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At the time, the then Lord Mayor John Barran of Leeds was ridiculed for buying a 'White Elephant' - in that the park was too far out of the city for the majority of the population to enjoy, and in any event the park had just one access road - an old 'turnpike' road dating from 1808.
The park was seen as a reckless waste of Leeds ratepayers money - critics even published a booklet under the title: 'The Big White Elephant' in 1879.
The Upper (smaller) Lake is maintained as a wildlife area, the larger Waterloo Lake is used for fishing.
The Park Arena is a natural amphitheatre which, in addition to being both a cricket pitch and a cycle tracks is used as a venue for many special events ranging from sports days to major pop concerts.
The right hand wing of the building was sliced off when the railway came through. Liversedge goods yard was used as an oil terminal by Charrington Hargreaves. R made a connection from the L&Y Ravensthorpe branch to the Leeds New Line in 1966.
The original plans were to demolish the building altogether, but the owners must have reached some sort of agreement with the L. see page 2Standing under the cable post shown in the above photo.
They were sitting around bent double for about 6 months after that.
This smart looking house originally built on Church street, was moved in 1887. R re-housed a number of people displaced by the construction of the railway in Battyeford & Heckmondwike 126 houses were acquired by the L. The bridges are (in order of appearance) - Cemetery road, Upper George street, Victoria street & King street. Click here to see selection of Spen Valley railway tickets & handbills. The remaining single track from the Charrington Hargreaves oil terminal at Liversedge, curves through the cutting at Heckmondwike, 1981. This was to supply the Charrington Hargreaves oil terminal at the former Liversedge Spen Goods Yard.
The house to the left of the church steeple is shown close up next photo. The land was owned by Sir Francis Sharpe Powell Bart M. So the new streets were named Francis street & Powell street. It looks like rubbish has been collected into piles ready for removal, I've heard this part of the route was going to become a cycle path. The line cut through a heavily populated area of the old town.
The deep cutting next to Walkley Lane has had a lot of activity over the last weeks. I am going to contact Kirlees Council to find out whats happening as there has been no planning application as far as I know and I thought they were going to make the whole of the old Spen Line onto a cycle path to join up with the onther one along Dewsbury Moor. Heckmondwike Station is situated in cutting, between High street & Cemetery road. This meant the railway had to buy up large amounts of property.
The deep cutting next to Walkley Lane and Walkley Terrace may be getting infilled to allow the building of 96 houses. The railway company was obliged to re-house people within one mile of the houses they were demolishing.
What they are going to infill such a large cutting with isn't stated in the application. This section of line between the Lancashire & Yorkshire line at Heckmondwike Spen goods yard & the oil terminal at Liversedge, remained open up until 1986 (one track only).