One of Leeds' first fish and chip shops from early 1900s features in nostalgic Kirkstall exhibition

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One of the first fish and chip shops to have opened in Leeds has been featured in a nostalgic exhibition at Abbey House Museum in Kirkstall.

Fish and chips is a staple meal of the British takeaway industry but has not always been available on most high streets.

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Hardisty's Fisheries was one of the earliest establishments in the city to sell the teatime favourite, having opened on Kirkstall Lane in the early 1900s.

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Members of the Hardisty family outside Hardisty's Fisheries. (Image courtesy of Abbey House Museum)Members of the Hardisty family outside Hardisty's Fisheries. (Image courtesy of Abbey House Museum)
Members of the Hardisty family outside Hardisty's Fisheries. (Image courtesy of Abbey House Museum)

The new exhibition at Abbey House Museum explores the people and places that have shaped the Kirkstall community.

Patrick Bourne, assistant community curator at Abbey House Museum, said: "Kirkstall is of course well known for its beautiful abbey, but over many centuries it has also been a major centre of industry and a huge part in establishing Leeds as an industrial and economic hub.

"Generations of families have also called Kirkstall home and each of them has contributed to making it a thriving community filled with fascinating stories and characters. We hope this exhibition will help bring some of those stories to life and celebrate the unique story of Kirkstall."

One of the images in the exhibition shows couple Ada and John Hardisty with their daughter Ivy, granddaughter Doreen and their dog outside the fish and chip shop. It was taken in the early 1920s and alongside numerous other images in the exhibition, provides an insight into the history of Kirkstall.

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The 'Kirkstall Lives' exhibition also features a souvenir brochure from the old Kirkstall power station and an image from around 1970 believed to include a group of workers at Kirkstall Forge.

Abbey House Museum has worked closely with members of the Kirkstall community in order to secure objects on loan and uncover fascinating stories that people have to tell.

Councillor Jonathan Pryor, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy, culture and education, said: "Leeds is home to so many thriving communities, businesses and organisations but it’s definitely the people who live here that make the city such a unique and incredible place to be.

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"It’s always fascinating to find out more about those who have laid the foundations of the city we know today and to celebrate the contribution they have made to the Leeds we love today."

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