The Leeds Tailoress’ Strike

Leeds Tailoress’ Strike (1889) 33 Park Square Messrs. Arthur & Co Ltd tailoring works were based at 33 Park Square: the scene of the 1889 Tailoress’ Strike. The strike began on October 22, when over 600 workers at Arthur & Co. stopped work. The workers were frustrated at a draconian system of fines and deductions, …

The Music Hall (1858)

The Music Hall (1858) Covered Entrance, Albion Street and Trinity Arcade On the 14th December 1858 a meeting was held at the Music Hall on Albion Street to protest against the British opium trade with India and China. The meeting was chaired by Edward Baines and gentlemen including Arthur Lupton, William Hey and Wilson Armistead…

The Dripping Riot of 1865

The Dripping Riot (1865) Park Square Eliza Stafford worked as cook to the surgeon and magistrate Henry Chorley. He discovered she was stealing dripping from his kitchen and brought charges against her. She was found guilty and imprisoned for a month in Armley Prison. The case brought much public sympathy for Eliza and on February…

Alan Bennett and Yorkshire

This week we hear from Dr Kara McKechnie, lecturer in Dramaturgy at the University of Leeds, in advance of her lunchtime talk on 15 May on Alan Bennett and Yorkshire. Alan Bennett’s Yorkshire is not one of beautiful countryside, proud civic architecture and quaint rows of red brick houses. In his memories, it is a…

The Sheepscar Triangle – the Irish community in Leeds

This week, as part of Irish History Month, Librarian Helen Skilbeck looks back at some of the local haunts  of the Irish community in Leeds. Join us for a lunchtime talk on 13th March with Irish Arts that will continue this theme and look at the specific importance of the Sheepscar triangle. Talk details: The…

A Partial History of Leeds Central Library

This last Wednesday, to mark National Libraries Week, four of our Local and Family History team, plus one intrepid volunteer, delivered a talk offering a brief history of Leeds Central Library, primarily derived from material found in several volumes of news-cuttings covering public libraries in Leeds. So, this week on the Secret Library we offer…

A new Civic Hall for Leeds

Last week was the 85th anniversary of the opening of one of the most recognisable buildings in Leeds – the Civic Hall. Librarian Helen Skilbeck looks back at the opening day itself where King George V and Queen Mary visited Leeds to officially open the building. The idea of building a new Civic Hall was…

Speed-dating our Library Treasures III

As part of our Library Fest 2018 programme, we once again ran our popular Speed-dating our Library Treasures event – this time twice: on Valentine’s Day in the Tiled Hall cafe and a day later at the Hyde Park Book Club. Both events proved very successful, with attendees taking great interest in the wide range of items…