On this day in Yorkshire 1955: A question of how to move a bus shelter

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Authority proved wrong

The village worthies who stroll past the Blands Avenue district of Allerton Bywater can be excused for wearing a slightly smug expression today For Authority — in the shape of Garforth Urban Council — disagreed with the elders’ opinions and has been proved wrong.

The dispute was over the bus shelter which stood on waste ground near Blands Avenue. It had been built of brick and wood on a concrete base but people using it complained to the Council that they could not see buses approaching. The windows of the shelter faced the wrong way.

The Council decided to move the shelter some 50 yards on to a site adjoining the main Leeds road which its windows would then overlook.

The Surveyor, Mr. G. N Smith, said the job would be done by placing the shelter on rollers and dragging it by tractor.

Offer of 5s. wager

Members of the local old men’s Parliament claimed that it could not be moved like that because it wouid crack and fall apart. When the Council workmen arrived there was an audience — mainly critical.

One onlooker even offered to wager 5s. with the foreman that the men would not bring off the move successfully.

After the men had laboured nearly two days the shelter had been shifted 10 yards into the middle ot the road. Then a jack slipped. There was an ominous sound, and gaping cracks spread across the shelter’s concrete floor. More appeared in the brickwork.

The workmen rolled their burden on to the footpath, 40 yards short of their objective. There it stands protected from an amused public by a straggling rope.

The Surveyor admitted yesterday.

“We just had to take the risk of it breaking and it beat us. I am afraid it will just have to stay where it is.

We shall prepare a small site and slide it back off the footpath.”

And an old man asked with a chuckle: “Have you come to survey the wreck of the Hesperus?”

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Cori Braham.

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