Tadcaster bridge: a century older than thought

Storm Eva in December 2015 was a disaster for Tadcaster, splitting the town in two when the bridge collapsed under the weight of floodwater. 4837649_296310deIf there’s a silver lining, this may be it: a team from Historic England carried out an assessment and have shown that Tadcaster bridge is older than previously thought (1698). In fact it was a newer 1791 extension that failed. The HE report has been published and makes interesting reading. See here.

The bridge is due to reopen this week.

Any takers?

Items at Claremont, surplus to requirements and free to a good home if you can take them away:

Various microfilm and fiche readers, maybe useful for spare parts. An eight-drawer unit for storing films. We still have some of the perspex leaflet display boxes, brand new, to give away. And loads of pairs of scissors!

Please just drop me a note:





Burns Night greetings

Here’s a seasonal thought from YAHS collections in the Brotherton, courtesy of Kirsty:

Walker auld lang syneArtist George Walker of Leeds (best known for his Costume of Yorkshire) made a tour of Scotland in 1822 with his niece Jane. Here is a picture he painted for her album the following year perhaps in commemoration of their tour. It is now preserved in the YAHS archive collections.

Leeds General Cemetery Burial Registers online

Exceptional resource here, epic in scale, very easily searchable, for all kinds of historical research – into medicine, demography, industry…. This is the message from Brotherton Special Collections, with link:

A mine of information for genealogists has been made available online by the University of Leeds Library Special Collections. The burial registers of Leeds General Cemetery are now 220px-Woodhouse_Cemetery_-_Clarendon_Road_-_geograph.org.uk_-_402972available for students and the public to access and use for research. 

Containing entries relating to the 97,146 people buried at the cemetery, the 25 registers have been transcribed, digitised and made available through the Leeds General Cemetery Burial Registers Index.

The registers record information such as name, age, gender, date of death and burial, cause of death, occupation, and parents’ details. It is possible to browse a full list of all the recorded causes of death and occupations and view charts of key statistics from the data.

Leeds General Cemetery opened in 1835 as a public burial ground. The University of Leeds acquired the company in 1956 and the final burial took place there in 1969, although ashes continued to be scattered there until 1992. Today the site is a public park, its name reverted to the original – St George’s Fields. 

The digitisation and transcription project was undertaken as part of the Medical Collections Project, launched in November 2015. The project’s aim is to make medical-related collections more widely accessible, to encourage use, and inspire new research by creating online catalogues and digitising selected items. This includes improving the long-term preservation of this material by undertaking repackaging and conservation treatments where appropriate. The project is funded by a Wellcome Trust Research Resources Award, and runs until May 2018.

The University Library’s Special Collections hold the extensive records of the Leeds General Cemetery Company Ltd. Mainly consisting of business and administrative papers alongside the burial registers, the archive covers the lifetime of the company, with records dating from 1733 to 1992. A new catalogue for the Leeds General Cemetery Company Ltd Archive is also now available. 

Tiles in Leeds

In the Tiled Hall, former reading room of Leeds central library, now a cafe (and open throughout the repairs to the adjacent art gallery). IMG_0574I think these are Burmantofts tiles.

While checking this out, I found a good website on historical tiles – and Leeds, being exceptionally well-endowed with tiles, has a page all of its own, showing medieval examples at Kirkstall abbey, through to the rich flowering in the late-19th century.  There is a page also about Burmantofts


Sorting out in Claremont

We’re in full swing with sorting out ahead of the move (about which, more information as soon as we have it).

We are trying to be even-handed when disposing of surplus items. Furniture and larger goods will be sold at auction, and we’ll endeavour to circulate details so that members can bid if they wish. This seems fairer than accepting random offers.

IMG_0562Free to good homes: lots of perspex displays for leaflets etc (see picture), in good condition, different shapes and sizes; and also bookbinding tools and materials. Please contact us for more information.

Newcomen Society – inaugural meeting in Sheffield

The Newcomen Society is launching a new programme of lectures in Sheffield. The full list is here.

Monday’s inaugural meeting, 23rd January, at 6:30pm at Kelham Island when Deborah Jaffe will be speaking on:-

Frank Hornby and mechanical toys – Britain, Germany and the USA, 1880- 1950

When Frank Hornby invented Meccano in 1901 he initially marketed it as Mechanics Made Easy. His aim was to introduce children to learning about mechanics and basic engineering by playing with kits of metal rods, nuts and bolts.  For many, Meccano became a vital part of their lives even affecting career choices. Deborah Jaffé will discuss Hornby, as an innovator and entrepreneur, in the context of the toy industries in Britain, Germany and the USA. She will also look at the development of Meccano, Hornby train sets and Dinky cars and the changes that faced a once well established company.unnamed