Historic photos shed some light on Speights’ past

IT was a routine rummage through a shop storage room that shed some light on the history of a long-standing local business.

Friday, 19th October 2012, 10:31 am

Speights lighting store has been established in Mirfield town centre for more than 100 years.

But what current staff didn’t know was that shortly after the turn of the last century, the firm had premises in Dewsbury.

They found four frames full of old pictures showing the Mirfield store in 1906, 1978 and 1993.

What they also found was an outside shot of the old Speights store in Corporation Street, Dewsbury, in 1903.

Store manager Anthony Pinder said: “We were clearing out downstairs and they were just stacked behind a piece of racking.

“They must have been on display at one point, whether it was in the shop itself or elsewhere.”

Mr Pinder, who joined the company last year, said he only knew bits about the history of the business.

“I’ve been in lighting for 20 years and Speights is a company I’ve dealt with in the past,” he said.

“I know it’s been around a long time.”

For many years the business was run by Kevin Speight, who employed his daughters Amanda and Penny in the shop. One of the pictures discovered recently shows a large workforce in 1914, putting together what appear to be dolls.

“I don’t know what Speights did actually start out making,” Mr Pinder said.

“They must have done all sorts of things, or started in one area and moved into lighting.”

Mr Pinder said he would now like to put the old pictures back on display.

“It’s good to look back on these old pictures and see what has changed,” he said.