Old dramatic photographs of Rawdon
THE EARLY years of motor vehicles, the changing face of transportation, and a fallout from man’s quest for theft can be found in these photographs dating back a century and more.
All photos were taken in Rawdon and are from the Aireborough Historical Society online archives.
A dramatic image shows the aftermath of a car crash in June 1909. The overturned vehicle, believed to be on the New Road side, is surrounded by a crowd of worried people who appear to be dressed for their best Sunday. .
To the left of this image, a much quieter way to travel is shown in an image that shows a horse-drawn van on Apperley Lanes. The van was owned by J Holroyd & Co, a dry cleaning company. The vehicle is parked in front of West View, a housing store built by a woolen merchant, Mr. Brayshaw, for his daughters.
The premises were then used as a local conservative office before becoming a private home.
On the right-hand page can be seen a 1925 photograph of the new Joint Fire Department that had been put in place for Horsforth, Yeadon, Rawdon and Guiseley. Firefighters posed proudly on an engine, while Inspector James A Dockray stood in front. He had been appointed in 1925 with an annual salary of £ 300 and a house provided.
The fire station, which was built in 1925, was actually on the Yeadon side of New Road, but has always been known as the Rawdon Fire Station.
Rawdon and the surrounding communities experienced another major change at the start of the 20th century with the arrival of streetcars.
Huge crowds witnessed the arrival of the first trams in Rawdon and Yeadon in May 1909, when service to Leeds was launched. It was extended to Guiseley in June and each township paid Leeds £ 400 for the service.
To mark the important occasions, three trams – decorated with flags and banners – were brought from Leeds to Rawdon and Yeadon, then to Guiseley.
An decorated streetcar can be seen outside the Benton Congregational Church at the junction with Green Lane and New Road Side.
One image shows a very quiet Leeds road two years earlier with children watching preparations for the laying of tracks for the trams.
An incredibly old image – from 1860 – was taken by John Arundel and shows an extremely quiet city street.
The AHS website says: “The photograph was taken from the top of the tower of St. Peter’s Church. The junction with Carr Lane is just before the horse and cart on the left, then just a track. Opposite is Grange Farm and above the farm is the National School. Opposite the school is the Naggs Head Public House.
An undated, but obviously very old, photo shows a young girl standing in front of the old toll houses on the Rawdon side of the Apperley Bridge. The houses were the collection point for travelers’ tolls from Dudley Hill to Killinghall Turnpike Trust Road. The building on the right became a store, but both buildings were demolished around 1930.
Toll trusts were created by Acts of Parliament to collect tolls to maintain roads in Britain, especially in the 18th and 19th centuries. The number of trusts increased to over 1,000 in the 1830s.
A remarkable image of a boxed kite prepared for flight was taken in the Rawdon area by photographer Ernest E Slater around 1900. Kites were invented in 1893 by Lawrence Hargrave, who was attempting to create a flying machine. The British-born Australian was an engineer, explorer, astronomer, inventor and aeronautical pioneer.