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Micklefield is a village and civil parish east of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England. It neighbours Garforth, Aberford and Brotherton and is close to the A1 Motorway. It is in the City of Leeds metropolitan borough. It has a population of 1,852, increasing to 1,893 at the 2011 Census.
The village is typical of Yorkshire's former coal mining communities with its mix of local authority and private houses. The village has undergone a rapid expansion in recent years with former commercial premises being demolished to make way for new private housing. The police house, fire station, community centre and local miner's welfare club have all closed leaving the village with one public house, the Blands Arms, and two local convenience stores, in addition to a stretch of land known locally as the "Mickie Rec" (recreation ground) which contains a football pitch, cricket pitch and two bowling greens.The "Rec" was owned and operated by the Coal Board before the closure of the local pit in 1984.
The 1½ mile, £460,000, Micklefield Bypass opened in 1960. It has since been replaced by the A1(M) in 2005. Nearby, to the west, is the A656 Roman Ridge.
It does retain its railway station, located approximately midway between Leeds to the west and York/Selby to the east. In June 2006 it won the award for "best kept railway station" in all of Yorkshire, after making huge strides in the refurbishment of the station. In April 2017 work was undertaken in Micklefield to realign the track as part of the Transpennine route upgrade, and as a result the position of the existing Leeds bound platform was altered.
There are also proposals for a new station at Micklefield called East Leeds Parkway.This station would house a park and ride scheme with space for 500 cars. This station would be sited close to Micklefield and, if approved, would be scheduled to open in around 2012. The scheme has now been put on hold due to a lack of central government funding.
Through the 1970s and 1980s Micklefield earned itself a sometimes poor reputation locally as a result of crime on the sizeable Garden Village local authority housing estate and the policies then occupied by Leeds City Council.
Old and New Micklefield
Micklefield is a village of two halves. One road - the Great North Road or "the old A1" - links the two with a distinctive S bend surrounded fields giving a fair indication of when moving from one half to the other.
The southern part is known as "new Micklefield". It contains the railway station, landfill site, industrial park and allotments. Housing consists mainly of late 19th century/early 20th century terraced cottages built for miners, some larger pre-war semi-detached houses, and the Garden Village housing estate. In recent years, new flats have been built next to Pit Lane. The old fire station is used as a community centre. Nearby is a sandwich bar, and a small independent shop.
The northerly part of the village (Old Micklefield) has fewer visible ties to the village's industrial past, and contains most of the village amenities, including the church, school, pub, farm shop, general stores (formerly the post office) and surgery. The Churchville housing estate consists of 1950's brick semi-detached houses, retirement bungalows and terraces, and is bordered by large detached houses, character properties and modern town houses. In recent years Old Micklefield has seen new developments of additional higher end detached/semi-detached properties including the Grange Farm Development on Great North Road, and most recently the initial works towards a further 12 properties to be called 'Manor Chase', situated opposite the village school.
The Hook Moor Wind Farm proposals have also polarised village opinion along north/south lines, with some Old Micklefield residents accusing New Micklefielders who support the plans, of "Schadenfreude". To which, the standard reply is, if the plans were situated in New Micklefield, nobody would be against the proposals at all. The parish church is dedicated to St Mary the Virgin and is in Old Micklefield.
In first half of the 20th century, two seams of coal were worked. The first was the Beeston seam at 170–180 yards depth; the second was a deeper Blackbed seam at 210–220 yards.
Up to the 1980s the pit was served by a 2' 6" gauge rail link which transported coal from Ledston Luck Mine to the south, from where the coal could be shipped via the mainline rail.
The pit came into operation in the 1870s and was the location of an enormous explosion on 30 April 1896, in which 63 of the 300 workers (men and boys) died. Twenty died from the explosion, the rest from afterdamp. Only four of the 23 pit ponies survived the disaster. Ninety children were rendered fatherless in the disaster, and plaques in the village school, church and pub are dedicated to their loss.
Sport and leisure
Micklefield AFC are an amateur football team. They play their home fixtures in the village recreation ground. The pitch consists of 1 small covered terraced stand and a metal barrier runs round the perimeter to prevent encroachment. The club also boasts modest changing and showering facilities
Micklefield AFC was established in 1953, although it wasn't until the late 1960s that it rose to prominence. The club enjoyed great success throughout the 1970s and 80's, winning several amateur leagues and cups. The 1990s saw the retirement of many key players and subsequently the clubs form on the pitch deteriorated. In 2002 the club reached its first final since the glory days of the 1970s and 1980s only to lose in injury time. In 2004 the club folded due to a lack of players. The club was revived in 2007. The emergence of young players from within the village suggests the club has a bright future although they are never likely to attract the same crowds as in the glory era.
2010 Micklefield Town FC reached the county cup semi final and play at County HQ fleet lane on 26 March and will hopefully bring home the County Cup to Micklefield once more
The recreation ground contains a skate park, built in 2009. The park has proved to be very popular, with a mix of transition and street elements.
Multi use games area
In late 2016, fundraising was undertaken in conjunction with a local supermarket to raise funds for a multi use games area. In July 2017 construction began on the surface which is situated in the recreation ground, on the disused site of the former village bowling green.
Since records began Micklefield has been noted to have three primary schools, with one of them tragically burning down at the bottom end of the village, in the late 1970s. During the period when Micklefield had no school, students attended primary schools in Sherburn-in-Elmet for a short period. During this period the current school was built. It is situated in the middle of the village.Micklefield CofE Primary School was rebuilt on the site of the old school which burnt down until the mid to late 80's when it was relocated to the middle of the village besides the local public house,the Bland's Arms.
Broadband internet access
Due to the distance to the telephone exchange at nearby Garforth and the underlying TPON infrastructure, Micklefield was dependent on copper overlay providing broadband speeds well below the UK average until summer 2011. A local community broadband initiative based on fixed wireless technology was started in late 2009 to address the issue. This has now evolved into a commercial solution offered by LN Communications. More details about which can be found at the associated website. Fibre-optic broadband provided by British Telecom (BT Infinity) is now available. (As of March 2012). With download speeds of approx 75Mbit/s and Upload speeds in the region of 20Mbit/s. This is a tremendous improvement on the previous available bandwidth (via copper infrastructure) which was around 512kbit/s downstream and 128kbit/s upstream.
Hook Moor Wind Farm
Proposals brought by Banks Renewables Ltd to build a wind farm on Hook Moor, to the east (and slightly north) of the village but separated from it by the A1(M) motorway section, provoked strong emotions and divisions within the community. Banks submitted a planning application in 2008, which was refused by Leeds City Council in 2009, and an appeal by Banks in 2010 was rejected. Banks then sought a judicial review, and the High Court found that the criteria on which the wind farm had been rejected were invalid. A second planning application in 2011 was approved.
Construction of the wind farm began in 2015, and came online the following year with a total of 5 turbines with electricity production capacity of 15MW. Each of the turbines was given a name by local school children and each proudly displays art work by the children. The turbines chosen names are; Night-Turn, Micky Blades, Turbo, Shy Shimmer and Eco. Since their completion, popular local consensus is that they are very quiet and graceful in operation, and provide a local landmark when approaching home.
- Office for National Statistics : Census 2001 : Parish Headcounts : Leeds Retrieved 10 September 2009
- "Civil Parish population 2011". Neighbourhood Statistics. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
- "Great North Rail Project". Network Rail. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- "History of Micklefield Primary school 2".
- "Hook Moor wind farm plans approved on appeal". Banks Group. 13 December 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
- "Plans for Leeds' first wind farm approved". BBC. 9 December 2011. Retrieved 2 September 2012.
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