2017 03 Horsforth MuseumOur visiting speaker, Susan WATSON, took us on a whirlwind tour of the Horsforth Village Museum.


“The museum aims to reflect this heritage in its interesting exhibits which are drawn from all aspects of life in and around Horsforth and have a great nostalgia and educational value. The Museum, which opened to the public in July 1988, is situated at The Green in the heart of the old village.”

Susan crammed in a wealth and variety of information, commencing with a clipping from 1937 inviting people to live in Horsforth by the Urban District Council. Moving onto the Whitakers Brothers, quarry owners, crane developers and buildings. Information included photographs of George Clifford Whitaker who on the 1st May 1915, was part of the army recruiting party toured which Leeds. Photographed with the ‘Decorated Car’, outside Yeadon Town Hall Square on Wednesday 23rd June 1915. Sadly, he was one of the first over the trench wall at Flanders and was killed. The Whitaker Brothers developed equipment for earth moving and cranes, built at Rodley, were originally on rails. Whitaker was a very prominent in Horsforth, but they eventually sold one of the quarries to the Briggs Family. Arthur Reuben Briggs, ran the quarry and other members of the family were builders and stone merchants. An estate in Cookridge, built by the family, is locally known as the ‘Briggs Houses’.

Some of the items to be found in the museum’s collection includes: Yorkshire penny bank saving boxes, toasting forks, teaspoon measures, glass Victorian cake supports, Bero Baking Book (1970), the Mothers Union Banner (St. Margarets Church, Horsforth), Calor Gas iron, Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes ceremonial pipe, Salvation Army Home League Banner (Women’s movement), William Law’s ‘Crown Hill’ Jug to name but a few items!

Susan covered information ranging from the St James Church Low Lane to Calverley to the District Gas Company amalgamate in 1868 and on the way covered the Horsforth adopted, HMS Aubrietia, which Along with the HMS Bulldog, played a pivotal role during WW1 in capturing the German U-Boat that contained the Enigma Machine and codes.

The museum is located 5 The Green, Town Street, Horsforth. LS18 5JB. Admission is free and it is open from the last Saturday in March through till the end of September. (Saturday 10:00-16:00 and Sunday 14:00 -17:00 hours)

There is far too much information to cover in such a short article. My advice to you is go and visit the Museum yourself, you won’t be disappointed and did I mention it was free?