A passionate Leeds resident has launched a plea to find a permanent home fo the local historical treasure trove he’s spent 55 years collecting.
Peter Aldred, who lives in Tingley, has been inundated with interested visitors since his temporary museum was set up in an empty shop unit in Albion Street, Morley, this summer.
But the 80-year-old’s newly-founded Morley Heritage Centre, situated in an East Street Arts pop up shop unit, is facing an uncertain future as at any time the site’s owner could give him two weeks’ notice to leave.
Desperate for a new permanent publicly accessible home for his labour of love, Peter is keen to pass his life’s work on to the community having lost his wife and two sons.
He told the YEP: “I just feel that I want to pass it on to somebody and I was hoping the council might do something about it.
“I must have had thousands through here up to now and the children coming through are the next generation.”
The collection, picked up from friends and businesses over the years, features over 2,000 historical photographs and 100 artefacts covering the old Morley Borough’s mining, industrial and social heritage.
His current space at the former Cooperative building in Morley has been let to him at a nominal rate through the East Street Arts charity’s In Situ scheme, which offers creatives temporary space for projects.
Adelle Stripe, from East Street Arts, which has around 60 In Situ sites, said: “It’s people’s memories and the history of the area and he’s had a lot of visitors. People are interested and want it to have a permanent home and we support his quest.”
Ed Balls, MP for Morley and Outwood, is backing Peter’s bid for space and is looking into lottery funding and meetings with Leeds City Council and businesses to see what can be done.
He said: “I think everybody who goes into Peter’s heritage centre thinks they are going to go in for five minutes and stays at least an hour, he has a treasure trove of stories and history.”
The centre is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10am to 3pm. Call 0113 2528075 for details.