Last Wednesday (16 August 2023) physical work commenced on ‘Little Moor Park’, Leeds City Council’s new recreational space on Moor Road in Hunslet, which has been developed in collaboration with the Middleton Railway Trust (MRT), based opposite.
Four new information boards have been placed around the site, giving details of how the area once looked and how its residents lived. MRT has provided much of the information and photos for these boards and Vice President Ian Smith has been able to supply information about how the residents of the Gasholders (the streets now occupied by the Tulip Retail Park) lived and worked, having lived there as a child.
A fifth board describing the Leeds locomotive building industry will be installed later.
In addition to these boards, new benches and a picnic table or two will also be provided and a much needed tidying up of the area will be carried out. One of these benches is being designed by the Leeds UTC on Hunslet Road and should feature the Middleton Railway in its construction – it will look similar to the bench on the railway’s Moor Road platform but feature the 21st century railway in its design.
In the longer term, the council and the Trust are looking at a piece of artwork to commemorate Murray and Blenkinsop’s pioneer locomotive ‘Salamanca’ as part of a Heritage Trail between Hunslet and the city centre. There are funding possibilities available for this project and we’ll see what develops.
What is important, however, is that this is a successful collaboration between the MRT and Leeds City Council, led very much by local councillor Paul Wray, to whom we are grateful for his hard work in creating the park.
The name comes from the fact that Hunslet Moor was actually divided into 3 sections. The largest one was split into two by the railway itself, being either side of the line as it went up to the Hunslet Staithes and thence into town, the smaller part still seen opposite the Gardeners Arms pub. The third section was a tiny piece between the Balm Road Branch and the Gasholders which was always known as the ‘Little Moor’ and hence this new park got its name.
MRT Vice President Ian Smith said:
“We are delighted to be part of this improvement for the local community and hope it will be appreciated by all who are able to use it in the future”.
Cllr Paul Wray (Labour, Hunslet & Riverside) added:
“Cllr Mohammed Iqbal and I are passionate about improving the ward’s greenspaces and protecting its rich history for future generations. It has been our pleasure to work with Middleton Railway to develop an improvement plan that will add value to the important work they do and create an area of community space for residents who want a quieter greenspace away from the playground on Hunslet Lake. The coming months will see more work take place, transforming the area by early next year.”
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