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Former mill workers invited to memorial plaque unveiling
Former employees of two Aireborough mills are being invited to the unveiling of a tribute to a Victorian philanthropist.
A blue plaque will be unveiled next month in recognition of the importance of former mill owner Jonathan Peate in the history of Yeadon and Guiseley.
Aireborough Civic Society is asking former employees of Nunroyd Mills and Springhead Mill to contact them so they can be given invitations. Anyone with connections to the Peate family, or to the mill owner’s home Nunroyd House, is also asked to get in touch.
The idea for the plaque came from former employee Rex Learmonth, who researched the history of the Peate family for a friend – Guiseley estate agent Richard Driver, who was one of their descendants.
He took his idea to Guiseley councillor Graham Latty, who approached the civic society.
Coun Latty described Peate as “one of Aireborough’s great philanthropists”.
He added: “The plaque will be a permanent reminder to future generations of the debt we owe to people such as Jonathan Peate.”
Peate was born in 1837 in Yeadon into a family of handloom spinners, weavers and finishers. He went on to become a successful mill owner. He lived at Nunroyd House – in the middle of Nunroyd Park – for many years until his death in 1924.
A generous local benefactor, Jonathan funded the completion of Yeadon Town Hall. He donated Yeadon Park and Nethermoor Park in Guiseley for the use of the community in perpetuity.
Civic Society chairman Clive Woods said: “The cloth industry led to the growth of Yeadon and Guiseley, and is an important part of our heritage.
“Jonathan Peate was a key person in the development of the industry, and his spirit of generosity is a good example of social responsibility that is just as relevant today as it was 100 years ago.”
The society is also keen to trace old photographs, particularly pictures of Peate’s Nunroyd Mill, which was demolished in the 1980s and which is the site of West Park Retail Centre.
Contact Clive Woods via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (0113) 2503580 for further information.