Sir Peter Fairbairn (1799–1861)

Sir Peter Fairbairn  in the rain on Yorkshire day, yes it’s summer!

Peter, originally from Scotland, spent his adolescence in Newcastle and eventually made his way to Leeds in 1828. He was an Engineer and an Inventor and set up a business as a machine maker for the woollen industry.  He began to show an interest in Public Office, and then became mayor of Leeds from 1857 to 1858.

The statue, in Woodhouse Square,  was erected in 1867 and so is nearly 150 years old !   Queen Victoria was a house guest of Peter’s in 1858, when she opened the  Town Hall,  at the same time she gave Peter a Knighthood and he became Sir.

The internet is fantastic for researching historical data, and it can be really rewarding to research and find out details about the past.  More and more journals are being digitalised, so more of the past is becoming available via the internet as time goes on. Oxford University have digitalised a Journal called The Builder which interestingly explains how; Peter purchased ‘A stock of Saxe Horns and other instruments, which will form one of the largest and most effective brass bands in that part of the country’  This for his employees;  ‘As means of affording them agreeable recreation!’