Hunslet Road. Brothers Thomas Fletcher and James Henry Braime founded the company in Leek Street in 1888 to make oil cans and small metal pressings. In 1909 they made the first seamless steel bucket. The growing motor industry increased demand for pressings and so they took over the Brookfield foundry on Hunslet Road in 1911 and named it “The Pressed Steel Works”. The booming railway industry was also a market: their renowned oil cans were sold to railway companies worldwide. America still uses its elevator buckets on its grain farms and in its silos. It employed 900 workers in the First World War, of which 500 were women. The canteen, built to provide meals for night shift workers, was opened by Princess Mary in 1917. It was renowned for its dance floor in the 1920s and 30s. The washrooms had tiled and marble floors, leaded windows and polished wood doors. Braime's have always had a concern for their employees, devising a pioneering profit-sharing scheme in the 1950s. The company is still a big exporter. It has said that it wishes to re-locate at some stage to more cost effective premises. It employs around 150 people.
 
Hunslet remembered
Hunslet Road. Printers. Alf Cooke (1842-1902) was born near Dewsbury Road, the son of a printer. His opened his first business in 1866 on Hunslet Road, selling stationery, newspapers and doing some lettepress printing. In 1870 he expanded, buying premises on the east side of Hunslet Road near Crown Point Bridge, and making cheap prints of art works.

After a fire in 1880 he moved into a new factory in 1881 on the west side, but it burned down in 1894. He had it re-built by architect Thomas Ambler who also designed St.Paul's House on Park Square and many buildings on Boar Lane.  The "New Crown Point Printing Works" were claimed to be the "largest, cleanest, healthiest and most completely fitted printing works in the world”, with 300 chromo-litho and other machines and employing 600 people. In 1895 it won the Royal Warrant of Appointment as "Her Majesty's Colour Printer".
An advertisement from 1902-3
                    
Pepper Road. Made all kinds of copper work for brewers, distillers, confectioners, dyers etc. They took over the premises previously occupied by Mann's Patent Steam Wagon Co. Now H.Pontifex & Sons, steel fabricators.
See Pepper Lane area map.
                            
Joseph Street. Charles Lightowler worked with Alf Cooke but left in 1891 to establish his own food packaging and tin printing business, in premises near Salem Chapel. He later moved into an old flax mill in Joseph Street. The business was continued by his brother William. They printed tinned food, sweets and tobacco containers through much of the twentieth century. In 1926 and 1928 Charles sons, Charles and John joined the business. In the Second World War they employed 120-160 people on war office work. The firm continued to operate until redevelopment of the area forced closure in 1970.
See Centre map.
A 1905 advertisement. Braithwaite's later moved to Pepper Road.
Clayton, Son & Co., Moor End  (1970s)
A 1936 advertisement
Alf Cooke was elected Mayor of Leeds in 1890. In 1925 they started making playing cards, and in 1930 posters.
In the Second World War they made hundreds of tons of metal strips of tin foil that were used by bombers to confuse enemy radar, as well as silk escape maps, discs and washers for munitions, cartons and gas mask containers.

The factory was extended in the early 1950s onto the site of the former St.Jude's Church. Later, Alf Cooke's became part of the Bemrose group. In 2005 the owners M Y Cartons (now Nampak Cartons) announced the closure of the factory, with some 130 redundancies and 60 jobs being transferred to their other site off Dewsbury Road.

The older building, which is listed as being of architectural or historic importance, is now vacant. A planning application proposes to convert it to offices, and demolish part of it.
See Pottery Field map.

The brick and terraccotta entrance to Braime's extensive works built 1911-13 (photo 2009). The building is Listed.
Image copyright of Leeds Library and Information Services
Charle Lightowler's (photo 1971)
The clock tower (photo 2009)
Cooke's monogram above the doorway (photo 2009)
 
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My family had a well-known wheelwright's and blacksmith's business in Hunslet that lasted for nearly 100 years. It was founded by my great-grandfather in premises down the street alongside St. Mary's church. Around 1906-7 my grandfather Edward and his elder brother Alfred, bought the business and named it Barber Brothers . At some point they moved the premises to Leak's Yard, off Jack Lane (see Centre Map). My father, who was the blacksmith, and his cousin, bought the business in 1939. It closed around 1974.

The business made and repaired two-wheeled carts that were used for coal, coke, and council rubbish vehicles. They were usually drawn by large shire horses. They also made smaller carts for street hawkers selling fruit, vegetables, etc throughout Hunslet and adjoining areas, and wagons and bodies for lorries.

Hand carts were available for daily or weekly hire, often for people doing their own removals. They were available in my childhood for 3 pence a day. The workshop premises often held 4 or 5 vehicles which could be in for shaft repairs, replacement metal tyres, bodywork, or springs being replaced.


Rolled steel strip/bars were used to make tyres. In the yard there was a wood-fired furnace, with a 25-30ft chimney, where the pre-formed tyre wheels

were heated, then transferred via a flat check-plate and positioned carefully over the wooden wheel which was fastened tightly over a circular drum,over a water drain. Then, by the use of forked metal dogs, it was put in its final position and cold water poured over, and then placed on a special metal carriage into a dipping tank where it was left to cool suitable for handling, to make way for a further wheel.

Ron Barber was born in Hillidge Street in 1928 and now lives in Sherburn-in-Elmet
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alf Cooke  T.F. & J.H. Braime H. Braithwaite Charles Lightowler Ltd. Clayton, Son & Co. Coghlan Steel & Iron Co Barber Brothers: Wheelwrights and blacksmiths
Clayton, Son & Co., Pepper Road (1931)
Image copyright of Leeds Library and Information Services
Clayton's were a significant employer in Hunslet, with three sites: Moor End (off Beza Street), Dartmouth Works (off Garnet Road) and at Pepper Road. Founded in 1864, they made gasholders, boilers, reservoir and oil tanks. See Hunslet Carr, Parkside and Woodhouse Hill maps.
Hunslet Forge, Thwaite Gate. Iron and steel manufacturer.
See Pepper Lane area map
Industry (2)
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"Hooping" at Barber Brothers (photo 1971)
Image copyright of Leeds Library and Information Services