Alf Cooke, the founder of Alf Cooke Printworks, was born in Leeds in 1842, the son of a printer and stationer.
He launched the business in 1866 when he was 24. His first “factory” was a rented shop and house in Hunslet Road selling stationery and newspapers and undertaking letterpress printing.
In the early 1870s he bought premises on the east side of Hunslet Road, near Crown Point Bridge, to expand his printing operations.
It burned down in 1880 and he started again on the west side of Hunslet Road.
In 1885 he was honoured by Queen Victoria with a Warrant of Appointment as Her Majesty’s Colour Printer.
Disaster struck again in 1894 when another fire destroyed the new plant. He subsequently built the present factory at Crown Point in Hunslet Road.