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Fenton Arms pub
H. Braithwaite & Co., coppersmiths (formerly Mann's Patent Steam Cart & Wagon Co.)
Deighton's Patent Flue & Tube Co.
Yorkshire Patent Steam Wagon Co., steam wagon manufacturers
John Waddington Ltd, theatrical printers
The Coghlan Steel & Iron Co. Ltd., Hunslet Forge
Crooked Billet pub
Derbyshire Street Mission
Hunslet remembered
Red Lion pub
Leeds City Transport tram depot
Top field
Wakefield Rd
Pepper Rd
Low Rd
Clarence G Wade, rhubarb grower
1 Tram depot (1947)

1 Tram depot (1947)

2 Tram at Thwaite Gate (1953)

2 Tram at Thwaite Gate (1953)

3 Red Lion Yard (1959)

3 Red Lion Yard (1959)

4 Old Red Lion (1974)

4 Old Red Lion (1974)

5 Thwaite Gate (1974)

5 Thwaite Gate (1974)

6 Shops at Thwaite Gate (1974)

6 Shops at Thwaite Gate (1974)

7 Warwickshire Street (1974)

7 Warwickshire Street (1974)

8 Sussex Avenue (1974)

8 Sussex Avenue (1974)

9 Top field (2006)

9 Top field (2006)

10 Pepper View (1968)

10 Pepper View (1968)

11 Rocheford Terrace (1956)

11 Rocheford Terrace (1956)

12 Urinal, Pepper Road (1927)

12 Urinal, Pepper Road (1927)

13 Former Mann's Patent Steam Cart & Wagon Co.  (2009)

13 Former Mann's Patent Steam Cart & Wagon Co. (2009)

Pepper Lane area photo gallery. Click to open a pop-up
Forge field
Thwaite Gate shops in 1936
Images 1-3, 10-12 copyright of Leeds Library and Information Services
Coghlan's Forge, between Thwaite Gate and the river, occupied a site that had a long history as Hunslet Forge. To the south of the map were various industries including John Waddington's, whose site today is occupied by the headquarters of the First Direct bank. Countless local people over the years played ball games on the Pepper Road playing field (the "top field"). Rugby League, especially, was played, from informal touch and pass with a few friends, to amateur matches. When Hunslet RLFC had to move from Parkside they looked at the possibility of moving there.

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 read more about a particular place.
A 1936 advertisement

10 I was born in 1949 at no. 14, the house on the left

13 Mann's premises were later occupied by  Braithwaite's, then Pontifex, makers of pressure vessels and storage tanks
Former horse trough and drinking fountain at bottom of Pepper Road used as a planter (photo 2009)
Back to top
View a British Pathe news clip from 1963 showing pupils at Hunslet Carr Junior School playing rugby here
Click here
 
 
 
Scale one inch to around 100 yards
More information about the photos
Go to Woodhouse Hill map
Go to Grove Road map
Pepper Lane area (1)
Continue to Pepper Lane area (2)
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Not that I was a bad kid. I had been brought up in a very Christian manner at the Derbyshire Street Mission, or the Tin Mission as it was called. On Sundays I would be packed off to sing hymns at the Mission, I guess to give mum a break and dad the chance for a good nap. Then I joined the Wolf Cubs, which were based at St. Chads Church, run by the Rev Francis. I joined the Cubs for a simple reason: the movie starring Sabu called "The Jungle Book" was showing at the Strand, and Rev Francis was taking all the cubs to see it. I actually got to enjoy the Cubs and later the Scouts, but I started to find the religious aspect trying.

My dad had told me I should never even dream of going down a coal mine and should become an electrical engineer, so I took up science. I remember an old clockwork alarm clock that mum was throwing away. I took it and fixed it, and had a cog wheel left over! Mum was very impressed.

There were also some sad times. A very good friend of mine at Low Road School was Lawrence Rider. We both won scholarships to Central High School in Leeds but Lawrence had to drop out because his family needed him to work. I remember his last day at school. He came in a pair of wellington boots that had a hole in one toe. He died a few years later of cancer; a really nice young man.

The Ladybridge Cabinet Works was on Hunslet Road going into town on the right. It was a furniture making company run by a Henry Solomon before and during WW2. During the war they went from making furniture to making chocks for aircraft wheels, and crates to hold aircraft engines.  When my dad joined the army my mum worked there. She learned basic carpentry and bought a handsome set of Stanley woodworking tools which later in life I used to make some bits of furniture for my first home after I was married. Mum also developed a whole bunch of Jewish idioms and slang which added a real flavour to her conversations!

I used to enjoy the school sports on the Coghlan's Forge field prior to the track events at Parkside, followed by the competitions at Roundhay Park on Children's Day.  I remember the winter of 1941 when Low Road School ran out of coke and they closed the school for 6 weeks. Mr. Sefton took us onto the field to play soccer one day during that time. Later I was sent to the local Catholic School. My mum didn't want me to lose any classroom time....St. Joseph's as I recall.

My grandfather on my mother's side, Bill Cockerham, worked at the forge. I remember him, sitting beside the coal fire, I think on Pepper Place. He had tattoos all over his arms that fascinated me and he smoked a pipe. He had a daughter still living with him in the 1930/40's called Sarah. My Aunt Sarah was a smoker, but pretended she didn't smoke. Apparently she would go up to her bedroom and open the window and stick her head out and smoke...what else...Wild Woodbines!. Not Woodvines! I had more aunts than most: I had  Aunt Nelly, who lived on Sussex Avenue, Aunt Hilda, who lived in Stourton, Aunt Ivy, who also lived in Stourton, they were all on my mother's side. Aunt Amy, on my fathers side , lived in Sheffield. The Woodvine family originally came from Staffordshire, and Aunt Amy didn't stray too far!


     
I was born on 11th September 1932 to Beatrice Woodvine, nee Cockerham and Bertram Woodvine, a collier, who lived in John O'Gaunts at the time. In early 1933 the family, which included my sister Barbara who is 4 years older than I am, moved to Hunslet to live close to my father's mother who was a widow living at 2 Wiltshire Place. We lived for some 13 years at 23 Wiltshire Place before moving to Hyde Park in Leeds.

I can still remember the streets of Hunslet before WW2 started and some of the characters: Tony the ice cream man, an Italian who sold ice cream cornets from a donkey and cart. He vanished as the war began. Mr. Bradbury the rent man. I was terrified of him as a tiny tot because I was told he could throw us out of our home if we didn't pay the rent. Stanley Hargreaves, who lived opposite us, and who played piano in the Red Lion for a living. We heard him tinkling away every day. He had a wonderful black dog called Rex who walked with me and my mum to Low Road School every week day, and who took me home when school was over. On weekends I used to walk with Rex up Wakefield Road up to T.P. Wade's Rhubarb Fields and let Rex chase rats , mice and the odd rabbit. The Rington's Tea man who had a decorated Hansom cab type cart with a beautiful horse that knew where every customer lived.

I remember when war was declared, our coloring books with pictures of farms and sheep and cows gave way to drawings of battleships and tanks and warplanes. A huge air raid shelter was built in the school playground and we were all given rubbery smelling gas masks, that I hated, and drilled in how to get to shelter. And I remember Miss Stacey. The headmistress of the Infants School who gave me a basic education in reading writing and arithmetic and a love of learning by rewarding the students with sweets when we did our work well. Thanks to her, I became a lifelong learner, and eventually an expert on semiconductor technology just as the Space Race was starting.

I remember Mr Sefton,a teacher in "The Big Boys", who once fought George Shoebottom to a standstill. And Mr Hunter, a headmaster who told my mother that I was not very bright. I remember you well Mr Hunter.

And helping Leeds buy an aircraft carrier when the Ark Royal went down. Pity folk don't collect as much these days as they did.

I remember the Strand Cinema and the Regal Cinema and the Bug 'Utch (The Picturedrome). I recall the Hunslet Library from which I borrowed books with pictures of airplanes to help me make models out of balsa wood.

I also remember the Top Field, the big area behind the red brick walls at the end of the Wiltshires, which slowly was broken down by children who wanted to explore. I spent hours in there floating model boats on the pond that the rain created on the field. I used to float the toy boats and study the eddies created as they moved forward in the breeze. I was all of 7years old as I recall. Always interested in waves.

Oh! and I have forgotten Millie Williamson! Millie was a single middle-aged woman who lived in an end house on Wiltshire Place.

One wall of her house was on an open area that we played on. I remember my mum getting me a soccer ball and we kicked it to almost destruction up against Millie's wall. Poor Millie! It must have driven her crazy.

In those days before I was 13, I would wander around Leeds, often walking from Thwaite Gate up to the University and then on across Woodhouse Moor and then back home with no concern for my safety. As a parent I would have gone crazy if my children did that in the 70's and 80's!

The Yorkshire Copper Works (YCW) figured quite prominently in my early childhood. In the summer we would go through Stourton to the "sand oyls"(sand holes) to catch tiddlers and to swim. It was the same George Shoebottom, I think, who dived in the water one afternoon and cut his chest on a garden fork that was sticking up from the bottom of a hole. During the war the very few flights of German aircraft which made it into the Leeds area were said to be trying to find the YCW by following the River Aire. One evening I remember hearing the throb of aircraft engines as they flew overhead. Of course, they were not very successful, as I recall one bomb fell in the canal and one hit the City Library....not exactly London or Coventry. At home at the time, my parents were in debate about if it made more sense to sleep in our cellar, or to get out into the fields up Wakefield Road, where the odds on being hit by shrapnel were very much lower. My sister and I spent one or two nights in the cellar and then spent the rest of the war sleeping upstairs at night.

Another aspect of Hunslet in those days to me was allotments. My dad was a keen gardener, and he rented an allotment in the area between Thwaite Gate and Waddington's Satona Factory and grew all the veggies we and my grandmother needed. 












A neighbour on our street also had an allotment there, a Mr Marsden. One afternoon I was taken by my dad to see Mr Marsden's allotment. He had a little tool-shed type hut, and in the hut, on a perch, was a magnificent white owl. I now suspect at the time Mr Marsden may have had a bit to drink because he showed me how an owl dances: by tottering sideways from one foot to the other! A nice old fellow!

And the war brought the ARP. We all had to black out our windows so that lights didn't show outside, and put tape on the windows to protect the glass from shattering. "Put that light out" was a common shout after nightfall. By the way, when the war in Europe and the Far East eventually ended, the first thing the folks did on each occasion was have giant bonfires out in the streets with lots of beer for the adults and ice cream and fireworks for the kids. I remember putting a firework in a bottle and shooting it down the street toward a bonfire; it passed between the heads of two ladies. I could have finished up in borstal for that!




Ron Woodvine now lives in Bangor, Maine on the east coast of the U.S.
The 1930s and 40s
 
1930s: Ron, with sister Barbara, on the allotment. Wiltshires in the background
I think the people who ran the Sunday school in the Derbyshire Street Mission were Joyce and Elaine Kennedy. I went there in the 1950's and we sang "choruses". One went:

Sunshine corner - and it's jolly fine,
It's for children under ninety-nine,
All are welcome, seats are given free,
Derbyshire Street Mission, that's the place for me.

I went to the nursery next door to the Mission. It had a climbing frame, a concrete paddling pool, and French windows. We used to have them open and sit on the ledges. In the cloakroom for some reason there was a tin bath. We had a Welsh dresser to play with. The park next door had an old man's shelter in it.

Sheila Gamblin (nee Barrett) was born in Hunslet in 1950 and now lives in York


I was born in Hunslet 1940 at 1 Rocheford Terrace. I'm one of the Taylor twins whose mum kept a greengrocer's shop (which is shown in photo 11 above: ours was the shop on the right side of the pair). On the left was Tinker's paper shop and across the street was Alf and Laura Moss's off licence (later to be Geoff Beadnall's). Dad was killed in France in 1944 so we really never knew him, so mum ran the shop till slum clearance closed it.

Graham and I went to Derbyshire Street Mission on Sunday mornings and afternoons with a friend, Brian Metcalf. Sheila Gamblin is right about the Kennedy girls, but the Mission was run by a Mr. Rowley. There was also Frank Butler, and the organ was played by Annie Butler. I also remember a Mr. Drysdale. Later it became Church of the Nazerene. Nice to get back to my roots.

                          Malcolm Taylor now lives in Cross Gates
                        malcolm.taylor@ntlworld.com
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