12-18 Eldon Street

12-18 Eldon Street was built by the YMCA, the Young Men’s Christian Association.

The foundation stone was laid by the right honourable Lord Arthur Fitzgerald Kinnaird, president of the YMCA and one of England’s first football stars, on 3 July 1908. The building was formally opened on 4 January 1909. The original plan included a lounge and social area, lecture hall, billiard room and a gymnasium with large skylights to maximise daylight on the top floor. This embodied the YMCA’s guiding principles of helping young men to develop healthy ‘body, mind and spirit’. The building originally had three retail units on the ground floor. The first tenants were Holroyd Dyers and Dry Cleaner’s, Walker’s gloves and hosiery shop and Hinchliffe’s milliners. Many local residents have fond memories of the YMCA. They had an active table tennis club and many local people remember playing there in the 1950s and 1960s.