A SERIES of striking photographs show a family who played an important role in the history of Guiseley.

The Claughton family employed hundreds of workers in their Nethermoor boot factory and they built a road in the town. They are also believed to have been the first people in Guiseley to have a privately owned motor car.

Hugh Claughton was born in 1839, the son of John Claughton of Horsforth. He made his home at Nethermoor and was a JP, as well as a member of West Riding County Council for the Otley Division. He was the owner of the Nethermoor boot and shoe factory where he employed nearly 400 people.

Hugh can be seen in the portrait photograph and with his family in the top undated picture on the right hand page. Family members appear in other images from the archives of Aireborough Historical Society.

His eldest son Tom is pictured seated with a friend and, in 1904, with his family in a vehicle - believed to be the first private car owned in Guiseley. Tom and his wife Alice had 11 children, and they can be seen with six of them in a family portrait taken in the mid 1890s.

In 1912 the boot factory was hit by industrial action due to a pay dispute. Striking workers were pictured outside the Red Lion Inn, with placards reading “Boot & Shoe Operatives Keep Away Guiseley During The Dispute” and

“Strike. Locked Out”.

The AHS website says: “A board of arbitration had ruled that a minimum wage of £1.50 should be paid for 52 1/2 hours work, Claughton’s were allegedly only paying £1.17 for 55 hours work.

“The riveters and finishers refused to return to work on Tuesday 12th November, the following day Claughton’s closed the factory until further notice, 250 people were out of work, the dispute continued until after Christmas.”

Hugh Claughton’s boot factory was built in the late 1870s/early 1880s on a two acre site. After his death the works were bought by Naylor Jennings of Green Lane Dyeworks, and later became the Silver Cross pram factory. After more than 60 years on the site Silver Cross relocated in 2002. The building was demolished and the land was used for housing.

In 2001 campaigners won a fight to preserve an historic link to Guiseley’s past.

Residents had been hoping to retain the names Marsden and Claughton in the new housing development on part of the Silver Cross and former Claughton’s Boot Factory site off Back Lane.

Rev Samuel Marsden was chaplain to the penal colony in New South Wales between 1784 to 1838 and instigated the wool trade between England and Australia.

The site, where 69 homes were being built by Bryant Homes, used to include a road called Marsden Terrace, which had been demolished.The road was named after Rev Marsden and was built by brothers Hugh and Arthur Claughton in the 1800s to commemorate his involvement in Guiseley. Bryant agreed to name the apartment blocks on the site ‘Marsden House’ and ‘Claughton House’ after requests from campaigners including Andrew Claughton, a descendent of the family.