Geography Roads Social

Paper Round

Always late from school for the pick up and so I was always racing at 100mph hurdling hedges and fences (made a lot of enemies doing this) and charging through gates and up and down drives and backs.

It started with a dash over the Mulberry path on the bike to Ernest Beards’ the Newsagent ‘tha’s late again lad’.   Then stuffing equal numbers of the Yorkshire Evening Post and YE News totalling 150 into the newspaper bag I was off on the round which started at the Savile pit gates and finished at Wood End.
‘Make sure you fasten the gate’
‘If you go over that fence again I’ll report you’
‘Hes alright he won’t bite’
‘You missed us yesterday’
‘The paper was damaged’
Delivering along Church Lane you would occasionally get one of these comments.I can’t forget Harold Charlesworth’s dog, a docile friendly creature – until the paper lad appeared and then it suffered a character change and would frighten the life out of you even with its owner standing there saying ‘she’s alright she won’t hurt you’. Well Harold, I got my own back – you wern’t there and the dog was at my heels, I rolled the paper up tight and tossed it in the air, the dog went for the paper and caught a size eight on its way. We seemed to strike an understanding after that.

I was always delayed at the house with the ancient tree next to Methley Villas where the Misses Campbell lived, they always wanted to talk and it was difficult to rush off. At least their dogs were behind a door gate, then up Little Church Lane and on to the Parish Hall house and the Churchside.

On Thursdays, classified ads meant the total weight was too much to carry and Ernest Beards would drop half the papers off at the Post Office, Mrs Whittingtons – why he didn’t drop ’em off at the top of Woodrow Hill I’ll never know.

Then it was the last lap, The Hollings, Bondfield Terrace, Albert Place, Station Road, Claytons Yard and then Wood End. Poor Dick Lodge, we never carried any spares and so if I’d wrongly issued a paper then one of the houses at the end of the round went without, he said I was always picking on him.

When it came to elections you didn’t need a MORI or Gallup Poll to tell you the voting preferences – The Yorkshire Evening Post readers voted Ratepayer and The YE News readers voted Labour, yes equal numbers on my round. Difference was all those who didn’t get a paper were Labour voters.

Geography History Roads

Public Transport 1821

Public Transport connections in 1821 were by coach, and Methley was on the Leeds to Ferrybridge Great North Road turnpike route.

Coaches in these days were the Royal Forrester  which began Dec 15th 1821.   The coach left the Greyhound Inn at Ferrybridge at 7.00am called at the New Elephant Inn, Pontefract then Glasshoughton, Methley, Oulton to the Bull and Mouth Inn, Leeds all days except Friday and Sunday. Return from Leeds at 3.30pm.  The carrier being Wm. Higham & Co.

Another coach was the Perseverance (1843) Leeds to Doncaster – left Doncaster 6.00am via Pontefract and Castleford (Ship Inn) and returned at 4.00pm Fare 7s in and 4s out ( I presume that means 7 shillings for an inside seat).

In 1838 Leeds had 130 journeys incoming and outgoing per day to all points of the compass. Carrier Isaac Brook pulled out of the Golden Fleece,28 Briggate Leeds on Tuesdays and Saturdays arriving at Methley at 10am – return 3pm.

Geography Roads

Barnsdale Turnpike

July 13th 1822  –  The Leeds, Pontefract and Barnsdale turnpike road was completed under the Superintendance of JL Macadam.   The road passing through Methley and Glasshoughton shortened the distance from Leeds to Doncaster by four miles.  The route previously taken was by way of Garforth and Ferrybridge on the Great North Road.
The Methley section of the Leeds Barnsdale turnpike was approved on 3rd June 1820 as the following announcement states :-
Barnsdale Turnpike
To his Majestys Justices  of the Peace acting in and for the Wapentake of Agbrigg and Morley in the West Riding of the County of York.
A special sessions for the highways will be held at the House
of John Wilton, the Rose and Crown Inn in Methley in the said
West Riding on Wednesday the seventh day of June Instant at
Eleven o clock in the forenoon for the purpose of taking into
consideration the propriety of stopping upand diverting certain
public footpaths in Methley aforesaid.
Dated this 3rd day of June 1820
Rich. Beatson Chief Constable for the said Wapentake.

It is most likely that the construction of Methley Lane  was undertaken to match improvements to the bridge over the river Calder completed in 1780.   Prior to this the route to Leeds was the track which today goes past Melwood House farm and through Methley woods to a point on the Leeds – Wakefield Road possibly where the Sports Centre is today.  The Methley section of the turnpike was completed just 5 years before completion of the canal improvement from Broadreach to Methley.

Cost of providing this road £13,412

The population of Methley in 1801 was 1,234  and in 1901 was 4,271.