They were once striking features of the Yorkshire landscape, which for one reason or another have been lost forever.
1. RAF Fylingdales (The golf balls) 1963-1992
Any trip to the North Yorkshire Moors was not complete without seeing the three giant golf balls on the road to Goathland and Whitby. They were part of RAF Fylingdales and built in 1963. The giant radomes were used to give the UK and US governments an early warning system of a ballistic missile attack from The Soviet Union during the Cold War. In 1992, after the Cold War had ended the giant ‘golf balls’ were demolished and replaced by a less exciting pyramid structure. Nowadays it is used to track and detect objects orbiting the Earth, such as satellites, space junk and potentially UFOs. The land of which Fylingdales sits on is owned by the UK, but the equipment inside the pyramid are owned and maintained by the USA.
2. The Walls of Jericho– Thornton, Bradford
The biblically named “Walls of Jericho” were situated near the hamlet of Egypt near Thornton, Bradford. These huge walls which were constructed at the side of the narrow road in this part of West Yorkshire were constructed between 1847 and 1891 to support the embankment and to stop spoil from the surrounding quarries from falling into the road. By the mid-1980s, because of pressure from years of material and debris building up behind them, the walls of Jericho were in danger of tumbling down. Therefore it was decided that the walls had to be demolished and the road below widened, along with a new bypass road built past the quarries. Fragments of the walls can still be seen today.
3. Tinsley Towers – Sheffield
In just seven seconds one of South Yorkshire’s best known landmarks had gone forever when they were blown up in 2008. The Tinsley Towers which stood 76 metres tall at the side of the M1 near Sheffield were once part of a larger power station which was demolished in 1980. The towers became known to locals as the “Sheffield sisters” and were a sign they were nearly home. The towers clung on for another 28 years for several reasons, including its proximity to the Tinsley Viaduct and a rare bird nesting in one of them, which prevented the towers from demolition. Finally at 3am in the morning on 24th August 2008, watched by many locals from Meadowhall and anywhere where they could get a good view from a safe distance, the cooling towers were finally blown up.
4. Royal Exchange – Middlesbrough
In the days when Middlesbrough ruled the world in steelmaking and shipbuilding, The Royal Exchange was at the industrial hub of this new town. It was built in 1868 and was the home Dorman Long steel company and then British Steel from 1946 to 1977. Like the industry this classically designed Victorian building faced an uncertain future when it stood empty at the beginning of the 1980s. The Royal Exchange, much to the anger of locals was finally demolished in 1985 to accommodate the construction of the A66 flyover.
5. Yorkshire Post Building– Leeds
Any trip into Leeds City Centre was not complete without encountering the brutalist Yorkshire Post building at the bottom of Kirkstall Road. Built in 1970 and opened by Prince Charles, it was a well known landmark in the city. The building came complete with a tower which showed passers by the time and temperature. In 2013, the Yorkshire Post moved to smaller offices nearby on Whitehall Road, leaving the large concrete building empty and unloved. Even English Heritage did not want to list it and so it was demolished in April 2014. Fortunately for travellers the clock tower was spared and still provides a reminder of the building which once stood there.