Hunslet remembered
 
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Primitive Methodist Chapel
Social welfare office
Methodist Sunday Schools
Unitarian Church
Jack Lane Infants School (later, Leeds Athletic Institute)
William Robinson & Sons, stone bottle manufacturer
Thos.Thompson, stone bottle maker
Hunslet Rd
Grape St
Joseph St
Jack Lane
The Yorkshire Decorative Glass Co. and other firms (former Crown Glass Manufactory)
Strand Cinema
Thos. Fawcett, engineers (Whitehouse Engineering Works)
The map below shows the street pattern in 1932.
Hover over Red circles to show places listed in a 1936 trade directory. Green circles  show other interesting places, no matter when they were built. Yellow circles denote pubs. Click on Blue circles to open up more detailed maps or to read more about a particular place.
St. Joseph's R.C.School Boys
N
Scale one inch to about 80 yards
Go to Centre map
Go to Hunslet Moor map
YWCA
Whitehouse Hotel
Hunslet Rural District Council offices
Conyers, perambulator strap manufacturers
Station Hotel
Albion Hotel
Hopewell Inn
Jack Lane area (1)
Temperance Billiard Hall
Ashby & Anderson Ltd., iron founders
Johnson Radley & Sons Ltd., cast iron foundry for glass bottle industry
Utilus Coat Co. Ltd., clothing manufacturer
William Wilson & Sons, perambulator makers (Silver Cross)
King's Arms
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1 Joseph Street Methodist Church (1961)

1 Joseph Street Methodist Church (1961)

2 Social welfare office (1961)

2 Social welfare office (1961)

3 Unitarian Church, Joseph Street (1960)

3 Unitarian Church, Joseph Street (1960)

4 Joseph Street Baths (undated)

4 Joseph Street Baths (undated)

Jack Lane area photo gallery. Click to open a pop-up
All images copyright of Leeds Library and Information Services
More information about the photos
1 Built in 1874. Known as the "Zion", it also hosted concerts.

2 In addition to paying out the "relief" it also collected rates. Known as The Board of Guardians in the 1940s, it was also a Registry Office at one time.

3 Richard Golland's father was minister here (and at Mill Hill chapel in the city centre) from 1956 until its closure in the 1960s. He was known for his wayside pulpit messages. The one in this photo said 'A few good turns a day should not make a man dizzy'.

4 The baths were built in 1897 and operated from 1898 to 1979. See articles below.
Davis Burrow's factory was on Whitehouse Street.
The advert is from 1901 and the photo (from Peter Nichols) was taken around the same time
Richmond Machine Tool Co. (from 1960)
Volunteer Inn
Swimming is a skill I regard as one of the best that a person can possess. If you can swim you have a certain amount of safety around water, and a boundless field of leisure from swimming in a pool for pleasure or fitness to scuba diving, holidays or every day and this throughout your life from baby to old age.

My swimming life began at the wonderful Joseph Street Baths in Hunslet. The building, like most of housing, schools, factories and churches in Hunslet, was built of bricks in 1897. Rectangular, with the narrow side facing the street, two doorways – entrance and exit – with the office in the middle. Behind the office were the slipper baths where people who did not have the facility of a boiler and tin bath at home could go for a weekly cleanse (I don’t know why they were called slipper baths but they were always referred to as such, perhaps because the soap made them slippy? And to distinguish them from the swimming baths).

Down the corridor, through a small door and there was the swimming pool. The roof above the pool was one of angled glazed glass, the type of roof in many of the factories around to provide daylight, the floor and walls tiled, giving light from the roof and an echoing character rivalling the Swiss Alps. Peculiarly, it didn’t need just one person to get an echo: when the pool was filled to the rafters on a Saturday afternoon the echoes of scores of children bounced off the walls.

Although we occasionally visited the baths with school, the teaching of swimming was intermittent and basic. Eighty per cent of us seemed to spend most time in the showers while the teachers spent time with those of proven ability, who were like superstars to the rest of us, or maybe I’m being unfair to the teachers?

Like most children then I was self taught. I never really mastered the breast stroke favouring the front crawl which is hardly economic and you can only do for a limited period of time. I can do the breast stroke but not very well. I also like the back stroke.

When I went with my mates to the baths we wore a variety of swimming wear, which we called swimming trunks. The bought variety were of poor material which was ill fitting and clung to you, but the poor ones among us wore knitted swimming trunks, which obviously looked and were, once wet, so uncomfortable. Sometimes we had to have a safety pin in to hold them up because they were too big, having being handed down from an older brother.
Joseph Street Baths
We paid our 6d (that is 6 pennies, there being 240 pennies to one pound, or, in today’s money, two-and-a-half pence) for a swimming session.

You walked straight into the hall housing the swimming pool and a man sitting on a chair took your ticket, then directed you to a cubicle, boys to the left, girls to the right.
The changing cubicles were about the same size as a toilet cubicle with a wooden seat on the back and two coat-hangers. There were three to a cubicle. Because there were more people than cubicle places boys had to go onto the balcony to change, the balcony running round three sides above the cubicles, about 3 metres high. The balcony rails were wrought iron and benches were attached to the walls. When there were more girls than boys the girls were allocated cubicles on the boys’ side sending more boys onto the balcony. Getting changed on the balcony was an art as there was no privacy either from others getting changed or those in the pool, or from the girls! In those days there was complete separation of boys and girls at school.

There were about 30 cubicles each side so, plus the balcony, I reckon each Saturday morning and afternoon there were more than 100 children in the pool.


There was only one pool attendant to oversee all these kids! When changed we went to the pool attendant who inspected us, and, of course, we were quite dirty, some filthy, and we were sent straight into the showers where there was soap, thankfully, The mind boggles at all those children in the pool knowing the effect water has on the mind, no wonder it was full of chlorine! We spent a lot of time in those lovely, warm showers, not showing any urgency to get in the chilly (to us)  pool. We had to pass the attendant once again to get in the pool, but plenty didn’t bother.

The pool measured 25 yards long by 10 yards wide  and yes, it looked like one of those beaches you see where the Japanese are on holiday! It was 3 feet deep at one end and 6 feet at the deep end.  95 per cent of kids were in the 3 feet end. The noise was incredible, bounding off the tiled wall and roof, screaming girls, shouting boys, plenty crying because they’d been ducked (ducking was pushing someone’s head under the water).

The diving platform was 9 feet high and plenty jumped off onto unsuspecting swimmers below. A lot of the braver ones got onto the balcony rails and dived off there, frequently bombing (diving with your arms by your sides, head first).
All this was forbidden, of course, as it was dangerous, but it happened and there were accidents; if someone dived on top of you it was no joke. Running was another no-no, but ignored. When in the pool, swimming consisted of, at most, the width of the pool. Amazingly there was a pattern when you were in the middle of it all, just like watching crowds of people walking and avoiding each other.

All  life was there with their characters on view for all to see. Top of the list in my book were the out and out bullies whose pleasure was derived by ducking someone (generally smaller, younger and weaker), sitting on them while they were on the floor of the pool having a drowning experience. I had it done to me many times and a lot of kids took to a fear of water for life through it.

Other pursuits were more enjoyable. We played tigs where you tap someone and they are it, they have to chase everyone else playing the game to tap them, they can’t tap straight back; a simple game but great fun with lots of running, jumping, diving and swimming. Also having horse and rider fights where you got on the back of a mate and fought another couple to dislodge them into the water. Swimming underwater through the legs of your mate was another pastime, but they frequently sat on you, not for long like the bullies but long enough. Before the Ministry of Silly Walks came to the TV screens they were at Joseph Street Baths, pretending to walk along the street without a care in the world, straight into the deep end of the pool.

There were no water “toys”; I don’t suppose there was room for them!

Finally the whistle went for all out - and immediately everyone jumped in. As the attendant walked round telling everyone to get out, slowly the pool emptied. When it was finally empty and the green water absolutely still and inviting, there would be a splash as someone fell in, either pushed by a mate or claiming to have been. They would get a roasting. Then there was a scramble for clothes which were strewn all over; how anyone found theirs, only children know.

On the way out at the turnstile we bought four salt biscuits for 1d, some of my mates a cup of Bovril, and happily we went home having got rid of a certain amount of energy!



Geoff Tebbutt, who now lives in France,  was born in 1942 in the Peppers
 
Continue to Jack Lane area (2)
 
Those salty biscuits I considered a rare treat, and after being in the water I used to hungrily devour them on the way home.  I remember my father, who was in the navy in the 40's, said everyone should be able to swim to at least save themselves, and it was he who first took me to the baths (in the 1950s) for a swimming lesson. By the time our school started swimming classes I felt so proud that I could already swim the length and breadth of the pool, for which I received a multi- coloured ribbon, which was sewn on to my elastic-rouched bathing suit for the breadth swim, and a certificate for length and breadth.  I remember a rather staunch lady in an industrial sort of linen or canvas coat walking alongside the pool with a very long wooden pole which had a metal hook on the end, the purpose of which was to haul to the side any poor soul who faltered during what seemed a marathon breast stroke swim. St Joseph's Catholic Church was a little further down the street on the opposite side to the baths.  I remember walking past there on our way home from swimming and the sisters used to come to the door of the church with food parcels of some sort to persons who sometimes waited on the steps.

                       Valerie Swanson (nee Ward) was born in 1945 in Thwaite Gate
 
Joseph Street Baths
Davis Burrow & Sons Ltd., brush manufacturers
 
I think Joseph Street Baths were called slipper baths because of the shape, like a posh slipper. Swimming was taught by Mr Foot. I still have my mother's swimming certificates from the 1930's, issued I think by Joseph Street. My grandfather Harry Beaumont played water polo there.

Sheila Gamblin (nee Barrett) was born in Hunslet in 1950 and now lives in York
I was born at 53 Alton St in 1948 and I lived there with my parents Hilda and Tommy, elder brother Dennis, and sister Brenda. My memory is a bit hazy but I do remember a shared toilet with Mrs Fell, our next door neighbour, who also let me watch Tarzan on her telly on Sunday afternoon. I believe she owned a sewing business down below the Wellington. I remember bonfire nights at the top of the street opposite the toilets, and the nearby houses boarded their windows when the fire got hot. I attended St. Joseph's school and remember helping Mr. Brennan the caretaker shovel a huge mound of coal into the cellar every Saturday morning. I was an altar boy at church,and remember Father Kelly and Father Clifford. When Canon Thomey came to visit our house every so often, I used to hide under the table with fright. My leisure time was spent on Hunslet Moor, the Strand, and playing cowboys and indians, a favourite spot being a yard opposite the Zion Chapel on Jack Lane, which had a coffin makers factory. Many hours were spent playing hide and seek in the coffin shed.
                                                                      John Lamb
Go to Pottery Field map
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Site of Hunslet Union workhouse