Leeds nostalgia: Cross Gates through history... from the 1970s to today

Crossgates 24th June 1970''Shoppers at Crossgates.
Crossgates 24th June 1970''Shoppers at Crossgates.
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A carpet shop, a coin-operated dry cleaners and a branch of Craven Dairies were just some of the shops gracing Cross Gates main road back in June 1970.

This week’s ‘then and now’ picture shows a flat-cap wearing shopper making his way along Station Road on the Leeds Ring Road, close to the junction with Austhorpe Road. In the distance, a woman pushing a man in a wheelchair can be seen adjusting her hat.

10 January 2018......    TARDIS 'Station Road on the Leeds Ring Road in Cross Gates by the junction with Austhorpe Road. Picture Tony Johnson.

10 January 2018...... TARDIS 'Station Road on the Leeds Ring Road in Cross Gates by the junction with Austhorpe Road. Picture Tony Johnson.

Comparing this to the modern day picture, taken by our photographer Tony Johnson, the main layout of the street appears to be the same, although the number of shop units has reduced, presumably because outlets have since been combined, their frontages altering accordingly.

That month, the Soviet Union launched a two-man spacecraft into orbit, Norway announced it had discovered rich oil reserves in the North Sea and Edward Heath ousted Labour’s Harold Wilson to become the new Tory Prime Minister.

Cross Gates, which is also referred to as Crossgates, was a relatively rural village until the coming of the railways in the 1880s, when a station was built there, along with mines, both of which brought many people to the area.

Prior to that, it was divided between the parishes of Whitkirk and Barwick - it’s name may be derived from the ‘gates’ which were used to mark this boundary.

Over the years, the Leeds suburb has had some firsts. Asda (which owned Craven Dairies) built one of its first supermarkets there and the Arndale Shopping Centre was the first American-style malls to open in the UK, which was home to about 60 shops.

It replaced old rows of cottages used to house miners - one row still stands on Station Road and has since been converted into shops.