THE EARLY years of motor vehicles, the changing face of transport, and a spin off from man’s quest for flight can be seen in these photographs dating back a century and more.

All the pictures were taken in Rawdon and are from the online archive of Aireborough Historical Society.

One dramatic image shows the aftermath of a car accident in June 1909. The upturned vehicle, thought to be on New Road Side, is surrounded by a crowd of concerned people who appear to be dressed in their Sunday best.

To the left of that picture a much more sedate way of travel is pictured in an image which shows a horse drawn van on Apperley Lanes. The van belonged to J Holroyd & Co, a dry cleaning business. The vehicle is parked in front of West View, a shop with living accommodation which was built by a woollen merchant Mr Brayshaw for his daughters.

The premises was later used as the local Conservative office before becoming a private house.

On the right hand page we can see a 1925 photograph of the new Fire Brigade joint service which had been set up for Horsforth, Yeadon, Rawdon and Guiseley. Firefighters posed proudly on an engine, while Inspector James A Dockray stood in front. He had been appointed in 1925 with an annual salary of £300 and a house provided.

The fire station, which was built in 1925, was actually on the Yeadon side of New Road but it was always known as Rawdon Fire Station.

Rawdon and the surrounding communities saw another major change in the early 20th Century with the arrival of the trams.

Huge crowds turned out to see the arrival of the first trams in Rawdon and Yeadon in May1909, when the service to Leeds was launched. It was extended to Guiseley in June and each township paid £400 to Leeds for the service.

To mark the important occasions three trams - decorated with flags and bunting - were run from Leeds to Rawdon and Yeadon and then to Guiseley.

A decorated tram can be seen outside Benton Congregational Church, at the junction with Green Lane and New Road Side.

One image shows a very quiet Leeds Road two years earlier with children looking on as preparation were made to lay tracks for the trams.

An incredibly early image - from 1860 - was taken by John Arundel and shows an extremely quiet Town Street.

The AHS website says: “The photograph was taken from the top of St. Peter’s Church tower. The junction with Carr Lane is just before the horse and cart on the left, then only a track. Opposite is Grange Farm and above the farm is the National School. Opposite the school is the Naggs Head Public House.”

An undated, but clearly very old, picture shows a young girl standing in front of the old toll houses on the Rawdon side of Apperley Bridge. The houses were the collection point for tolls from travellers on the Dudley Hill to Killinghall Turnpike Trust Road.The building on the right became a shop, but both buildings were demolished in around 1930.

Turnpike trusts were set up by acts of Parliament to collect tolls to maintain roads in Britain, particularly during the 18th and 19th centuries. The number of trusts rose to more than 1,000 in the 1830s.

A remarkable image of a box kite being prepared for flight was taken in the Rawdon area by photographer Ernest E Slater in around 1900. The kites were invented in 1893 by Lawrence Hargrave, who was attempting to create a flying machine.The British-born Australian was an engineer, explorer, astronomer, inventor and aeronautical pioneer.