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Quarry Hill's history
Quarry Hill, the entire site

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Have Your Say
What memories do you have of Quarry Hill, then or now?
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victoria hurn[cheung]
I did not live in quarry hill ,we lived across the road in Saxton Gardens.We did not do over to quarry hill often ,I remember the fish and chip shop and the launderette.My main memory was the Nursery school.Ionly went the once ,once was enough.All I remember is standing on a milk crate up to a grubby sink in a dark smelly cloak room.There I was handed a bag of what seemed like the biggest coloured plastic spoons,and told to pick one.Then to my horror a giant bottle of CASTER OIL appeared and poured onto my spoon.Then I was told to swallow it,you can imagine my horror I as only 3years old.I just could not swollow it,I spite it out,my spoon was filled again.This time my nose was pinched my head held back and it was forced down my throat.I proceeded to throw up,Iwas then sent to sit in a corner to wait until my mum collected me.The next day my mum attempted to take me back, NO WAY ws I going back there.I kicked and screamed so much that my mum took me home,the nursery was never to be seen again by me.I laugh about it know but it really was not funny.No wonder the sight of any kind of oil fills my with fear.thank you for reading my little story.

Jean Kershaw
We moved from Kitson house after it was bombed to Neilson House. I remember going into the air raid shelters and being entertained by many different people to stop us kids feeling scared. I also remember the concert parties held by Sammy Taylor especially Emily Firth who did a great Carmen Miranda. My friends were Lily June and Mary Clark, Francis Smith and Margaret Wood and many others. I enjoyed reading these memories and comments and would love to hear more from anyone who remembers me!

Raymond Jones
I lived at 54 Wright House with my two brothers John and Maurice and my Mum and Dad as well . We moved in to the flats in 1938 and moved when i was married in 1956. We had many good childhood friends in those days and i am still in touch some of them today after all these years there were Bernard and Terry Cain of Kitson House Colin Riley and the Glenton brothers from Jackson House Peter Gumby and his sister Audry Peter was a very good footballer and whent on to play for a time down at Elland Road and in Wright House were the Bukley boys the Pickard Family the Plums who lived next to the glass rent office at the end of the block i think the daughters name was Esme.I remember those nights through the war every night when the siren sounded down into the shelter at the back of our flat and when Victoria House got one we thought our number was up we came out of the shelter to find all our windows where blown out it was a bit drafty for a few days but what fun the next morning seeing who could find the bigest piece of shrapnel we wher just kids and did not no how bad things where . I have not lived in Leeds now for over thirty years but have very fond memories of my years that i lived there . I found by doing some delfing into my family history that my grandmother whent to school in Carver Street in old Quarry Hill in 1875 and the school stood on about the spot between Wright and Jackson House hows that for getting back to your roots . \ All the best to every one who new me what a great time we had in those far of days Regards Raymond Jones.

lain Simpson
the flats came down when i was about 13,but i do remember the monsterous size of the place and the fact that it was also the place where they filmed "Queenies castle"

Erin Maguire
Does anybody know anything about these streets, which I think were in this area: High Court Walk, Riley Court, Lumb Square or Giles Street? They're all mentioned in census records of my ancestors in the late 19th and early 20th century, and even though I'm from Leeds myself, I can't imagine these places or what they might have been like. Any info about community, buildings, or anything else really would be appreciated.

Gerald Scott ( Ges ).
With ref to Annette Townend/Andrew Byrne. All the houses were named after prominent people and they went round alphabetically - Jackson, Kitson, Lupton, Moynihan, Neilson, Oastler, Priestley, Rhodes, Saville, Thoresby, Victoria, Wright and York. 13 blocks/houses in all. The houses were named after a Leeds worthy. These were: Adelaide Neilsen, actress. St. Peter's Square,1848. Richard Oastler, social reformer. Joseph Priestley, unitarian minister at Leeds, 1767. James Kitson, founder of Hunslet engine co. Sir Charles Lupton, Lord Mayor of Leeds 1915. Joseph Rhodes, painter and founder of an art school in Leeds. Sir John Savile, 1st alderman in Leeds, 1626. Ralph Thoresby, 18th century historian. Griffith Wright, founder of the Leeds Intelligencer, 1754. Jackson - several Yorkshire Jacksons, including an antiquarian and a musician. Victoria - after Queen Victoria. York, after the House of York. Ooh! I sound well clued up. Not really cos I got the info from Leeds Central Library!

Veronica Crabtree
Lived in Wright House from 1959 - 1963 with Mum and Dad Dennis and Joan brothers James,Tony and Sister Wendy,although we left in 1963 my father remained and sadly died in 1967 in the flat. Lots of happy memories though. Does anyone remember Lilly who used to blow her nose on a duster and then clean the windows. And the flasher with a father in his hat? Not sure if it was the Baker Mummy who made the Duster Coats? Skate (one) and a book down the hill, fell off the slide in 1961 and broke my arm. Remember firework night when they set fire to someones chair they were taking to the bonfire? And so much more. Revisited very recently nice to see the playhouse with the last concrete block my dad would have liked that.

Keith Mallinson
After submitting my last memory I read that there was a waste disposal system in the flats! I remember going to the huge wash-house with my mum (it was mam then)aged about 4 or 5. I also remember breaking my arm on the small hooped, iron fencing near Oastler House and rushed to the 'Dispensary', near to town and having it put in 'pot'.

keith Mallinson
I remember being washed in the kitchen sink in Oastler House where my gran, grandad, mum, dad, brother and I lived (Until moving to another large estate-Burmantofts) I'm sure they had some kind of waste disposal thing in the kitchen sink?

Annette Atkinson
I lived in Victoria House from 1944-1955 and had a very happy childhood there. We had so much freedom and and there was such a wonderful community spiri that seems to be lacking in communities today. My mum worked for George Emmett in his fish and chip shop, they were the best fish and chips in Leeds in fact I've never ever tasted better anywhere since. Mum used to do Fish cakes which were two slices of Scollop potatoes with fish in-between and battered. Delicious! They were wonderful happy golden days.

Brian Marley. Melbourne. Australia
My vivid memory was on 8th May 1945. Oastler House. The second world war ended. Adults & kids raced up & down stairs cheering. I was seven years old and rushing down the stairs to join the celebrations. My older brother ran up the stairs to tell Mum (Dad was away in the army) we collided like two trains on the steps resulting in both returning to the lower landing very quickly. After that, all the kids would get together to tell each other that "Dad would be home soon" Sadly many Dads did not.

john allen
i was born in 1955 and lived in neilson house untill 1976 during my time there i made a lot of friends ,there was one i used to play a game called strech with sadley we have all lost touch now but it was the best place i have lived

Catherine Carney
I have a bag full of wonderful memories as colourful as the tin full of marbles i used to treasure and play with - pitching my skills againgst the best Neilson House had to offer! An idylic childhood with outdoor adventures to see off any 'famous five' expedition! They didn't get it wrong - well not for me anyway! Quarry Hill Flats - I loved them and still do!!!

John Speller
Ilived in QH most of my young life from the age of 5 to 20 years old and look back on them with much fondness.... The shops had one of the best Fish n Chip shops in Leeds(Emmets) we had a washhouse second to none but most of all the comradeship between neighbors fantastic. Quarry Hill Flats was a way of life a community.

Andrew Byrne
In answer to Annette Townend, there were 938 flats in total, ranging from 1 to 5 bedrooms. The highest blocks were Neilson and Priestley Houses - I think 8 floors.

julie armstrong
spent a lot of my childhood there wh my nan edith armstrong she live in jackson house with her son alan

Annette Townend
Please, Can anyone tell me How Many High Rise Flat there were in the Quarry Hill Estate ?

Lily Bull (Then Clark)
We went to live in Quarry Hill in 1938 at 2 Neilson House (Mabgate Entrance) My Father Walter and Mother Elizabeth, Sisters Mary and June, we left in approx, 1957, i have very good memories of everybody and everything during my time at Quarry Hill

pamela smith(then fella)
i was brought up in quarry hill flats for about 5 years,although i used to visit my grandma who lived their for many years, her name was edith rockcliffe

John Sturdy
can remember driving past it loads of times, was friendly with a girl who lived there and she spoke well of it, was its own community, Garvie was the families name I think, wish they would repeat the Dianna Dors 'sitcom' (Queenie?) surprised it has not appeared.....

Kevin Rooney
I remember as a child visiting my grandmother and aunt in the flats; Mrs Elizabeth and Miss Anne Rooney, if anybody remembers them.This was the 1960`s. I also remember Mrs Pope selling ice cream from her van and the waste disposal system in the sinks,which was modern for the times.

Andrea Henshaw (then Swallow)
The Swallows were a big family who lived in Neilson House. We lived above the Pye family. Many great memories, with lots of big families. Quarry Hill was a village in itself.

Andy Jacques
I can't really remember much but my aunt lived there & i have found out the my grand dad died there as i do my family tree. I guess if you look around you will find a copy of "Queenie's Castle" as i also used to watch. Can anyone help but on a cert i have the address says it's Moynihan House but i don't see it on the site at all? My aunts name was Edith Crossley & her husband Norman.

Beverley Baker ( Devanney)now
I was born at 43 WRIGHT House on a Saturday afternoon at 2pm 1958 i already had 2 brothers and 2 sisters we had great times living in Quarry Hill i remember when the Dumps used to get on fire and the firemen came and all us kids stood on the hose to try and stop the water, who were we kidding also going to the wash house with my mother , oh and going to see charlie who worked at the was house to see if he had found my grandmothers teeth which she had flushed down the sink. i could go on all night i would love to know where i could purchase a copy of Queenies Castle from my mum is 76 now and i know she would love to see this again, neighbours were neighbours then so my mother says.if only things were that good today nobody had much but we were clean and healthy children and played out in the street more than what children do today happy memories.

Gerald Scott, ( Ges ).
I was born there in 1960 and lived at 136 Oastler House until we left in 1973. I have really fond memories of my friends etc. But one experience sticks out for me. Decimalisation! You see, at that time I was working for the milkman on Saturdays and Sundays. My wages were 6d a morning. That got me 6 penny bubblies at Happy's sweet shop. Then one day the milkman offered to pay me in shiny new pence, ie 2 and half new pence. We had all been issued by the government with plastic cards which showed how much old money was in new money. It said 6d was equal to 2 and a half new pence. I accepted but when I went to Happy's I only got 5 bubblies! I was livid and will always remember the government conned me out of a penny bubbly!

Susan Chadwick
I lived in Quarry Hill Flats from 1953 when I was born to 1972 when I got married. My dad, Bert, worked in the laundry for some years. I loved the flats. A real community.

LEE JOHNSTON
WE LIVED AT 59 PRIESTLY HOUSE ABOVE THE RENT OFFICE,I WAS VERY YOUNG BUT I THOUGHT IT WAS A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE FOR YOUNGSTERS BUT NOT FOR THE OLDER PEOPLE.OUR CAT SOOTY FELL OUT THE TOP FLOOR FLAT AND SURVIVED.IT ACTUALLY MADE THE PAPERS AT THE TIME !IT WAS A SHAME WHEN THEY KNOCKED IT DOWN BECAUSE THERE WAS A GREAT SENSE OF COMMUNITY THERE.

ronnie beck
i was born in 33 jackson house on 23 07 1971 i had 2 brothers and 1 sister ian , kevin , diane would love a copy of queeni,s castle

sarah gilmour
i lived at quarry hill with my mother and father,dawn and bernard gilmour in the 1970's along iwth my nana and grandad ada and robert. we were a large family and very well known,mainly because my dad was a bit of a naughty boy from a very young age. i remember the laundry room best of all,i used to love helping nana hang the clothes on the big dryers. i was so sad when we left and moved to woodhouse and my grandparents moved to ebor gardens,leeds has never been the same

Alex Jenkins
My parents and I lived in Quarry Hill Flats - Oastler House, although I did not know this until I returned home from Hong Kong prior to my demob from the Army. Mum & Dad had moved whilst I was away and neglected to inform me (do you think they were trying to tell something!?). I managed to locate them with the help of relatives. My bedroom window overlooked the lower end of Leeds Markets and bus station. Saturday nights were always "stay in nights" because of the wonderful entertainment provided by the police as they politely requested passing persons who had obviously been struck down with the dreaded tanglefoot disease, probably picked up at the Nag's Head or one of the many other hostelries nearby. Funny how almost all who were asked to enter the cosy building affectionately known as "The Bridewell" seemed strangely reluctant to do so, but with the kind help of a jovial officer's size 14, all seemed to respond to their wishes, sooner or later. I am 68 now and sadly my parents are long gone, but I have fond memories of Quarry Hill and the Saturday night entertainment.

gabby gomersall
i think leeds has chenged a lot over the years i may onley be 15 buti think it has chaned emacuatly over the years

Terry Edwards
I lived there during the fifties and as a child it was glorious- millions of play mates and the longest roofs in the world to run around on.The adults hated it.Some with a passion.I think if they could have owned them they'd be still there now.A smaller version in London is deemed Luxurious!

chris hocker
when i visited leeds as a young lad we would play in the lifts in quarry hill flats

Andrew Byrne, Beeston, Leeds
Every time I walk past the bus station or visit the Playhouse I think of Quarry Hill Flats and all the friends I had there, many of whom have now either left Leeds or I have lost touch with. Who remembers Emmetts fish and chip shop on Rhodes Parade - I thought they were the finest in Leeds at the time, the bread shop and Joey's chemist. There were some characters - anyone living in the Flats will remember 'passion flower'! It had a bad reputation and there were some rough parts and towards the end it became a place for outsiders to avoid - but nothing like the estates of today. I remember warmth and neighbourliness, not isolation.

david edge
I remember walking through the Quarry Hill dvevelopment in the mid-70s. It felt deserted and barren. I was nervous about walking through it, because it had a bad reputation. It seems to me that it failed - not because of the buildings themselves - but because architects fail to realise that you can not cage people and expect them to like being cut off from the rest of the city by their own dwellings, which acted as walls.

Joyce Burrow, Canada
I used to shop in Leeds Market every Saturday and passed the flats every time. I had an aunt who lived in there and we would visit from time to time. I must say that I never did like them.

Dennis Harrison
Have you seen the size of that slide in picture ten? Jesus! I can only just remember Quarry Hill flats, I remember when the Eastgate side was being demolished my dad used to say that there was some kind of youth training group painting the other side, does anyone know if this is true? If so, why? Did they fall off that slide?

rodney thornton
I worked for Escrits coal merchants and delivered coal to the flats from east street coalyard not far from the flats, the flats were all solid fuel so we had to take the sacks up in the lifts which were been used by the tenants, that was very hard work because lifting a 100cwt of coal from a lift floor is not very easy that was the main problem with the flats the heating system

Sue Hannaford-Hill
I can remember visiting my Aunty Ethel who lived in Quarry Hill Flats and being really impressed at how 'modern' everything was. Where I lived in Horsforth we only had an outside toilet and no bathroom so the flats seemed really posh! I also remember Lewis' store mentioned by Dennis Blewitt - I still have a photograph of myself aged 5 years old sitting on Muffin the Mule which was taken at Lewis'. Memories of the Green Bus station are always evoked whenever I smell roasted chestnuts - there used to be a barrow at the end of the outdoor market by the bus station selling chestnuts.

Chris Thompson
I have grown up in Leeds about 2 miles from the quarry hill site but I dont have any memories of the old flats. I work opposite the site and have watched new buildings "go up" for the last few years. I like to look at old pictures of the site and try and place the old buildings on the site as it is today. I have a good view over Quarry hill and the whole of Leeds, and am very proud of our beautiful city, then but especially now.

Mike Seymour
I recall being told that Hitler had admired Quarry Hill flats and that Leeds would have been his UK HQ if the Nazis had invaded.

Frank Clarke
I lived in Quarry Hill from 1950 to 1956, with my parents and my brother,we lived in Thoresby House, commonly known as "Hell fire corner", the my overriding memory's, are of the wash house were my mother would go and do the weekly wash, it was more like a gossip club than a laundry. Also the big gas holder which was situated at the bottom of the play ground,(New York Street). Also I remember with affection the T.V situation comedy, Queenies Castle with Dianna Dors.

T. Megson
I remember watching Diana Dors in "Queenie's Castle" on T.V. in the late sixties or early seventies and some of the outside shots were of the Quarry Hill complex.

Dennis Blewett
I was three when my parents went to live in Leeds in 1938. They moved from Darton, near Barnsley, because my father could not get work in the area, but was able to get a job at Tetley's (the brewery). We went to live at Armley, and I remember most Lewis' store with its "moving staircase", the store windows, lit at night, the No 14 tramcars to Armley, and Quarry Hill flats, with gaily-coloured curtains at the windows. "I wish we could live there", I remember saying to my mother. "You don't", she said. "Where would you play out?" These days flats, or "apartments", are becoming fashionable even in Canberra, the largest capital city in the world, with the smallest population. They are aimed at "upwardly mobile" young people who enjoy "busy lifestyles" and have no time for gardens, or children. Every time I see a new block of flats go up I hear my mother saying, "Where would you play out?" But then, today, children no longer "play out". Sad, really.

Andy Farrer
I simply remember going down to the "Green Bus station" at the bottom of the Headrow, we had always come out of the market, because my Auntie & Uncle had a Fruit & Veg stall their, with my mum when we had been shopping and seeing the sight that was Quarry hill, massive and imposing. I'm 40 now so work it out from there!.Remember the other bus station was the "Red bus station" Leeds City Transport and the old West Yorkshire Transport, Oh they were great days and I although I live away from Leeds with my family I still love the old City to bits. Regards Andy Farrer

Malcolm Brook
All the houses were named after prominent people and they went round alphabetically -Jackson, Kitson, Lupton, Moynihan, Neilson, Oastler, Priestley, Rhodes, Saville, Thoresby, Victoria, Wright and York. 13 blocks in all.

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