On the hottest Saturday this year The Friends of Holbeck Cemetery met with The Friends of Lawnswood Cemetery to take them on a tour Holbeck Cemetery.Holbeck Cemetery is a much more humble affair than Lawnswood , which is Leeds’s main cemetery but there are still lots of interesting and beautiful things to see.
Thankfully Steve Miller , one of their members,was willing to take photographs for us , and you can see a small collection of them on this article.
Holbeck cemetery is only 10 acres in size but FOHC could only show a fraction of it in the time allocated. ( So a chance for a further visit from FOLC to explore even more next time!!) We began by telling them a bit about how our group started and then led them to the first monument that had sparked our early interest .
Henry Bailey, ‘caterer of amusement’. Not many cemeteries have a stone with that legend written on it. Connected to the Barnum and Bailey circus family they had performed all over the world and Frank Walton who is also buried in the plot had introduced moving pictures to the local fairs that were held throughout Leeds and especially on Holbeck Moor.
Then we looked at some of our more impressive monuments . Henry Rowland Marsden who invented the famous stone crusher used on railways and roads throughout the world.( One of his machines is still in Thwaite Mill, Hunslet)
Robert Beacock who with Smith and Tannett took over Matthew Murray’s Round Foundry and re-named it Victoria Foundry . A major employer in the engineering tool-making industry, which was employing 422 men and 172 boys in 1861. In fact the Victoria Foundry , which was used by a number of firms for a time , being described as having become in effect one of the earliest industrial estates
Ken Burton then took the tour to look at two memorials one to Joseph Longley and one to Joseph Henry , who was the called ‘King of Holbeck’
The tour continued towards what was once the viewing platform where we studied the ever changing city-view and tried to spot landmarks through the shimmering heat. We watched tiny trains leaving City station, cars looking like toys driving along the M621 and we even saw an Air Ambulance hovering over the LGI.
The group then had a look at more of the cemetery to see what they could find. Discovering a Champion Swimmer of the World, a fishmonger, an inventor of probably the first sewing machine in 1851 and another lithographer, George Mann to add to our collection.
A great morning spent with a lovely group of people enjoying great weather too, what more do you need .
All photos are courtesy of Steve Miller