OF all the people who have had an impact on Guiseley, Frank and Albert Parkinson are among the most important.

The two brothers were major employers and philanthropists in the town and have left a lasting legacy which is still enjoyed today.

Born in 1887 Frank was the son of a quarry owner on Moor Lane.

He became an electrical engineer and set up his own business, with his brother Albert joining the firm in 1913.

The brothers believed in looking after the welfare of their employees and provided a range of facilities for them.

In the 1930s they bought a number of fields to create a park for their staff - which is still a centrepiece of the community today.

The brothers ran F & A Parkinson and Company on the ethos of ‘practical idealism’ - combining high wages with low production costs. In 1927, they joined forces with lighting firm Crompton’s, and the company became Crompton Parkinson Ltd, The Friends of Parkinson’s Park website says: “In 1946 Frank Parkinson, like his father before, suddenly died of a heart attack – amongst his legacies was the magnificent front of Leeds University (the Parkinson Building) which cost £200,000; bursaries for Yorkshire students to study electrical engineering at the University; the Frank Parkinson Agricultural Trust; and one of the last great country houses built-in England, Charters, in Sunninghill, Berkshire.

“He had moved to Berkshire in the 1930s to be close to London and transport to the many company outlets across the Empire.

“He left £1.5 million pounds in his will: not bad going for a boy born in South View, Guiseley, 59 years before. A very large proportion of this went to forming the Frank Parkinson Yorkshire Trust, which was to be used to help the poor, sick and elderly of Guiseley, and educate and support young people in electrical engineering.

“In addition, his will gave £1,000 a year to be used for the benefit of the Crompton Parkinson staff.

“In 1949 the Crompton sports and social club launched their first summer Children’s Gala in the park, which became an annual and much enjoyed event. This was followed in 1951 by the first September Flower and Produce Show, and, at some point, the October bonfire started, complete with firework display, and vans selling parkin and hotdogs.”

“But, in 1968 Cromptons was taken over by Hawker Siddeley Aerospace, and many trace the company’s demise from that date.

“Albert Parkinson died in 1971, and the family friendliness of the firm slowly dwindled. The following decades saw uncertainty grow with various buyouts and takeovers, until a final sale was made in 1999 to Cooper Industries.”

The factories were closed in the early 2000s and the site was demolished.

The park began to return to the wild, becoming overgrown and filled with rubbish.

It was rescued and brought back into public use after a group of local people came together to form the Friends of Parkinson’s Park.

A photograph from the 1960s appears on the friends’ website and shows a group of girls enjoying the park.

Other pictures, from Aireborough Historical Society, show an old folk’s party hosted by Albert Parkinson and his wife, Frank Parkinson Homes behind the town cross, and the Crompton Parkinson Concert in 1938.