Smyths Arms

Old, disused, forgotten and converted pubs
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Postby harrym1byt » Wed 14 Nov, 2018 3:48 pm

Biscuit Tin wrote:Someone has said that the pub up the road from Smythes Arms could have been called the Cattle Market. There used to be an actual Cattle Market on the other side of the road that led up from Gelderd Road to Whitehall Road? Also there was supposedly a bit of rivalry between the two pubs?Hope this makes sense, its been a very long day!!!
I was born 1947, lived in Danube View during my early years and I never remember the Cattle Market being in use. I also remember the Cattle Market pub, maybe it was an hotel(?). It had an entrance facing the Cattle Market including an 'outsales' and I think a second one on Geldard Road too. I never went in there, but it looked quite impressive from the outside.

I wonder if anyone remembers an army camp, or an army facility further out along Geldard Road, maybe near to where Scweppes place was, or even prior to Scweppes taking over the plot? I only remember it, because a primary school friend's parents, in the army, were located there (I think).
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Re: Smyths Arms

Postby iansmithofotley » Wed 14 Nov, 2018 10:27 pm

In the 1960’s, Gelderd Road was a one-way street in the area around the Smyth’s Arms. Traffic flowed along Gelderd Road away from the city. There were ‘No Entry’ signs at the junction of Gelderd Road with Smithfield Street/Danube Terrace, outside of the Cattle market Hotel. The road from this junction to the Outer Ring Road was two-way.

This meant that any city bound traffic, travelling along Gelderd Road, from the direction of the Ring Road, towards the city, had to turn left along Smithfield Street and then right into Whitehall Road, or left to travel towards Dragon Bridge and Copley Hill Railway Sidings.

In 1966/67, I was a young, probationer police constable, twenty years old, stationed at Upper Wortley Police Station. At this time, this area was part of my usual beat, which I usually patrolled on a ‘Noddy Bike’ or occasionally on ‘foot patrol’. One night, I think that it was a Sunday, I was working on the night shift (10pm – 6am).

In those days, officers had to parade for duty fifteen minutes before their duty time and there was a formal briefing parade. I arrived at the Police Station and whilst on parade, around 9.50pm, I was asked to leave the parade as there had just been a report of a road traffic accident in Gelderd Road.

I went to the garage, got on a motorcycle, and went to the scene, which was stated as ‘Gelderd Road near to the Cattle Market Hotel’. Like most Police work, I had no idea what I was attending when I received the message to attend.

When I arrived at the scene, it was absolute chaos. A very big, green, H.G.V. truck, owned by the Irish firm J. Murphy & Sons Ltd., had been driven along Gelderd Road towards the city and the driver had ignored the ‘No Entry’ signs and driven the wrong way down the road towards the Smyth’s Arms. This vehicle had collided with a car in a ‘head on’ collision. The car was smashed to pieces and there were four people trapped in the car. There were a lot of people at the scene who had come out of the their houses in the Danubes, the Oswalds, the Cattle Market Hotel and the Smyth’s Arms.

The two people in the front of the car were dead, and badly trapped in the car. The two people in the back of the car were very seriously injured. The driver of the truck, an Irishman called Lally, had tried to do a runner and had been chased and detained by some members of the public.

I radioed in to the Force Control (in those days called the ‘Information Room’) to give a situation report and to call for assistance. Because it was shift ‘turn around time’, I was on my own for about fifteen minutes before the cavalry arrived to help. During that time, I had to get help from the public to detain the driver, who was very drunk, to help me render first aid to the injured passengers and to try and help with traffic control.

I was on duty, along with my sergeant, dealing with the accident until about 5pm the following day. In those days, we saw jobs through from start to finish (as opposed to handing them over to colleagues) and whenever possible took all relevant statements and did whatever we could ourselves. I charged Martin Francis Lally with two counts of Causing Death By Dangerous Driving, Drink/Driving and some other offences. He was of no fixed address, despite working for Murphy’s, and he was remanded in custody. Eventually, he appeared at Leeds Assizes, was convicted, and received a sentence of many years in prison (I can’t remember exactly how long).

The people in the car were a married couple, with two children (both around thirteen years old). The father and his daughter were both killed. The mother and son were very badly injured.

The following day, which was my day off, for reasons of continuity and identification, I had to go to the post-mortems of the father and daughter and then carry on with my enquiries.

As you can see, this accident happened over fifty years ago, but I will never forget that night. Whenever I drive around that area, I always think about what had taken place all those years ago.

A couple of years later, as a young detective, I occasionally went in the Smyth’s Arms for a drink as the licensee, at the time, was a friend of my detective sergeant, and many of the regulars remembered the accident. In those days, pubs were regularly visited by uniformed police in connection with liquor licensing legislation, and by the C.I.D., as that was where a lot of information was obtained, and also for Crime Intelligence purposes (who was there and who was with who).
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Re: Smyths Arms

Postby buffaloskinner » Thu 15 Nov, 2018 12:02 am

This should bring back memories for you then Ian

Gelderd Road 1909.JPG
Gelderd Road 1909.JPG (242.47 KiB) Viewed 4753 times
Is this the end of the story ...or the beginning of a legend?
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Re: Smyths Arms

Postby iansmithofotley » Thu 15 Nov, 2018 12:33 am

Hi buffaloskinner,

Thank you. I still remember the lay out like that. These days, I hardly get into Leeds and I invariably get lost due to the change of roads and new buildings.


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