The Owl on Woodhouse Moor

Bill McKinnon, local historian and activist,  looks back over the life of the Woodhouse Moor Owl – a sculpture so mysterious, we can’t even find a photograph of it! “The Owl … will mount his pedestal today as an emblem of Leeds,” wrote John Lee in the Leeds Times on Saturday 14 April 1883. “The figure of the…

George Lucas of Woodhouse and the Leeds Temperance Movement

Antony Ramm, local history Librarian, takes a brief look at an incident in the life of George Lucas, Temperance campaigner in 1850s Woodhouse… In the mid-19th-century, the dark side of alcohol was well known to contemporaries; specifically, the damage excessive drinking caused working-class individuals and communities. But even as the darkness rose, there was a light to…

Nineteenth Century Politics – The Leeds Parliamentary Election of 1868

This week we hear from Josh Flint of the Local and Family History Department, who will look at the Parliamentary Election held on the 17th November 1868. The 1868 election in Leeds was fought between two Liberal candidates Edward Baines Jr and Robert Meek Carter; an Independent Liberal Sir Andrew Fairbairn and two Conservatives Admiral…

Cross-dressing in Yorkshire

This week we welcome guest writer Lauren Wells, Post-Graduate Researcher at the University of Leeds, who explores the history and meaning(s) of cross-dressing in Yorkshire… My research examines men who cross-dressed in Yorkshire from the end of the nineteenth century until the eve of the Second World War. When I first conceptualised this project, I…

A Library at War: Leeds Central Library during WW2

Ahead of next week’s Lunchtime Talk, which will see our team of Librarians from the Local and Family History department offering a brief history of Leeds Central Library, we hear from regular guest author Mike Harwood, who tells the story of this building during the tumult of World War 2… ‘Tuesday, 31 October 1939: “Felt energetic…

1970 Clothing Strike: New Resource

We were delighted to welcome University of Leeds student, Jessica Heath, to the Central Library in March of this year. Jessica led a workshop exploring the causes and effects of the 1970 Clothing Strike across Leeds, which was largely led by women workers. The legacy of that workshop, as Librarian Antony Ramm explains, was the…

“Angry Women Who Shook a City”: The 1970 Leeds Clothing Strike

Today we hear form student Jessica Heath, who will be leading a workshop this coming Saturday, on a undeservedly little-known event in modern Leeds history…. The workshop will be taking an in-depth look into the 1970 Leeds Clothing Strike; it’s impact, magnitude and its repercussions on the lives of those involved. I began researching the…

The Adam & Eve Garden Today

Local history librarian, Ross Horsley, revisits the site of the former Adam and Eve Garden on Woodhouse Moor. A couple of weeks ago at the Secret Library, we looked back to the early decades of the twentieth century, when a miniature Garden of Eden – home to its own Adam, Eve and Tree of Knowledge…