The Rotation Office

The Rotation Office (late 1700s – early 1800s) New Market Street This was a brick building in a narrow yard, named for the magistrates who attended here, in ‘rotation’, to hear cases that came within the jurisdiction of the borough – but which did not justify the need for a jury. They were able to…

The 1926 General Strike

The General Strike (5-6 May 1926) The Corn Exchange On the 5th and 6th of May disturbances occurred in the town centre due to the continued operation of some trams and buses on a reduced service. On the first day, a tram was forced to stop as its windows were smashed by lumps of coal….

The 1844 Military Riot

The Military Riot (9-11 June 1844) Green Man Pub, Kirkgate & Green Parrot Pub, Harper Street In June 1844 reports of soldiers from the 70th Infantry attacking members of the public led to an outbreak of violence at the Green Man pub. Police arriving to arrest the soldiers were booed by an anti-police crowd and…

Bramhope Tunnel: Conquering the Ridge

This Friday we hear from Local and Family History Librarian, Louise Birch, on the monumental engineering (and human) feat that was the construction of Bramhope Tunnel… When the York & North Midland Railway leased and closed the Leeds-Selby Railway line (1940) in order to funnel regional rail travel through York they angered the manufacturers and…

Leeds Baby Week and US. Patent 3,216,423

This week, Librarian Louise Birch takes a look at an intriguing patent for Leeds Baby Week:  an “Apparatus Facilitating the Birth of A Child By Centrifugal Force”. Leeds Central Library is home to a Business and Intellectual Property Centre, part of a network of regional centres here to help out all you inventors, designers and…

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…

Briggate in Brief

Local History Librarian, Ross Horsley, celebrates Black Friday with a special deal of ten FREE facts about Briggate, one of the oldest streets in Leeds. Whether you’re on the lookout for seasonal deals or finally getting to grips with your Christmas list, it’s likely you’ll find yourself on Leeds’s main shopping street at some point…

Remember the Dead and Fight for the Living

by Louise Birch and Ross Horsley, Local and Family History, Leeds Central Library Today is Workers Memorial Day, marking the sacrifice of those who have died as a result of their job, and reminding all employers and employees of the importance of looking after their colleagues. In front of Leeds Central Library, a new plaque was unveiled bearing…