ELHAS News - November 2019

Meeting Report November 2019

For our last meeting of 2019 we were delighted to welcome back one of our regular speakers, Jane Ellis. Jane has spoken to us in the past on a variety of topics but this evening, it was to be something different. The title of the presentation was "How Well Do You Know Leeds". And the format was a light-hearted quiz on the audience's knowledge of their home town.

Jane began her talk by exhorting us to "look up, look down and look around". Explaining that on her walks to work she had noticed so many unusual features in the city, she wanted to bring these to people's attention, and make us aware of just how much the city has to offer in the way of architecture, which we so often miss .

She began by showing an image of a 'Welcome to Leeds' mural and asking if we knew where it was. This was an easy one and many in the audience were delighted to air their knowledge and tell her that it is at the side of the open market. The evening quickly moved on with Jane showing sites all over the city, some of iconic buildings such as the Town Hall ( where she informed us that with the aid of a smart phone it is possible to hear the lions speak), to lesser known buildings in side streets. What proved to be interesting were photos of well known sights, taken perhaps from a slightly different angle which proved more difficult to recognise. They were no match for our well informed audience though who thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. And we were delighted to be told by Jane that we had been able to identify more photos that many of her previous audiences.

Another point Jane made was that the city is constantly changing and some of the images she showed were no longer there, for example the clock commemorating the start of "The Grand Depart" of the Tour de France in 2014 has now been transferred to Manchester. Perhaps the funniest photo was a sign outside Millgarth Police Station ( also now gone) which said " If you are over 10 foot tall please report to reception" I know there used to be a minimum height restriction for police officers, but that seemed to be stretching it a bit!!

We thoroughly enjoyed seeing familiar sights such as the beautiful and unique arcades and elaborate buildings, and we were encouraged to look at our city with new eyes. Whilst we were keen to show off our knowledge of the city, many of us realised how much we are missing as we rush to our destinations in town, without so much as a backwards or forward glance.

This unusual presentation proved to be highly entertaining for us all, and many in the audience commented that they were looking forward to a repeat performance, as Jane mentioned she has a 'Part 2' presentation, and 'Part 3' is in the making. The evening ended with tea and mince pies, the first of the season for many.

The next meeting on Monday January 27th 2020 will be an illustrated talk by George Gale entitled "Proud of Nenthead" a history of the highest village in England.

Photos courtesy of Jane Ellis.
1. Thornton's Arcade, Briggate
2. Mettal angel at St George's Crypt
3. Last gas lamp in Leeds in Queen Square
4. Millgarth Police Station