Leafield Mills 1884 – 1984

Leafield Mills 1951

Title Leafield Mills – James Ives & Co.
Date 1951
Location Yeadon
Photo ID B064
Comment Leafield Mills was built by William Starkey, he wanted to power the mill using a perpetual motion device based on the Biblical story told in the book of Ezekiel, “A wheel within a wheel”. He gave a lecture in Yeadon Wesleyan Chapel in July 1868, his ideas were dismissed by engineers but he persisted. He built a 4 storey block with no floors but platforms, this was to access an enormous wheel which would have hollow “S” shaped spokes filled with iron balls which supposedly move when the wheel turned and the whole apparatus would continue to move perpetually and provide motive power. He died in 1879 having failed to find a manufacturer to make the giant wheel. The mill was finished in 1884 and taken by James Ives. Mr Starkey’s original 4 storey building is the portion of the mill facing onto Kirk Lane. Leafield House is a little South of the mill with the mill cricket pitch in the foreground. Whack House Lane just under the top edge then makes a turn south before going off at the right edge. The mill was demolished in 1984, a housing estate is on the site.
Leafield Mills Undated

E360 – Leafield Mills, Undated.

Leafield Mills – Undated

James Ives & Co., Leafield Mills, this is looking from New Road Side, the site is now a housing estate (June 2014).

Leafield Mills Undated

C958 – Leafield Mills, Undated.

Leafield Mills – Undated

Staff of James Ives & Co., Leafield Mills seen outside the mill, 4th from left on the back row is Gerald Long.

Donated by Gerald Long.

Leafield Mills 1950s

M139 – Leafield Mills, 1950s.

Leafield Mills – 1950s

Testing laboratory in Leafield Mills.
A woman is seated at a desk with a typewriter, amongst the scientific instruments there is a washing machine to the left of the desk and an ironing board to the right.

Leafield Mills 1970s

X361 – Leafield Mills, 1970s.

Leafield Mills – 1970s

Ladies who were working an evening shift at the mill, they included Jean Oxley (late mother of Derek Oxley who donated this photo) and Pat Waters.

Leafield Mills 1980

A252 – Leafield Mills, 1980.

Leafield Mills – 1980

View of Leafield Mills Dam, the mill was on Kirk Lane, the mill dam or pond was between Kirk Lane and Whack House Lane.

Unless they were sited next to a river or a fast flowing stream all the mills would have a dam, a reservoir of water was necessary to maintain steam power.

Leafield Mills 1983

E494 – Leafield Mills, 1983.

Leafield Mills – 1983

Leafield Mills when demolition had begun.

Leafield Mills 1983

W344 – Leafield Mills, 1983.

Leafield Mills – 1983

As above.

Previous Comments:

Re E494
whitechickengeorge1
I’ve been through this entrance a few times on my push bike at 15 in 1958.
I loved the big steam engine next to the weaving shed Herbert Lickler worked there at the time a few years older than me. He showed me the ropes as I was a trainee Loom tuner Dobby Dobson was shed foreman I knew him as he was in Yeadon prize band with my dad Ernest Carter in the 50s/60s.
25 June 2013.

Consolidated by Jack Brayshaw. 26 November 2021.
Last updated: 26 November 2021.

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