Lewis’s Picture Perfect Windows

For Day 12 of our Advent Calendar, Senior Librarian Louise Birch looks at the closest thing Leeds had to the store from the movie Miracle on 34th Street. Lewis’s department store opened in 1932 on the widened Headrow.  Every Christmas Lewis’s provided beautiful Christmas displays, becoming citywide legendary in the 1970s and 80s. This displays…

Turkey by Moxon

Time to start thinking about how you’re going to cook that turkey. Luckily for you our Librarian, Helen Skilbeck, is back on day 11 of our Advent Calendar with more Christmas recipes from the Local Studies collections. Elizabeth Moxon was a writer on cookery and is known chiefly for her sole publication, ‘English Housewifry, Exemplified…

Vogue – The Christmas Issue

It’s Day 10 and we really need to start thinking about those Christmas outfits, Jude Ramm, Library & Digital Assistant has been raiding the Art Library closet for something a little bit glam. This Christmas 1958 edition of the ever-glamorous Vogue is billed as the “Young Idea party portfolio” (possible title of my biography?). It…

Any Mummers Allowed In?

It’s day 9 of our Advent Calendar and today Senior Librarian Louise Birch will take us on our first visit to Robert Chambers ‘The Book of Day: A Miscellany of Popular Antiquities in Connection with the Calendar, Including Anecdote, Biography, & History, Curiosities of Literature and Oddities of Human Life and Character.’ Vol. 2 (1864)…

Mince Pies by ‘The Prudent Housewife’

For day 8 of our Advent Calendar, Librarian Helen Skilbeck shares her favourite heritage mince pie recipe with you all. Ann Peckham was from Leeds and wrote a book entitled ‘The complete English cook or prudent housewife’. Our copy shown here is the fourth edition dating from 1770. In her preface Peckham states – ‘the…

Family Allowance Toy Fair

by Louise Birch Day 7 of our Advent Calendar is all about Christmas Shopping. there is a commercial side to Christmas that many dislike, for some this is due to the affordability of gifts. Today’s entry recalls a toy fair that addressed this. These images show the annual Wykebeck ‘Family allowance Toy Fair’.  Local residents…

Victorian Scrapbook

By Jude Ramm, Library and Digital Assistant For day 6 of our Advent Calendar, we’ll turn the Christmas spirit up to eleven with our Victorian Scrapbook. This incredibly beautiful scrapbook was donated to the Art Library in the 1990s. It’s packed full of a variety of Christmas cards, scraps, and cut-outs from the Victorian era…

BlueBeard – Grand Pantomime

By Antony Ramm, Librarian ‘He’s Behind You’ – Day 5 of our Heritage Advent Calendar brings us everyone’s favourite seasonal theatre – Pantomimes. ‘Bluebeard’ and the Leeds pantomime scene go back a long way. While it may not have been the first-ever panto in the town, it was certainly the first at the most prestigious…