Echoes of the past: The changing crossroads at Wakefield Road

This pre First World War view of the Wakefield Road and Coach Road crossroads at Lightcliffe has changed quite a lot since it was caught on camera
This pre First World War view of the Wakefield Road and Coach Road crossroads at Lightcliffe has changed quite a lot since it was caught on camera

This pre First World War view of the Wakefield Road and Coach Road cross roads at Lightcliffe has changed quite a lot since it was caught on camera.

It looks very smart with all its railings still intact and even the metal gates are still on show. There are other significant differences from today’s junction. Gone has the old fashioned street lamp and been replaced with the modern version on the same spot.

What for more years than most can remember on the left hand side just inside the gates has been the home of Raymond Gibson’s small holding.

This photograph clearly shows fencing and a high wall, so it would be many years before you could have bought a box of eggs from Raymond.

On the right hand side of the entrance, an area which is now used as car parking space is really enhanced with the railings and shrubbery behind it.

Once having gone through the gates and passed over the old bridge that straddled the more imposing entrance drive to Crow Nest in Wakefield Road.

The first entrance travelling down the Coach Road was the old gateway to Cliffe Hill mansion.

This was once owned by the Walker family and the home of the first Halifax Golf Club.

The house was purchased in 1867 by Major Johnston Jonas Foster, of Black Dyke Mills at Queensbury fame for £15,000.

Today, this entranced is closed off and the mansion still stands proud as it has done since it was built in 1775.

The next entrance was to the Crow Nest mansion. This was also owned by the Walker family, who through a deed poll surname change became Sutherland-Walker.

The mansion was occupied by Mr Titus Salt from 1848 to 1854, and in 1867 he returned to the mansion as Sir Titus, having bought it for £26,500. He lived at Crow Nest until his death in 1876.

The old mansion has long since gone and is now the home of the very popular Crow Nest Golf Club.

The next entrance is at the mid-point of the journey down Coach Road, where there is a footpath which takes you into Stoney Lane.

Our onward journey and the end of our walk into the past is to the junction with Jerry Lane (Newton Park) and Catherine Slack.

Having looked closely at this photograph you may just have spotted the small section of railings on the right hand side.

These railings, as with those at the top of Coach Road and at the front of Lightcliffe C of E School, were all cut down for the Second World War scrap metal collection efforts.

To the casual passerby there is very little to comment about this scene. But as with local history, it is once you have looked a little deeper into the history behind the image when the untold story develops.