Twenty one members of the retired mens’ social group, who meet in Wetherby’s Garden of Rest, proposed to call the Hallfield Lane Lorry Park when it was converted to a long stay facility – The Cluster of Nuts Car Park.
“If they just end up calling the space the Hallfield Lane Car Park it’s not particularly interesting,”
According to club member, Ian Leadley, the proposed name has historic links to old Wetherby’s cherished past. “The name relates to the old row of cottages that once stood on the lorry park years some years ago,” he said. “Calling it The Cluster of Nuts would remind older residents of the good old days and inform younger residents of Wetherby’s heritage.
There were cottages at the head of Horsefair on the junction with Hallfield Lane and Grafton Square (now Walton Road). This area was known locally as the “Cluster of Nuts”. It was never clear why they had such an unusual local name.
However it has been said that he was told that the name “Cluster of Nuts” was given because the cottages were built in a semi-circular shape. They curved round from Hallfield Lane to Grafton Square. They had their own laundry which had an archway entrance.
Most buildings in Wetherby were built from limestone which was quarried all over the town. The ”Cluster of Nuts” cottages were built of red/brown bricks. They were supposedly made at Moss Carrs Farm.
On the site of the old houses is an anchor which is beside the set-down and pick-up point for visiting coach parties.
The anchor was salvaged from the waters of Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands and is placed in the Cluster of Nuts Car Park as a reminder of the connections between Wetherby and the Royal Navy.
In 1942 the Navy took over an unused camp on the York Road as a ‘ship’, and the area now occupied by the High School as the associated female residential camp, known as HMS Ceres (Moorland) or more usually the ‘the Wrennery’. This became the Supply and Secretariat base for the Royal Navy, and once fully established was the country’s largest land based ship. Commissioned as HMS Cabot. According to the German wartime propaganda broadcaster, Lord Haw-Haw, it was promptly sunk!
The Name changed in 1943 to HMS Demetrious and again in 1940 to HMS Ceres. The base was finally closed in March 1958 and it’s work transferred to HMS Pembroke at Chatham in Kent.