Monday, 12 October 2009

Memorial Chelsea garden gets a special visit

Caption: Representatives of charity Toc H pictured in 'The Largest Room in the House' at Roundhay Park

Representatives of a national charity formed by the horrors of the First World War were in Leeds last week paying a special visit to the garden created as a memorial to the conflict.

Members of the charity Toc H, which was created by survivors of the First World War to promote peace, friendship, tolerance and service in the community, were in the city visiting ‘The Largest Room in the House’ – Leeds City Council’s award-winning Chelsea Flower Show garden from 2008 – which is now in its permanent home in Roundhay Park.

The garden, which earned a Silver Gilt Flora award at the prestigious flower show, is a recreation of the grounds of Talbot House in Poperinghe, Belgium, which was used as a rest house, hostel and chapel by UK troops heading to and from the frontline trenches nearby.

The charity which emerged from the impact of Talbot House - Toc H - is named after the initials of the house as it was given in army telephone jargon at the time. The charity, along with The Royal British Legion and GMI Property Company Limited, sponsored the Chelsea show garden created by Leeds City Council’s Parks and Countryside Service last year to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Earlier this summer the garden was installed as part of the ‘Gardens of the World’ section at Roundhay Park, and it is now open to the public to be able to see and enjoy for free.

The representatives of Toc H included Walsall Branch Chairman David Ryland and Graham Stevenson, who fought in the Second World War at El Alamein and in France, where he was seriously wounded shortly after the D-Day landings which led to his return to England.

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor John Procter said:

“We were delighted to welcome our guests from Toc H to Leeds and to show them ‘The Largest Room in the House’, which they helped us create, in its permanent home in Roundhay Park.

“The garden was hugely popular at Chelsea and has been very well received by visitors to Roundhay Park, so we were pleased to have this chance to say ‘thank you’ to Toc H for helping us give such a wonderful garden to the people of Leeds.”

For further information on Toc H, visit the website at

Notes to editors:

The ‘Gardens of the world’ section of Roundhay Park is located off Princes Avenue. It begins with the ‘Monet Garden’ walkway opposite the car park of the Roundhay Fox pub. Beyond the Monet Garden is the ‘Alhambra Garden’, with the ‘Largest Room in the House’ positioned to its right.

The garden features a replica of the Talbot House summerhouse as a focal point, with a heart-shaped path, pond and lawn leading from it. The textures, scents and colours of the plants were carefully chosen to give a sense of comfort, peace and serenity, while a blaze of red poppies planted at the centre of the garden completes the air of respectful remembrance.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Learning and Leisure Media Relations Officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email:

Plan recommends Bangladeshi community take charge of centre

A deal is set to be confirmed that will see a centre handed into the care of the community it has served for 20 years.

Leeds City councillors are being encouraged to finalise the lease of the Bangladeshi Community Centre in Harehills at a ‘peppercorn’ rent to a consortium made up of members of the local community.

At its meeting on Wednesday 14th October, the council’s Executive Board should confirm a report recommending that the centre be transferred to the Bangladeshi Management Committee’s care with a 50-year lease, which will allow them to fundraise to improve the centre and deliver services to the Bangladeshi and the wider community.

Opened in 1989, the centre was created to serve and support the large Bangladeshi community in Harehills. The move would also see the committee receive ‘transitional funding’ of £45,000 over three years to help them manage the centre.

Members of the local community have been involved in running the centre since it opened and the current management committee is keen to take responsibility for running it themselves.

The centre was built by the council to provide for the social and economic development of the Bangladeshi community thanks to grant funding from the Urban Programme and Chapeltown and Harehills Task Force. As well as a host of classes and homework clubs, it is also well used for weddings, social events, conferences and seminars.

Councillor Les Carter, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for neighbourhoods and housing, said:
“This is fantastic news for the Bangladeshi community living in Harehills and Chapeltown. I’m really pleased that, after long negotiations, we’ve been able to reach agreement with the management committee and agree proposals that will see the community centre transferred.
“Members of the local Bangladeshi community have been actively involved in the centre for years and the current management committee were keen to take over responsibility for managing it so that they can continue to provide services to the local community.
“We want to ensure that local people have the opportunity to access resources and services they need, and this is an excellent way of achieving that. I’m sure that the transfer will be well-received by local people and will only strengthen community spirit in the area.”

For media enquiries, please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3937

Education Leeds to showcase city’s learning to Chinese visitors

Chinese education experts are in Leeds this week as part of the city’s developing partnership work with schools from around the world.

Following the recent visit to the city by its Swedish and Finnish counterparts, Leeds will host five education chiefs from Leeds’ Chinese partner city of Hangzhou until Tuesday.

The group - made up of the vice inspector of the Hangzhou Education Bureau, a vice headmaster, headmaster, assistant headmaster and a head of English - will visit several of the city’s schools, including Brigshaw High School and Language College, Talbot Primary School, Bramley Primary School and Pudsey Grangefield.

All four schools have Chinese partner schools and the visit is designed to strengthen these and demonstrate Leeds’ vision for how international school partnerships can help to support a global dimension to education.

The links with Hangzhou, which has been one of Leeds’ partner cities for over 20 years, allows Leeds children to learn about and experience life and culture in one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

As well as spending time in school the delegates will meet Chris Edwards, the chief executive of Education Leeds, take part in a global curriculum workshop and visit John Smeaton Community College - one of the UK’s biggest recent success stories - which has seen the number of young people achieving the government’s target of 5A*s-C, including English and maths, increase from just seven per cent in 2004 to 45 per cent in 2009.

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member for education at Leeds City Council, said:
“Our school partnerships mean that Leeds pupils get to share experiences and learn about cultures from around the world. The relationships with schools in Hangzhou will educate our children and young people about life in one of the fastest growing economies in the world - and I hope the ties between the cities continue to benefit our schools for many years to come.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“I look forward to welcoming our friends from China to Leeds. The visit continues the excellent work that is taking place between the two cities and is another way of engaging children in learning across many subject areas.

“Our guests will see some of the city’s amazing facilities and teaching which are helping children and young people in Leeds embrace a global curriculum.”

Leeds and Hangzhou have been partner cities for 20 years with educational exchange forming an important part of the relationship. There are currently 10 school to school partnerships between the cities with all Leeds schools having a strong interest in learning about Chinese culture.

The visit to Leeds was organised by Leeds City Council’s international relations team which works to strengthen the city’s relationships and interaction with cities around the world.

For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577

Well done Business in Bloom winners

Business is blooming in Leeds as the winners of 2009 Business in Bloom competition shows with the prizes being presented by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Judith Eillott and Chair of Leeds Floral Initiative Councillor Frank Robinson at a ceremony yesterday (Wednesday 8th October) at Harewood House.

The winners and runners-up have been chosen by a panel of judges made up of volunteers with assistance from Leeds City Council`s, Parks and Countryside service.

This competition encourages the business sector of the community, to complement the Council’s displays, by decorating their own premises with floral displays. The competition which is free to enter, is held every spring and summer.

Leeds City Council Chair of Leeds Floral Initiative Councilor Frank Robinson said:
“As usual, the horticultural standard has been exceptional and over 180 businesses entered. These awards recognise the significant contribution the business community makes to the appearance of the City.”

Marks are awarded based on a variety of factors including : floral display, originality, variety and amount of colour, use of containers, maintenance and condition of plants, and their impact on the locality

For media enquiries please contact
Debra Kerr
Learning and Leisure Senior Marketing Officer
Tel: 0113 247 8409
Mobile: 07767 05580

Notes to Editors:

Photos are available on request please contact Debra Kerr or Richard Gill.

This year’s Business in Bloom winners are :

Best Public House, City-Centre
Gold: The Palace, Kirkgate, LS2 7DJ
Gold: Stick or Twist, Podium Buildings, Merrion Way, LS2 8PD

Best Restaurant, Café or Licensed Premises City-Centre
Gold: Three Albion Place Ltd, Albion Place, LS1 6JL

Best Hotel City-Centre
Gold: The Queens Hotel, City Square, LS1 1PJ
Gold: Quebec Hotel, 9 Quebec Street, LS1 2HA

Best Small Offices/Business Premises City-Centre
Silver: Barclays Wealth, 11 Park Square East, LS1 2LF
Silver: Beachcroft LLP, 7 Park Square East, LS1 2LW
Silver: Lester Morrill, 27 Park Square West, LS2 2PL
Silver: Zenith Chambers, 10 Park Square East, LS1 2LH
Gold: Coutts & Co, 8 Park Square East, LS1 2LH
Gold: No 6 Park Square, Park Square, LS1 2LW

Best Large Offices/Business Premises City-Centre
Gold: Coverdale House, MJ Mapp, 13-15 East Parade, LS1 2QH
Gold: Network Rail, 4th Floor Admin Block, Leeds Station, LS1 4DY

Best Large Retail Premises City-Centre
Silver: The Merrion Centre, Merrion Centre Office, The Balcony, LS2 8NG

Best Public House City-Wide
Silver: Carriers Arms, Glen Road, Morley, LS27 9HG
Silver: Fox & Hounds, The Cross, Bramhope, LS16 9AX
Silver: Hudsons Bar, Moor Valley Leisure, Mill Lane, Hawksworth, LS20 8PQ
Silver: The Old Ball, Brownberrie Lane, Horsforth, LS18 5SB
Silver: The Junction Inn, 44 Bondgate, Otley, LS21 1AD
Gold: Arabian Horse, Main Street North, Abeford, LS25 3AA
Gold: Ings Hotel, 45 Ings Lane, Guiseley, LS20 9HR
Gold: The Bridge, Low Lane, Horsforth, LS18 5QW
Gold: Three Horse Shoes, 16 Leeds Road, Oulton, LS26 8JU
Gold: The Windmill Inn, Main Street Linton, LS22 4HT

Best Restaurant, Café or Licensed Premises City-Wide
Silver: Bryans Fish & Seafood Restaurant, 9 Weetwood Lane, Headingley, LS16 5LT
Silver: Town Street Tavern, 16-18 Town Street, Horsforth, LS18 4RJ
Gold: Corn Mill Lodge Hotel, Pudsey Road, LS13 4JA
Gold: Otley Golf Club, West Busk Lane, Otley, LS21 3NG
Gold: Raja’s Restaurant, 186 Roundhay Road, Roundhay, LS8 5PL
Gold: Saffron Restaurant, Unit 6 Guiseley Retail Park, Park Rd, Guiseley, LS20 8QA

Best Licensed Premises other than Public House, City-Wide
Bronze: South Leeds Conservative Club, Wooler St, Beeston, LS11 7JH
Silver: Rothwell WMC, Marsh Villa, Marsh Street, Rothwell, LS26 0AE

Best Hotel City-Wide
Silver: Holiday Inn Leeds Garforth, Wakefield Road, Garforth, LS25 1LH
Silver: Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa, 1150 Century Way, Thorpe Park, LS15 8ZB
Silver: Village Hotel & Leisure Club, 186 Otley Road, Headingley, LS16 5PR
Silver: Weetwood Hall Conference Centre & Hotel, Otley Road, LS16 5PS
Gold: De Vere Oulton Hall, Rothwell Lane, LS26 8HN

Best Small Offices/Business Premises City-Wide
Silver: Seacroft Dental Practice, 896 York Road, Seacroft, LS14 5HT
Gold: Country Style Foods, 50 Pontefract Lane, LS9 8HY
Gold: Duffield Printers Ltd, 421 Kirkstall Road, Kirkstall, LS4 2HA
Gold: Horsforth Golf Club, Layton Rise, Horsforth, LS18 5EX
Gold: Moor Allerton Golf Club Ltd, Club House, Coal Road, Wike, LS17 9NH
Gold: Renew Holdings PLC, Yew Trees, Main Street North, Aberford, LS25 3AA

Best Large Offices/Business Premises City-Wide
Silver: IOT PLC, Moor Knoll Lane, East Ardsley, WF3 2EE
Silver: The Lettershop Group, Whitehall Park, Whitehall Rd, Morley, LS12 5XX
Silver: Turner & Townsend PLC, Low Hall, Calverley Lane, Horsforth, LS18 4GH
Gold: Evans Property Group, Millshaw, Ring Road Beeston, LS11 8EG

Best Small Retail Premises City-Wide
Silver: Courtyard Planters, 9 Westgate, Otley, LS21 3AT
Silver: Kirkgate Arcade, Kirkgate Otley, LS21 3HY
Silver: Patsys Wicca Basket, 11 New Market, Otley, LS21 3AE
Gold: The Hair Studio, 64A Otley Road, Headingley, LS6 4BA
Gold: Anita Massarella Design Couture, 490 Harrogate Road, LS17 6DL
Gold: Paul Flintoft Traditional Butchers, 12 High Street, Kippax, LS25 7AB

Best Large Retail Premises City-Wide
Gold: White Rose Shopping Centre, Dewsbury Road, Beeston, LS11 8LU

Best Community Group Project City-Wide
Bronze: Fieldhouse Tenants Association, 114 Fieldhouse Drive, Moortown, LS17 6HN
Bronze: Marsden Court, 40 Marsden Court, Water Lane, Farsley, LS28 5SH
Bronze: Rycroft Green Sheltered Housing, 22 Rycroft Green, Bramley, LS13 4PD
Silver: Bowers Row Chapel Garden, Queen St, Bowers Row, Great Preston, LS26 8AN
Silver: Simon Marks Court, Lynwood Court, Lynwood View, Lower Wortley, LS12 4BE
Silver: St Mary’s Bloomers, 89 St Mary’s Close, Wortley, LS12 1HS
Silver: The Grove Methodist Church Garden, Town Street, Horsforth, LS18 4RJ
Silver; Ward 40, Brotherton Wing, Leeds General infirmary, Great George St, LS1 3EX
Silver: Woodlands Court, 29 Woodlands Court, Kippax, LS25 7RL
Gold: Community Complex Siegen Close, 23 Siegen Close, Morley, LS27 9DD
Gold: Cross Flatts Millennium garden, Beeston, LS11 6LY
Gold: Goldsborough Estates, Chevin Court, Boroughgate, Otley, LS21 1RL
Gold: Horsforth Central Methodist Church Garden, Town St, Horsforth, LS18 4AP
Gold: Newlands Methodist Church Garden, Albert Drive, Morley, LS27 8SE
Gold: St Gemmas Hospice, 329 Harrogate Road, Moortown, LS17 6QD
Gold: St David’s Church Garden, Waincliffe Drive, Beeston, LS11 8ET
Gold: St Mary’s Church Garden, Town Street, Beeston, LS11 8PN
Gold: The Vale Day Centre, Church Street, Hunslet, LS10 2AP
Gold: Wetherby Village Voice, 11 Durrant Close, Wetherby, LS22 8RH

Best School Garden City-Wide
Bronze: Moor Allerton Hall Primary School, Lidgett Lane,LS17 6QP
Silver: Abbey Grange C of E. High School, Butcher Hill, West Park, LS16 5EA
Silver: Bardsey Primary School, Woodacre Lane, Bardsey, LS17 9DG
Silver: Pudsey Lowtown Primary School, Kent Road, Pudsey, LS28 9BB
Silver: Richmond Hill Primary School, Clark Crescent, Richmond Hill, LS9 8QF
Gold: Pool in Wharfedale C.E. Primary School, Arthington Lane, LS21 1LG
Gold: Rothwell Haigh Road Infant School, Haigh Road, Rothwell, LS26 0NQ
Gold: Seacroft Grange Primary School, Moresdale Lane, Seacroft, LS14 6JR