AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF ALWOODLEY
The Buckstone Estate
Yet the pace of change did not stop as more and more families settled in Alwoodley, encouraged by the improving transport system. Buckstone Farm had been started by the Todd family but by the forties had passed into the hands of the Mitchells who were famed for keeping magnificent pigs that were extremely vicious.128 With the advent of cheap imports from the Commonwealth it became increasingly difficult for local farmers to make a decent living. The Lane Fox family, tempted by the high value of the land for housing, were not reluctant to sell and part of the farm, including the farmhouse itself, was purchased by F.Reddyhoff and Son, a firm of builders, based at 23 Buslingthorpe Lane.
The workmen used the old farmhouse as their base and one resident remembers that they retreated there at the slightest sign of rain!129
It is interesting to note that not one of the long-term residents interviewed, who had purchased a brand new house, had anything nice to say about the builders, accusing the firm of sharp practice! In the early fifties they advertised houses for sale on the Buck Stone Brow Estate ‘…on the edge of green belt …with all the healthy advantages of a semi-rural position combined with all the amenities of urban life – main drain sanitation, roads, schools, shops, garages etc…’ 130
Doreen Dickinson still has detailed records of their house purchase. She paid £2350 for a standard basic semi detached property but extras included around £30 for fireplaces, £5 for pelmets, £40 for a more luxurious staircase and £50 for a garage. The solicitors fees were about £80 and her husband allowed £15 to pay the removal firm.131
A special feature of these houses was the eleven inch cavity in the party wall between the two houses which was done for sound insulation so that ‘…you can enjoy your Radio or Television without annoying your neighbours.’ 132
The rateable value was £30! Public transport was essential as few owned their own cars. The advertising leaflet stressed that Leeds Corporation Bus Services Nos. 34 and 35 departed from the Central Bus Station at thirty-minute intervals with additional buses put on at the morning and evening rush hours. The journey only took eighteen minutes!
This aerial shot shows the area of land to the left of King Lane prior to the building of the Buck Stone Estate. Buck Stone Farm (A) and Verity's shaft (B) are clearly visible as are the paths (C) onto Adel Moor which still exist today.
128. Oral testimony of June Scott.
129. Oral testimony of Doreen Dickinson.
130. Sales Details of the Buck Stone Brow Estate, private collection.
131. Oral testimony of Doreen Dickinson.
132. Sales Details of the Buck Stone Brow Estate, private collection.