Morley, West Yorkshire
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Morley Town Hall, a Grade I listed building
Morley shown within West Yorkshire
|OS grid reference|
|Metropolitan borough||City of Leeds|
|Metropolitan county||West Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|UK Parliament||Morley and Outwood|
Morley is a market town and civil parish within the City of Leeds metropolitan borough, in West Yorkshire, England. It lies approximately 5 miles (8 km) south-west of Leeds city centre. The town had a population of 44,440 in 2011 and is made up of the Morley North and South Wards. The civil parish had a population of 27,738.
The town is built on seven hills, like Rome: Scatcherd Hill, Dawson Hill, Daisy Hill, Chapel Hill, Hunger Hill, Troy Hill and Banks Hill.
Morley is first mentioned in the Domesday Book in 1086 as Morelege, Morelei and Moreleia. Morley means "open ground by a moor", from Old English mōr "moor, clearing, pasture" + lẽah "open ground, clearing". It also gave its name to Morelei Wapentac, a wapentake which probably met at Tingley.
Schoolgirl, Sarah Harper was murdered by Robert Black in Morley in 1986, giving the town brief, national notoriety.
Historically, Morley was the centre of one of two divisions of the wapentake of Agbrigg and Morley. Morley became a Municipal Borough in 1889 and under the Local Government Act 1972, was incorporated into the City of Leeds Metropolitan District. Morley is represented on Leeds City Council by three wards (Morley North/Morley South and Ardsley/Robin Hood) each with three councillors. At the 2010 general election, Morley and Outwood was won by Ed Balls of the Labour Party, who had been MP for Normanton since 2005, and served as Labour's Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer from 2011 until 2015. Balls narrowly lost the seat at the 2015 general election to Conservative Andrea Jenkyns.
Following a review of parliamentary representation in West Yorkshire, the Morley and Rothwell parliamentary constituency was abolished at the 2010 election and replaced by the Morley and Outwood constituency. The local elections are now won by the Morley Borough Independents.
||Bradford||Armley||Churwell, Leeds city centre|
Morley Town Hall is sometimes used for music recordings. Television programmes, Heartbeat and Emmerdale have used its disused magistrates court and a cobblestoned street to one side. It hosts concerts by local schools and performances by the Morley Amateur Operatic Society, whose pantomimes have taken place at the Alexandra Hall for many years.
Morley annually holds one of the largest St George's Day parades in the country and has been named "the most patriotic town in England".
Morley Market has been a feature since the town was formed. Now with more than trading units,[clarification needed] the market building has a large trading hall split up into units housing fruiterers, delicatessens, butchers, fishmongers, fashion shops and a café.
Supermarkets in Morley include Morrisons in the town centre and there is also a 24-hour ASDA superstore.
Scatcherd Park in the centre of Morley, by the Morley Leisure Centre, has a large playing field, a skate park, children's park, bowling green and memorial gardens. Events are held on the adjoining field in the summer months.
The radio station Real Radio Yorkshire is based in nearby Tingley, close to Junction 28 of the M62 motorway.
On 21 February 2010, a statue of Ernie Wise was erected outside Morley Post Office and unveiled by his widow, Doreen. Ernie had performed in the old nearby cinema, just around from the Post Office, of which is no longer in use and now derelict.
Buses go to Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield and other West Yorkshire towns from bus stops near the Town Hall.
There are numerous primary schools in Morley including Morley Newlands Primary School, which is due to be demolished and rebuilt this year, Seven Hills Primary School, Morley Victoria Primary School, fountain primary and St Francis Catholic Primary School.
Three secondary schools serve pupils from Morley: The Morley Academy (formerly Morley High School and Morley Grammar), Bruntcliffe Academy and Woodkirk High School (technically in West Ardsley but has a large proportion of students from Morley due to its catchment area). Leeds City College offers Further Education at numerous sites in the town. It also has an independent preparatory school; Queenswood School, which is based in a conservation area within the town centre.
Morley R.F.C. was founded in 1878. When the Northern Union clubs broke away from the RFU to form the rugby league, the Morley representatives missed the coach to Huddersfield. The club's heyday was in the 1970s when it won the Yorkshire Cup on five occasions. In April 2005 the club won the Powergen Intermediate Cup at Twickenham.
Morley Leisure Centre is newly built after undergoing a £33 million joint project with Armley Leisure Centre completed 22 June 2010 boasting a main 25-metre swimming pool, 10-metre learner pool, 150-station Bodyline gym, numerous sports halls, a dance studio and a cafe.
Independent Wrestling company Dynamic Pro Wrestling (DPW) is based in Morley and put on monthly shows in Morley and around West Yorkshire.
Morley was the home of seven times World Cycling Champion Beryl Burton.
Morley is a setting for David Peace's Red Riding Quartet novel and 2009 television series which explore West Yorkshire police corruption during the 1970s and 1980s. Emmerdale often use Morley for filming court and wedding scenes in the town hall.
Natives of the town refer to themselves as Morleians. Notable Morleians include:
Brian Bedford, actor, nominated for 7 Tony Awards, Disney's voice of Robin Hood, veteran Shakespearian actor
- British Prime Minister H. H. Asquith
- Sir Titus Salt, the creator of Saltaire
- Alice Scatcherd, 19th century pioneer for women's rights and philanthropist who donated Scatcherd Park to the town
- Jack Popplewell, playwright, composer of popular music
- Helen Fielding, author of Bridget Jones' Diary
- Ben Kaye, Harlequins RL Player
- Nick Scruton, Bradford RLFC player
- Lee Smith, Leeds RLFC player
- Jonathan Howson, Norwich City player
- Mark Crook, former professional footballer
- Ernie Wise, of Morecambe and Wise fame
- Victor Watts (ed.), The Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names, Based on the Collections of the English Place-Name Society (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), s.v. MORLEY WYorks.
- "Ernie Wise statue to be put in place this weekend". Morley Observer. 19 February 2010.
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/8591593.stm Pictures show new leisure centre in Morley
- Urbex Scatcherd Family, St. Marys, Leeds
- The women's suffrage movement: a reference guide, 1866-1928
- Barraclough, R., Reekie, D. (2003). Morley Entertainers. Zodiac Publishing, London, U.K.
- Beyond Church at St Peter's Morley - Morley Parish Church
- Morley Town Council
- West Yorkshire Archaeology Service
- "The Ancient Parish of Batley". GENUKI. Retrieved 29 October 2007. Morley was in this parish
- Morley Community Archives