Towngate Rooms

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Towngate Rooms
Address 13 Northgate
Postcode BD17 6LX
Built Re-built 1912
Built by ????
Primary use Pickles Deli. 2007-
Photo
Liberal Club.jpg
Location
Google Maps Link


The Towngate Rooms is a building at 13 Northgate that was re-built in 1912 and has many carved and dated foundation stones in its base that were laid by people of the village.

Kelly's Directory for Leeds of 1893 has Thomas Ferand as the secretary. [1]

The carving in the stone below the clock is 1912 and below that Liberal Club but it is known as The Towngate Rooms and for many years the ground floor of this was used by a Baildon group until Bradford Council increased the rent.<Heresay> The upper floor was often rented for children's parties.

In 2007 the Parish Council looked at the building with a view to it becoming offices for the council. The asset could have been transferred to Baildon Parish Council but they decided not to take it on.

BPC considering the Towngate Rooms

This photo is of Baildon Parish Council viewing the Towngate Rooms - Ruth Batterley (clerk), Mark Fisher (chair) Val Townend, Roger L'Amie, Joanne Crowther and Debbie Davies (+ children). With Paul Marfell (vice-chair) taking the photo.

Around 2007 Louise Pickles took on the Towngate Rooms as a Delicatesant Tea Room.

Clock

Notes from several people say that the clock that is now in Towngate Rooms came from the Mechanics Institute when it was demolished in 1969. One such note is - When the Mechanics Institute was demolished the clock was moved to the Towngate Rooms and was fixed in place by Jack Robinson, cousin to Harry Robinson.[2] Harry Robinson was the person that fitted the 2nd clock to the Mechanics Institute.

There has been the suggestion that the Towngate Rooms had a clock before the demolition of the Mechanics Institute. The suggestion fits with thoughts that the gable end on the building, when it was rebuilt, in 1912 was for a clock. Photos taken by Harold Ellis, and shared by his son Tim Ellis, show the progress of some of the Towngate work and if we study some from 1960s we can see that the Towngate Rooms did not have a clock at that time.

Crop showing Towngate Rooms

This image, cropped from a wider view shows that the Towngate Rooms did not have a clock at this time. It shows that Manor Fold etc have been demolished and it looks as though the Ian Clough car park is being worked on. This puts the date as late 1960s or very early 1970s.More accurate date needed

View of Towngate and Northgate. 60s/70s

This photo was taken late 1960s early 1970s by H Ellis, shared by his son Tim Ellis, and shows very clearly that the Towngate Rooms does not have a clock.More accurate date needed

Foundation Stones

These photos are of the foundation stones laid at the time of the re-build in 1912.

Light Fittings

These photos are of the Osira/GEC connection boxes and light fittings on the corners of the Towngate Rooms and the Mechanics Institute. The Osira Mercury discharge lamp was introduced by GEC in 1933[3] Graces Guide has some details of the names.[4] The light fitting on the Mechanics Institute photo (shown for comparison purposes) looks similar to a GEC Z8128B Clearmain Difractor[5] and the fitting still on the left of Towngate Rooms looks similar especially if you look at the 1960 view of Towngate and Northgate taken by H Ellis shown above. The 1960s view also shows that the bowl of the right hand light fitting was broken even then. Osira bulbs were still being advertised in 1945[6] On the Bulb Expert website it is mentioned that after WWII the name Osira was replaced with Osram. The early date for the B&W photo of 1946 is because that is the date when the destination signs on the buses started to be replaced with the roller variety. 1955 was when those buses were taken out of service.

References

  1. Kellys Directory 1893
  2. A Edwick notes
  3. The Times 29 June 1933
  4. GEC entry on Graces Guide - here
  5. Simon Cornwell
  6. The Electrician. Vol. CXXXV. No. 3524. Friday, December 14, 1945.