A selection of writing on the regeneration of the area that gave birth to the industrial revolution in Leeds.
August 21, 2019
Communities can achieve things when they use their voice, but giving them a voice isn’t easy, and making them use it is even harder. Negativity can sometimes be used as a crutch to lean on, and stirring people who are finding it harder to be optimistic can take enormous strength and perseverance, and is perhaps not the arena for the easily offended.
July 26, 2019
When we try to recall what the great industrialists of the 19th century did and how they operated, we rely mainly on historical records, some of which are vague, or partial, or indecipherable. Certainly there is no living memory to help us, and there is very little physical evidence too.
July 05, 2019
Exporting goods made in Holbeck to the rest of the world is nothing new. But it’s been a long time since these disregarded streets rumbled to the sound of revolution. There were strategic reasons why John Marshall chose this patch of undeveloped agricultural land on which to spark industrial reform on a worldwide scale in the late 18th century, and likewise the embryonic Northern Monk showed similar forethought in planting their roots in an area that would perfectly reflect an identity drenched in austere perseverance, northern-ness and toil.
June 25, 2019
John Marshall was a different kind of mill owner. Not just in his ground-breaking implementation of productivity, engineering and raw material procurement practices, or his adoption of visionary design, construction and architectural techniques, but in his treatment of people.
June 12, 2019
Regeneration is about making lasting changes, and not just in a physical sense. Reversing a decline is as much about building people as it is building office blocks, public realm and mixed-use developments. The prime objective of a regeneration scheme should be to stimulate social and economic change, and that means addressing unemployment, poor housing, poor health, crime rates, a lack of facilities and creating a sense of community.
May 29, 2019
Developing society dictates that work life and family life are very different today than for past generations, and the opportunities available to many of us are far more diverse and aspirational than might once have been the case. You can set up a business that has a global reach and run it from your spare bedroom, or you can just travel the world with your work if you want to. But then those opportunities aren’t open to everyone, and a more traditional approach to careers and learning a trade is perfectly valid and still works for some people.
May 14, 2019
The Japanese art of Kintsugi is the restoration of broken pottery with the use of lacquer dust or with powdered gold, silver or platinum. It creates a new piece of art that, scars and all, is considered more valuable than the original piece. In relating this to our everyday lives, it demonstrates that we should be proud of our scars because it is those that make us what we are. Also, we should never discard something and dismiss it as worthless, because everything can be repaired, and sometimes the breaks make the end result more precious.
May 10, 2019
We might count ourselves fortunate when we consider that human life has existed on the planet for millions of years and yet we are the generation that witnessed the birth of the internet, and teabags, and we even saw Leeds United win a trophy. What is also remarkable is that in all that time, the Industrial Revolution is still considered one of the world’s most seismic evolutionary steps forward and it happened in Britain, and furthermore, we can still see evidence of it in Leeds today.
May 03, 2019
Arup is a global consultancy that addresses every aspect of the built environment, from initial planning and advisory services, through building design, structural engineering and a full range of specialist technical disciplines.
April 25, 2019
A new revolution in Leeds is happening; a new wave of development bringing opportunities, growth and a revived momentum to the South Bank area of Leeds. Enabling work for CEG’s Globe Point and Globe Square developments has already started, with archaeological digs currently taking place on the site, which was the location of John Marshall’s first two flax mills that kick-started the industrial revolution in Leeds.
April 16, 2019
Before delving more deeply into the history of John Marshall, his life, family, business and influence, and the fascinating story of Temple Works, it feels right to document a brief history of Holbeck itself and rightly acknowledge many other people who have helped shape the area.
April 03, 2019
Holbeck was built on innovation; people having ideas and a hunger to put them into practice. In the 1800s those ideas forged communities and gave people purpose, abilities and belonging. Alas the industrial revolution came and went, and so did the catalyst for change. But if you can sense something happening in 21st century Holbeck, it is because like-minded people are having ideas and feeling a hunger again.
March 29, 2019
John Marshall built his first flax mill in 1791 on an open patch of undeveloped land in Holbeck to the south of the Leeds Liverpool Canal and to the north of the Hol Beck. He paid William Naylor £600 for an acre-sized freehold plot on what was already known as Water Lane a year earlier in 1790. He wanted to relocate his flax spinning business there due to the commercial benefits offered by transportation via the newly completed canal and the power source provided by the Beck. Also, the local population of the nearby village of Holbeck provided a plentiful supply of willing and available workers.
March 22, 2019
Holbeck was the birthplace of the industrial revolution in Leeds, but it has a fascinating history in many other ways too.
March 12, 2019
Development company CEG group acquired the fascinating heritage asset Temple Works in January 2018. Since this time it has met a series of significant challenges in the process of fully understanding the building’s past development, present condition and potential for the future.
March 06, 2019
Holbeck is the spiritual heart of the industrial revolution in Leeds, but how and why did Holbeck become lost? Looking south, beyond the hive of activity within the cobbled streets of the regenerated Round Foundry and the urbane lilt of the digital curiosities within it, is a confused panorama, ingloriously cast adrift by a ceaseless quest for progress which commenced on its doorstep.
February 27, 2019
Temple Works has often been referred to as the ‘jewel in the crown of Leeds heritage’. It is a building of huge significance, arguably on a global scale. By the time the main mill building was constructed in 1840, John Marshall was retired from the business and died five years later. His empire had been exporting yarn across the world for over 40 years, and the construction of Temple Works, or Temple Mill as it was initially called, represented the zenith of the Marshall’s business.
February 20, 2019
Laundry flaps in the breeze between the inflexible arrangement of back-to-backs; trousers, sheets and school clothes are infused with the toxic fumes of daily urban grind. Takeaways and multi-cultural mini-markets stand in the shadow of the lurching menace of concrete subways, while empty playgrounds ache and closed-down pubs morph into something to help us forget, or they give up the ghost altogether.
February 13, 2019
Space is everything. You can do a lot with it. We used to have lots of it in Leeds, but now we don’t, so have we used it wisely? Well…. we’ve created modern day Leeds; a pulsating metropolis of opportunity, built on a history of struggle, invention and hard work. But the struggle is still there.