The developers behind Kirkstall Forge are asking the public to help identify former workers who are pictured in its photo archives, offering a “window into the past”.
As one of the oldest, continuously used iron and steel forges in the country, the site was established in the 16th century and in production until it’s final closure in 2003.
During the 20th century the former owners of Kirkstall Forge took hundreds of photographs of their staff, including those of members who had reached 40 years of service and were given a gold watch.
The archives hold more than 50 images of the men, along with hundreds of other photos of working life at the Forge during the 20th century.
The developer, CEG, is hoping to establish their names and stories as a way of building a human story behind the construction site.
Nansi Rosenberg of Prospect Archaeology, has been preparing a report on the archaeological work at Kirkstall Forge on behalf of CEG.
She said: “The photo archive from Kirkstall Forge provides an amazing window into the past, showing us individuals who made the Forge the successful business it was.
“We believe they mainly cover the 1940s – 1960s when Kirkstall Forge was providing an essential service to the war effort, expanding internationally and recognising the enormous value of the working men and women to the business.
“We feel it’s important to collect some of the individual stories of the Forge’s staff and owners as a way of adding a human element to the tale told by the archaeological remains.”
The site is now being developed for business and homes.
The images are available to view at www.facebook.com/kirkstallforge