Snowy Tramscapes by Peter Lapish

We’re kicking off the 2021 festive period with our Secret Library Leeds Advent Calendar. Everyday in the run up to Christmas we will bring you something from our heritage & special collections, all with a seasonal feel.

Day 1 – Prints from the photographic archive as chosen by senior librarian Louise Birch

Impressionistic watercolours by Yorkshire Artist Pete Lapish, his series of wintery ‘tramscapes’ were originally painted as a Christmas card commission. These images are set between 1900 and the 1950’s showing off Leeds beautiful heritage architecture of Victorian and Georgian brick buildings.

Images courtesy of the website

Briggate in the Snow –

Briggate in the snow

c 1900. The trams are open-topped, typical of a date before 1905. They are displaying their original livery of chocolate, amber and ivory. At the left edge is number 33 Briggate, the premises of Suttons Ltd., mantle manufacturers, located at the junction with Boar Lane. 



c1900. Briggate under a covering of snow. The view is in the direction of the Headrow, or Upperhead Row and Lowerhead Row as it was known then. Boots Cash Chemists, occupying numbers 112, 113 and 114 Briggate at the junction with King Edward Street, are advertising Christmas Trees for sale. To the left of Boots the ornate building of the Empire Music Hall, designed by Frank Matcham is visible, with the statue on the top.

Duncan Street in the Snow –

Duncan Street in the Snow

c1905. Duncan Street under a blanket of snow busy with traffic and shoppers. On the left, the south side of Duncan Street, the tall building is number 14, the premises of Berrington & Co., boot and shoe mercers and manufacturers. This view looks towards the junction with Briggate and beyond to Boar Lane where the snow decorated spire of Holy Trinity Church is visible. Behind the spire is the Grand Pygmalion, a department store run by Alexander Monteith of Monteith, Hamilton & Monteith Limited, addressed as numbers 66, 67 and 69 Boar Lane and located between Bank Street and Trinity Street. The building dates from the 1880s. Lane from City Square –

c1953. View of Boar Lane from City Square, depicted on a snowy winter’s day . A Horsfield tramcar is proceeding into Boar Lane on route 3 to Roundhay. A Chamberlain car is about to enter the loading area to pick up passengers travelling in the direction of Kirkstall. At the left edge part of the Royal Exchange buildings can be seen and on the right the domed building is the Midland Bank at the corner of Boar Lane with Bishopgate Street. The group of people in the foreground are just entering City Square.

See you tomorrow for day 2 of the Secret Library Leeds Advent Calendar

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