The Silent Traveller in the Yorkshire Dales

This week we hear from Library Officer, Will Poulter, on a surprising perspective of the Yorkshire Dales… One of the joys of working in the library is that sometimes I come across books that strike me, that I may never have known exist. This happened recently when I came across a modest journal by a Chinese…

Wo Wo Lol Lol: The Eccentric John Broughton

By Ross Horsley, Local and Family History, Leeds Central Library It’s often via interactions with customers that we come to appreciate the stories behind some of the treasures in our collections. One we’ve recently discovered a little more about – thanks to the correspondence of the author’s great-great-granddaughter – is the 1828 book, Poems; Moral, Sentimental and…

The Lady Tram-Conductor

Here’s a little insight into First World War-era Leeds for you today, in the form of a poem written by Burley resident Edward Carless, and dated 12 February 1916: The Lady Tram-Conductor: A Working Man’s Tribute Strange things happen in time of war; A lady now conducts the car! In uniform, so smart and trim, She’s…

Commemorating World War I: Collections, Events & Exhibitions

by Antony Ramm, Local and Family History, Central Library We are now roughly mid-way through the centenary of the First World War and the Leeds Library and Information Service continues to mark that anniversary with a series of regular events – including exhibitions, talks and workshops. Our most recent set of such commemorative offerings were timed…

Fragments of War: Quieter Voices

 By Stuart Hennigan, Communities Librarian, and Ross Horsley, Local and Family History Library World War 1 is famous for its poetry. More than that of any other war in history, the poetry of World War 1 has determined our perception of the war itself. Most people have read, or at least heard of, such luminary war poets as…

Ethelwynne in the Spotlight

Last Friday, we published a sombre but moving post entitled A Leeds Schoolgirl Reflects on WW1. Now, blogger Maureen Jessop has sent a more lighthearted little update our way. Take a look at the photo below (which, like last week’s poem, comes from the Leeds Girls’ High School magazine) and see if you can work out which of the…

A Leeds Schoolgirl Reflects on WW1

As part of Dying Matters awareness week, The Secret Library investigates the story behind a powerful poem on the subject of death and loss. Our Heritage Volunteer Maureen Jessop discovered the piece while reading and indexing the magazine of Leeds Girls’ High, the school that stood in Headingley from 1876 until its merger with Leeds Grammar School in…

An Armley Ghost Story for Christmas

by Ross Horsley, Local and Family History, Leeds Central Library “The ghost that turns up, annually, on the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve is largely the invention of Charles Dickens and his imitators in fiction. But ghosts do prefer to visit their familiar haunts on dark winter nights – and, for some, Christmas appears…