Town’s archives at risk after centre closes

Local historian Peter Aldred inspecting an original Morley Main miners lamp.'d304b330
Local historian Peter Aldred inspecting an original Morley Main miners lamp.'d304b330

The future of a huge archive of materials preserving Morley’s history is needing a new home after the Heritage Centre was forced to close.

Peter Aldred, whose collection of photos and artefacts stood on display for free in Milton House on Queen Street for around a year, has now had to move his items back home until he can find a new permanent residence for them.

Mr Aldred was forced to leave his old base on the second floor of the building after the premises’ Australian-based landlord let it out, with the prospect of the upstairs levels being converted into flats.

A meeting is set to take place on February 25 in a bid to resolve the situation, in the hope that the plethora of items can once again be made available for members of the public browse.

Mr Aldred, 81, said: “It’s very important that I find a new home for the things I’ve got. It’s a collection that wants saving for the town. I’ve been collecting for 55 years and I’ve always had an interest in local history. There’s so many stories to tell from what I’ve got.”

The hunt is on for a historical deed that supposedly rules that a town all must set aside room for any archives that cover local history. Attempts to discover the document have proved unsuccessful so far.

Interest has been shown by members of charity The Alzheimer’s Society in Morley, who have said they would be keen on setting up an Alzheimer’s Cafe in the town, with images from the archive on show to allow people to observe local history over a coffee, although that idea has yet to be developed.

Mr Aldred, whose collection includes labels from the old Gomersals Pop and an array of photographs from the area throughout the years, said that he is hopeful that the addition of new bodies to the Heritage Centre committee will help preserve his collection.