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.
I find old photos fascinating, especially when it's somewhere that you know. You have a point about charity shops and hairdressers. Much as I like a rummage in a charity shop, there do seem a lot of them. And hairdressers, I wonder how they all manage to stay in business?ReplyDelete
I love looking at old photos. My mum and dad used to keep all their photos in a box and I used to love rummaging in them when I was a child. It seems that more and more hairdressers spring up when a shop becomes vacant. Small businesses seem to close down but hairdressers manage to keep going somehow.Delete
An interesting post as it's always fascinating to see then and now pictures like this. Flighty xxReplyDelete
It's a bit like spot the difference. I like to see how a place has changed, especially somewhere you know.Delete
I love looking back through local history books and comparing new to old. Thanks very much Jo fascinating. CNxReplyDelete
I could look at these type of old photos all day long, I find them fascinating. There were no dates to these photos but just look at the cars, they show how old they are.Delete
I love old photo's and have a couple of books about my childhood village, and the local town, can you imagine when checking one book I found a photo of my mums brother Uncle George, it's now a special book for me.ReplyDelete
That's amazing, I wish I could come across an old photo like that, no wonder the book is special to you. I think these type of books have added meaning when they're about a place you know well.Delete
I'm just down the road from you in Sherburn in Elmet. I like Garforth - the greengrocer's is good and I like a rummage in the charity shops :)ReplyDelete
Sherburn is mostly an independent high street too, but smaller. We're getting an Aldi though early next year. Wish I had the money to open a vintage craft café, I'm sure it would be a success.
I agree, the greengrocer's on Main Street is really good, it sells so many things, though I have to confess to using one more local to me. There's so many charity shops on Main Street now. I thought that Age UK had closed down but it's just moved across the road. I like independent shops, I try to use them as often as I can and support local businesses. The cafe on Main Street is run as a social enterprise reinvesting its profits back in to the community. Actually, they have a cafe in the library too, and each one is always busy, but I agree, a craft cafe would be good. I came across a website for Angels and Butterflies, a craft studio in Garforth which runs workshops and sells craft materials and gifts but I don't know where it is, I shall have to look in to this a bit further.Delete
Interesting to see how things have changed over the years.ReplyDelete
It really is. It would have been good to have some close ups of the shops and the people in the photos.Delete
Loved that post Jo. I also find it interesting seeing old photos of how somewhere looked in the past. Garforth sounds quite interesting both then and now. Thanks for our history lesson. Take care.ReplyDelete
It's definitely more interesting if you know the place. I didn't realise that Main Street was once a residential road, it's fascinating to know more about the area in which you live.Delete
I love to look at similar books of old photos of the town I live in. It's fun to see if any of the old buildings are still there, hidden in amongst the new. :o)ReplyDelete
I think the most interesting thing is looking which buildings still remain. It's good to see that some have stood the test of time, though most have sadly now gone.Delete
I like looking at old photos of a place and comparing them with today's appearance too. I know a lot about my home town and have lots of books on the history of it and a file of clippings of old photos from the local newspaper, but I like to find out about the past in any place that I've lived in. The names and meaning of places also fascinate me. It's good that your library is still open.ReplyDelete
I've become more interested in local history since I've researched my family tree. It's fascinating knowing what a place was like in the times when our ancestors lived there. We're very lucky having such a good library on our doorstep, so many have closed over recent years so I make sure that I take advantage of it.Delete
What a fascinating post Jo! How great that you were able to match up the old photos with how the different areas look now, it is amazing how much has changed, but that some buildings are still exactly the same!! xxReplyDelete
It's good to see that some buildings have stood the test of time. It was fun working out where each photo was taken so that I could see exactly how it's changed. There's lots more photos in the book including one of our local railway station which doesn't look as though it's changed at all.Delete
It's lovely to be able to look back and see what the town was like so long ago.ReplyDelete
It is, we're lucky to have these photos. It will be so different in years to come, technology has come on so much that we'll have so many images of times long gone.Delete
I loved this post, Jo. It was fascinating to look back and forth between the new and old photos to see what changed and what has stayed the same. They were much more similar than I might have guessed, actually. Thank you for sharing, I found this really interesting.ReplyDelete
I'm pleased you liked it. I enjoyed working out where the photos were taken from and taking my own to compare with the old ones. I love to see how things were in days gone by, I think we can learn a lot from the past.Delete
It's fascinating to see these before and after shots. I've got a book about the area of Manchester that my Mum's family came from. It was really funny to discover that three rather 'portly' ladies (seen from the back) were actually my Great-great aunts! All the best, JxReplyDelete
How wonderful to find your great great aunts in the book. I love seeing before and after photos too, it's a bit like spot the difference looking to find the similarities rather than the differences.Delete
How fascinating to see the different places then and now and how somethings are so different have how some buildings still remain. We have loads of hairdressers/nail bars and for some reason florists in our local high street and not much else!ReplyDelete
I've enjoyed this book, so many places I know but as they were many years ago. We only have one florist on Main Street but many hairdressers and nail bars.Delete