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Past Events

Leeds Civic Trust Past Events

Blue Plaque Unveiling For Selig Brodetsky

We are delighted to invite you to the unveiling of a Blue Plaque for Selig Brodetsky at 11.15 on 10th October 2021 at 3 Grosvenor Road, Leeds LS6 2DZ, followed by refreshments at the Hyde Park Book Club

Born into poverty in Russia, one of thirteen children, he fled to the UK when he was 4. Academically bright, he pursued a university career becoming Professor of Mathematics at the University of Leeds in 1924. His research interests focused on aero dynamics and fluid dynamics, publishing mathematical models of the movements of the aeroplane. He was also a strong Trade Unionist and campaigned throughout his life for a Jewish homeland, becoming President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews. He became President of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1948. The title of his autobiography “From Ghetto to Jerusalem” sums up his extraordinary life.

Jeremy Burton, President of Leeds Civic Trust, will unveil the plaque.

In Conversation with…. Tom Bridges, Director of Cities Advisory, Arup

Wednesday, 30 June 2021, 12 Noon

Join Leeds Civic Trust Director Martin Hamilton for a conversation with Tom Bridges, who heads up Arup’s Leeds Office and is Director of their City Advisory function. As an ex chief officer of Leeds City Council with oversight for the city’s economy, and in his current role at Arup, Tom Bridges is in an excellent position to provide a personal reflection on how our city centre is changing, adapting and – we would hope – thriving as it emerges from the pandemic.  Click here to register for your free ticket

John Barran (1821-1905) – Entrepreneur & Visionary

Monday, 26 July 2021, 6.00PM

Join Rachael Unsworth, Urban Geographer and Director of Leeds City Walking Tours, to hear why John Barran’s contribution to Leeds should be celebrated. This year gives us two excellent excuses to celebrate John Barran’s role in Leeds. On 3 August it will be 200 years since he was born and, in the autumn, it will be 150 years since he boldly acquired the Roundhay estate for the town. Arriving in Leeds as a young man, Barran established a tailoring business and brought in ground-breaking machinery to revolutionise the pace and scale of clothing production. As a town councillor, he supported many improvements, and his own commercial buildings were dramatic additions to the urban landscape. Local historian Steve Burt, who published a history of Roundhay Park in 2000, has kindly made his substantial research material available for creating commemorative events in 2021. Click here to register for your free ticket


The First White Cloth Hall – revealing the hidden gem

Thursday, 24 June 2021, 11.00AM

Rushbond PLC talk about how they restore and re-invent heritage buildings, focusing in particular on the First White Cloth Hall. Jenna Strover, who chairs the Trust’s Heritage Watch Group, is in conversation with Rushbond founder and MD Jonathan Maud and Development Director Mark Finch, and former Trust Director, Dr Kevin Grady, as they take us through the fascinating story behind the restoration of this important landmark.


In Conversation with… Sinead Rocks Channel 4 MD, Nations & Regions

Monday, 14 June 2021, 11.00AM

Leeds Civic Trust Director Martin Hamilton is in conversation with Sinead Rocks, Managing Director of Nations and Regions at Channel 4, asking Sinead what Channel 4 hopes to achieve with their new Leeds location, her perspectives on the media and creative industries in our city more generally, what excites her about her new Leeds base, and how media businesses such as the one she works for can change the view that broadcast media in the UK tends to have a London-centric view of the rest of the country.


In Conversation with… James Lewis: Leader of Leeds City Council

Friday, 11 June 2021, 11.00AM

James Lewis, Leader of Leeds City Council

Join Leeds Civic Trust Director Martin Hamilton for an interview with Leeds City Council Leader James Lewis. As the city emerges from the Covid pandemic, we will be asking James about his vision for the future of our city, discussing issues such as transport, the development of the city and how it will need to adapt to meet changes in working patterns, retail and leisure. This interview takes place after the election of the first Mayor for West Yorkshire. A key issue will be how he sees this new political relationship developing in the months and years to come.


The Changing Face of Cinema in Leeds – A Virtual Walk

Monday, 7 June 2021, 6.00 PM

Join us for a virtual walk round Leeds City Centre, showcasing the fascinating history of cinema in Leeds with guide Garance Rawinsky. Our tour will take in the sites of eleven old cinemas, reflecting on their change of use and how our cinema-going experience has evolved from cosy early news theatres to massive auditoria for a night out with all the bells and whistles.


Brutal North: An Exploration of Brutalist Buildings in the North of England

Thursday, 3 June 2021, 7.30PM

Join acclaimed photographer Simon Phipps and speakers from Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield as we discuss and debate images from his new book Brutal North: Post-War Modernist Architecture in the North of England. These buildings, many of them now unloved and under-appreciated, tell a story of civic ambition and drive in the sixties and seventies. With a particular focus on Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield, we will consider what the future holds for these buildings. What makes these buildings so special and which ones should be saved? Should we care?


Medieval Leeds – A Virtual Walk

Monday, 24 May 2021, 7.00PM

With many of the city’s medieval past hidden from years of redevelopment, Professor Joyce Hill will bring the buildings, sites and streets of this fascinating period in the city’s history to life. You will be led on this virtual ‘walk’ from the comfort of your own home. Sit back, pour yourself a glass of mead and let the sites of the city’s medieval streets come alive.



In Conversation with… Rt. Hon. Hilary Benn MP

Wednesday, 12 May 2021, 4PM

The first in a series of conversations between Director of Leeds Civic Trust Martin Hamilton and a variety of prominent people who are based in or who have an interest in the city of Leeeds. This interview with Leeds MP and former cabinet minister Hilary Benn, focuses on the future of the city as it emerges from the covid pandemic covering issues such as transport, “levelling-up”, planning and history and heritage and was recorded in May 2020.


Heritage & Nature Along the Aire & Calder Navigation – A Virtual Walk

Tuesday, 11 May 2021, 7PM

Roderic Parker guides us along this historic waterway which provided a vital trading link to the North Sea and beyond, observing interesting historical and contemporary landmarks and the abundance of nature (often in artistic form) that can be found along the way. The walk took place in May 2021



Kirkstall Forge – a fascinating past, an exciting future

Monday, 29 March 2021, 7PM

Kirkstall Forge has been of industrial importance since the 12th century, contributing significantly to Leeds reputation. With close ties to the Monks at Kirkstall Abbey, this was the longest continually used industrial site in the UK until it closed its doors in 2003. Join Lucinda Yeadon of CEG and Howard Metcalf to discover the history of this unique place and its people. They will share photos, artifacts and stories from the Kirkstall Forge archive as well as giving you a glimpse of what it will look like in the future.

Temple Works: The Future of an Icon

Thursday, 11 March 2021, 7PM

Temple Works is perhaps the least well known of a trinity of 19th Century Grade 1 Listed buildings in Leeds City Centre. The building, commissioned by flax magnate John Marshall, in a distinctive Egyptian style including 60 roof lights and a grassed roof complete with grazing sheep – said to be the largest room in the world at the time – pushed the boundaries of engineering and design and has been a landmark building in Holbeck since its construction in 1840. It has had a chequered history since its closure as a mill, but the announcement of a £25 million government grant heralds the real possibility of the building’s rebirth as “British Library North”. Join us for a discussion as we consider how this landmark building fits into the wider story of the city’s emerging south bank and owner CEG’s masterplan for the area, and how the British Library proposal could once again bring this important building to life in the next decade.

Kirkstall Abbey – a Photographic Tour

Tuesday, 2 March 2021, 7PM

Kirkstall Abbey is one of the country’s finest monastic ruins. It became an important abbey in Yorkshire and undoubtedly played a significant role in the development of Leeds in the Middle Ages through the wool trade. This lecture take syou on a guided tour round the abbey, looking at how it was developed and how the monks lived, worked and prayed for almost 400 years before the dissolution in 1539.


‘The Age of Flamboyance’: Edwardian Leeds

Wednesday, 24 February 2021, 1PM

Edwardian City Square, Leeds

The Edwardian period in Leeds stands out as a brief Indian Summer at the close of a century of British political and economic pre-eminence in the world before the First World War. In this final lecture in our ‘Leeds in Your Lunch Hour’ series, Dr Kevin Grady will describe the character of the booming city between 1901 and 1910 – its industry, its transport, the housing of the working and middle classes, education, leisure and entertainment, the notable events, and its new flamboyant architecture.


‘The Grandest Street in Victorian Leeds’: The History of Boar Lane

Wednesday, 17 February 2021, 1PM

Because of it spectacularly rapid growth in the first half of the nineteenth century, the streetscape of central Leeds developed in a very haphazard fashion. Historically Boar Lane was perhaps the town’s most exclusive street, but it too lacked a coherent façade. Dr Kevin Grady’s third ‘Leeds in Your Lunch Hour’ lecture traces the evolution of Boar Lane from the Middle Ages and its transformation in the 1860s into the town’s grandest street.


‘Grand Emporium’ – The Market Halls and Exchanges of Victorian Leeds

Wednesday, 10 February 2021, 1PM

Leeds Stock Exchange

Join Leeds historian Dr Kevin Grady for the second in our ‘Leeds in Your Lunch Hour’ lecture series. In the nineteenth-century Leeds became a great Victorian city and a diversified centre of commerce and industry requiring specialist buildings for the sale of produce, commodities and trading in stocks and shares. These included retail and wholesale market halls, bazaars, cloth halls, corn exchanges, a Stock Market, two merchant exchanges, a leather market, and a wholesale meat market. The lecture describes these fine Victorian buildings which almost all sadly have been long since demolished.


‘Invention, Acumen and Espionage’: The Industrial Revolution in Leeds, 1780-1845

Wednesday, 3 February 2021, 1PM
Temple Mill
Temple Mill

Leeds Historian, Dr Kevin Grady, presents the first in our ‘Leeds in Your Lunch Hour’ lecture series – online for 2021 – hosted jointly with Leeds Minster. In the heady days of the Industrial Revolution in Leeds, people stopped at nothing to steal the secrets of the industrial processes which were generating great wealth. This lecture focuses on the creation of Leeds’s three most famous early factories: Benjamin Gott’s Park Mills; Matthew Murray’s Round Foundry and John Marshall’s Temple Mill.


Leeds Looks Back…Windows on a Modern World – Fringe Event

Thursday, 17 December 2020, 6PM

To coincide with the recently launched Leeds Modernists’ ‘Windows on a Modern World’ city centre drum-poster trail and exhibition, we are delighted to invite you to this special fringe event. During this informal panel discussion hear from special guest speakers, including ‘Concretopia’ author and social historian, John Grindrod; and architectural historian and specialist in post-Second World War English architecture, Elain Harwood, as they highlight some of the rare and striking images of a city on the cusp of change. Through these images we’ll consider the societal, economic and architectural legacies which continue to impact on us today. For details of the city centre drum-poster trail and exhibition, see our friends, Leeds Modernists’ website https://modernist-society.org/projects#/leeds1970s/

The remarkable story of Leeds suffragette Leonora Cohen – Jacki & Bob Lawrence

Thursday, 10 December 2020, 7 PM

Hunger striker, Trades Unionist, feminist and magistrate – discover suffragette Leonora Cohen’s inspirational story. Known as the “Tower Suffragette” after smashing a display case in the Tower of London – not the first act of defiance to land her in prison. She was to become a Trade Unionist and, ironically, a Magistrate. Her long life (she lived to 105) even enabled her to witness the “second wave” of feminism in the 70s. Leonora Cohen is one of several campaigners to feature in our new publication about Leeds Civic Trust Blue Plaques in Leeds.

Leeds Learns – Creating Active Travel Neighbourhoods

Wednesday, 9 December 2020, 12.30 PM

Switching local journeys to active travel brings lots of benefits both to individuals and our neighbourhoods, such as improved health and air quality, increased road safety, better street life, and reduced carbon emissions. Active Travel Neighbourhoods (ATNs) encourage local active travel by providing safer walking and cycling environments while keeping levels of traffic low. But ATNs can be controversial initially as they seek to restrict car use. Experience across the country shows that once established local communities value them. This webinar explores factors that underpin that success.

Sax Appeal: Ivy Benson & Her All-Girls Band – with Janet Tennant

Wednesday, 2 December 2020, 7 PM

Ivy Benson with her band

This online talk will look at the influences on Benson’s life that made her the most successful female bandleader of her generation, including her Yorkshire roots, the war and male chauvinism. Was she an instigator of ‘girl power’ as some believe, or an astute business woman with a keen eye for an opportunity?



Hollybush Conservation Centre – A Virtual Tour

Tuesday 10th November, 7PM

TCV HollybushJohn Preston presents a fascinating “online tour” of the Hollybush Conservation Centre – home to The Conservation Volunteers for more than 40 years. The Centre is a Grade 2 listed farmhouse, dating from at least 1700, by the river bridge in Kirkstall. John was in effect custodian of the building for the last 30 years. Discover more about the history of the building, the new timber buildings, their context in Kirkstall and the work of TCV.


Blue Plaques of Leeds: The Next Collection – Dr Kevin Grady

Monday, 26 October 2020, 7 PM

We are delighted to announce the publication of Blue Plaques of Leeds: The Next Collection, our second book devoted to the Trust’s Blue Plaques scheme. Co-author Dr Kevin Grady will be giving an illustrated online talk, highlighting some of the fascinating people, places and events that are included in this long-awaited new edition. In all, 98 blue plaques are covered in this 160 page volume – we will, of course, be telling you how you can purchase your copy of this new publication!


Heritage Open Days is Here!

Friday 11 until Sunday 20 September

It’s back; the countries largest heritage festival. With over 50 events happening here in Leeds, there really is something for everyone, all from the comfort of your own home.  This year, the festival will be going ‘digital’ for the first time in its 25 year history enabling more people than ever to participate in virtual walks, talks and tours.

Take a look at our dedicated listing page here, and tune into a host of virtual events from home. Or visit the national site heritageopendays.org.uk to see a full list of events happening locally and nationally.

As the local Heritage Open Days coordinator, the Leeds Civic Trust has been amazed at the response of volunteers, local historians, creatives and guides to take the challenges posed during these last few months to devise an exciting, thoughtful and imaginative programme of events.


The End of an Era: a history of mining in Leeds – Michael Meadowcroft

Thursday, 17 September 2020, 7 PM

In 1935 almost 4,000 Leeds men were employed in mining; today it is just a handful. The city has a long history of coal mining but the last deep mine, Allerton Bywater, closed in March 1992. Michael Meadowcroft’s illustrated talk will trace the chequered history of an industry that was once so crucial to the development of the city of Leeds. This event is part of this year’s Heritage Open Days festival.


The Leeds Cross in its Historical Context – Prof Joyce Hill

Wednesday, 16 September 2020, 7 PM

Professor Joyce Hill, an international authority on the transmission of Christian culture in early medieval Europe, presents an online talk about one of the city’s greatest treasures – the 10th-Century Leeds Cross which stands proudly in Leeds Minster. This event is part of this year’s Heritage Open Days festival.


Montague Burton: Tailor of Taste

Wednesday, 5 August, 7 PM

Montague BurtonTracing his footsteps from improverished door to door hawker to creator of the world’s largest clothing empire, Jacki and Bob Lawrence present an illustrated history of the life and times of the UK’s most famous manufacturer and retailer of Mens Wholesale Clothing in the 20th century, Montague Burton.


Leeds in Sculpture: a Virtual Tour

Wednesday, 29 July 2020, 7 PM

Sculpture of the Black PrinceJoin Civic Trust Director Martin Hamilton for a virtual tour of the city of Leeds through its sculpture, statues and monuments: the city’s representation in physical form.  This will also be an opportunity to reflect on who and what we represent in sculptural form and consider why these choices are made.



Lockdown Lowdown with Kully Thiarai – Creative Director of Leeds 2023

Wednesday, 29 July 2020, 11 AM

Kully Thiarai, Creative Director of Leeds 2023In a special one-off “lockdown lowdown” interview, Civic Trust Director Martin Hamilton is in conversation with Leeds 2023 Creative Director Kully Tharai – finding out how she, her team and her board are addressing the new challenges in delivering a truly special cultural festival for Leeds.

A Stranger’s Guide to Leeds in 1830 – Dr Kevin Grady

Wednesday, 15 July 2020, 6pm

A visitor from London arrives in Leeds to gather information for a talk he is giving to his local Literary and Philosophical Society. During his stay he will meet some Leeds personalities and discuss the issues of the day. In this ‘Tardis-type tour through time’, using a profusion of contemporary illustrations Kevin Grady will recreate Leeds and its buildings and streets in 1830.


Great Leeds Quiz Pack

Gather your friends and family (virtually of course!) and get quizzy with it. 
For the picture/ plaques and place name rounds simply download and share the attachments below (apart from the Quizmaster sheet!)

Blue Plaques – City Centre Trail

Available to download

Leeds Civic Trust has been proud to install over 170 blue plaques throughout our city for the last 30 years. Enjoy a selection of the city centres plaques on this self-guided trail. Feel free to pop into the alleyways, yards and arcades on your way – you’ll no doubt spot a few extra plaques on your travels too!

LCT_BP_Map_1018_UK_A6_St08 by Meleri Roberts on Scribd


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