Town Field Lane was a narrow uneven cart road starting a little above today’s Elland Library. The remnants of the old wall can be seen at the builder’s yard at the corner of Victoria Road and Burley Street.
Town Field Lane’s only outlet into Southgate was down what was known as “Kin Loin” i.e. Kiln Lane, which struck off from the bottom of Town Field Lane at a sharp angle and joined Southgate via Crown Yard (stand on the zebra crossing and the old road would cut diagonally through the Library until you are opposite The Wellington).
Victoria Road was constructed in 1866 but there was a ‘problem’ that we can still see today. One townsman, who occupied a house and shop near the bottom of the proposed road, objected to the thoroughfare being made so close to his dwelling. A closet connected to his house stood directly in the way of the proposed road. This townsman stood fast so the road had to be taken around the closet hence the awkward way that the pavement juts into the road that we still see today.
‘How did Little London, the eminence at the junction of the old Elland and Greetland boundary near the end of Long Wall, get its name? This is a question often asked by strangers to the district and especially by some who are being carried to Elland by bus. Over a hundred years ago times were bad and many local people were out of work. A grant of money came from London and as a result employment was found on this property for a number of men. Afterwards, the name given to the place was Little London. For a long time the property has been governed by the Township Lands’ Trustees, and within the last half century some seats have been placed there. From this eminence there is a delightful panoramic view of the countryside. Long ago vehicles went over the top of the rugged rocks on the southerly side but since then the rocks have been largely dug out and the roadway disappeared.
Nearly 54 years ago the Township Lands’ Trustees decided to name the place Nab End Park and at the time made appeals for contributions towards carrying out developments. Not much improvement has been made since that time and few local inhabitants are aware, even at this time, of the name Nab End Park.’
On former occasions, when the weather has been fine, it has been the subject of remark that a much better idea of the state of the roads could be obtained after they had been well soaked with rain. These conditions were not wanting on this occasion. It had been arranged that a start should be made from the Local Board’s Offices at 10 o’clock, but when the time arrived, rain was falling fast, and there was a strong wind which was anything but pleasant to the face. There being no sign of a change for the better, a consultation of the members took place, with the result that orders were given that a canvass cover should be put round the large waggonette which had been hired of Mr Horne, a local cab proprietor. When this had been done the party started on their peregrinations, not however, before some misguided person had said they were hiding their lights under a bushel, and made other remarks calculated to disturb the peace of mind of those to whom they were addressed. The vehicle went up James Street and South Lane, in the direction of the Woodman Pipe Works. A short stay was made here, and the members of the Board had time to consider several matters which have from time to time been brought up before their notice. Near Mr Dyson’s chemical works the road is very steep, and in wet weather is often almost impassable. In addition to repairing the road, it has been suggested that the kerb should be continued further up the hill. This is no doubt a desirable improvement, and probably before another year comes round the work will have been done. The party returned a portion of the way they had come, and then went up the Ainley’s. Owing to the canvass covering in which the vehicle was enclosed, it was anything but easy to get a full view of the roads, and the members of the Board had to keep their necks at a constant stretch. This did not add to their comfort, but they nevertheless did not shrink from doing it. A few minutes were spent at Blackley. The inhabitants of this locality have recently had a grievance removed by the Local Board. The district has now got a good supply of water, and the wants of the people will no doubt be supplied for some time to come. At the top of the hill near the Baptist chapel, a reserve which will hold 20,000 gallons has been constructed. The water runs into it during the night, when the pressure on the mains at Elland is strongest, so that during the day there is a quantity more than sufficient to meet the present needs of the district. The people who live in this locality were in great straits for water last summer, but they have nothing to complain of now on that score. After an inspection of the reserve had been made, the vehicle was re-started, and a move was made in the direction of Hullen Edge. The wind had in the meantime risen very high, and the canvass that enclosed the vehicle flapped about in such a way to make the members view themselves instead of the road over which they were passing. Nobody would have been surprised if the waggonette had turned over, the wind was so strong, but fortunately there was plenty of ballast, and the threatened danger was averted. On reaching the bend in the road in Blackley Lane a halt was made to enable the members to have a look at the proposed site of the new reservoir which the Board contemplate making to supply the increasing wants of the upper part of the town. Negotiations have been entered into for the purchase of an acre of land for this purpose, in a field near the road, and probably before long some definite result will have arrived. It has been resolved that Blackley Lane shall be widened a distance of 80 yards, and made 30 feet wide. The land required for this purpose has been given to the Board, so that no cost on that account will have to be incurred. On leaving here the party drove through Holywell Brook, went through the higher portion of West Vale, and came out by the end of Long Wall. At this point it was remarked that the road leading from the top of Westgate to West Vale might with advantage be widened, where it joins the road from Bank Bottom. It was thought there would be very little difficulty in obtaining the land which would be needed. It was generally admitted that the improvement was a desirable one, and as the suggestion had been made, it will no doubt bear fruit. On arriving at Elland, an adjournment was made to the Savile Arms’ Hotel, where a good lunch had been provided by the host, Mr Senior. In the afternoon an inspection was made of the other roads in the district. The one leading to Upper Edge was gone over first, and afterwards the one which connects the district to Lower Edge. The party returned to Elland by way of Elland Lane, and then went down as far as Waterloo, to the boundary of the Southowram Local Board. Subsequently, the road on Elland Wood Bottom was traversed, as was also the one over Exley. Victoria Road was next taken, and the party drove back to Elland, and entered the town at the top of Westgate. A few yards below Jepson Lane, Mr Thornton showed his colleagues that a very desirable improvement could be made at this point by widening the road, and also by paving a portion of it which has not yet been paved. He informed the members that the land could easily be obtained, and they seemed to be of the same mind as to the desirability of the improvement being carried out. On the whole, it must be said that the roads were in a very good condition, and much credit is due to the Board for the attention they have bestowed upon them during the year.In the evening, tea was provided at the Savile Arms’ Hotel.