Thurs 26 July 2018 COLIN SPEAKMAN will talk about his love of walking in THE YORKSHIRE WOLDS. 





7:30 pm :at Rawdon Community Library: COLIN SPEAKMAN will talk about his love of walking in
An Aireborough Civic Society Event

England had just won the World Cup when Colin Speakman sat down to write his first walking book. That was back in 1967 and since then another 50 books have followed.

On July 26th at Rawdon Library Colin & his wife Fleur talk about their latest book ‘The Yorkshire Wolds – A Journey of Discovery’ and give some fascinating cameos about some key Wolds people and the delights of walking in a lesser known landscape. This is the wonderful landscape that inspired artist David Hockney in recent years.

Admission: ACS Members Free
Non-members £4.00 (or join on the night for free entry).

Guided Walks 2018 Programme


The Friday evening walks were started in 1993 by the late Albert Shutt, then Chairman of the Aireborough Civic Society. His plan was to explore the Aireborough area, visiting places even local residents hadn’t been to, and ensuring footpaths were kept in use.


“Surprise Surprise”

Friday 27th  July


Meet at Chevin Surprise Car Park.  Further details below.

Unless stated the walks are normally between 3 and 4 miles in length. The pace is as fast as the slowest walker.

As the walks cover a variety of terrain, sturdy footwear is strongly advised, along with weatherproof clothing.  Most of the walks involve gradients, hills and stiles.

If you have any questions about a particular walk please contact the walk leader at the telephone number given.

The traditional end of season meal will be held on Friday 7th December 2018 at Rawdon Golf Club.  A meal will also be held in February 2019 when the walks programme for 2019 will be arranged.


The Aireborough Civic Society was established for the public benefit for the following purposes in the area formally known as Aireborough, which includes the wards of Guiseley, Rawdon and Yeadon in the Metropolitan District of Leeds.

  1. To promote high standards of planning and architecture in the area
  2. To educate the public in geography, history and natural history and architecture in the area.
  3. To secure the preservation, development and improvement of features of historic or public interest in the area.

The Society’s website includes contact details, forthcoming events and information about the area.

Aireborough Civic Society holds its meetings on the last Thursday of the month at

7:30pm at Rawdon Community Library, Micklefield Park, Rawdon.

Everyone is welcome.

Aireborough Civic Society Walks List – 2018

Please note:-  All walks will commence promptly at the times noted. Also please make sure that you bring protective outdoor clothing with you on all walks. Walkers who are not members of the Civic Society will be asked to contribute £2 for ACS funds.

Date and time Details Leader(s)
Friday 20st April


“Two Pubs & a Sewage Works”

Meet at George and Dragon PH side of River Aire, Apperley Bridge

Bill Mason

Tel: 01943 872 714

Friday 4th May


“The Burger Walk”

Meet at McDonald’s,  on retail park Guiseley

Angela, Colleen and Tyler

Tel 0113 250 7594 (Angela)

Friday 18th May



Meet Hawkesworth Lane / Thorpe Lane junction

Ken Elliott

Tel: 0113 31899850

Friday 1st June


“Chuffin Old Railway”

Meet Station Gardens car park on Linton Road, Wetherby

Sue and Roy Dixon

Tel 0113 250 6858

Friday 15th June


Lindley Wood

Meet at Lindley Bridge, nr trout farm

Bill Mason

Tel: 01943 872 714

Friday 29th  June 


“Chapel, Banks and Possible Surprise”

Meet at Yeadon Methodist Church Car Park, South View Road

Eric Nelson

01943 875643

Friday 13th July


“Mike’s alternative Umbrella Walk!!!”

Meet on Mansion Lane, Roundhay

Michael Appleyard

0113 250 3169

Friday 27th  July


“Surprise Surprise”

Meet at Chevin Surprise Car Park

Angela, Colleen and Tyler

Tel 0113 250 7594 (Angela)

Friday 10th August


“Cats and Dogs”

Meet at Burley Railway Station

Jack Schofield

Tel 01943 875 304

Friday 24th August


“Three Parks”

Meet Tarnfield Car Park, ie near yachts Yeadon

Sue and Roy Dixon

Tel 0113 250 6858

2018 Programme of Talks & Meetings


We meet on the last Thursday of each month –  7:30 pm, Rawdon Community Library – next to Rawdon Crossroads       Telephone: 0113 3910440

PROGRAMME 2018 – continued

May 31st    Notorious Prisoners

Veronica Bird OBE, former Governor of Armley Prison, recounts her experiences when dealing with notorious inmates in various prison establishments across the country.  Details of her life in prison are recounted in her recently published book “Veronica’s Bird”. (Available for purchase on the night.)

June 28th  Community Meeting (all welcome):

To discuss local issues e.g. congestion, Green Belt, public transport, litter, ‘In Bloom’, blue plaques, pollution, parks and any other matters of interest to ACS members and non-members alike

July 26th    The Yorkshire Wolds – An Undiscovered Region

Colin Speakman and his wife Fleur talk about their latest book on the Yorkshire Wolds and give some fascinating cameos about some key Wolds people and the area in an interesting and informative presentation. (Book available on the night at discounted price.)

August 30th Community Meeting (all welcome):To discuss local issues (as above)

September 27th Nostalgia

Keith Barber looks back and recalls some interesting events, objects and people from the 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s. This is a very humorous, enjoyable and nostalgic, illustrated reminiscence.  Highly recommended –   expect to participate.

October 25th   Community Meeting (all welcome):     To discuss local issues (as above)

November 29th     Annual General Meeting plus Guest Speaker,  Local historian and author, John Davies, gives a fascinating presentation on “The End of the Great War and its Aftermath”.

Membership is £10 per annum by payment at any Meeting.  Members of ACS  are entitled to free admission to ALL talks.   Admission for non-members £4 for talks, community meetings are free.

Aireborough Civic Society Celebrates 50 years of Conservation Areas with:

Little London, Rawdon in 1906 : Ordnance Survey Map

A Guided Walk Around the Nether Yeadon & Little London (Rawdon) Conservation Areas led by Andy Graham, Urban Designer and former Conservation Officer for Leeds City Council

Aireborough has eight Conservation Areas.   Find out what makes 2 of them special and how our heritage is protected from unsuitable change. We are fortunate in having a wonderful variety of historic buildings in many separate settlements combined with beautiful Pennine countryside.   Our Conservation Areas are there to protect and improve these places for the future.   


£3  – goes towards the Aireborough Civic Society fund for new Blue Plaques.


To book your place and find out the starting place, please telephone 0113 2503580

About Aireborough Conservation Areas

Aireborough has eight Conservation Areas.   Find out what makes 2 of them special on Civic Day, 17th June, this year with the Aireborough Civic Society Civic Day Guided Walk around Nether Yeadon & Little London. It is remarkable that these 2 areas of character are so near each other, but so very different.  It is our responsibility to protect this heritage from unsuitable change.

Find out how Conservation Areas give limited protection. It is 50 years since the government recognised the importance of ‘areas of special character’ and the need to protect them. Conservation Areas were introduced in 1967. Before that anyone owning a building in these areas could demolish it at whim, irrespective of its attractiveness and history.

This part of Leeds is fortunate in having a wonderful variety of historic buildings in many separate settlements combined with beautiful Pennine countryside. Aireborough has eight Conservation Areas.  Nether Yeadon is hidden away and still surprisingly rural, and Little London is a close knit community of former weavers’ cottages.

More information about Nether Yeadon

Nether Yeadon is a rare survivor of pre-industrial Aireborough.  It has excellent examples of early Yeomen’s houses and agricultural buildings, 10 of them grade II listed, all set within an historic, agricultural landscape setting.  Of particular note is Low Hall, which has remnants of Esholt Priory in its fabric.  These types of buildings do survive in other areas in Aireborough, but their all important surroundings have gone,  many swallowed up by recent housing developments.

Clive Woods, Chairman of Aireborough Civic Society said, ‘We are very pleased that Leeds has recognised the distinctiveness of Aireborough by increasing the size and number of our Conservation Areas.     It helps our communities to keep the best of our heritage and should mean that our Green Belt has greater protection.     New buildings should be of high quality.   However even with Conservation Area protection we still have to persuade planners and developers that some less obvious Heritage buildings should be converted and not demolished, in particular our industrial heritage.  Leeds has done a great job of creating new Conservation Areas but has been less successful in protecting important details like original windows and doors.   An even bigger challenge is the threat to build yet more new homes in these areas as part of  the Leeds Core Strategy and now in the controversial Site Allocations Plan.’

Conservation Areas

Conservation areas were introduced in England, Wales and Scotland in the Civic Amenities Act 1967 through a private members bill led by Lord Duncan Sandys. When conservation areas legislation was introduced there was widespread public concern over the pace of redevelopment in our historic towns and cities. Today there are over 10,000 conservation areas in the UK (approximately 9,300 in England, 500 in Wales, 650 in Scotland and 60 in Northern Ireland) reflecting the popularity of this legislative tool in identifying and protecting our most valued historic places.

Conservation area designation essentially controls the demolition of unlisted buildings over a certain size and works to protect trees, restricts permitted development rights on dwelling houses and tightens regulations on advertising. It also places a statutory duty on local planning authorities to pay special attention to preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of conservation areas while undertaking their planning duties.

Leeds Digital Festival event ‘Check in Check off’ adds touch of digital magic to under-appreciated historic buildings in Leeds

A team of budding self-confessed technologists, working in the Leeds digital media industry have developed an innovative project as part of the Leeds digital media festival. Project ‘Check In Check Off’ is a group of media professionals wanting to promote historic hidden areas of Leeds which normally go unnoticed.

Using the latest technology including Social Media, QR codes, mobile phones, the internet and virtual reality the digital treasure hunt will allow small teams of four or five to follow cryptic clues on a journey around Leeds. Starting at the beautiful Corn Exchange building in the heart of the city centre, participants will be encouraged to notice the beautiful historic architecture by following pub quiz like questions to obtain points. The teams will then be led around some of the most unique buildings and structures in England, ending at a top secret well known famous landmark for a theatrical series of quests using a mix of history, drama and digital trickery.

The objective of the project is to raise awareness of the amazing beauty of Leeds which we take for granted every day. Creative producer Matt Gardner explains: “By making people socially and digitally engage with the environment around them, more people can appreciate just how lucky we are to live in a rich city such as Leeds.”

The event organiser Amanda Kouwenhoven has achieved the almost impossible task of getting private landlords, businesses and Leeds City Council to come together in a celebration of the history of the rich history of Leeds for the digital generation. “Since I moved to Leeds from Australia I have been in awe of the beautiful buildings and history of Leeds.”… “Working in the Digital Industry it only seemed apt that we held an event to celebrate both the history and the digital industry which has blossomed in Leeds.”

This is certainly an ambitious event; the technologies being used for the event on Sunday 20th November have never been used for this purpose before. Each task has been custom coded by Rick Harrison, the team’s developer, to allow maximum flexibility for the narrative of the event.

If you are free this Sunday and would like to get involved there are still one or two tickets available if you’re quick. Visit the website for more details.

Not surprisingly all the members of this one off event are so grateful to everyone that has helped support the event, both in resources and in giving their precious time. Amanda “We would like to thank our event sponsors Network Marketing Jobs Leeds for all their support, hopefully next Sunday will be a very special

SNOW. Annual General Meeting Postponed

Having listened to tonight’s weather forecast (more of the same until Friday) and looked out the window to see that it’s snowing again, I have decided to postpone tomorrow night’s AGM until Thursday January 27th which would be the date of our next meeting.

Apologies for any inconvenience.

The Yeadon Drinking Fountain



There has always been interest, speculation and a certain amount of intrigue about the Jubilee Drinking fountain that was positioned at what is now known as The Fountain Cross Roads.

Rumours and stories are plentiful about the final demise of our fountain and interest has  not only been evident from local residents but also from further afield such as St. Anne’s in Lancashire and from other parts of the country.

The origins of both St. Anne’s fountain and Yeadon’s fountain continue to generate much interest in both communities, insomuch that the local paper at St. Anne’s, The Express, ran an article on Thursday January 7th 2010 which showed pictures of both fountains and the obvious differences between the two of them and also asked for any information about the history of  either fountain.

Following is a history and background information about our fountain, collected to date, but which is continuing to grow in length as more information becomes available.

The information contained in this history is taken either word for word from available reference sources or is given in note form taken directly from documents readily available to the public.


The fountain and the plane trees along Victoria Avenue were a gift from Mrs. Thomas Brown of Bramley in commemoration of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee and as a memorial to her late husband, Thomas Brown, owner of  Kirk Lane Mill in Yeadon.

The Ilkley Gazette                Saturday June 12th 1897
Yeadon-handsome gift.   Mrs. Thomas Brown of Mount Cross Bramley has offered to give £500 to the Yeadon District Council for the purpose of planting trees to form an Avenue on the Dudley Hill and Killinghall main road from Four Lane Ends, near the Peacock Inn to Coney Lodge bridge, a point just beyond the Long Stoop. Mrs. Brown gives this sum as a memorial to her late husband and as a Diamond Jubilee gift to the township of Yeadon. At a meeting of the District Council on Friday night the offer was accepted and the clerk authorised to write thanking Mrs. Brown on behalf of the inhabitants and stating that the Council would use every endeavour to carry out her wishes.

The Ilkley Gazette                Saturday October 23rd 1897
Tree planting on the roads at Yeadon
The planting of the trees along the sides of the Dudley Hill and Killinghall main road, from Four Lane Ends to by the Stoop Yeadon, has commenced this week and rapid progress is being made with the work. Mrs. Thomas Brown of Mount Cross, Bramley who is defraying the whole of the cost as a Diamond Jubilee gift in memory of her late husband planted the first tree. What are known as Western Plane trees are being used, these being about ten feet high and the work is being carried out under the superintendence of Mrs. Brown’s gardener.

The fountain for Yeadon was ordered and paid for by Mrs. Brown from the firm of Walter MacFarlane of Glasgow in their Saracen Foundry, which no longer exists.
The name of the original company was bought by the Glasgow firm of “Heritage Engineering” in 1993 which was a family firm and  which was then sold in 2004 and, unfortunately, has since gone bust. What records remain and the bulk of the information held by that firm was mainly catalogues.
The original firm of Walter MacFarlane supplied orders for their work all over the world, the Yeadon Fountain was made to a Pattern No. 18, of which they cast variants. Similar fountains, all variants, have been located at:    Ardersier in Scotland, Stowmarket, Haddington East Lothian,Wagin, Western Australia and St. Anne’s in Lancashire, which has been the subject of intrigue for some time. It appears that all the fountains were made to the Pattern No.18 but with differing design to their upper halves, perhaps to the local authority specifications?

The following articles about the Jubilee Fountain were printed in The Airedale and Wharfedale Observer in the year 1897.

Friday December 3rd 1897
Mrs. E. Brown, Mount Cross, Bramley wrote that she had agreed with the Water Works Co. for a supply of water to the fountain which she proposed to erect in the Avenue, and the order for the fountain had been placed. Mrs. Brown also sent a copy of the inscription which she proposed to place on the fountain,- it was incidentally mentioned that the fountain can be erected by that time, the public opening of the Avenue would take place on the 18th inst.

Friday December 17th 1897
The Victoria Avenue – Up to the time of going to press it seems to be extremely improbable that the avenue will be opened tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon, as previously announced, insomuch as the fountain which Mrs. Brown proposes to erect in the Avenue has not yet arrived.

Friday December 31st 1897
The Victoria Avenue – We are informed that the formal opening of the avenue has been fixed for Saturday afternoon, the 8th inst. After the ceremony the members of the District Council, officials and friends will dine together, and in the evening there will be a free concert and dance in the Town Hall.

The opening of the newly named Victoria Avenue and the dedication of  the Yeadon Jubilee Fountain was performed on the 8th January 1898, slightly later than planned but with great ceremony. The following head lines and notes were taken from The Airedale and Wharfedale Observer.

Friday January14th 1898
Yeadon’s Avenue and Drinking Fountain.
There was a grand demonstration, opening and dedication by Mrs. Brown, the donor.
There was a presentation of an address to Mrs. Brown.
After the ceremony there was a free concert and dance (in the Town Hall)
There was also a portrait and memoir of the late Mr. Brown.

A grand demonstration took place at Yeadon on Saturday afternoon last (8th January 1898)
The cost of the trees and protection of iron guards as well as the drinking fountain was defrayed by Mrs. Brown.
The trees and the fountain were in memory of Mr. Thomas Brown, manufacturer of Kirk Lane Mills, Yeadon and also in commemoration of her Majesty the Queen’s Jubilee.
There was an assembly at Town Hall Square and a procession up the High Street which was lined with spectators.

The Drinking Fountain.
The fountain was supplied by Messrs. Walter Macfarlane and Company of Saracen Foundry – Glasgow.
It is about 6 feet in height and has four cups and a trough.
The present directors of the Yeadon Water Works Company have agreed to supply the water free of charge during the term of their office.

A brass plate was positioned on the front of the fountain and is still in existence being positioned above the booking office in the Town Hall.
It bears the following inscription;

This fountain was given and the trees along the road were planted and given to the Urban District Council of Yeadon by Mrs. Brown of Mount Cross, Bramley to form an Avenue to be called “Victoria Avenue” in memory of her late husband, Thomas Brown of Mount Cross, Bramley and Kirk Lane Mills, Yeadon;  also to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Her Most Gracious Majesty, Queen Victoria. 1897.

Yeadon Drinking Fountain Plaque which still remains

The Procession.
The procession was marshalled by Mr. Lund in the Town Hall Square. The Yeadon Prize Band took the lead followed by a number of carriages.

Mrs. Brown declared the Avenue open adding that she gave both the Avenue and the Fountain over to the Urban District Council for the benefit of the people of  Yeadon.

The following is an extract taken some years later from The Airedale and Wharfedale Observer.

Friday January 21st 1908
The Drinking Fountain – Since it was placed in position at Four Lane Ends, the drinking fountain has been visited and inspected by large numbers of visitors, and although perhaps in the eyes of some, it does not occupy so elevated a position as they would like, yet on the whole general satisfaction has been expressed with it’s appearance and during the summer season especially it will undoubtedly serve a very useful purpose.
We regret to record that one night last week some mischievous  or ill-disposed person or persons lifted off the ornamental top and placed it on the road way. Fortunately it was discovered before any damage was done, and replaced in it’s position. The incident was reported to the members of  the District Council, who have placed the matter in the hands of the police, with strict instructions to take proceedings against anyone known to tamper with the fountain in any way but the legitimate purpose for which it is intended.

Very little or practically no information can be found about the fountain after 1908, until 1944
The following passages were taken from The Aireborough UDC Minutes Book.

AUDC Minute Book 1944 – 1945 (May/April)

24-5-44        Page 59-item 23
Resolved; That the Surveyor make enquiries as to the possibilities of purchasing a new drinking fountain to replace the Yeadon Fountain now damaged beyond repair.

21-6-44        Page 117-item 32
The clerk reported that the resolution passed at the previous meeting of the Committee with reference to the Yeadon Drinking Fountain had been referred back.
Resolved;   That the clerk inform the donors of the Yeadon Drinking  Fountain of the damage which it has sustained and of it’s removal and ask for any observations they may have to make on the question of it’s replacement.

12-7-44        Page 164-item 39
Yeadon Drinking Fountain
The clerk reported that as a result of enquiries which he had made, it now seemed clear that there were no direct representatives of the original donors of The Yeadon Drinking Fountain still alive.
Resolved;   That application be made to the Public Building, Parks and Cemeteries Committee for authority to move the drinking fountain in Dam Lane , Yeadon for the purpose of it’s re-erection on the site of the old drinking fountain at the fountain cross roads.

13-7-44        Page 171-item 80
Any Other Business
The Yeadon Drinking Fountain
The clerk reported an application from the Highways and Lighting Committee for authority to move the drinking fountain in Dam Lane, Yeadon for the purpose of it’s re-erection on the site of the old drinking fountain at Fountain cross roads.

It becomes clear that the Fountain was damaged, beyond repair prior to 24-5-44 and replacing it with a fountain from Dam Lane (The Tarn?) was considered, whether this actually happened is still unclear.
Further information about “a fountain” was obtained from the Minute Book of the following year.

AUDC Minute Book 1945/1946

18-4-45        Page 30-item 30
Any Other Business
Yeadon Fountain
Councillor Lockwood stated that it had been reported to him that the Yeadon Fountain was not working and the Surveyor was requested to look into this complaint.

23-5-45        Page 69-item 32(2)
Yeadon Fountain
Councillor Lockwood reported that the Yeadon Fountain was not yet functioning and the surveyor reported on the difficulties which had arisen.


Old Aireborough
compiled by The Aireborough and Horsforth Museum Society

More of Old Aireborough
Compiled by The Aireborough and Horsforth Museum Society

Round and About Aireborough         Volumes 1,2, 3 and 4
Martin Rigg

Yeadon Yorkshire
T. Illingworth

The Ilkley Gazette

The Airedale and Wharfedale Observer

West Yorkshire Archive Service

St. Anne’s Civic Society

St. Anne’s Community History Manager

Heritage Engineering

Scottish Iron Work


Even today there is doubt and alternative views about the final demise of our fountain. Some stories say that it was scrapped at the beginning of the last war for the war effort. Another story tells of an RAF lorry damaging it “beyond repair” and it then being scrapped. This version would tie in with the AUDC minutes contained in this history but the mystery continues as it is believed it ended up in a local councillor’s garden for a time before going into the Council yard (in Rawdon?) and then ending up in a metal scrap yard at Ellar Gyll. No mention of the final out-come of the fountain can be found in the Council Minute books nor were there any reports of the RAF lorry crash in the Airedale and Wharfedale Observer at that time, i.e. prior to May 1944.
Another mystery surrounding the Yeadon Fountain is the number of drinking cups it had. It was reported in the Airedale and Wharfedale Observer of Friday January 14th 1898 following the opening and dedication of the fountain on the previous Saturday (the 8th) that “It is about 6 feet in height and has four cups and a trough”  From the photograph in the same edition as the article, it can be seen that the fountain does not have any arms protruding from the ornamental top together with chains carrying four cups. Subsequent pictures show the fountain has at least one arm, chain and cup. These pictures can be seen in Round and About Aireborough vols 1,2,3 and 4, by Martin Rigg and also in Old Aireborough compiled by Aireborough and Horsforth Museum Society. This enigma is made more complex with the fact that the St. Anne’s fountain in Lancashire does have four arms and cups! and that there has been some questioning by some, that the St. Anne.s fountain originated at Yeadon.
The last mystery is about the replacement fountain that was proposed to be re-moved from Dam Lane in Yeadon and re-erected to the site of the original cross roads fountain, as mentioned in the AUDC minutes of  13-7-1944. No-body seems to remember this actually taking place and from personal experience I can remember that there has been a smaller drinking fountain at the Tarn (Dam) since the 1950’s.

Postcard pictures can be seen on the internet showing the St. Anne’s fountain, dated 1900, 1907 and 1910. Although the pictures are not well defined (on the internet) they can be recognised as resembling our Yeadon Fountain! This would seemingly dispel any rumour that there was only one fountain.

One further interesting fact that has come to our attention is that Dick Gibbon (1908-1993) a past Councillor of the old Yeadon Urban District Council carried out substantial research on Yeadon Fountain in the past. He was apparently in communication with St. Anne’s Council and even obtained an agreement to borrow St. Annes fountain to show in Yeadon, but this was never taken up. There is a carved stone memorial to Dick Gibbon in Dog Mill Park, Yeadon.

Although further enquiries are continuing in order that facts and  references can be followed up and confirmed, information is most welcome from any interested person who may hold any details at all about our fountain.

Roger Davis.
July 2010

The Aireborough Greenway

Connecting Yeadon and Guiseley with the old railway line.

The 1.5km path follows a disused railway line from Parklands View in Yeadon to the old Coach Road leading into Guiseley, passing through wooded cuttings and under bridges including beneath the busy A65. Leeds city council along with Sustrans have produced an excellent map showing how to make the most of our area whilst avoiding taking the car.