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LS13 LEEDS - Bramley, Rodley, Swinnow Leeds flats and houses

Although Swinnow is now cleanly integrated into the larger Leeds area, there are still people living in the area who remember how it was years before, their stories, memories and knowledge were compiled into a small volume published by Patchwork press in 1994.

After the second world war the population of Leeds was growing and consequently new cheap council houses were needed and the acres of fields in the Swinnow/Bramley area were perfect. They were sold on compulsory purchase to the council and development started on housing estates over the old rhubarb fields.

Swinnow (A Yorkshireised contraction of "Swine Moor") is a housing estate in west Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It is sited between Bramley and Pudsey on the west side of the outer areas of Leeds.

There are also a few small parks and open areas for outdoor recreation, including Bramley Park, (which holds a fireworks display most years and has an underground reservoir at the highest point of the park) and Bramley Fall Woods.

More recently, Rodley was also the home of Rowley Workshop: makers of Dusty Bin, Wizbit and Dusty the Dawg (housed in the former Bethel Chapel which is also now flats).

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal passes through Rodley, running parallel with Rodley Town Street. Many of the stone-built industrial buildings and mills that once lined the banks of the canal have been demolished and replaced with modern apartments and houses, as Rodley develops as a commuter village equidistant between Leeds and Bradford. Some of the area is now protected as a Conservation Area.

Rodley is a village on the outskirts of west Leeds, West Yorkshire, England with a recorded history dating back a thousand years. The earliest use of the name on record appears to be RODELE (without surname) who was listed as a tenant in the Domesday Book of 1086, and REDLEGA (without surname) who was recorded in Yorkshire in 1157. ROTHELAY (without surname) was listed in a document in Gloucestershire in 1227. Rodley borders the equally ancient hamlet of Bagley.

Rodley was the location where Thomas Smith's Steam Crane Works was established in 1820; a company which, by 1888, became world-famous for the manufacture of cranes and lifting gear.

Rodley is home to the Rodley Nature Reserve, a wetland reserve built on the former site of a sewage works.

Rodley has a cricket club based at the Canal Bank Sports Ground adjacent to the nature reserve, and which participates in the Dales Council Cricket League.

Rodley has four Public Houses and a Working Mens Social Club. There is The Owl at Rodley on the corner of Rodley Lane and Bagley Lane, The Rodley Barge opposite, The Railway just down past Calverley Bridge, and The Crown and Anchor and The Social Club, both on Town Street.

The Bramley Baths are an example of Edwardian swimming baths. Built in 1904, and recently restored, they benefit from a 25 metre pool, a gymnasium and a Russian steam room. The baths were used for dances during their early years, when the pool was covered with a large dance floor. The baths are probably one of the best remaining examples - perhaps the only example - of an Edwardian baths in Leeds today.

Bramley is dominated by the Bramley Shopping Centre, a 1960s-style concrete shopping plaza which was erected to replace the traditional stone-built village centre. The current range of shops include charity shops, banks, travel agents, bakeries, pawnbrokers, supermarkets, a post office, a thrift shop, a dental practice and fast food takeaways. Following the deterioration of the shopping centre over the past decade, Leeds City Council are redeveloping it, bringing new stores such as Farmfoods and Tesco to the area.

Rodley hosts an Annual Beer and Music Festival which runs over the August Bank Holiday weeken

Bramley and Swinnow were part of the Leeds rhubarb fields--which in turn formed part of the so called 'Rhubarb Triangle'--which accounted for a large portion of British rhubarb production from the 1800s until the second world war. Every January at rhubarb picking time a special train would depart Bramley station at 8:30pm every night bound for market towns all over the country ready for the next day.

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