2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,800 times in 2015. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Remembrance Walk- Sunday 15th November 2015 @ 2pm

It is time once again for our annual Remembrance Walk in Holbeck Cemetery and we would like you to join us at the main gates on Fairfax Road on Sunday 15th November at 2.pm,

cross of sacrifice

This year, as it is the 70th anniversary of The Battle of Britain, we will be focusing on some of the RAF personnel whose memorials are in the cemetery .

raf flag

We will try to tell visitors some information  about the family and/or  the squadrons  that each served in and in some cases the last raids in which they saw action.

These young men , who were only aged between 19 years and 24 years old had already become pilots, wireless operators or gunners and flew in vital WW2 raids  over Hanover, Nuremberg, Berlin , were involved in the evacuation  at Dunkirk and one leading aircraftsman,  Denis Palmer, was a member of RCAF , whose  air transport flew supplies, troops and casualties from the Far East  in 1946.

raf emblem

Most of these young men were local to the area but one Flight Engineer left behind a wife who lived in Lavenham , Suffolk – such a long way from Holbeck.

We will lay a British Legion cross on their graves and then gather at the Cross of Sacrifice, near Beeston Road, to read the names of all those servicemen and women who are remembered on memorials in Holbeck cemetery and who gave their lives for their country.

Finally scattering poppy petals for all these lost lives               .festival-photo-poppies

Please join us at this free event which is usually just over  one hour long . All ages are welcome ( even  dogs on leads),

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TV Made in Leeds takes an interest

After a really exciting and very busy Heritage Open Day with about 50 people dropping in to see us and explore Holbeck Cemetery we thought that was it for this month but it was not to be.
We had a phone call from Beth Krysta Wilson who works for Made in Leeds , which is a fairly new TV station, interested in local stories who wanted to talk to Ken Burton and myself about the cemetery.
Heitage Open Day
Heritage Open Day visitors get ready to look around the cemetery

We had been worried that the cemetery would not look its best if it was a rainy or windy day but thankfully Tuesday was a nice sunny day. Great atmospheric clouds added to the artistic views as we sat chatting about how The Friends of Holbeck Cemetery had started and talked about some of the events we conducted and a little history about some of the interesting and important monuments.

Made in Leeds Hol Cem (2)

It is always interesting to hear about how people get to know about the cemetery and the cameraman explained that he had filmed there before for the opening credits of the new TV station. I had to confess that I had never seen these on the TV even though I do watch the channel.
Beth was very easy to talk to and was genuinely interested in the stories we had to share. Ken then took them to see the oldest memorial in the cemetery, which is always a puzzle to visitors as it is older than Holbeck Cemetery, being brought from St Pauls in Park Square when that church was demolished.
After taking some photos for FOHC’s archives they left to do some more filming around the cemetery.
When we started as a Friends group in 2001 we never realised what interesting people we would meet, on our walks, talks, tours, conferences. Heritage Open Days and with the media. It makes all the hard work worthwhile to see people interested in this once forgotten and abandoned site in South Leeds. Do come and check out this interesting cemetery for yourselves.
Our next walk will be our Remembrance Walk on SUNDAY 15th November at 2pm and everyone is welcome, more details later.
Hoping the programme will be part of Made in Leeds TV- The Book It List aired on Wednesday 23rd at 6:30 and 9:30. You will also be able to access it on their website.

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Heritage Open Days 11th September 2015

Come and join us on Friday 11th September at 2pm when we will be having an exhibition of some of our archive material .

receipt bppks

receipt bppks

Come and view the original plans , designed by Joshua Major in 1857.
Look through the original receipts books, telling you the date, the purchaser and their address and how much the plot cost.
Find out a bit more about the history of the cemetery
Look through the details of service personnel of WW1 and WW2
Check out what the symbolism of the carvings mean
Discover more details about some of the more famous people from Holbeck who were important in the history of Leeds
Australia 1873

Australia 1873

Look at the flora and fauna that is here.
The Friends of Holbeck Cemetery will be near the main gates ready to chat and help you with any questions

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Victorian Bedding & Slumber Specialist – Joseph Longley

Longley 7
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.
Longley 7

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

K Burton

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Horsing about in the cemetery

Holbeck Cemetery had a visitor on Wednesday morning ; well that is nothing new as we get a great many visitors trying to locate their ancestor’s plots for their family history. but this visitor was a bit different and very out of the ordinary. For a start he had four legs and wasn’t on a lead having a walk through the grounds with his owner.In fact there was no sight of his owner when David Hebden drove past, he was just there, enjoying the view in the safety of the cemetery.

Horse in Holbeck cemetery
Yes the visitor was a horse as you can see by the photo that David kindly took for evidence !!
Is this a new grass-cutting policy by LCC parks department?
We do know that sheep were often used in cemeteries in Victorian times to keep down the grass and we have documents supporting how the hay from the cemetery was sold to farmers every summer as extra income for the Council.
Are we providing historic pony-trekking tours around the cemetery ? Sadly our tours will still be on foot and wherever this horse came from he has set off back into the sunset to bore his horsey friends with tales of the wonderful history he discovered in Holbeck Cemetery

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Why it is so difficult to locate a particular plot in Holbeck Cemetery?

Family History- searching for a grave-plot. Here at Friends of Holbeck Cemetery we often get asked to locate a family plot. Sometimes people have a plot number but more often they only have a name and/or date of their ancestor’s death,
The Friends do have a small database taken from some old receipt books which were discovered in the 1990s. But this database gives the purchaser of the plot, not the ancestor that people are searching for and some of the names and addresses are not always easy to decipher. These books start in 1857.

We also possess two large ‘maps’ of the Consecrated and the General sections detailing the plots. However these were drawn up before the paths were constructed in the cemetery in 1857.so we have had to plot where we think some of the paths go, but the biggest problem in locating graves on the plans as the sizes- each plot is 1cm and the plans are pretty big as you can see by the photo. Anyone visiting the cemetery will know that the numbering is also a bit odd too. No clear lines like you can get in other cemeteries and we even suspect that some are incorrectly painted un .
So you can imagine how difficult it is to tell anyone where exactly their plot is, especially as we get many requests from people who live many miles from Leeds and in many parts of the world. The Friends will try and search for them but it is very time-consuming and often there is no memorial stone there to help us either.
Leeds Cemetery and Crematoriums do have a complete set of records but it is not always easy to contact them .The Family History section in Leeds Central Library should have the complete file but you do need to have a rough timescale of when you are searching and it does mean coming to Leeds (not possible when you live in the USA or Australia, although some relatives have managed it!!)
Finally let me reassure people that FOHC are always willing to have a look for family connections and working with the family member ,we have discovered a great many fascinating stories . We have connected families in Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Holland and many, many places in England too, we have learned wonderful stories about their ancestors which all add to the rich history that is Holbeck Cemetery.

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