On Sunday 12th July 2015 three members of Friends of Holbeck Cemetery had the pleasure of welcoming and showing round the cemetery four members of the Longley family, two who had travelled from Southampton and two from Leyburn. They were here to zee the family grave and take details of the family members interred there. It was a lovely sunny aft4rnoon and most enjoyable.
Joseph Longley started the bedding manufacturing business in 1835 and his shop fronted onto Lands Lane, Leeds, prior to the redevelopment of the area in 1902.The company showroom was numbered 51and 52 Lands Lane. In 1903 Longley’s bought a new site and by 1905 had moved in to the newly constructed building on the corner of Albion Place and Lands Lane, this was to become 6 Lands Lane under the new numbering that took place after the re-development. The building was occupied by the Longleys until their demise in 1965. This building was used in 2005 by All Sports but is now occupied by Pret A Manger. However the Longley name can still be clearly seen on the top balustrade.
The company also had manufacturing premises at the corner of Harper Street and New York Street, these being 22-38 New York Street, after their demise it became a bank and today still stands as an amusement centre. They also had premises in Borough Mills at 21 Great Wilson Street where they manufactured bed-springs and wires for their beds and mattresses.
The company was run by the family until it was voluntarily wound up in July 1965, the chairman at this time was John Chapman Longley. He had a long retirement after the business ended , and did not die until August 19th 1981.
The family still own both of the premises which are held in Trust.
Walter Longley who was born in 1845 at Fishers Yard, Meadow Lane married Emma Dearden in 1871 and they produced 11 children. Private Ernest Longley 15/601 Leeds Pals was one of their children .
Leeds Pals website has the following about him:-
‘Ernest Longley was the youngest son of Walter Longley, Park View, Newton Road , Leeds. after his education at Leeds Grammar School, he joined the family business of Joseph Longley, Bedding Manufacturers of Lands Lane and new York Street. He was a gifted young footballer who played for Leeds Grammar School, the YMCA and also Leeds Yarnbury. On the outbreak of war he enlisted into The Leeds Pals on 4th September 1914 and was posted to section 10,3 Platoon of ‘A’ Company to become Platoon bomber under the command of Captain Richard Morris Stanley Blease.
He served with the Pals at Colsterdale, Egypt and finally in France where he was killed in action on 1st July 1916 aged 25 years, in the attack on Serre ( Battle of the Somme)Having no known grave he is commemorated on the Thiepval monument, Somme, France and on the family grave in Holbeck cemetery, Leeds’
But Bed-manufacturing in Leeds still continue today with a link from 1885 when Arthur Spink ,who had been a bed maker, with Joseph Longley decided to start his own business. He joined forces with John Edgar , a salesman, and started trading from Carlton Cross Street, Leeds as Spink and Edgar. Arthur finally retired in 1927 leaving his company to his one-time apprentice, Albert Harrison. He was joined by Albert Parker, who learned his trade at another famous Leeds firm , the House of Rhodes, makers of Somnus. Today the firm still carries out the tradition of fine beds trading as Harrison Spink in Westland Road, Leeds 11