Aireborough Historical Society

1899 Plans For Trams

Yeadon Tramway
Date August 1899
Location Yeadon
Photo ID

 "Leeds Corporation and the Horsforth and Yeadon Tramway Scheme

     Our Yeadon correspondent writes :-  a new development took place last week with respect to the suggested tramway from the Leeds Corporation boundary through Horsforth and Rawdon to Yeadon.

Hitherto the Joint Tramway Committee appointed by the District Councils of the three townships have been informed that the Leeds Corporation would not entertain the idea of extending their tramways beyond the city boundary, but a deputation which interviewed the Parliamentary Committee of the Corporation last Thursday came away with the impression that the Corporation were willing to consider the question of extending their tramway to Henshaw and Yeadon.

    At a meeting of the Joint Tramway Committee at Rawdon on Friday night, the Chairman (Mr R Brotherton), gave a report practically to the above effect and further stated that the deputation were given to understand that no syndicate or company  - not even the Archangel himself - would be allowed to go into the city with rolling stock or line.

    It was decided that the Joint Committee should wait upon one of the Corporation Committees with reference to the question and that the corporation should be asked to answer the same queries as the private firms who are seeking to carry on the undertaking"

Image courtesy of the British Newspaper Archives, research by Edwy Harling

Further text by Christine Lovedale

    Yeadon Urban District Council had been unable to secure a passenger rail link for the town and turned their attention to the possibility of the Leeds tramway being extended  to serve the population of the area.

Local wagonette owners ran a service to Horsforth to enable passengers to use the trams, Roberts Bros. began a service in 1898 and in 1905 John Wheatley bought a motor omnibus, unfortunately he could not obtain spare parts and his venture failed.

      It was not until 10 years after the above newspaper report that the line was extended to Yeadon in 1909, on May 26th the Chairman of Rawdon Council drove the first tram from the Leeds boundary to the border with Yeadon at Green Lane, the Chairman of Yeadon Council then took over and drove it a little further to Henshaw Lane bottom.

The townspeople came out in hundreds to witness this momentous event.

They would now be able to travel all the way to Leeds for 4d !

The celebrations culminated in a "knife & fork" tea in the schoolroom of Benton Congregational Church (now Trinity Church).

In July 1909 the tramway was extended further to Oxford Road, Guiseley and later to White Cross which remained the terminus.

      Thomas Arton who resided at Micklefield House was so enamoured by the trams that he built himself a few wooden shelters along the Rawdon section of the route, taking his daily stroll along New Road he could take his ease or escape in bad weather in his shelters.

The last one of these shelters remained until recently on Leeds Road opposite Layton Lane, it has now (August 2016) been replaced by a standard glass and metal structure.


July 1899:    Trams From Leeds To Yeadon -- A Suggested Scheme

    The Joint Tramway Committee appointed by the District Councils of Yeadon, Rawdon and Horsforth met at Rawdon on Friday night and formulated  a scheme of tramways from the Leeds City boundary at Kirkstall to Yeadon.

As it has been decided by the District Councils that they themselves will not carry out the project, the scheme is now being submitted to three private firms, one of these being Messrs Greenwood and Batley (Leeds), to see how far they are prepared to carry it out.

      The scheme formulated shows a main line along the main road from Kirkstall to the boundary of the Yeadon township at Nunroyd Beck, with a couple of loop lines.

The first of these branches off along Hawksworth Wood Road to Woodside, Horsforth, forward to the Old Ball Hotel and then along a suggested new road between Town Street and St Margarets Church until it joins the main line again at the Fleece Inn.

       The second suggested loop line commences at the Co-operative store, Littlemoor, Rawdon and travels along the Dudley to Killinghall main road (Harrogate Road) as far as Four Lane Ends (Yeadon cross roads), then turning down into Yeadon and terminating at the Town Hall.

The three firms are invited to give the Committee a reply within a fortnight.


Image courtesy of the British Newspaper Archives, research by Edwy Harling


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