The Society was founded in 1957 to record and preserve the history of Aireborough, which consists of:-
- Hawksworth and the area which was covered by Menston Hospital
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The dramatic moment when another of the area's mill chimneys came down, this was William Murgatroyd's Moorfield Mill built in 1877, seen from across the White Swan Cricket Field.
The townships of Aireborough flourished because of the woollen manufacturing industry, at first it was confined to a domestic setting, the hand loom weavers and their families produced cloth which would have been taken to Leeds Cloth Market which was the largest in the area.
The surge in demand brought about by the Industrial Revolution saw production moving into purpose built mills, first powered by water then steam.
Among the earliest mills in Yeadon were Dixon's Mill at the top of the Steep dating from 1782 and the "Old Dog" on Kirk Lane built in 1793, mills sprang up in Yeadon, Guiseley and Rawdon until the skyline bristled with mill chimneys.
Demand began to decline after WW1 until by the 1960s competition from abroad where labour was cheaper and the introduction of synthetic materials brought the industry almost to a standstill, the only remaining mill still manufacturing woollen cloth is Abraham Moons of Guiseley.
The mill chimneys may have vanished but the skilled people who worked in the mills retain strong memories of them, a few tangible reminders linger, Nunroyd House once home to Jonathan Peate who founded Nunroyd Mill with his brothers and Murgatroyd's fish restaurant built on part of the site of Moorfield Mill.
Text & Research by Christine Lovedale.