Leeds nostalgia: 1946 ‘land grab’ opposed by farmers

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Plans to build a new town on the outskirts of Leeds were met with fury by farmers who were keen to keep hold of thousands of acres of prime farming land.

The ‘land grab’ by Leeds Corporation would have seen 6,400 acres of land in Sherburn-in-Elmet and Micklefield used to build hundreds of new homes to cope with the expansion of the Leeds population.

However, the land in question was said to be some of the most fertile food producing in the whole of Yorkshire.

Some 26 farmers were affected by the plans, with many up in arms over the proposals.

A statement issued by West Riding Farmers’ Union said: “While in no way minimising the obvious and urgent need for accommodation of the country’s returning servicemen and workers, it is of the first importance that we should continue to produce every ounce of food within our own shoes if rations are eo be even maintained in the lean years head.”

A survey of the area revealed that in 1946, 4,032 acres were arable land and 858 grass.

In other news, a Yorkshire terrier which disappeared down a hole and was given up for dead after five days, turned out to be alive and well.

Tiny, a foxhunting terrier owned by gamekeeper Billy Lambert, disappeared on Whernside on Saturday January 11, 1946. Efforts were made to locate Tiny on the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, but his bark grew weaker and weaker. Rescuers even used dynamite to blast the rock apart, despite the risk, but then gave up.

Remarkably, on the Wednesday, a bedraggled dog crawled into the game keeper’s cottage - it was Tiny and he’d managed to find a way out after all. He made a full recovery.