A page from the Yorkshire Evening News (which merged with the Yorkshire Evening Post in 1963) dated Tuesday 28 January 1919, and a bowler hat have been uncovered at a former mill site in South Leeds.
Workmen discovered the rare artefacts at the disused Hunslet and Victoria flax spinning mills on Atkinson Street in Hunslet which are being converted into residential apartments by Leeds based developer JM Construction (Leeds) Ltd.
John Mulleady, Managing Director of JM Construction, said:
“It is incredible to think the newspaper has survived for over 100 years and the bowler hat is likely to go back just as far and would have been worn by a senior manager, if not the owner of the mill.
“The buildings are awash with other links to the mills’ glory days including original coat hooks.”
The mills are Grade II and Grade II* Listed and were constructed in 1842 under the guidance of renowned engineer William Fairbairn. At their peak they would have employed 1,500 female workers.
They have stood empty since the 1970s and were earmarked for demolition before John Mulleady stepped in with an ambitious plan to convert the mills into distinctive and characterful homes.
The overall scheme includes converted mills and new build which will provide 356 apartments, offering one, two and three bedroom accommodation. Completion is scheduled for 2023.
Mr Mulleady added:
“We are privileged to have the opportunity to breathe new life into the site and refurbish the derelict mill buildings which were on the brink of demolition.
“As our recent finds prove they are a vital link to the rich history of the city when it was once a world leader in textile manufacturing and thanks to our sympathetic conversion will be enjoyed by future generations.”
JM Construction has recently reported that all 160 apartments in the four completed mills have been sold and work is now underway on mills e and f which comprise 95 apartments.
This post is based on a press release issued on behalf of JM Construction