Garforth is a town on the outskirts of Leeds. I have lived here for the past twenty one years, and lived just a mile or two away for eighteen years prior to this. I'm always interested in local history, I've lived in this area for such a long time that I like to know about things from the past relating to it.
Whilst tracing my family tree, I learnt that my dad's ancestors all came from different areas in and around Leeds, but have traced one branch which lived in Garforth, so I've got connections here from long ago.
Garforth, like the surrounding villages, was a coalmining area, though the pits are now long gone.
On my most recent trip to the library, I picked up a book which has been published by the Garforth Historical Society. It shows old photos of the town which I find fascinating. I love to look back and see what an area was like many years ago.
This is Main Street, or Briggate as it was called then. The buildings were mainly domestic at this time and some of the terraced houses on the right of the photo remained until the 1950's.
This is Main Street as it is today, it's about a twenty minute walk from my house. There's a small Co-Operative supermarket, The Original Factory Shop, Subway and Greggs, but lots of the shops are independent. There's quite a few charity shops and more hairdressers than any small town really needs to my way of thinking. Each time a shop closes down, a new salon seems to pop up.
Taken a little further back, on the left you can see the junction with Barleyhill Road.
The buildings on the left are still here today. We have a lovely Italian restaurant on the corner where the white building once stood.
If you turn 180 degrees, you can see Lidgett Lane. Here is the view from Main Street looking towards it.
Today, the library stands on the left hand side. We're very lucky, so many libraries around the country have been under threat of closure in recent years but Garforth Library has recently been refurbished after the Big Lottery Fund awarded over £1m of funding to extend and refurbish it.
Lidgett Lane was rural back then, not a building in sight.
There's lots of buildings today, and the secondary school can just be seen in the background.
These old photos fascinate me. It was fun taking photos from the same position and seeing just how much everywhere's changed.
There's many more photos of Garforth taken in a past age in the book. It's been a very interesting read.