Methley Public Library, Savile Road, July 1987.
Methley Public Library, Savile Road, July 1987.

Methley Public Library, Savile Road, July 1987

In the background is the Miners’ Welfare Hall and the caretaker’s house, and between these two is the gable of the newsagent’s. The present library opened 6th June, 1964, from an ex-army hut erected between Parsonage and 8-10 Main Street in 1950. It was actually from Methley Park after use in WW2.

The first library was in a small downstairs room (left when facing front) of the Miners’ Welfare in the 1930s. Mr.Sydney Hunter played a leading role in obtaining this library for the village. A well-known village lady – Mrs. Holdsworth – was librarian at later libraries in both the 1950 and 1964 buildings. Miss Dorothy Hinchcliffe, assistant at the ex-Army hut, became librarian at Savile Road library in 1985. Mrs Eileen Roberts was there from 1983 – 1996.

Pinfold Lane School, c.1900

Note the dress of the schoolchildren gathered on the unmade road, with its very rough surface. No houses are opposite the school, just a field-gate and hedge with a field behind. There is no traffic.

At that time there were no houses at all up Pinfold Lane, just hedges (hawthorn according to older residents) bordering cornfields. Just visible behind the large tree at the far end of the caretaker’s house is the chimney of Oaklands. Often the school at this time was known as the Board School. School Boards came into existence from 1834 onwards and after the Education Act of 1870 they rapidly provided schools paid for by an education rate and supplemented by a government grant.

The Board comprised of local people, councillors and influential villagers.

Pinfold Lane School, c.1900.

Pinfold Lane School, 1923, looking down the Lane

The school was now known as the Council School – West Riding County Council (Methley Urban District Council was part of this and situated within the County boundary) had replaced School Board in 1902. Members of former School Board often became School managers.

The exact date of the construction of the building is not known but was probably the early 1870s. The large red-brick building, enclosed by a brick ‘pillared’ wall and complete with bell tower, was structurally one but actually comprised two schools, each with its own head teacher and staff.

Joined to the school was a caretaker’s house.

There was no inside communication for the two schools. The two-storey caretaker’s house is in the foreground of the photo and a hides a doorway which gave an entrance to the 4-classroomed Infant School with its own Head-mistress (for many years Miss Armitage) and 3 teachers. The gabled windows with a smaller window between was a classroom of the ‘through’ school, where children were taught from seven years of age to school-leaving age.

Beyond was a low porch which gave entrance to the ‘bell-room’; projecting section beyond the boys’ cloakroom and, in between,though hidden by the ‘bell-room’ porch, was another classroom. This school had its own head-teacher (Mr. Shaw, Mr. Jones) and 7-8 staff. The school was built on the central hall plan. Note no Savile Road, and no houses beyond school, looking down Pinfold Lane to Main Street.

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