Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

Previous section
Growing up in Leeds in the 1930s and 1940s

Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s

Housing in Leeds

In the 1960s many people in Leeds lived in 'back-to-back' houses - houses that were literally built with a shared back wall. They did not have any outdoor space and were very cramped inside. There was no hot water, and toilets were outside, and shared between multiple households! The archive film below includes footage from streets of back-to-backs, and shows how a group of architects sought to improve living conditions by building 'streets in the sky'.


Martin’s story:

Martin McGuire recalls his early memories of the Quarry Hill flats complex in Leeds during the 1950s and 1960s. He remembers each different section of the flats and recalls growing up and playing with his family and friends. Watch from 0.36 onwards. The images are useful for what children wore, what toys they had and how they played together, with some of the family stories retold by Martin.  Watch Martin's story here.


Girl guiding in Leeds:

The film explores the starting of the scouts and girl guiding movements and has memories shared by both past (1950s/1960s/1970s) and present Girl Guides Senior Section members. The Leeds Sea Rangers who sailed on Roundhay Park Lake, despite being over 70 miles inland! This film was created for an exhibition at Abbey House Museum in 2016, in collaboration with Girl Guiding Leeds.