The worst memory of the early 60's for a number of people was that of a tremendous storm. It ripped off guttering and tiles, and even blew down walls. It went on all night, and Margaret Wrighton recalls how she had to bring the children to sleep in the front room as she feared for their safety sleeping in the attic.

All the older long-term residents we spoke to remember the feeling of community in the 60's, and of knowing that the children were safe playing out and about in the area. Everyone stopped to chat in the streets, and looked out for one another.

Pat Dawson however also recalls that during the 60's gangs would roam the nearby streets. These bands of Mods and Rockers caused many people in the Methleys to feel more than a little intimidated.

Margaret and Terry Wrighton moved into Methley Place in 1960. Margaret recalls that when they first moved into the house there were still gas lamps on all the internal walls. All the streets were cobbled, and every year there was a bonfire at the top of the street, which everyone went to. The yearly bonfires continued right up until the 70's when tarmac was put down. She also remembers that when they first moved in their monthly rent was 4 0s 10d [that's 4.10 to us! Ed.]

Weird fact: In 1960 there was only 1 car in Methley Place, a little black Morris Minor.

In the 60's there were 2 local Supermarkets, Grandways and Laws. Laws was situated where Casa Mia is now thriving, and Grandways was where the new(ish!) shops, Casa Mia Trattoria through to Hamilton's now stand. At the back of Grandways was a wood, where children had erected rope swings and suchlike to play on. In the wood was a cottage which housed a second-hand shop called the Trading Post.


Lynne White was born in Methley Drive. Her earliest memories are of playing with her sister in the long hallway of the house.


Nemyria and her late husband bought a house on Methley Drive for 1400. Her earliest memory of the area is that everyone was so friendly, and that anybody and everybody would stop to chat in the streets. She recalls the old Wash House (where Potternewton Gardens now stands] - very few people had their own washing facilities, so they would go to the Wash House and put their washing into big vats. They would then use 'Possers' to move the washing around, and after rinsing it would push the washing through big mangles.


Ann moved into Methley Place. She only expected to stay for 2 years, but is still here. Her son Neil was just 2 weeks old. She says that in those days everyone could leave their doors open, and that people were much more caring. When she had her youngest child, her husband had gone out whilst she rested upstairs. Neighbours let themselves in, brought her a pot of tea and did her washing for her - although she insisted she was fine!

Jane Ramsay's earliest memory of the Methleys was walking through on her first day at school. She had horrible tummy ache and was terrified!

Every month one of the residents of Methley Place would host a party, and everyone would go round.

She recalls that on Bonfire night all the women would make pie and peas, whilst the men sat around on the old furniture intended for the bonfire drinking beer and lighting fireworks.


By 1966 the Wash House was demolished, and the flattened land with it's intriguing rubble became a play area for all the local children. [*Picture Available - booklet]

The Oliver family moved into Potternewton Lane - Patrick and Jenny, Richard (9), Siobhan (2) and Caitlin (1). Jenny recalls that the house had previously belonged to St Dunstan's - a charity for the blind. It had been rented out for some years, but was finally placed on the market for 1750 - more than they could afford. Luckily they had connections, and the house was bought as a gift for them by a good friend of Patrick's, Peter O'Toole. Jenny says 'It was magic after our 1 up 1 down cottage with outdoor loo - the whole of our cottage would have fitted into the front room of Potty Lane...'. Her best memory was of the snowdrops in the garden, each year in February more and more would emerge.


In 1967 the average rent had increased to 5 per calendar month! Tenants had to affix a 2p stamp to the rent book - the money was refunded when the rent was paid. Nobody seems to know why the stamp was necessary! Can you help? ... *[SCAN RENT BOOK]

Lynne Wrighton was born in Methley Place. Her earliest memories are of the cobbled streets and everyone getting together for bonfires. She says her best memories are of playing out as a child, especially on the wall which surrounded The Mount (now Harrogate Lodge).


Anthony Corbett's earliest memory is of helping to push his uncle's car to the Petrol Station on Potternewton Lane, for which he received a sixpence - well, he was only 8! His best memories of his childhood were of the power cuts. He and his friends would play hide and seek in the streets using torches. He also recalls playing in the schoolyard and on the Hollers ( the old laundry).

A huge fire in the builders yard, which housed large quantities of propane, meant that the occupants of the 5 nearest houses (opposite Union terrace) were forced to stay with friends and neighbours elsewhere in the Methleys overnight whilst the fire raged. The 5 houses affected were subsequently pulled down.

Patricia McKay moved into Methley View with her family. She recalls the friendly neighbours and cobbled streets - the children all played together - there was no racial prejudice. She loved bonfire night, when the younger people would carry out chairs for the old folk, and everyone made a contribution to the festivities.

The garage at the top of back Potternewton Lane was a furniture shop for a while, she tells us that her children were forever bringing home bits of wood to make things, and she had to buy them all a toolkit!

Mrs MacKay also remembers that the Mexborough Arms had a bowling green, orchard and beer garden. In the grounds lived a white rabbit, which had at some point been a family pet but had turned semi-wild. All the children would feed the rabbit every day. When the car park was built the unfortunate rabbit was tarmaced into it's burrow. The children were hysterical, and one of the labourers broke down in tears when he realised what had happened.


The earliest memories of Steven Birmingham from Union Terrace, [and of the editor! - Ed.] are of playing on 'The Scrub' or 'Hollers' - the land where the laundry had been pulled down.