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…

Tales from Leeds Pantomimes

This week on the Secret Library, local history Librarian, Antony Ramm, brings you three of his favourite stories from Leeds’ rich pantomime tradition. Oh yes he does! In May of 1986, J. Ingle of Otley wrote to the Yorkshire Evening Post to ask how long pantomimes had been taking place in Leeds – and was…

The Leeds Riot Map Collection

Assistant Librarian Antony Ramm takes a look at a new addition to the Local and Family History department in the Central Library. The recent arrival in our Local and Family History department of a new map series is to be welcomed. This is the Leeds Riot Map collection, originally created by Tim Waters for a…

Black History Month: Talk on Chapeltown in the 1980s

As part of the Library Service’s programme of Black History Month events, we are delighted to announce that Tom Woolmore will be speaking at the Central Library on Wednesday October 4, 6-7pm, on “black responses to racism and government policy in Chapeltown during the 1980s.” You can book tickets for what promises to be a…

Walking tours of the back-to-back houses, Harehills

University of York PhD researcher Joanne Harrison has continued her collaboration with Leeds Central Library’s Local and Family History department and the Compton Centre Community Hub, hosting a couple of events as part of the national Heritage Open Days weekend. She reports here on the tours and exhibition, how to get involved in the latest…

The Victorian Professions

Antony Ramm, part of the Librarian team in the Local and Family History department reports on a fascinating talk recently given at the Central Library. Over 50 people attended the latest in our Lunchtime Talk series, when we welcomed Professor Laurence Brockliss of the University of Oxford, who introduced our audience to a major research…

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…