This project started off 18 months ago as selfish indulgence on my part as I have had at least 4 generations, including my mum and dad, who were born and brought up in Hunslet and Stourton and I wanted to find out a bit more about the area.
I found lots of geographical history of the area but I realised soon on that I wanted the human history and stories. My uncle, who sadly passed away two months ago, provided me with a lot of information and then I was introduced to the Hunslet Remembered Group at Hunslet Library just over a year ago and the project was born.
They had the most wonderful stories and memories to share, some of which they had not done with anyone else before. We have had lots of laughs along the way and some sad stories, but it gave me that window into the rich lives of the strong community of the area, the community which for the most part, still exists today. The camaraderie that existed is hard to find nowadays as people’s lives have become busier and more fragmented. I feel humbled to have been part of their lives for the past year recording the memories for future generations and helping to bring Thwaite Mill to life.
I hope you enjoy the little snippets shared here and that they may invoke some memories of your own. I encourage you to talk to your families about growing up and letting them in to your past.
I would also encourage you to visit the exhibition at Thwaite Mill which runs until 3 September (excl Mondays), however, it is advisable to ring before your visit in case there is a wedding taking place.
“Lewis’s in the city centre was the highlight of Christmas. Their windows were always beautiful and you had to queue for hours to see Santa but he always had elves and fairies and unbelievable grottos.”
“Lads were adventurous and would walk to Temple Newsam. Girls would play in the streets with their dolls and prams.”
“No TV back then so after you finished playing out, you came in to listen to Dick Barton Special Agent at 7pm on the radio. It was on for 15 minutes.”
“The fields at the back leading up to Thwaite Lane were rhubarb fields owned by Mr Wade. We would go with a bag of sugar and ‘borrow’ some rhubarb to dip in to eat!”
“We used to dig tunnels near Dandy Row because it was very sandy but we would have to shore up the roof to stop them caving in.”
Fairs, Fetes and Fun
“At Whitsuntide you got new clothes which you showed off to your grandparents who gave you money.”
These are just a few of the memories shared with us and you can read many more at the exhibition. You can also have a go at the ‘proggy rug’.
This post was written by Wendy Breakwell using our Create an article for South Leeds Life page.