Continuing our look back at Quarry Hill flats in Leeds, we devote this week’s column to a wonderful letter from reader Les Pye, who has fond memories of living at the complex, which opened 80 years ago this year and was considered an engineering wonder of its age.
Mr Pye writes: “I was brought up in Quarry Hill Flats from the age of one in 1947 until my wedding in 1969. I was one of eight children and we lived in Neilson house. The entrance was the junction of York Road and New York Road. You can see the roundabout to the left in last Monday’s photo. Our flat consisted of five bedrooms (yes five), a kitchen,bathroom,and a pantry. It was self contained,and I can remember a chemist, green grocer, bakers, newsagent, butcher and fish shop. The laundry I also remember well, as my youngest sister lost the top of her finger in the mangle.
“Here you could take in you dirty washing,and bring them away washed, dried and ironed.
“The Garchey system was a great engineering feat. The Belfast-type sink had a large plunger. You could dispose of practically anything from tin cans to ashes from the coal fires.
“Being on the edge of town was another bonus. We would often take a dish across to the market for pie and peas which would still be piping hot when we got home.
“We had great times in Quarry Hill and made lifetime friends and had some memorable experiences.”
The flats themselves ranged in size from two to six-bedrooms, they were grouped into ‘houses’.
The list of around 50 names was finalised in June 1938 by Leeds Housing Committee, which agreed to a suggestion by the Thoresby Society to use the names of prominent Leeds citizens.