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Pudsey is a market town in Leedsmarker, West Yorkshire, Englandmarker. Once an independent town, it was incorporated into the metropolitan borough of Leeds in 1974, and is located midway between Bradfordmarker and Leedsmarker city centres. It has a population of 32,391.

Pudsey constitutes the areas of Fartown, Troydale, Littlemoor, Lowtown, Uppermoor and Chapeltown. There is also the village of Fulneckmarker, the district of Stanningleymarker and part of the district of Tyersalmarker.

Pudsey has given its name to "Pudsey Bear", the mascot of the BBC's annual fundraising marathon Children in Need. It also lends its name to the local parliamentary constituency of Pudsey, of which it is a part.

History

The name Pudsey occurs in the 1086 Domesday Book as "Podechesaie" and "Podechesai", but in the early 6th century Pudsey and the neighbourhood appear to have been the centre of the considerable Kingdom of Elmet, which retained its independence for more than 200 years after other more petty kingdoms had been subdued by the Angles.

The town was famous in the 18th and 19th centuries for its wool manufacture, and, from the 19th century, for cricket. Yorkshire and England cricketers Sir Len Hutton, Herbert Sutcliffe, Ray Illingworth and Matthew Hoggard all learned to play in Pudsey. One of the 19th century Yorkshire cricketers John Tunnicliffe was born in Lowtown.

During the Industrial Revolution Pudsey was said to be one of the most polluted areas of the UK due to its position within a slight valley and between the two industrial cities of Leedsmarker and Bradfordmarker. As a result whichever way the wind blew Pudsey would become covered in thick soot. The temperature inversion created by being in a valley led to the soot becoming trapped leading to dense smogs in the area. This is believed to have led to jokes that Pigeons in Pudsey park flew backwards in order to keep the soot out of their eyes.

Governance

Pudsey Town Hall
Formerly within the wapentake of Morleymarker and Calverleymarker Parish, Pudsey became a Municipal Borough in 1889. For many years, despite being joined to the Leeds conurbation, it avoided being made part of Leeds County Borough. In 1937 the Farsleymarker and Calverleymarker urban districts were added to Pudsey. In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, it became part of the metropolitan borough of the City of Leedsmarker.

Pudsey forms part of the Pudsey parliamentary constituency, along with Farsleymarker, Calverleymarker, Horsforthmarker and Guiseleymarker. The MP is Paul Truswell.

Present

The World's End public house
There are several recreational parks in Pudsey, the largest is Pudsey Park; features include Pets Corner, aquarium, bird houses, tropical greenhouse, a "Pudsey Bear" (made of vegetation) and a large play area for children. There is also Queens Park where the Pudsey carnival is held once a year.

Pudsey's market operates on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday and has recently been refurbished. Pudsey has also seen the introduction of a monthly farmers' market with a range of stalls selling meat, fish, dairy produce, organic fruit and vegetables, delicatessen and craft-ware.

Central Pudsey street map.
Pudsey town centre has many amenities and a shopping centre which includes high street stores such as Boots , etc. In keeping with many affluent areas it has its fair share of banks and estate agents. Following the closure of Kwik Save supermarkets across the country, Pudsey's store has been bought by Sainsbury'smarker. Until the administration of the group, Pudsey had a Woolworths situated on Church Lane. It is now a B&M Home Bargains store.

There are three high schools situated in the Pudsey boundary: Crawshaw, Priesthorpe and Pudsey Grangefield, which is currently undergoing an extensive redevelopment programme which sees a whole new state-of-the-art school building constructed adjacent to the current site. The front grammar school building, opened in 1911 and a prominent landmark of Pudsey, will be converted into flats and not demolished, unlike the rest of the school, due to its listed building status.

Pudsey's historic town hall is benefiting from a new, energy-efficient lighting project to highlight its most interesting features. The multi-coloured lights can be changed to offer 255 different scenes.

Pudsey is also now home to an established Indian Sikh and minority Hindu and Muslim community.

Public transport

New Pudsey Station
Pudsey Park - opened in October 1889
There is a small railway station known as New Pudseymarker. It is on the Caldervale Line between Leeds and Bradford Interchangemarker and was built to replace Pudsey's two original stations — Pudsey Lowtown and Pudsey Greenside — which were both destroyed in 1964 by the Beeching Axe along with the GNR Pudsey Loop serving them. However, New Pudsey's situation over a mile away from the town centre makes it somewhat impractical for commuters especially as there is no bus that links the station with the town centre, although the #16 frequent bus service between Pudsey and nearby Farsley passes within 500 yards of the station. However, the location of the station near to the junction of the main Leeds to Bradford road with the Ring Road provides easy access for those travelling to the station by car. There is a large car park adjacent to the station.

Pudsey is now served by a number of First and Arriva bus services that run through to Leeds city centremarker and other areas of the city, Bradford and other surrounding towns. The 4 FTR service runs regularly to the Leeds city centre from Waterloo via the town centre and Swinnowmarker. There are also bus services that run between Leeds, Bradford and Halifaxmarker along Stanningleymarker Road, which is 10 minutes walk from Pudsey town centre.

Plans for a £2 million covered bus station in Pudsey, to replace the current array of individual bus stands, have been given the go ahead.

The Leeds-Pudsey tram route via Armleymarker and Bramleymarker was opened in the early 20th century; it was closed in 1938 and most of the infrastructure was removed, although roadworks on the central reservation of Stanningley Road uncovered some of the tracks in October 2005. Like the rest of West Leeds, Pudsey was never included in the original planning for the Leeds Supertram, subsequent plans such as that for trolley buses, a revised tram scheme or tram-trains have also failed to include West Leeds.

Starting Easter weekend, the Pudsey Business Forum will be launching the Pudsey Shop Local campaign. The campaign is to encourage local residents to shop more in Pudsey Centre.

Sport

Speedway racing was staged at a track which was located at the base of the famous Post Hill hillclimb course. Eight meetings were staged in the pioneer days of 1928. A couple of the meetings were operated in conjunction with a road race type event at Post Hill.

Pudsey has one of the region's most popular and well-known running clubs, Pudsey Pacers. The club meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 pm at the town's Leisure Centre. The club organises the annual Pudsey 10k Challenge, widely regarded as one of the most challenging 10k races; it attracts around 450 runners.

The nearest professional football team, is located in the nearby town of Farsleymarker and known as Farsley Celtic, who currently play in the Conference North.

There are two cricket clubs in Pudsey: Pudsey Congs and Pudsey St Lawrence.

Cultural references

In The Meaning of Liff a Pudsey is defined as "The curious-shaped flat wads of dough left on a kitchen table after someone has been cutting scones out of it."

Toward the beginning of the Monty Python episode "You're No Fun Anymore", the two characters, Mr and Mrs Samuel Brainsample can be seen walking along the platform of New Pudsey Station.

References

  1. Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Urban Areas : Table KS01 : Usual Resident Population Retrieved 2009-08-26
  2. UK Polling Report: Pudsey
  3. They work for you: Paul Truswell
  4. Pudsey Market
  5. Yorkshire Evening Post, Pudsey Market refurbishment
  6. BBC Leeds, Pudsey Farmers Market
  7. PGS History by Les Barnes
  8. Yorkshire Evening Post, Town Hall lights
  9. Pudsey was originally served by a short branch line running from Stanningley to Pudsey Greenside opened on 1 April 1878 by the Great Northern Railway. Fifteen years later the line was extended through a tunnel to Laisterdyke, the original curve from Stanningley closed, and another (90°) curve to Bramley opened forming the 'Pudsey Loop. The town had two stations on this Bramley-Laisterdyke-Bradford loop — Pudsey Lowtown and Pudsey Greenside — conveniently located at either end of the town centre, and both closed on 15 June 1964 as a result of the Beeching Axe.[1]
  10. WYMetro Pudsey bus station
  11. Pudsey Pacers
  12. Pudsey leisure centre
  13. BBC Leeds, sport in Pudsey
  14. Runners world
  15. The Meaning of Liff, by Douglas Adams & John Lloyd, Pan Books Ltd, 1983, ISBN 0 330 28121 6.


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