The Constituency of Morley and Outwood has existed since 2010.
The Constituency consists of five council wards linking Leeds City Council and Wakefield District Council. The area had been represented by a Labour MP for eight decades before the Conservative candidate, now MP, Andrea Jenkyns beat Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls in 2015 by 422 votes. In 2017 Andrea Jenkyns MP increased her majority by 11.8%.
Morley has a mix of independent retailers, an indoor market, national brands and a wide array of restaurants, pubs and cafes. Its main street, Queen Street, is a thriving hub of activity with new and independent businesses regularly appearing.
Morley has been named the 'most patriotic town in the UK', mainly due to its annual St George's Day festival which is the largest of its kind in the North, and is great fun for the whole family.
Morley is part of the Rhubarb Triangle.
Morley was mentioned in the Doomsday Book in 1086. The town was famous for its textile industry, notably cloth, during the Industrial Revolution.
Morley's famous town hall, a grade 1 listed building, was built in the late 1800's, it retains many original features to this day. In 1961 a fire, started in the nearby Albert Mills that stored paper, destroyed the dome and clock tower. Restoration was completed on the 14th of December 1962.
Below is a view of Queen Street in 1965, the town hall and Lloyds Bank building are visible along with the building that Andrea Jenkyns MP's Morley office is located in.
Below is Morley today, many of the same buildings remain and are occupied by both large and small businesses:
Morley's coat of arms, designed in 1886, features symbols of its principle industries, textile manufacturing, coal mining, and quarrying:
Its motto: 'Industria Omnia Vincit' translates from Latin as 'Industry Conquers All'.
Notable People from Morley (Known as Morleians):
-British Prime Minister H.H. Asquith (Prime Minister from 1908-1916)
-Sir Titus Salt (Creator of Saltaire)
-Alice Scatcherd (19th Century pioneer for women's rights and philanthropist who donated Scatcherd Park to the town)
-Helen Fielding (Author of Bridget Jones' Diary)
-Ernie Wise (Comedian)
Originally a small pit village, it has grown through new housing developments to merge with neighbouring settlements such as Wrenthorpe and Stanley. Outwood is largely a residential area, however there are fantastic local businesses and pubs in Outwood offering services and recreation.
Outwood has some great schools too, including Outwood Grange Academy which is one of the largest secondary schools in the UK with over 2,100 students.
Outwood Park offers facilities to play football, bowling and there is a children's play area.
Outwood is part of the Rhubarb Triangle
Outwood was not quite recorded in the Doomsday book, it possibly gets its earliest literary mention in around 1400 in 'The Lyttle Gest of Robyn Hode'. This book, possibly the earliest mention in literature of one of England's greatest national myths 'Robin Hood', mentions the name 'Outwoods'.
Below are pictures taken of Leeds Road, in Outwood, from both today and the past:
Stanley is a large village in the Wakefield side of the Constituency, it lends its name to the Wakefield Council ward 'Stanley and Outwood East'.
The area is residential but also has a number of commercial premises and corner-shops. There are a number of pubs and fish and chip shops too.
Stanley is home to Stanley Marsh Nature Reserve and is within the Rhubarb triangle.
In 1889 two flint hand axes were found at Lee Moor, and in 1892 several knives were also found at Lake Lock. These were the earliest dated finds from the Wakefield area and came from the Palaeolithic period, making them over 10,000 years old.
Another name for Stanley in the middle ages was "The Town in the Great Wood", as it was surrounded by 2300 acres of oak trees and hollies.
Below is a picture of Stanley taken by Brian Robinson in 1969:
And here is what the same part of Stanley looks like today:
Drighlington, or 'Drig', is another residential town within Morley and Outwood. Situated in the Morley North council ward, Drig is built around Adwalton Moor and is surrounded by green spaces and the A650 to one side.
There are a number of commercial buildings such as pubs, takeaways, restaurants and small shops. Drighlington has a centrally located library which is run by local volunteers, and a number of sports teams; including football, rugby league and cricket.
There are regular Fairs and Events that are held on Drighlington Moor.
Drighlington can be found in the Doomsday Book, where it is described as 'Dreslintone'.
The Roman road from York to Chester ran through the village and its path is roughly that of the straight run from Birkenshaw to Drighlington traffic lights.
Drighlington's Moor was the site of a civil war battle, the Battle of Adwalton Moor, fought on 30 June 1643. The outcome was a royalist victory, and there are now four commemorative stones depicting the battle placed around the Moor.
Below is a photograph of St Paul's Church in Drighlinton, on June 28th 1919. The caption reads 'Welcome Home at Drighlington'
Here is St Paul's Today:
James Margetson, built and endowed the Drighlington Free Grammar School in the 1600's, this was replaced by the Drighlington Board School in 1875 and the site now has been turned into homes.
Gildersome is a village in the Morley North Ward. It is one of the highest parts of the Leeds district area, at 561 feet above sea level.
Gildersome boasts many services such as a library, fast food restaurants, laundrette, pubs and small shops. Despite its relatively small size, there are two primary schools in Gildersome.
Gildersome has an active sporting community, with both a football and cricket team.
The earliest known reference of Gildersome is from 1249, when the town was known as 'Gilhusum'.
Sir Winston Churchill once visited the village, stopping on the boundary between Leeds and Morley, where he greeted crowds near St Bernard's- now on Gelderd Road.
Below is a photograph of the Old Griffin Head, in Gildersome, from the early 1900s
The Old Griffin Head (or 'The Griffin') is still a pillar of the local community, here it is pictured today:
Churwell largely consists of Churwell Hill and branches from the main road that leads towards Elland Road Football Ground. Despite a large number of residential properties, Churwell still retains its semi-rural feel with nearby farms in the area.
The name Churwell means Old man's well, 'Chur' meaning 'Old man', and 'well' meaning...'well'.
The Tesco Express situated on Churwell Hill is built on the site of an old pub, The Golden Fleece, and it's sign is still there today despite the building being demolished in 2010.
In 1923, a runaway tram ran down Churwell Hill and ended in tragedy: six people were killed and 35 injured when the brakes failed and the tram crashed into a field wall. Below is a photograph of the accident:
Below is roughly the same spot today, the railway bridge can still be seen:
MORE TO COME!