Leeds nostalgia: The changing face of Beeston

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This week’s ‘blended’ picture shows shops on Beeston Road, near the junction of Woodlea Street, Beeston.

The older black and white image dates from the 1980s, while the blended picture also uses an image taken earlier this year.

Tardis Beeston shops blend

Tardis Beeston shops blend

Not that much appears to have changed - the Launderama on the corner is still a laundrette, although looks smaller today, occupying one unit rather than two, while Watsons has become a Posh Nosh cafe. Perhaps the biggest visible changes are that while shops of the past had hoardings and suchlike, the shops of today have metal shutters to guard their windows.

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Beeston has a long history, being originally an out of township of Leeds. It was mentioned in the Doomsday Book and would have been affected by the so-called Harrying of the North, an exercise in laying waste to the north of England by William I, carried out principally between 1069 and 1070.

Its intention was to quash any uprising before it began and to overcome any remaining opposition to the new king. Accounts in the Doomsday Book recall what happened to the areas around Leeds - most were described as ‘waste’ after the event.

Tardis Leeds, Beeston, 1980s''Shops, Watsons

Tardis Leeds, Beeston, 1980s''Shops, Watsons

Beeston also boasts Stank Hall Barn, which is said to date from the 15th Century and be built with some of the timbers from the ship Christopher Columbus used to sail to the New World. The barn is presently being managed by a charity, who want to bring it back into use. In its heyday it was a royal hunting lodge, well away from prying eyes - the king would stay there, along with members of his court and it was a case of “what happened at Stank Hall stayed at Stank Hall.”

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From the YEP archives: Retro cricket photos