ELHAS Meeting Report - November 2011

Meeting Report - November 2011

The last meeting of 2011 was a nostalgic look at the east Leeds villages of Seacroft and Halton.

Hosted by Jacki and Bob Lawrence. 44 members and guests gathered to view the illustrated talk and reminisce about times past. The presentation took the format of a virtual walk around the two villages viewing a collection of photographs from the past and the present. Many of the photographs were over 100 years old and showed Seacroft and Halton when they were small villages, outside the jurisdiction of Leeds City Council.

Viewing the older images alongside the same view taken today, we were able to see how the area had changed, in some cases quite dramatically. However, we were also able to see that some things remained unchanged and there are areas in both of these villages which retain the charm of former years.

The Cricketers Arms around 1912






The Cricketers Arms in 2011




The presentation began at the entrance to Seacroft village just before the Barwick road roundabout, at the point of York road which was originally known as Town Street. Progressing up York Road we looked at the site of Seacroft Hall, built in 1605 by the Shillito family and demolished in the fifties when the estate was bought by Leeds City Council. We also looked at the former police station, still standing and now a dentist's surgery, former shops, some now houses, the Methodist Chapel and St James's Church. Finally, we looked at Seacroft Grange, home to the Tottie Family now sadly a relic of its former self and Seacroft windmill which is incorporated in the Ramada Jarvis hotel.

The photographs were accompanied by a commentary explaining the history of the village which was much appreciated by the audience. The older images shown spanned many years some being in living memory and the audience delighted in recalling their childhood years in the area.

Chapel Street around 1860






Chapel Street in 2011



Moving from Seacroft to Halton the same pattern was repeated, beginning with a lovely view of Green Lane from 1908. After viewing many images along Cross Green Lane and Chapel street, including the former Methodist and Congregational churches, we arrived at Selby road. Fortunately, two of the oldest buildings in Halton, Dial House and the Woodman Inn still remain much as they were when first built in the 18th century.

It was interesting to follow the history of these once rural villages using old and new photographs, and the commentary added much to the audience's knowledge of the area. Even long time residents discovered little known facts, and the most delightful part of the evening was sharing people's memories which made it an enjoyable evening for all.

The meeting ended with the audience enjoying warm drinks and mince pies and carrying on the discussion of their recollections.

The next meeting on Monday 30th January 2012 will be a talk by Ms Betty Smithson "A History of Seacroft Hospital"