It was a nostalgic trip down memory lane for one special visitor to a historic former mill site in Farnley which is undergoing sensitive redevelopment.
Barbara Farrar and her daughter Kate were given a VIP tour of the former Stonebridge Mills site on Stonebridge Lane, which was once owned by Barbara’s great grandfather Andrew Mellish and then by her grandfather Alec Mellish, during the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Stonebridge Mills has lain dormant and derelict for some time and is being redeveloped to provide high quality homes in a natural heritage mill village setting – called Stonebridge Beck – for a new community of residents.
The tour of the site evoked fond memories for Barbara, who visited regularly as a young girl, spending time with her Auntie Bunny and family who lived in one of the worker’s cottages.
She remembers walking from her home in Armley across rhubarb fields, which were a feature of the area in the period shortly after the Second World War, and in the winter months skating on the frozen mill dam. Barbara said:
“I used to love my visits to Stonebridge Mills and returning after all these years has brought magical memories flooding back. It only feels like yesterday. I knew exactly where the cottage I used to visit was located and I also recall that one of the buildings on the same row was used as the clocking in and out office for the workers, all in their immaculate uniforms, proud of the place they worked.”
Barbara continued: “I am delighted this special place is being brought back to life and will soon be home to a brand new community. I can’t wait to return when all the work has been completed.”
Barbara was welcomed to Stonebridge Mills by Georgina Maud, of the developers Rushbond PLC who said:
“It was an absolute pleasure to meet Barbara. She was kind enough to share some lovely stories and clearly had a very happy childhood here. She also brought with her a family history which had been produced by another of her daughters and included some wonderful pictures.”
On completion the overall scheme will comprise of 112, two, three and four bedroom restoration and new-build properties embedded in the nature. The historic chimney and water tower are being retained, along with other original features. The mill pond will also be brought back to life, providing a further link to the site’s industrial past.
The sales and marketing centre on Stonebridge Lane is open Thursday to Monday, 10am to 5pm, or to talk to the Homes Advisor please call 07837 116 469. More information is also available here.