New bench honours Pudsey family and alderman who did so much for town

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Different generations at the unveiling of the Myers family bench. Photo: Damon Sugden

By Damon Sugden

Reunited by their long heritage which hails from the Pudsey area, generations of the Myers family gathered in Sparrow Park for the unveiling of a family bench.

Maggie Myers, wife of the late John Myers, from Australia, attended with her son and family (who travelled especially from Canada), along with more of the family from around Britain. Many others who could not attend sent their best wishes.

Maggie, who first initiated the bench project, said: “Welcome to Sparrow Park to everyone who could attend today. I know John would have loved to have been here, and I know is with us here in spirit.”

The Pudsey branch of the Myers family are spread worldwide, including in Australia and Canada.

Maggie added: “David Myers still lives in Pudsey with his wife Carol. He has been so incredibly helpful throughout the entire process. David has been my man on the ground, with his research into local connections and has been instrumental in getting today’s event up and running. To everyone here I say thank you and welcome. 

“My late husband John and his brother Peter spent many years researching their family genealogy family, and that research has been passed to Pudsey & District Civic Society.”

The first Myers in Pudsey were probably Danes in the 12th century. Their ancestry can be traced to St Wilfreds in Calverley in the mid-500s, and were first recorded from 1597. The early Myers were hand loom weavers that became woollen mill workers, and have left tangible landmarks in Pudsey today:

Simeon Myers Snr was a member of Pudsey’s Urban District Council and contributed much to the town. Including the granting of the Borough Charter by Queen Victoria, the creation of the Mechanics Institute building and many other of the late Victorian public works.

His son, Simeon Myers Jnr served as a Ward Councillor in the old Borough for Fulneck from 1914-1938, twice being made Mayor during that time. He was instrumental in the opening of Pudsey’s first Library in 1927, the St Lawrence House childcare centre opened by the Duke and Duchess of York in 1928,  the Public Baths, and was also a member of the Valley Road Methodists. He had a woollen business in Bradford from 1923, and many of the Pudsey Myers worked there, and also became wool buyers in Australia.

Maggie added: “The Myers family have such strong roots in Pudsey, that its an honour to install a bench in their memory. I hope the residents of Pudsey enjoy taking a rest on the bench in the delightful Sparrow Park.”

Councillor Trish Smith spoke at the unveiling. She said: “As an elected public official, I know not just how demanding the role of councillor can be, but also what a tremendous honour it is to represent the community of Pudsey. It is to the memory of one of our greatest public servants in Simeon Myers, who worked so hard for this community – not just in the Borough council – and in the many sports, industries and clubs that he supported and promoted throughout his very long public service.

“And it’s to the welfare of the people that we acknowledge our thanks and remember the councillor who after many years of public service became Mayor of the Borough not once…but twice. So it is my greatest pleasure to unveil this bench in the memory of Alderman Simeon Myers, so that we do not forget the past and always strive for a brighter future.”

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