Store owner’s surprise discovery of century-old hidden party invitations

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SHOP-OWNER Jerry Dwyer got more than he bargained for while revamping his new business.

Gala dinner invitations dating back to 1898 fell from the ceiling of his new shop in Kirkstall, Leeds, during a renovation project to uncover the building’s historic features.

The cycling enthusiast was delighted to discover the invitations were to attend New Wortley Cycling Club’s New Year’s Eve party.

He is now looking for historians who can help him piece together how the invitations came to be in the false ceiling of Star Fabrics in Kirkstall Road and is also looking for more information about New Wortley Cycle Club.

He said: “It’s fabulous because they are part of the city’s history.

“First and foremost, though, I want to find out why they were up there in the ceiling.”

Mr Dwyer is also trying to find out more about the past uses of his new upholstery restoration shop in a building he believes could date back to the 1880s.

It is the second time he has 
uncovered memorabilia after restoring premises in the city’s Burley Road where dozens of brochures dating back to the 1930s celebrating the history of bike company Raleigh were found in a cellar.

He is now looking to see whether any local collectors, cycling clubs or museums would be interested in showcasing his discoveries.

“I would love to give them to a museum so that people could look at them,” he said.

He is hoping his new shop will be open within a few months following renovation work including the removal of the false ceiling which uncovered wooden beams and other original features.