When I was a lass in Middleton!

The former Tivoli Cinema in Middleton now stands empty. Photo: Paul Hebden

Ahead of tonight’s launch of the Middleton Life local history project at Tenants Hall in Middleton, local resident Sandra Firth has written about her memories. A version of this post will appear in a special heritage edition of South Leeds Life magazine, which will be published later this month.

When I was a lass! How often do you hear that said by the older generation?

Well, when I was a lass the Broom Pit was still there, my husband went from school at 15 to work there – long gone now.

We used to go to work on the trams through Miggy Woods and see the seasons change, or travel down Belle Isle to town. The trams are long gone now.

The Middleton Arms, which was once a hotel, a well-known pub and a landmark for the trams and buses, has now been demolished and a supermarket is being built in its place. What are they going to put on the front of the buses now?!

The Tivoli, our own cinema which we went to as kids and grown ups changed into a bingo hall and eventually ‘up for sale’.

Middleton Secondary Modern School (as it was known in my day) – there’s only half left as the senior side was demolished and now has houses built there. We had May Days on the school field with a May Queen and Maypole dancing, long gone now. The YWCA (or Ydub as we used to call it – or Upstone Hall after Miss Upstone who was our school headteacher) was a wooden building then.

We got married at St Cross Church (still standing) and had our reception at the YWCA 51 years ago.

The old Tenants Hall was a well-used building. We had a day trip to the seaside once a year and there was that many buses they were parked all the way round the school. We had pop and crisps and a bit of spending money. Don’t forget, those were the days when not many families had cars, so it was the only time some kids saw the seaside. A new enterprise centre has now been built in its place, which we hope will be well used, too.

We still have Middleton Railway, which is the oldest railway in the world – and it’s OURS!

Middleton Lodge in the park is long gone now. And Middleton Hall on Town Street housed prisoners of war but eventually burnt down.

Eee, when I wa’ a lass! By the way, I still live in Miggy!

This article has been written with the help of our new community correspondents website.