New Year, Old Leeds

An extremely brief snapshot of the New Year period through the last century in Leeds, culled from our Leodis archive of historical Leeds photos

c1900s. Image shows the local tradition of the ‘New Year’s Scramble’ on Churwell Hill, Elland Road. Dave Morley, ‘The Teacake King’ who also specialised in wet fish, had a special treat for children on New Year’s Day. He would heave a shovelful of pennies in his baker’s oven until red-hot, then let the children scramble for them on the pavement. The Old Fleece is shown at the right edge. It had its entrance at the back and was demolished in 1934. Information from the writings of Bob Dennis, research by Ronnie Barraclough. Photograph from the David Atkinson Archive. (c) David Atkinson, www.leodis.net
C 1903. Postcard view of Shire Oak on Otley Road, the tree that was an important focal point at the centre of Headingley for many years. Now decaying, it has railings around to protect it. The tree finally collapsed on 26th May 1941. In 1956 another oak was planted nearby in the grounds of the Original Oak Inn, but the old one is still preserved in St. Michael’s Church where a statue was carved from its wood. The postcard is dated 31st December 1903. (c) Leeds Libraries, www.leodis.net
c1909. Postcard with a postdate of 31st December 1909 showing Woodview Terrace in Horsforth. Several of the residents are standing outside their doors for the photo and a group of children are sitting on the wall of one of the gardens. (c) Artemis, www.leodis.net
31st December 1940. Looking north across Conway Street at Skeltons advertising hoardings. This adjoins a row of brick through-terraces sloping down to Harehills Road. Advertisements for Guiness, Leeds United matches and war effort are visible. The structure itself is wooden with ornate corner mouldings. The streets are cobbled and over head tram wires can be seen in Harehills Road. (c) Leeds Libraries, www.leodis.net
31st December 1940. Looking south across a cement pavement and the cobbled Back Conway Street, towards the Sheldons advertising hoardings. There are posters for John West, Oxo, war propaganda and a Labour Party meeting among others. The structure itself is made of timber with ornate cornices and mouldings. The back of a row of brick terraces is evident to the left, whilst to the right of the picture a pedestrian crossing on Harehills Road can be seen. The arched facade and bell tower of Conway Street Muncipal School looms in the background. (c) Leeds Libraries, www.leodis.net
3rd January 1946. Image shows the dining hall at R.A.F. Boston Spa laid out ready for the New Year Party, held on 3rd January 1946. The preparations include floral arrangements, bowls of fruit and menu cards at intervals along the tables. The menu cards had the winged emblem of the R.A.F. on the front and the date. At each place setting the starter is set out, a dish containing half a grapefruit. The menu states that this was followed by Brown Windsor Soup, Steamed Cod and Parsley Sauce, Roast Turkey, Roast Pork, Stuffing, Bread Sauce, Green Vegetables, Roast and Creamed Potatoes, Christmas Pudding and Sauce. At the end of the menu it reads ‘The Commanding Officer and Officers of R.A.F. Boston Spa wish you all a Very Happy New Year’. (c) Leeds Libraries, www.leodis.net
31st December 1949. View looking north at the North side of Merrion Street, showing number 66, Mardue And Simpson, French Polishers (below) and S. Libson, Tailor (above). Next door is H. Outhwaite, Newsagent. Posters advertising Bovril and Cadbury’s Bourn-vita can be seen. (c) Leeds Libraries, www.leodis.net
31st December 1948. Cotopa Mill, Back Lane, Guiseley had manufactured chemicals, including Potassium Chloride and other chemicals used to make matches. On New Years Eve 1948 a massive fire destroyed the mill. This was not the first catastrophe to have happened here. During the war, four young women handling explosives had been blown up, this was in 1941. (c) Leeds Libraries, www.leodis.net
31st December 1958 The sign above the door states that the proprietor Fred Russell is licensed to sell beer, wine and spirits for consumption on or off the premises. A large sign above the pub states that this is a Samuel Smiths pub serving Taddy Ales pub. On the left of the pub is a yard while on the right is Admiral Street. The white building at number 6 is the Davy Machine Co fish frying engineers with the Maple Clothing Co blouse factory behind. (c) West Yorkshire Archive Service, www.leodis.net
31st December 1962. Members of the Morley Friends’ Adult School singing outside their premises just before 12 o’clock midnight and the change over to the New Year. It was a traditional arrangement to have a social (party games, competitions, dancing and sometimes sketches or plays) from 8 p.m. to 12 p.m. on New Year’s Eve and vacate the premises at about 11.50 to sing out the old year and sing in the new in front of the building. 1962-3 was a particularly hard winter and this snow remained on the ground for quite some time. Photograph from the David Atkinson Archive. (c) David Atkinson, www.leodis.net
1st January 1963. This photograph was taken at the traditional New Year’s breakfast held by the Men’s Class at Morley Friends’ Adult School. The Mayor shown here is Cyril Noble Akeroyd who occupied the position from May 1962 to May 1963. Photograph from the David Atkinson Archive. (c) David Atkinson Archive, www.leodis.net
16th November 1999. View of the entrance to Planet Earth night club which is in the basement of the Queens Hotel. There is a banner displayed advertising New years Eve tickets’. (c) Leeds Libraries, www.leodis.net

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