The M1 reached Stourton in 1967 and was extended into central Leeds in 1972 by slicing through Hunslet Moor. 160 years previously the first commercial railway in the world had crossed the Moor. This section, initially named the “South East Urban Motorway”, is now the M621.
The M1 reaches Stourton in 1967...
... and later the M621 crosses Hunslet Moor
Sources for the history pages
1.The Illustrated History of Leeds (Burt and Grady, 1994,Breedon Books Publishing Company)
2. Belle Isle (Belle Isle Study Group, 1985)
3. Hunslet (S.Clark and M.Wilson, Hunslet Social History Group, undated)
4. A new and complete history of the County of York (Thomas Allen, 1851)
5. The civil, ecclesiastical, literary, commercial and miscellaneous history of Leeds, Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford, Wakefield, Dewsbury, Otley and the manufacturing district of Yorkshire, Vol 1 Leeds (Edward Parsons, 1834)
6. Hunslet de Ledes (Calvert,1950)
7. Hunslet in the eighteenth century (Aspects of Leeds 2, John Goodchild, Ed. Tate)
8. Burial records, Leeds Local Studies Library
9. Baines Directory of Leeds 1817
10. White’s Directory of Leeds, Bradford etc 1854
11. G.C. Dickinson (commentary on 1905 Hunslet map by Alan Godfrey)
12. "Aristocratic Hunslet" in The Romance of Old Leeds (A.Mattison and W.Meakin, 1908)
13. Kelly's Directory, 1901
...say no more
Hunslet's changing population
By 1901 there were "...extensive chemical, glass, spinning, woollen cloth, blanket, flax and linen works, potteries etc. The neighbourhood abounds with coal, and the iron trade is extensively carried on in all its branches, including the manufacture of iron, locomotive and other engine building, and boiler, machine and tool making."13
Soot fall-out was around 45 tons per square mile per year.11
“In 1905 Hunslet was not simply one of the great workshops of Leeds, it was one of the great workshops of Britain as well.”11
“Today, when so much of “old Hunslet” has disappeared, it is difficult to imagine what a vigorous and enthusiastic local community once existed in these unprepossessing surroundings. Much of this vigour stemmed from the fact that for many people Hunslet’s life-style in 1905 was more like that of a strange village of 80,000 or so people than that of a city suburb, even though the city centre was only some two miles away”.11
Hunslet was a separate township until the Leeds Corporation Act of 1924 when it was included in the township of Leeds. It stretched from Christ Church, Meadow Lane for two miles to Thwaite Gate, to Holbeck in the west and Woodhouse Hill to the south west. Industry included flax mills, chemicals, potteries, glass works and iron foundries.3
Hunslet Station on Hillidge Road closed.
With the start of the clearance of whole streets of back to backs and the demolition of the Waterloo Road shops from the early 1960s Hunslet began to change almost beyond recognition. Many families were re-housed in Belle Isle and other outlying post-war Council suburbs. The notorious short-lived development of 2,500 flats at Leek Street (Hunslet Grange) was an unsuccessful replacement of the old communities for those families that stayed in Hunslet. After problems with damp, condensation and high heating costs, they were demolished in 1983....
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