Memories of the Leeds slum notorious for sweatshops

It was the Leeds slum which became notorious for tailoring and sweatshops.

The Leylands occupied an area between Vicar Lane and North Street (to the west) and Eastgate and Regent Street (to the east) with Lady Lane and Skinner Lane being the south and north boundaries. The main thoroughfare was Bridge Street, named from the Lady Bridge which crossed the Lady Beck. It was an area of densely packed poor quality housing for workers mostly built before 1847. They worked in the nearby foundries and mills which sprang up in the 19th century. The area was described in 1889 as “a dank district in that uninviting city”. It was to this area and these workers that Montague Burton came to build a clothing factory on Concord Street with decent conditions to establish a business which later resulted in a larger factory in Harehills. These photo gems showcase life around Leylands in the mid-1930s before the streets were demolished as part of a slum removal programme during the same decade. They are published courtesy of photographic archive Leodis, which is run by Leeds Library & Information Service. They also run heritage blog The Secret Library Leeds, which provides a behind the scenes look at the Central Library and highlights from its special collections, including rare books hidden away in the stacks. READ MORE: The corner of Leeds known as ‘a dank district in that uninviting city’ LOVE LEEDS? LOVE NOSTALGIA? Join Leeds Retro on facebook YEP NEWSLETTERS: Sign up for free news and sport emails