Leeds nostalgia: The 1946 Leeds ‘land grab’ which set tongues wagging

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On this day in 1946, councillors in Leeds were put on their guard after probing questions from their counterparts beyond the city.

Elected members living in Guiseley, which at that time was not part of the city, asked formal questions to Aldernman G Brett, the leader of the council, specifically whether the council had any designs on absorbing neighbouring boroughs.

A report in the YEP on February 2, read: “A suggestion has been made that local authorities in the Skyrack area - Pudsey, the urban districts of Horsforth, Aireborough, Baildon, Ilkley and Otley - and Wharfedale, should combine for local authority purposes.”

Mrs A Simpson, from Otley, said: “We know Leeds has aspirations on one part of our area. It’s up to us to stand by that area and defend it. We know what Leeds is after...”

Sadly, she didn’t say what Leeds was after, nor did the reporter who wrote the story, while Alderman Brett was equally ambiguous, quipping: “I don’t think Leeds has any aspirations in that area.”

On February 4, a soldier who took an Army lorry without permission was fined £3 by magistrates in Wakefield. William E Frewin, 23, from Twickenham and Muriel Greer, 28, from Wakefield, were stopped by police after the lorry was reported stolen from barracks at Wakefield. Frewin admitted the charge, saying he wanted to test out his driving skills in the lorry.

Finally, on Tuesday February 5, the Leeds and District Cinematograph Exhibitors’ Association met to discuss the opening of cinemas on Sunday.

Feelings within the industry were mixed, with London distributors in favour of the move and local independent exhibitors against it. The matter was due to be discussed at length by Leeds City Council.

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