OLYMPIC triathlete Alistair Brownlee features in a film showing life in Horsforth 15 years ago.

Alistair, who grew up in the town, was just 17 when this image was taken on Calverley Bridge as he won the Horsforth 10k. He went on to become one of the world’s best known triathletes - winning gold medals in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.

The budding triathlete was one of countless people to appear in a video recording a year in life of the town.

Horsforth Diary 2005 has attracted widespread interest after being uploaded to the Around & About Yorkshire channel on YouTube. The video is one of a series by local filmmaker Mark Saville, stretching back as far as the 1880s.

Mr Saville made the 2005 film as a project to document events in the community that year. “I was already involved in producing a book on the WWII years in Horsforth as part of the 60th anniversary celebrations, and having seen footage of the VE Day parade of 1945 and, how invaluable that now was, decided to cover a whole year.

“Once I started, people were willing to let me turn-up and film – some of it would be terribly difficult now, as I filmed in schools and events in which children participated.

“Looking back, there have been enormous changes, that 20 year-olds might just remember. There was a Club with a concert hall on Hall Lane by the park, where houses now stand; a day centre for people with learning and mobility issues next to the church, that’s now demolished and, although Leeds City College still stands, outline planning permission has just been given for houses.

“These aren’t just exteriors of buildings – but people using the facilities and at the end of each month people of all ages state what they wish to see in Horsforth. I don’t think any have reached fruition.

“Unfortunately, many community organisations have gone: the music festival; the flower show; Jumble Sales – even one which I organised – the Sports Day – we simply ran out of money after we were washed-out in 2011.

“Many people will see themselves in the film, as well as people they’ve forgotten about and those who’ve passed away.

“It really was a snap shot in time. I’ve done some updates since then looking at local issues such as traffic and housing – in the 2005 Diary film you see the Clariant chemical complex still standing on Calverley Lane and the future of the site being envisaged, later I have it being pulled down and then houses being built on it – I think they might have just finished building over 600 down there.”

Already on the Channel are films on Horsforth in 1883 and footage from the 1930s as well as the VE Day Parade of 1945 and one on the Newlay area. In the wider area there is film of the Aireborough district and films on Ilkley, including a Guide to the town produced this year.

“The pandemic has allowed me time to go and make this archive material available worldwide – some of which originally only came out on video and sold locally – and I am now creating film guides, like the one on Ilkley, to encourage visitors to come and discover not only this area, but the whole of Yorkshire”.

Mr Saville has uploaded hours of films about the history of Horsforth on the Around & About Yorkshire channel. The footage includes a tour of Town Street in 1883 using old photographs and postcards, as well as original 16mm film from the 1930s, with the official opening of Hall Park in 1932. It also includes parades and a Whitsun Sing as well as a film of the Newlay area.