The First Leeds Panto?

To mark the forthcoming Christmas week, Librarian Antony Ramm offers a short investigation into the first pantomime performed in Leeds… In 1986 a reader of the Yorkshire Evening Post asked a simple question: What “records” were consulted for this answer is not made clear, but a previous article on the history of pantomime in Leeds…

A Brief History of the Leeds Improvement Acts: 1755 – 1842

This week, Librarian Antony Ramm brings you a brief history of the Leeds Improvement Acts. This content was used as part of a talk given in conjunction with colleagues from the Leeds Museums and Galleries service, on November 7 2019.  The Improvement Acts were a series of private Acts of Parliament passed in the 18th…

National Libraries Week: The ‘Old Leeds’ Exhibition of 1908

To mark National Libraries Week, Leeds Central Library is hosting an exhibition exploring the history of the Library Service in the city. Today, Librarian Antony Ramm highlights one book series on display in that exhibition, focusing on the ‘Old Leeds’ celebrations of 1908… In the summer of 1908, over 70,000 people visited the Leeds Art…

John De Morgan

John De Morgan (1877-1880) Calverley Street and Great George Street The Leeds School Board building was designed by George Corson and opened in 1881 (Corson was also responsible for the neighbouring Municipal Building). As well as a significant site of local power in its own right, the School Board was also briefly home to a…

The Lady Ludd Riots of 1812

Lady Ludd Riots (August 1812) Briggate These took place on Briggate at the height of summer, when a group of women and boys marched through the street attacking corn merchants in protest at perceived high prices. The group was led by a figure styling themselves as ‘Lady Ludd’ – named after ‘Ned Ludd’, the (possibly…

The Corn-price Riot of 1735 and the Turnpike Riot of 1753

Corn Price Riot (1735) Corner of Briggate & King Edward Street During the 18th and early 19th-centuries Leeds saw a significant amount of rioting relating to corn prices and, later, Corn Laws. In 1735 it was reported that, whilst huge amounts of corn were being produced and exported cheaply, Leeds citizens were met with rising,…

The Clothing Strike of 1970

Clothing Strike (1970) Westgate and Great George Street In February 1970, textile workers in Leeds began an unofficial strike in support of their demand for a shilling an hour pay increase. The strike snowballed, with workers attracting further support as they marched from clothing factory to clothing factory – until more than 20,000 people were…

The Leeds and County Liberal Club

Leeds and County Liberal Club (1890) Quebec Steet For most of the 19th century Leeds politics was dominated by the Liberal Party. This power and prestige was reflected in the building of an ornate new Party venue towards the end of the century: the Leeds and County Liberal Club on Quebec Street. Opened in 1891…