Leeds nostalgia: Missing schoolboys, the end of gas lit Leeds and a Leeds hanging... 70 years ago in 1946

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In the news in Leeds 70 years ago on this day... were two local schoolboys who had disappeared from their homes in Whitkirk on January 3 - they were found in Stirling, Scotland.

Leo Rowett, 12, from Camp Road and Tony Barron, 14, of Woodland Hill, were on holiday from boarding school when they went missing around Thursday teatime.

As soon as the message came through they had been found, “the fathers of the boys set off immediately for Scotland to bring them home.”

On January 7, the YEP reported that Leeds Corporation was advertising for a ‘lighting engineer’ to consider the future options for the city, with a spokesman hinting that the city would likely opt to “concentrate on electric lighting to the gradual exclusion of gas”.

At the time, the city had 21,000 streetlamps lit by gas and only 2,000 by electricity.

On January 8, there was a report of a hanging at Armley Gaol, Leeds. Bradford labourer William Batty, 27, was sentenced to death at Leeds Asizes for the murder of Samuel H Gray, 33, a soldier, who was shot on his own doorstep four days after returning from Burma.

It was stated at the trial Batty had been associating with Gray’s wife and had killed him in a fit of jealousy. The report stated: “No more than half a dozen people were in the vicinity when he was hanged.”

On January 9, Leeds South MP Hugh Gaitskill was in the running to succeed Ellis Smith as a junior minister, following the resignation of the latter.

On January 10, it was reported Britain was being “swept by gales”, which left “no fishing boat in Bridlington, after a wild night.” Gusts of up to 62mph were reported, with many fishing vessels finding themselves in difficulty.

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