Leeds nostalgia: Time for a spot of shopping on Albion Street

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This week’s blended picture shows shoppers from the past apparently mingling with those of the present.

The scene is Albion Street, although the actual year remains unclear, as the caption which went with our original archive picture was lost. From the cars and the clothes, it would seem to have been taken in the 1950s or 1960s. If you have other ideas, please let us know.

Albion street looking towards the Headrow.

Albion street looking towards the Headrow.

Albion Street itself has had a long and interesting history. In Leeds, it dates from the 1790s when, like most city centre streets, it was dominated by residential houses. However, things began to change with the construction of the music hall in 1792. The shift from residential to other use was very slow at first. It was another 50 years before Leeds Stock Exchange located here (1847). The Leeds Industrial Co-operative Society opened its headquarters in the street in 1869 and extended that in 1899 and of course, your very own Yorkshire Post newspapers was established here in 1866, right up to its move to Wellington Street, which, of course, it has now also long since vacated.

Interestingly, the name ‘Albion’ is derived from the Latin ‘albus’ meaning white. The term was one of the first to be applied to England, as a reference to the

Out picture shows Albion Street looking toward The Headrow.

In August 1970 Albion Street became part of a large pedestrian precinct, incorporating Bond Street, Commercial Street, King Charles Croft, King Charles Street and Lands lane. All vehicles, apart from essential users such as fire appliances, ambulances and delivery vehicles, were be barred from the area between 10am and 6pm on all days except Sundays. The ban would eventually be extended to other streets in Leeds as the city centre became a shopping mecca.

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