NELSON MANDELA GARDENS
Nelson Mandela gardens is at Millennium Square in Leeds city centre. we went there last week just after this amazing man died.
people had already left flowers, flags and poems as a sign of their affection.
Nelson Mandela was given the freedom of the City of Leeds in 2001. Mandela officially opened Millenium square in 2000, part of the square is named "Mandela gardens" and it is the focus point for the people of Leeds to show their respect following the death of this great statesman.
LEGO ADVENT CALENDAR
The biggest LEGO advent calendar in the world was opened in Leeds today. Each day a different door 1 - 24 will be opened to reveal a lego model inside. the event was celebrated with fun and music for the hoards of shoppers visiting Trininty shopping centre.
Tonight was my first visit to Leeds arena (I have another two visits booked)I loved it. tonights visit was to see WWE Live. Even though we were sat in the nosebleed seats (333 row c) we could still see the action in the ring clearly. The atmosphere was amazing and the action non-stop. The best part of the evening was coming out and only having a short 72 bus ride home instead of a long journey from another city...looking forward to my next visit already.
A full programme of events is taking place at the arena from Tinie Temper to Dolly Parton. Check out the website for all the acts that are booked in the coming year.
LEEDS CHRISTMAS MARKET
Leeds Christmas market is back for the 12th year running. This year there are more food outlets (Frankfurters and Gluhwein) as well as the usual craft stalls.
At the centre of the market as usual is the Bierkeller, with nightly German entertainment and delicious food and drink...I can't wait.
A new “walk it leaflet” to appear at the Leeds visitor centre is Potts Clocks Heritage Trail. After starting to look into Potts Clocks, I didn’t realise how popular these mainly public clocks were in their heyday. There are over 1,600 public Potts clocks in the UK and across the world, including Newcastle Cathedral and Train station, Bradford wool exchange, Cardiff Pierhead, Sheffield Town Hall, St Mary’s church Whitby and Huddersfield Train station. British Leyland also commissioned Potts to install clocks for them as part of an advertisement campaign in the 1930’s. Most, if not all, of the public clocks in Leeds were supplied by Potts.
The company have made over 1,600 public clocks.
Robert Potts was born on a farm near Stockton on Tees in 1776. He started an apprenticeship at the age of 16 with James Thompson of Darlington. After his wife died in 1814 he moved to Keighley and started work at William Smith and sons, who made spindles and parts for spinning machines. William Smith also made and repaired clocks in the evening. It was here that Robert would make clocks in his spare time.
William, Robert’s son learned how to make clocks from his father. William left school at 12 and he went to work with his father. In 1830 William went to Darlington to work as an apprentice for Samuel Thompson(who was the son of James Thompson, who taught Robert). When William finished his apprenticeship in 1833 he moved to Pudsey where he made house clocks to sell in local shops. His father, Robert helped him until his death in 1839.
In 1862 the company moved from Pudsey to the vastly expanding Leeds. The company set up a factory on Guildford Street which is now part of the Headrow. In 1872 they expanded the business due to increasing demand. Three of Williams sons joined the business. Thomas (known as Robert), James and Joseph. The company now traded as William Potts and sons.
In 1875 Potts installed a time ball in the Guildford Street shop window. At 1pm each day a telegraphic message was sent from Greenwich and a ball was dropped which let people know it was 1pm. Another timeball was later installed on the front of Dyson’s Jewellers. This timeball is still in place although it no longer works.
William died in 1887 and the company moved the business into Cookridge Street.
Just after the turn of the century the demand for turret clocks fell into decline. In 1906 the company became a limited company but, due to poor sales and mismanagement of the company, two members of the board were sacked. William’s grandson, Thomas and his son Robert were both asked to leave the company.
In 1927 premises were opened in Commercial Street and a new factory was opened in Burley on the outskirts of the city centre. The factory in Burley started to mass produce small clocks.
In 1930 Leyland motors designed a number of clocks for advertising, one of these clocks was installed on the summit of Shap, near Kendal. The clock would stop during severe weather so Potts developed a mechanism that would withstand the high winds and snow.
In 1934 the business was sold to John Smith and sons of Derby.
Roberts son Charles had set up his own company under his own name in 1930. This business was sold to the Synchronome company after Charles death in 1957, the last clock was installed in1962.
Names were not allowed on public clocks in Victorian times. So clockmakers such as Potts would register the shape of the clock hands. The shape of these hands were named and numbered. The hands on the clock of the Old Post Office in City Square are “Potts standard no. 1” with the dial being pattern no.6.
THE GRIFFIN HOTEL (picture no.1)
This clock was installed in 1877 on the Griffin Hotel. The street had recently been widened to create a shopping street. The clock was designed with the name “GRIFFIN HOTEL” replacing the usual roman numerals on the dial. The Griffin hotel, a grade II listed building, closed down, it then became a pub but is now also closed.
HOLY TRINITY CHURCH CLOCK (picture no.2)
The Potts clock at Holy Trinity Church was installed in 1902. It replaced the original clock by Morgan Lowry, which was installed when the church was built in 1727. The clock was converted to autowind in 1973.
Light night is an annual fixture in the Leeds calendar. It usually takes place on a friday night in early October. Everything is free and is mostly provided by the local council and various art organisations.
Various events take place in the city centre and around the university. A popular event is “ghost stories” at the Brotherton university library.
Town hall clock tours are free on Light Night, this has become so popular that it is now possible to climb the 203 steps to the bell tower at the top of the Victorian town hall all year round for a fee of £4.
Other light night events in 2013 include a trip to Narnia (Trinity shopping centre), Carriageworks young theatre makers (Carriageworks), music and art (Victorian courtroom and cells, Town hall) and dance at the Yorkshire dance and West Yorkshire playhouse.
With over 50 free art events being held there isn’t enough time to see everything so a programme is essential. Programmes are put out at Leeds museum, Leeds art gallery, Libraries and Gateway Yorkshire (train station) usually about two weeks before the event.
The highlight of the evening for me was a tribute to Potts clocks (most of the public clocks in Leeds were made by this firm} a brilliant light projection onto the Civic hall (Millennium Square) by the artists "Illuminos"
I have included a video of part of this projection on the Leeds page.
LIGHT NIGHT VIDEO
LIGHT NIGHT VIDEO 2
Tropical World is one of my favourite places to visit in Leeds. I have been here twice, once in 2008 and the second in 2013. Tropical World houses tropical plants and animals in an arrangements of different 'locations' like Australasia, The Amazon etc. There are tropical butterflies, a nocturnal bat cave, birds, spiders and tropical fish. One of the newest attractions is the Meerkats that weren't there on my last visit.
The first section of the attraction is located in the Amazon and is very humid and warm. I would suggest taking a small cloth to wipe your camera lens because the lenses fog up quite quickly in that section. The whole attraction is quite warm so I wouldn't wear anything too thick.
Tropical World is really good value and only costs around £3.40 for an adult ticket. You can buy your tickets at the gift shop as you walk in to the building. It is usually open between 10am-6pm in the summer and 10am-4pm in the winter. Parking is available in the park free of charge.
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
KIRKSTALL DRINKING FOUNTAIN
The water fountain at Kirkstall reads “drink and be grateful”. Built in 1865 it was a valuable source of fresh water for the people of the area in the days when only the rich had their own source of drinking water. The drinking fountains built in Victorian times were very ornate.
Even up to 60 years ago 20% of all homes in Britain had no water supply in their homes
HUNSLET, part of Leeds industrial heritage.
Hunslet is an area in south Leeds. One mile from the city centre. I used to have a flat here but the whole area has changed since I lived here.
Hunslet was once known country wide for engineering as the Hunslet Engine Company was situated here. they built many of Britains locomotives and they were also involved in the building of the Channel tunnel.
People have lived in the Hunslet area for hundreds of years and it was mentioned in the domesday book of 1086.
Keith Waterhouse (writer), was born in Hunslet. some of his work includes...Billy Liar, Budgie, Worzle Gummidge and a newspaper columnist.
OWL…..Observational Wheel Leeds
Leeds has a wheel....yessss
We only have it for a month, from 16th February until 15th March 2013.
The wheel is taller than Nelson's column and on a clear day you can see for 10 miles. Unfortunately I went on it on a cloudy day, but I got to look down on the City Centre. I went early before work when there were no queue so I had a gondola to myself. The ride lasts for 15 minutes and there were four options for entertainment inside the gondola. Two music channels courtesy of Radio Aire and two information channels explaining what to see and informing you of famous events and people of the Leeds area. I enjoyed it and hopefully I will be able to go up again on a clear day before it comes down.
children under three FREE
Monday - Saturday
10am - 10pm
THE WHEEL IS OPEN UNTIL 21st APRIL 2013
THE NEWEST LEEDS OWL
Leeds has a new owl on the owl trail. The newest addition to the collection sits high in the roof of the new Trinity shopping centre looking down on the hectic shopping going on below.
leaflets for the Leeds owl trail and history behind the Leeds owls are available from the Tourist Information office at Gateway Yorkshire in the train station.
THE OPENING OF TRINITY SHOPPING CENTRE
After three long years of construction Trinity shopping mall in Leeds finally opened on Thursday 21st March 2013.This is the only major UK shopping mall to open this year due to the recession. Thousands of people turned up for the spectacular opening ceremony which included a performance by Cirque du Soleil's Colette Morrow, who dazzled people with her acrobatics suspended from the glass roof. She then donned the world's longest designer dress, designed by British designer Henry Holland, which was a yellow and pink polka dot creation made from silk and decorated with Swarovski crystals. Henry curated the show in front of the dazzled crowds.
The mall cover an area of Leeds city centre from Brigate to City Square and it has a glass roof and open plan feel. The designers have given it a modern look but it also incorporates Trinity church which dates back to 1722.
The shopping mall which cost £378m to build had a footfall of 83,260 people in the first six hours.
There are 120 shops, restaurants and bars in the mall which include:-
Marks and Spencers
and many more.......
St John's Church & Merrion Street Garden of Rest
Church of St John the Evangelist was built and founded in the 17th Century by John Harrison, a wool merchant and local benefactor/philanthropist and is the oldest church in Leeds. Following alterations in the 19th Century, the Jacobean church ceased to function in 1975 and became a heritage property afterwards. The church is owned by The Churches Conservation Trust, a national charity, and hosts regular events throughout the year.
The church was opened for one Saturday at the end of 2012 when it hosted a Christmas Fair. I then had an opportunity to look in this beautiful church and took in its interior architecture going back to the 17th Century.
Adjacent to St John's church there are the Merrion Street Garden of Rest where one can relax in the some of the city's green space throughout the day.
- Historical Travel
A GREAT NIGHT DESPITE THE SNOW
The first event of "the grand depart of the tour de france" took place outside leeds town hall today 17/01/13. If tonight was anything to go by we are in for an amazing time in July 2014.
The famous race will depart from leeds on 5th July 2014 and will end in Harrogate that day. The second leg on Sunday 6th July will begin in York and end in Sheffield.
The announcement of the route was staged outside Leeds town hall with stars from Emmerdale (Jimmy and Carl King and Eric Pollard), Harry Potter (Neville Longbottom) and Leeds Rhinos. As well as cyclists and Malcolm Elliott, a former Tour de France cyclist.
After the routes were announced and reactions from sportsmen and celebrities were finished there was a spectacular firework display from the Town hall roof.
The Royal Armouries was opened 1996. It was the first purpose built museum that has been opened this century. Part of the Royal collection that was previously held in the Tower of London is now held here. As well as being a tourist attraction it also serves as an educational centre.
The Royal Armouries is situated in the redeveloped area of Clarence dock on the river Aire in South Leeds. A highlight of the museum is the “hall of steel”, this is an octagonal tower with arms and armour rising up the walls from bottom to top. This hall is lit at night and can be seen when driving past.
During the summer tournaments are held here including bird of prey displays and jousting.
Daily 10am – 5pm
The museum is closed 24-26 December.
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