Mrs Helen Milner recollects…..
I lived at Temple Newsam from 1957 to 1963, in the old stable block, converted into comfortable living quarters. There was a living room, with kitchen off, a sitting room overlooking the courtyard, and 3 bedrooms above. The kitchen range was lit every Friday, to provide a week’s supply of cakes and puddings. My late husband (Bob Milner) was a forester, in the park. Our daughter (Janet) was 7 and our son (Peter) was 5, when we moved in. It was a great place to play out in, especially the winter of 1962 to 63, with all that snow covering the grass. There were 4 rangers, including Mr Bundy, who lived in East Lodge.
OUTSIDE THE DOOR OF OUR HOUSE:
Summer 2019, a rare opportunity to revisit the park, on a Parklands ‘Old Girl’s’ reunion. Our sitting room is now a shop, but I have no idea what else lies behind the door of what was once the centre of my world; perhaps better not to know and to cherish the memories
Janet Elleker remembers:
THE BIG HOUSE AND FARM: As residents, we were entitled to free admission. Favourite exhibits were a painting of the house, probably Georgian, showing a small lake in front of the house, and a huge desk, with four kneeholes; the resulting tunnels were irresistible, if no one was looking!
We were intrigued by the statue, the Pilgrim Priest, since moved to Lotherton Hall. The cafe buildings are just visible on the right, beyond which was the farm. There was a dairy herd, and Mr Jameson was the farmer. They supplied our milk; we would leave a 2 pint metal can in the dairy, each evening, and collect it, full, the following morning. Quite an adventure, ‘going for the milk’, entering the cool buildings, smelling both of cows and cleanliness! There was drama, in 1962, when the hay in a Dutch barn caught fire; very noisy, as the metal frame reacted to extreme heat. Fire engines came, but couldn’t save the hay.
THE AVENUE: This led from the tram/bus terminus, to the lodges. (I think it had a name, but can’t remember it) Until November 1959, we had the excitement of tram rides, for our journey to Halton Moor school, and other destinations. We saw the last tram, while travelling home from a Model railway exhibition at the Corn Exchange. It wasn’t on our route, though; heading for Crossgates, lit up like the proverbial Christmas Tree! Being unable to turn round, the trams were double fronted, and the backs of the very basic seats had to be flipped across, for the return journey. The kindly conductors would let us help. After that the buses seemed boring!
MOTHER APPROACHING THE LODGES: She would have been on her way to the shops at Whitkirk, then, a walk past open fields. In all directions, there was open country between the Park and built up areas. As a girl, gazing from the top of East Avenue, over Bullerthorpe Lane, towards Garforth, I could never have believed that I would, one day, drive on a motorway, across those very fields! The East Lodge was occupied by the Bundy family, who moved into our Cafe Yard House after we left. I think a family called Skellington had the West Lodge, close to the Miniature Railway. There was a rumour that he was building a boat, which he planned to launch onto the River Aire!
PADDLING: This would be the stream running from the lower end of the lakes, crossed by the track leading to the mine. The mine was still operational, in our time. We would hear the miners, early in the morning, walking by our house. Their boots (or maybe clogs) must have been metal shod, as the footsteps rang out so loudly. So did their voices; we were told not to listen, so I guess the language was ‘ripe’!