Pudsey Town Hall
Pudsey shown within West Yorkshire
|OS grid reference|
|– London||170 mi (270 km) SE|
|Metropolitan borough||City of Leeds|
|Metropolitan county||West Yorkshire|
|Region||Yorkshire and the Humber|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||Yorkshire and the Humber|
Pudsey is a market town in West Yorkshire, England. Once independent, it was incorporated into the City of Leeds metropolitan borough in 1974. It is located midway between Bradford city centre and Leeds city centre. Historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire, it has a population of 22,408.
The borough of Pudsey consists only of addresses with an LS28 postcode, specifically Calverley, Farsley, Pudsey and Stanningley.  Addresses with an LS28 postcode use the Leeds 0113 telephone prefix. It also lends its name to the local parliamentary constituency of Pudsey, of which it is a part.
The place-name Pudsey is first recorded in the Domesday Book as Podechesaie and Podechesai, in 1086. Its etymology is rather uncertain: it seems most likely to derive from a putative personal name *Pudoc and the word ēg meaning 'island' but here presumably referring metaphorically to an 'island' of good ground in moorland. Thus the name would mean 'Pudoc's island'. Other possibilities have been suggested, however. In the early sixth century the district was in the Kingdom of Elmet, which seems to have retained its Celtic character for perhaps as many as two centuries after other neighbouring kingdoms had adopted the cultural identity of the Angles.
Around 1775 a cache of a 100 silver Roman coins, many predating the time of Julius Caesar, was found on Pudsey Common at a place known as "King Alfred's Camp" by Benjamin Scholfield of Pudsey.
The town was famous in the 18th and 19th centuries for wool manufacture, and, from the 19th century, for cricket. Yorkshire and England cricketers Sir Len Hutton, Herbert Sutcliffe, Ray Illingworth and Matthew Hoggard all learned to play in Pudsey. A 19th century Yorkshire cricketer, John Tunnicliffe, was born in Lowtown.
During the Industrial Revolution Pudsey was one of the most polluted areas of the UK due to its position in a slight valley between the two industrial cities of Leeds and Bradford. As a result whichever way the wind blew Pudsey became covered in thick soot. The temperature inversion created by the valley led to the soot becoming trapped leading to dense smogs. This is believed to have led to jokes that pigeons in Pudsey Park flew backwards in order to keep the soot out of their eyes.
Formerly within the wapentake of Morley and Calverley Parish, Pudsey became a Municipal Borough in 1889. For many years, despite being joined to the Leeds conurbation, it avoided being made part of Leeds County Borough. In 1937 the Farsley and Calverley urban districts were added to Pudsey. In 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, it became part of the metropolitan borough of the City of Leeds.
There are several recreational parks in Pudsey, the largest is Pudsey Park; features include Pets Corner, aquarium, bird houses, tropical greenhouse, a "Pudsey Bear" (made of vegetation) and a large play area for children. The park hosts the new West Leeds Country Park Visitor Centre. There is also Queens Park where the Pudsey carnival is held once a year.
Pudsey's market operates on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday and has recently been refurbished. Pudsey has also seen the introduction of a monthly farmers' market with a range of stalls selling meat, fish, dairy produce, organic fruit and vegetables, delicatessen and craft-ware.
Pudsey town centre has many amenities and a shopping centre which include many high street chain stores and independent retailers. In keeping with many affluent areas it has its fair share of banks and estate agents. Following the closure of Kwik Save supermarkets across the country, Pudsey's store was bought by Sainsbury's. Until the administration of the group, Pudsey had a Woolworths situated on Church Lane. It is now a B&M Home Bargains store.
There are three high schools situated in the Pudsey boundary: Crawshaw, Priesthorpe and Pudsey Grangefield, which has been rebuilt as an extensive redevelopment programme which sees a whole new state-of-the-art school building constructed adjacent to the current site. The front grammar school building, opened in 1911 and a prominent landmark of Pudsey, will be converted into flats and not demolished, unlike the rest of the school, due to its listed building status.
Pudsey's historic town hall is benefiting from a new, energy-efficient lighting project to highlight its most interesting features. The multi-coloured lights can be changed to offer 255 different scenes.
During the Easter weekend 2009, the Pudsey Business Forum launched the Pudsey Shop Local campaign. The campaign is to encourage local residents to shop more in Pudsey Town Centre. As part of this campaign they have launched a directory of all local shops.
There are many community groups working for the benefit of Pudsey, and their aim is simply to make their town a more attractive and interesting place to visit. One of these groups, established in 2002 is Pudsey in Bloom.
The community website This is Pudsey is run by local residents.
Pudsey's business community have recently introduced a Loyalty Scheme, aimed at local shoppers. The loyalty scheme, believed to be the first of its kind in the country, encourages shoppers to collect stamps from a number of local shops within the scheme. Once enough stamps are collected on a card it can be submitted for a monthly draw, where the winner receives vouchers that they can spend in any of the participating shops. There are currently 50 retailers taking part in the scheme.
There is a small railway station known as New Pudsey railway station. It is on the Caldervale Line between Leeds and Bradford Interchange and was built to replace Pudsey's two original stations — Pudsey Lowtown railway station and Pudsey Greenside railway station — which were both closed in 1964 by the Beeching Axe along with the GNR Pudsey Loop serving them. However, New Pudsey is situated over a mile away from the town centre making it somewhat impractical for commuters especially as there is no bus that links the station with the town centre, although the No.16 frequent bus service between Pudsey and nearby Farsley passes within 500 yards of the station. However, the location of the station near to the junction of the main Leeds to Bradford road with the ring road provides easy access for those travelling to the station by car. There is a large car park adjacent to the station.
There are several pubs and clubs in and around the town centre including: the Butcher's Arms, the Crown Inn, the Farmer's, the Mason's Arms, the Shamrock Inn, (now closed) the Crossed Shuttle, the World's End pub, the Britannia pub and the Troydale Recreational Club, which is out of the town centre.
Pudsey is now served by a number of First, Centrebus and Arriva bus services that run through to Leeds city centre and other areas of the city, Bradford and other surrounding towns. The 4 FTR service runs regularly to the Leeds city centre from Waterloo via the town centre and Swinnow. There is also a No.72 bus service that runs between Leeds and Bradford along Stanningley Town Street and Bradford Road, which is 10 minutes walk from Pudsey town centre. The No.508 bus service to Halifax is a further 5 minutes walk up Bradford Road, to near the junction with Old Road.
Plans for a £2 million covered bus station in Pudsey, to replace the current array of individual bus stands, was given the go ahead. Work on the new bus station started in December 2009. it was completed in November 2010.
The Leeds-Pudsey tram route via Armley and Bramley was opened in the early 20th century; it was closed in 1938 and most of the infrastructure was removed, although roadworks on the central reservation of Stanningley Road uncovered some of the tracks in October 2005. Like the rest of West Leeds, Pudsey was never included in the original planning for the Leeds Supertram, subsequent plans such as that for trolley buses, a revised tram scheme or tram-trains have also failed to include West Leeds.
The England cricket captain Sir Len Hutton was born in nearby Fulneck and was called "the man from Pudsey". Raymond Illingworth, another former England cricket captain, was born in Pudsey as was the England fast bowler Matthew Hoggard and the snooker star Danny Fowler. For over a hundred years the Yorkshire County Cricket Club had at least one player who came from the old Borough of Pudsey. The England opening batsman Herbert Sutcliffe attended Pudsey School and learnt his cricket with the Pudsey St Lawrence and Pudsey Britannia cricket clubs.
Pudsey Runners running club was formed in 2013 and meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Bankhouse Inn. The aim of the club is to get non-runners into running and improve their fitness as well as developing the abilities of experienced runners.
In The Meaning of Liff a Pudsey is defined as "The curious-shaped flat wads of dough left on a kitchen table after someone has been cutting scones out of it." Toward the beginning of the Monty Python episode "You're No Fun Anymore", the two characters, Mr and Mrs Samuel Brainsample can be seen walking along the platform of New Pudsey railway station. Pudsey is also mentioned frequently in the Michael Palin TV series Ripping Yarns. The band The Dunwells originate in Pudsey.Pudsey has given its name to "Pudsey Bear", the mascot of the BBC's annual fundraising marathon Children in Need.
- 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. PUDSEY.
- UK Polling Report: Pudsey
- "BBC NEWS – Election 2010 – Pudsey". BBC News.
- Pudsey Market
- Yorkshire Evening Post, Pudsey Market refurbishment
- BBC Leeds, Pudsey Farmers Market
- "Sainsbury's at Kwik Save site". Yorkshire Evening Post. 2007-10-03.
- PGS History by Les Barnes
- Yorkshire Evening Post, Town Hall lights
- Pudsey Shop Local website
- Pudsey in Bloom Blog
- Pudsey was originally served by a short branch line running from Stanningley to Pudsey Greenside opened on 1 April 1878 by the Great Northern Railway. Fifteen years later the line was extended through a tunnel to Laisterdyke railway station, the original curve from Stanningley closed, and another (90°) curve to Bramley railway station opened forming the Pudsey Loop. The town had two stations on this Bramley-Laisterdyke-Bradford loop — Pudsey Lowtown and Pudsey Greenside — conveniently located at either end of the town centre, and both closed on 15 June 1964 as a result of the Beeching Axe.
- WYMetro Pudsey bus station
- p158, John Kay, Ashes to Hassett, Sidgewick & Sons, 1951
- Pudsey Runners
- The Meaning of Liff, by Douglas Adams & John Lloyd, Pan Books Ltd, 1983, ISBN 0-330-28121-6.
- This is Pudsey - Community website with local news, sport, events and local information
- YEP Pudsey Today Community Website
- Calverley.info Pudsey & Calverley genealogical and historical data
- Pudsey.com Pudsey Online Community Website.
- BBC Children in Need
- Pudsey Carnival
- The Ancient Parish of Calverley at GENUKI: Pudsey was in this parish