A History of the Leeds City War Memorial

As Remembrance Day draws near, librarian Helen Skilbeck looks back at the history of the war memorial in Victoria Gardens, close to Leeds Central Library. Until the 1930s, there were buildings occupying the now paved area that now runs the whole length of the Library, City Art Gallery and Henry Moore Institute. These included the Leeds…

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…

Remembering the Barnbow Tragedy: 100 Years Ago Today

by Louise Birch, Local and Family History, Leeds Central Library Leeds Central Library’s recent exhibition The Barnbow Story in Pictures used photographs taken from the munitions factory to give insight into the lives of the women who worked there. A selection of the exhibition photographs have been included below but, if you would like to…

Trials of a Leeds Soldier

Many Leeds citizens fought valiantly in the First World War, but few could tell a tale as fascinating as William (sometimes ‘Willie’) Lonsdale. This week, the Secret Library brings you an abridged version of his story, researched and written by one of our team of volunteers, using the resources available in our Local and Family History…

Lights, Camera, Action…Libraries

You could be forgiven for thinking you’d seen a ghost roaming the corridors of Leeds Central Library today, however the dapper gentlemen in bowler hats and ladies in bustles walking down the stairs were actors filming a new adaptation of Vera Brittain’s ‘Testament of Youth’. This first instalment of Brittain’s memoirs covers the period of…