I've now had a chance to visit the Leeds locations myself and here are a few shots taken on Friday 19 November 2010
It was very foggy early in the morning and it took a long time to clear. The first Follyfoot location I decided to check out was the site of the Foley family residence at 20 Lilian Street. Lilian Street has been completely redeveloped and no longer exists - the western half is now an extension of St Matthias Street, and the eastern half up to the railway viaduct is now an open green space. But I found that my Google Street View research was correct as far as the house location went. Where there was once a cobbled street with tiny back-to-back houses there are now gentrified 1980s houses with gardens, and grass grows up to the viaduct!
Apart from the viaduct, I didn't expect anything to have survived the redevelopment, but I did find another "fixing point" to link the past and the present. On the old Banker Street (now a cul-de-sac with no houses, leading off the main Kirkstall Road) is the HSS Hire Shop
When walking around the site I suddenly realised that the back of this very same building appears in "Miss Him When He's Gone" - the landrover and horse trailer pass it just before coming to a halt outside the Foleys' house
I went inside and asked the man behind the desk if the building had always been a Hire Shop, and he said that before 1995 it was a video library and before that an electrical goods shop. He also told me that older residents had told him about the little streets of terraced houses that once stood behind the shop. I have subsequently been advised that the building was originally a Fine Fare supermarket.
The HSS man also pointed out a grassy mound to the right of the shop as you look along Kirkstall Street. He said that this mound was made from the rubble of the demolished back-to-back houses. So perhaps pieces of Minnie Foley's fruit bowl or the frame of Ed Foley's "Honour thy Father and Mother" sign lie buried here!
I walked up Kirkstall Road, under the impressive viaduct and up Willow Road to Burley Road, to find a location from "Poor Bald Head". Here I found a large area of extant back-to-back housing. Kelsall Road can be seen in the distance at the foot of "Thacket's Rise" - it hasn't changed much, but the houses have been somewhat modernised
The street sign is definitely original
Originally these houses had no bathrooms or lavatories - every so often there is a break in the houses for what was a communal lavatory block
When you consider that these are back-to-back houses, they are very small indeed. I heard raised voices coming from one house where an argument was in progress - the language was rather more colourful than the Foleys. I hurried on up to the site of Thacket's Rise!
My Google Street View screen caps of King's Road are better than any photos I could take on the day. I suddenly became aware of a large number of Muslims around, and then realised they were going to a mosque which is just off the east side of Kings Road. By walking along Hartwell Road, which appears to be a post-Follyfoot creation, I took a photo looking down towards Kelsall Road - this is the nearest I could get to Thacket's Rise. You can just see the chimney pots of the old terraced houses in the background, but the forest of factory chimneys beyond has gone!
Here is New Wortley Cemetery - smaller than I expected
It took me ages to find the graves seen on TV, because sadly the gravestone with the distinctive cross has fallen over - or been deliberately smashed.
This damage must have happened recently as it is still intact on Google Street View. Here is the smashed gravestone lying face down on the grass:
I used my GPS to find North-West Road. I'm afraid first impressions were not great - it was hard to imagine Ron riding his motorbike along here, past Ford Anglias, terraced houses and gas lamps! Even the road sign is new!
Here's a building that was quite new when "Stryker's Good Deed" was filmed - Holborn Towers in Shay Street
But Gip's Steps are unchanged - even the handrails are still the same!
I walked up the steps to get the view down North-West Road - those quite large trees have grown in the past 35 years
And then I just had to get someone to take my photo on the steps. Luckily a stunning black girl, very fashionably dressed, came along. I asked her to take my photo, explaining that one of my favourite TV programmes had been filmed here! She was quite happy to do so.
Lilian Street / Banker Street area - it's unbelievable how much it has changed since "Miss Him When He's Gone" was filmed there. This is present-day St Matthias street, looking straight at where 20 Lilian Road would have been, with the HSS building on the right. Those who remember the old back-to-back terraced houses that once stood here - I wonder if they miss them now they're gone?
This is what's left of Banker Street, looking towards Kirkstall Road, with the HSS building on the left
Incidentally I have found out from another website that the Yorkshire TV production "Harry's Game" (filmed in the early 1980s and set in Belfast) was largely shot in this part of Leeds - the dilapidated and derelict terraced houses looked much like Belfast and had the huge advantages of being very close to the YTV Studios and much safer than Northern Ireland! I have never seen this since it was originally on TV - I wonder if any recognisable Follyfoot locations can be seen in it?
And here are the Yorkshire TV studios! Although I thought they were being mothballed, this part of the building at any rate still appears to be in use.