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…

Captain Cook and Doctor Priestley: A Library Tale for Our Times

Heritage volunteer Tony Scaife imagines a secret meeting of great minds in 18th century Leeds… Having borrowed a copy of Peter Whitley’s Lord North: The Prime Minister Who Lost America from Leeds Libraries, I became intrigued at the similarities between the 1770s and today. As his many Whig critics claimed, Lord North’s bungling government negligently lost…

When the Robots Came to Leeds

Heritage volunteer and guest blogger Tony Scaife looks back to 1920s Leeds, when the new word ‘robot’ had a somewhat different meaning… The robot army arrived in Leeds on Friday 16 March 1928. Readers will have to judge for themselves whether Councillor Turtington and the other members of the Leeds Highways Committee were prescient, deluded or…

Secrets of the Palm 3: What to Do on a Wet Thursday Night in Harrogate

Leeds Libraries Heritage Volunteer Tony Scaife delves once more into the pages of The Palm, the magazine of the old Leeds Central High School, which is archived in the Local and Family History Library at shelfmark L 373 PAL. In late August of 1920, four Central High School boys decided to go On a Holiday, leaving a record of…

Pottering About Thinking

By Tony Scaife, Heritage Volunteer, Local and Family History, Leeds Central Library One of the advantages of a Heritage Volunteer/retirement job share is the temptation it gives you to wander about in the marvellous collection of the Local and Family History Library and digress from any assigned task. I am following the life and times of…

Secrets of The Palm 2: The Future Foretold

Leeds Libraries Heritage Volunteer Tony Scaife follows up his previous post with another delve into the pages of The Palm, the old Central High School magazine of the 1920s. Prompted by the city of Leeds’ Tercentenary in July 1926, two articles written by schoolboys for The Palm seem almost prophetic, dealing as they do with…

Secrets of The Palm: An Insight into Early Radio Broadcasting in Leeds

This week’s post is by Tony Scaife, a Heritage Volunteer based at the Local and Family History Library. He’s been indexing volumes of The Palm, the magazine of the old Leeds Central High School, which inspired him to delve a little deeper into the city’s early radio days… In 1901, the groundbreaking Central High School (CHS)…