Well known for the fierce local pride of many residents, Morley has its own identity, which is understandable, as it didn't become part of Leeds until 1972. Over the years, Morley-folk have had a big impact on the rest of the world, with famous names like Ernie Wise of Morecambe & Wise, war-time prime minister Herbert Henry Asquith, and even Helen Fielding, author of the world famous Bridget Jones’ Diary all hailing from Morley. In this blog post, I’m taking a quick look at 5 of the most famous names to come out of Morley.
Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith is known for being the Prime Minister who took Britain into the First World War. He was born in Church House in Morley, which incidentally was on the market with Manning Stainton last year. He had a long and affluent career in Politics and was a well-known Liberal, responsible for many pieces of legislation which still have significant influence in the present day.
Sir Titus Salt
Titus Salt is best known as the Mill Owner and philanthropist who built the village of Saltaire in Bradford. During a period of time where the standard of living was far from positive, Salts village provided unparalleled living quarters for his workers, which survive to this day. Although there are many myths and legends surrounding Salt, who was a fiercely private individual, his legacy inspired many communities across the world on how to avoid disease and lead the way in the fair treatment of workers. As well as an influential mill owner, who was amongst the richest in the UK, Salt was also the Mayor of Bradford for a short time.
Few people in the UK will fail to recognise the name of Morecambe and Wise. They were one of the most famous comedy duos to grace British television screens. They were essentially the Ant and Dec or their time, entertaining people with their unique TV shows and in particular their Christmas specials. Interestingly, the duo originally planned on naming their act after their perspective birthplaces “Morecambe and Leeds,” however they agreed that the combination would make the act sound too much like a cheap day return and settled on “Morecambe and Wise.”
Helen Fielding is a novelist and screenwriter who shot to fame after creating the quintessentially British character, Bridget Jones. Her books were published in over 40 countries and sold over 15 million copies and was even named “one of the ten novels that best defined the 20thcentury. The subsequent films which were produced in light of the novel's success were incredible successes in the UK, USA and many countries across the world. Fielding has been an influential person, even outside of her literature, writing columns for The Sunday Times, The Independent and The Telegraph.
Henry Inman was a wrestler, who at the age of 33, represented Britain as a bantamweight wrestler at the Antwerp Olympic Games in 1920, and again at the Paris Olympics held in 1924. He served in the West Yorkshire regiment throughout World War I before being demobilized in 1920. After his career as an Olympian Inman continued coaching local Leeds Wrestlers.