gutenbergs printing press has shown its that material printed hundreds of years ago can still be read by people centuries down the ages then there is no reason to doubt that anything posted in an online forum, what with its universal coverage and faultless digital preservation could well be observed by readers of internet forums in decades to come.

Maybe the entire contents of the Secret Leeds forum from its inception should be preserved on some kind of Cloud type storage, or sealed in a modern-day type data-vault time capsule as a record of Leeds people in the mid-late 20th century for future generations to learn about? I know it would be a total travesty if ever the material that makes up the back-catalogue of threads that the hundreds of people who post on here were ever to be lost. It represents a colloquial record of Leeds dwellers memories, musings and general chatter about times, people and places in Leeds many of which are now lost to memory only. Can it be backed up? Do all threads dating back to the creation of the forum still exist or are many lost / deleted during various site updates? One thing I cant find on the forum is a forum search option which makes me think there is not old material accessible.
Have your fun when you're alive - you won't get nothing when you die... have a good time all the time! - Chumbawumba!

And no matter how things end, you should always keep in touch with your friends - Dave Gedge
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Re: JAPA Paper Mill Clock + Morley Town Hall

Postby Xamgin » Tue 29 Dec, 2015 8:52 am

I really like what you have shared here.
Graduated from Soran University with First Class Degree with Honours in Computer Science.

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Re: JAPA Paper Mill Clock + Morley Town Hall

Postby jim » Tue 29 Dec, 2015 9:06 am

jonleeds wrote: One thing I cant find on the forum is a forum search option which makes me think there is not old material accessible.
There is a workaround for this problem Jon - posted some time ago by another member. Google "site:secretleeds.com search" followed by the subject you wish to find, and that should get you what you are looking for.
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Re: JAPA Paper Mill Clock + Morley Town Hall

Postby edlong » Tue 05 Jan, 2016 6:13 pm


Cracking stories there lad, and more than a little resonance with me:

I know the terrace you mean precisely - I have friends living there now (no. 35) and walk past every day taking my daughter to school - no, not St Peters, that closed, in the mid 1980s I guess, to the new primary school they built off the motorway end of Ingle Avenue, which means we walk every day through the park and the estate that lies where Springfield Mill once stood.

I also know about the "toytown" development down and off Rooms Fold - that's where we live! In a late 1970s Scandinavian designed house with an asymetric roof - some of the kids also called it "Legoland". The wierd thing about it is you can plot the precise moment in history where mainstream housing design stopped being innovative and "modern" and started looking backwards - three quarters of my street is the aforementioned, "legoland" look, with the then-rare Velux roof windows, asymetric shapes (around very cleverly designed spaces) - then, around mid 1978 the developers bowed to changing customer demands and the rest of the street became identical, bland, brown square "box houses" and from there you can trace it literally street by street as more and more "olde worlde" features start appearing until the later houses are all but Victorian pastiche, but I digress..

I also well remember the Reverend Hind, the vicarage garden, the field behind (of course also now covered in houses) and the well attended annual fete - I attended the aforementioned St Peters school from 1978-81 - sounds like a similar period to when you had the run of the place - perhaps we played together in the garden?! I know we try and avoid too much politics in here, but I was so saddened when 3/4 of that vicarage garden was given over to housing development - sad of course for the loss of amenity (the local kids aren;t as connected to their parish church now there's not a fantastic garden there) - but also appalled at what was built. Those who don't know it might imagine that church owned land going for housign might be something for the poor and needy - "affordable housing" being the modern way, where once a benefactor might have paid to build almshouses for the poor. So, did the loss of the mulberry bush and the pear tree at least provide a roof over the heads of the poor and needy? Did it heck - there's three enormous "executive detached" monstrosities, of course built in a "retro" style and when I say "executive" I'm talking swimming pools in the basement. I'm not a religious man, but I'm sure I remember Reverend Hind talking to us kids about rich men and eyes of needles, ho hum...

To be pedantic though (sorry!) the entrance road to Laneside Mills (JAPA, to bring it back the post back on topic, who saw that coming?) was a little up from the old Churwell Grange, it stood where "Westwoodside" now emerges (one of the ways into that enormous housing development, of course), there's at least one more big house still between that and Laneside. When I was a kid, the house was so derelict looking that most people assumed it was empty - my mum did the list ticking at the polling station one election year (probably would have been the 1983 general election) and simply didn't believe the old bloke that turned up to vote, giving "Churwell Grange" as his address until she checked down the list, and sure enough there he was. Among other things, that handsome building had also been a school at one point in its history. When I was kid, it was a falling down wreck with a load of old, dead cars in the garden. In fact, it was the old guy refusing to sell up that held back the bulk of that housing development in the early 1980s because they needed to clear his house to put the road through.

Do you remember the big house near the (current) vicarage that kept a quite substantial sailing boat in the driveway through the winter on an old truck? As a kid, I think I was more impressed with the old truck than the boat. I think the boat was called the "Shiegra" or similar - I did once see it in water, at Scarborough.
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Re: JAPA Paper Mill Clock + Morley Town Hall

Postby jonleeds » Fri 12 Feb, 2016 10:52 am

Hi Edlong!You very well might know me then if you were at St Peters in the late 1970s. I went to Viccy Road infants though, but I knew a few kids who did go to the tiny church school - John Gathercole? Erm and Martin Stables I think...

I was appauled to hear about St Peter's vicarage gardens being split into building plots as well as the church field being similarly portioned off. I can remember when it was all fields before any of the houses off Sandmead Close were built, it was virtually a rural area and certainly walking furthur down Rooms Lane became very countrified with farmer Lindley's old farm at the top of the hill behind the old West company mansion.

I cant believe they pulled all that down too because it was a beautiful former mill owners house. I used to be terrified when I had to deliver a newspaper on a pitch dark December morning to the door of that place and it was all quiet and eerie... Its unbelievable the whole area is unrecognisable now. where there were once woods and fields there are ugly mock Edwardian barrett style houses.

Even the once mighty Springfield Mills with its enormous towering black chimney and 'bottomless' mill dam are long gone. We also used to play around the lime pits and those water tanks inbetween Springfield Mill and Rooms Lane as well as swimming in the aforementioned mill dam. I've since heard that those water tanks, and the lime pits were there to help chemically match the PH of the water for dying the cloth in the mill. I'd never seen lime present like that in the ground where you could dig it out pure white and like cheese spread almost in consistency. I'm not sure if the stuff had been brought there years ago and then was grown over by weeds, or was it naturally occuring?

I recall that some of the old chaps on the allotments off Rooms Fold would bribe us with a few pence for sweets if we'd take a wheel barrow down to the lime pits, dig out a barrowful of white lime and fetch it back for their prize roses. It was all very well until we started getting the stuff smeared up our arms and legs - then you find out it burns! I also earned a pound or two for whitewashing my mum's cellar with lime whitewash that I made up by mixing the white lime with water - god knows how I knew how to do that aged 9 years old?! Must have been some old guy told me about it..?

I do remember the house near St Peter's vicarage with the boat in their garden. My auntie lived right opposite in one of those red brick houses. I'm very jealous you're living in one of the 'Toytown' houses. When I was a nipper we very nearly moved into one and I can remember how much I loved the modern design and layout. It was all knotty pine and funky lampshades. I guess once Ikea opened up only a few miles away it must have been great having a tailor made house to go with Scandinavian design furniture!! Once thing that always puzzled me is there are some garages for those Toytown houses on Rooms Fold furthur down Rooms Lane from the top of the Rooms Fold past the row of terraced houses. It seemed that these garages were built to go with the houses but the access for them was awkward or something and I bet to this day I wouldnt be surprised if these garages are mostly disused or derelict - or the house owners arent even aware the garages exist.
Have your fun when you're alive - you won't get nothing when you die... have a good time all the time! - Chumbawumba!

And no matter how things end, you should always keep in touch with your friends - Dave Gedge

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