Stepping into Armley’s history: Samuel Ledgard – entrepreneur and licensee

The paving stone is on Armley Town Street. Photo: Susan Johnson

By Susan Johnson

A Leeds entrepreneur and licensee of the Nelson Hotel, Armley, Samuel Ledgard was a man of surprising entrepreneurial skills. 

From brewing, cattle dealing, farming, quarrying, haulage contractor and caterer – the list is endless.

To local people he will best be remembered for the Ledgard fleet of buses running throughout Leeds, Bradford, Ilkley, Otley and Calverley.

Starting with horse drawn in 1906, changing to steam, and then Karrier petrol engines in 1912. At weekends when there was little haulage, he operated charabanc services to carry passengers to the coast.

He took over Bridge Garage to service vehicles and moved into operating a local bus service in 1924. The bus company was bought out by West Yorkshire Road Car Company in 1967.

An active enthusiasts’ society with a quarterly magazine named The Ledgard Chat is still going strong today.

A blue plaque in memory of this great man survives outside the Nelson Hotel.
In 1979 a road in Armley was named Ledgard Way, what a fitting tribute to a great man.

Samuel Ledgard, 1874-1952.

For more of Susan Johnson looking at the history beneath your feet on Armley Town Streetfollow this link.


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