Thursday, 12 August 2010

New mobile library prepares to hit the road

Caption: The new children and family mobile is sure to catch the eye

A state-of-the-art new mobile library for Leeds is gearing up to go into action for the first time next month.

The new children and family mobile is the first mobile of its kind in Leeds City Council’s library and information service fleet as it has been designed to cater for young people under 12 and their families – which make up a quarter of all mobile users in the city.

The new mobile, which is 28 feet long and weighs 7.5 tonnes, has been designed to the council’s specifications and offers a range of services reflecting those asked for in a consultation exercise carried out with users.

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All media are invited to a photocall of the new mobile library together with three others from the fleet in their distinctive new liveries on Victoria Gardens on The Headrow at 9:30am on Friday 13th August. Victoria Gardens is located in front of Leeds Central Library, LS1 3AB.
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The first glimpse of the new mobile library will be given on Friday 13th August when it will be positioned in front of Central Library on Victoria Gardens on The Headrow from 10am-2pm for any members of the public to see what it has to offer and find out more about the service.

Apart from its striking and distinctive new livery which is being rolled out to all the service’s mobile libraries, the new children and family mobile will feature over 1,500 items specially selected to appeal to children, from board books and picture books to popular stories and resources to help with homework.

There will also be a selection of novels and information books for parents and carers as well as public internet access, a cosy seating area for story-telling and a pull-out awning to extend the space outside the vehicle.

The vehicle will be seen in the coming weeks at festivals and community events around the city before it begins its working life visiting nurseries, early years settings and children's centres across Leeds.

The new vehicle brings the fleet of mobile libraries in Leeds up to seven, bringing library services to people all over the city who cannot attend their local library as well as providing the at-home service which takes the library service to people’s doorsteps.

The large community mobiles each boast over 2,500 items and are designed to offer something for everything from story books for children to large-print book for older customers as they travel around the more rural areas of the city and areas which do not have a branch library nearby.

These services are supplemented by mobiles for older people which have over 1,500 items including a high proportion of large-print books to meet the needs of older people and visit sheltered housing schemes and residential homes at the heart of communities. There is also the library at home service which delivers print and audio books to people across the city who are unable to leave their homes.

All of the mobiles are currently in the process of being given modern and colourful new liveries, as well as free public internet access on all the larger mobiles.

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“This new mobile library is going to be a fantastic new addition to our fleet which does such a fantastic job across the city and we are really pleased people are now able to see it.

“The distinctive new colour-scheme is really eye-catching too, so I would encourage anyone who has not been on a mobile library for many years to take a look as the level of services they can provide now is amazing.”

For further information on mobile library services in Leeds, visit


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde,
leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472

Marching on together…to Leeds City Museum

Caption: Anthony Clavane (above) will be talking about his new book 'Promised Land' (top) at Leeds City Museum

Leeds City Museum is to host a special event next week to mark the release of a new book charting the history of Leeds United Football Club and the city.

Coinciding with the launch of Anthony Clavane’s new book ‘Promised Land’, the Leeds-born author himself will be signing copies and reading excerpts from his work at the event from 5:30pm on Thursday 19th August.

In ‘Promised Land’, sports writer and lifelong Leeds United fan Clavane charts the highs and lows of The Whites’ fortunes alongside those of the city of Leeds and football itself over the years.

******************MEDIA OPPORTUNITY****************************
All media are invited to the talk and signing at Leeds City Museum at 5:30pm on Thursday 19th August. Author Anthony Clavane will be available for interview at the event, to arrange to speak to him please contact Bethan Jones at Yellow Jersey Press on 0207 840 8543. Leeds City Museum is located off Millennium Square, LS2 8BH.
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The book explores the team's emergence from obscurity in the 1960s to becoming the dominant force in English football under Don Revie, the controversial 44-day reign of Brian Clough and the club’s subsequent fall from grace in the 1980s followed by the revival which saw them become League Champions in 1992 and Champions League semi-finalists in 2001.

The club’s well-documented problems in the last decade are also examined, with the book culminating in this May’s promotion from League One and hopes of returning once again to the top tier of English football.

Alongside the footballing element, ‘Promised Land’ also intertwines social and cultural history as it explores industrial and post-industrial Leeds, the role of the Jewish community in the making of the city and the football club, and the rise of working-class Leeds writers such as Alan Bennett and Keith Waterhouse.

The book has already received high praise from David Peace – author of ‘The Damned United’ - and leading football writer Patrick Barclay of The Times.

Author of ‘Promised Land’ Anthony Clavane said:

"I can't think of a better place to launch my book than Leeds City Museum. As a youngster, I used to watch plays in the building - when it was the Civic Theatre. My uncle wrote a play called 'They Came To Leeds', which was staged there in 1950. And it was originally the Merchanics Institute, designed by one of my great heroes, Cuthbert Brodrick.

“I am very proud of Leeds - both the city and the football club. But there is a darkness there, too, and my book looks at the good, the bad and the ugly over the past 150 years. Most of all, despite its reputation as an insular place, Leeds is a city of migrants. The city has been shaped by outsiders - and outsiders have, ultimately, found acceptance in the city.

“To me the story of Leeds United is not only the story of the city - but the story of northern regeneration in post-war Britain."

Leeds City Council chief officer for libraries, arts and heritage Catherine Blanshard said:

“This is a real coup for Leeds City Museum to have Anthony Clavane reading from his new book in his home city and is sure to appeal to all Leeds United fans.

“We hope to see as many of them as possible at this free event and to make the most of this one-off chance to meet the author and discuss the club’s fascinating history.”

The book reading and signing of ‘Promised Land’, published by Yellow Jersey Press, is free to attend at Leeds City Museum from 5:30pm on Thursday 19th August.

Leeds City Museum is ideal for a fun family day out this summer. For more information about what it has to offer as well as the other council-managed cultural venues in Leeds visit

Notes to editors:

Anthony Clavane is a sports writer for the Sunday Mirror and teaches journalism for the Arvon Foundation.

Anthony will be available for interview at Leeds City Museum before the book reading and to arrange an interview please contact Bethan Jones at Yellow Jersey on 0207 840 8543 or email


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email:

Young people to be bowled over at cricket workshop

Young people in Burley and Hyde Park are to be given an insight into the life of a professional cricketer at a special workshop next week.

Taking place from Wednesday 18th August to Friday 20th August at Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s legendary Headingley Test ground, the workshop will see young people aged 12 and over find out about what it takes to make it in the professional ranks.

The workshop, which is free and open to any boy or girl aged 12 and over from the Burley and Hyde Park areas, will run from 10am to 2:30pm each day. Organised by Leeds City Council’s youth service, Yorkshire Country Cricket Club and the national Positive Futures programme, the workshop will see those taking part be given a special behind-the-scenes tour of the famous Headingley ground before being given coaching by professional Yorkshire coaches at the Indoor Cricket School.

The second day will see the group given further expert coaching as well as learning about the demands on a modern cricket player and the health and personal fitness regimes they follow.

The final day changes tack as the group will learn how to create their own film footage and interviews with the Yorkshire players using high-definition cameras and the latest editing equipment. The final film will then be shown on the big screen at Headingley itself before the 40-over match between Yorkshire Carnegie and Essex Eagles on Saturday 4th September which those taking part will be able to attend for free as guests of the club.

The workshop is a celebration event following a successful year-long programme of cricket coaching and related activities held at the Royal Park multi-use games area. Funded by Sport England, the programme has seen young people from the area meet some of Yorkshire’s star players as well as enjoying coaching sessions and matches.

Leeds City Council head of sport and active recreation Mark Allman said:

“This free workshop is a fantastic opportunity for young people in Burley and Hyde Park to take part in something money really cannot buy by being given a unique insight into what it takes to be a professional sportsperson.

“This project has proved a great success and we are delighted with the wonderful support we have had from Yorkshire County Cricket Club to hopefully inspire all those taking part to be active and make the most of their abilities.”

Yorkshire County Cricket Club Community Marketing Manager Alison Giles

“Yorkshire County Cricket Club and the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation are really looking forward to welcoming the young people to Headingley Carnegie Cricket Ground. The three days should provide them with a unique learning opportunity and we may even find some budding young players amongst the group. Yorkshire County Cricket Club is proud of the ongoing relationship with Leeds City Council’s youth service and Positive Futures in their aim to get more people involved in the game of cricket.”

Places on the workshop are available on a first-come first-served basis by calling senior youth worker Bee Ward on 07891 277295 or 0113 214 4673 or emailing

Notes to editors:

Positive Futures is a national programme based upon a partnership between the Home Office, Sport England, the Football Foundation and the Youth Justice Board.

The overall aim of the initiative is to encourage children and young people at risk of social exclusion to take part in sporting and leisure pursuits as a means of improving their immediate quality of life and long-term outcomes. For further information visit


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email:

Summer of music and dance continues in south Leeds

Young people looking for something fun to do over the next few weeks of the summer holidays need look no further than south Leeds.

The I Love South Leeds festival is in full flow, with a number of musical workshops and dance activities taking place over the next few weeks.

The inner south area committee funded festival has activities ranging from samba drumming to street dance and DJing to cheer dance, there is something for everyone at the various events and venues.

Eight to 16 year olds will be kept busy over the summer months, as all the activities are free to participate in. Places are limited, so secure your place now to avoid disappointment.

Councillor Angela Gabriel, chair of the inner south area committee for Leeds City Council said:
“The festival is a fantastic way for young people to get involved with a local festival and try out things they may not have tried before, and even meet new friends.”

The festival activity booklet and registration forms are available to download on the website by calling south east area management on 0113 224 3040 or e-mailing

Notes to editors:
The inner south area committee funded festival, will be providing activities throughout the summer (June to August) in the communities of Cottingley, Beeston, Holbeck, Hunslet, Belle Isle and Middleton.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Work starts to improve city centre railway station access

Work to improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists at Leeds city centre railway station will start next week.

The Leeds City Council scheme, which will start on Monday 16 August, is a direct response to the aspirations raised at the city centre vision conference 2008, to improve access between the station and city centre for pedestrians and cyclists.

It will improve access between the station and east side of City Square by widening the footpath and the waiting area for pedestrians on either side of Bishopgate Street. Provision for cyclists will be improved by adding a new eastbound cycle route towards Boar Lane.

Currently thousands of pedestrians crossing Bishopgate Street between the station and Boar Lane are squeezed into a very small congested space. For cyclists, the only cycle route is on Boar Lane travelling west towards Wellington Street and the station.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member with responsibility for development & regeneration said:

“Here we have a large volume of pedestrians and cyclists trying to get across in a very confined area surrounded by a lot of traffic. This scheme will significantly improve conditions for pedestrians and cyclists at one of the most important locations in the city centre.

“We have planned for the more disruptive part of the roadwork to take place during the school holidays which is a quieter time on the roads. However, in the meantime, we do ask that motorists bear with us as once the scheme is complete it will significantly improve access around that part of the city centre.”

The work will involve:

• increasing the width of the crossing on Bishopgate Street and converting it to a Toucan (pedestrian and cycle crossing), with shared footways at the approaches;

• increasing the space available to pedestrians waiting to cross by reducing traffic lanes from three to two on Bishopgate Street.

This reduction in lanes is made possible because over 20% of traffic travelling through the city square area is through traffic . Encouraging this traffic to use more suitable routes such as the Inner Ring Road will remove traffic from City Square providing a better visitor, hence achieving the objectives of the last city conference.
• creating a new eastbound route for cyclists from the Toucan crossing to Boar Lane;

• the existing cycle track will be retained for cyclists on Boar Lane travelling west towards Wellington Street and the railway station via the existing advanced stop line on Bishopgate Street;

• traffic signal changes to support the work.

Motorists that have no need to enter the central city centre area are advised to avoid Bishopgate Street by using the Inner Ring Road to the west or east of the city centre via the A61.

Notes to editors:

The scheme is programmed to start on site on 16 August 2010 and is expected to last a total of 10 weeks. It was one of the key outcomes of the City Centre Vision Conference which took place in 2008 and which identified a need to improve access to Leeds rail station for visitors and for pedestrians arriving in the city. The next city centre conference will take place in October this year.


For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office tel: (0113) 224 3602

Godfather of film’s disappearance commemorated

Picture caption: (top) Louis Le Prince courtesy of The Photographic Journal (above) the patent for Le Prince's revolutionary camera.

It is a little known fact the godfather of moving images lived and worked in Leeds or that conspiracy theorists claim he was the victim of industrial espionage.

Louis Le Prince recorded the first moving images right here in Leeds at Roundhay Park and on Leeds Bridge in 1888 – where a blue plaque is sited honouring the historic moment.

Just two years after making his revolutionary recordings Le Prince mysteriously vanished after boarding a train in Dijon, France. His body and luggage were never found and the case subsequently remains unsolved.

Commemorating 120 years since his unexplained disappearance and one of Leeds’ great enduring mysteries Armley Mills is to celebrate the genius and legacy of Louis Le Prince by holding a series of events.

From Tuesday 17th to Thursday 19th August visitors will have a chance to see how a replica of his revolutionary camera worked, watch the world’s first moving images in the mills’ cinema and learn about his disappearance.

A workshop will look at the key theories surrounding Le Prince’s disappearance and help visitors decide which one is most likely to be true. Children will get the chance to do some detective activities like code breaking and finger printing.

Several theories explaining Le Prince’s disappearance have been proposed including claims he was murdered so he could not claim patents on his groundbreaking 16 lens camera, a close relative was involved in his disappearance to gain a large inheritance and his family ordered him to disappear due to financial irregularities.

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate a great man who gave birth to modern media as we know it today right here in the city of Leeds. And it provides a chance to find out more about the fascinating story of his mysterious disappearance.

“Those visiting will be able to see the first ever piece of recorded film and a replica of Le Prince’s groundbreaking camera in Armley Mills’ outstanding film gallery pack with interesting facts and displays not only about Le Prince but the history of film in general.”

To find out more about the series of events taking place at Armley Mills log on to, call 01132637861 or drop into Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills on Canal Road.

The mill is open Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sunday 1pm to 5pm and is closed on Mondays except bank holidays. The workshop is running from 1pm to 2.30pm on Tuesday 17th Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th August.

Admission charges are adults £3, children £1, concessions £1.50 and a family ticket is £5 (two adults and three children) and entrance to workshops is free with admission charges.

Notes to editor:

Activities at Armley Mills are suitable for children aged six and over.

Louis Le Prince created his 16 lens camera used to record the world’s first moving images at 160 Woodhouse Lane opposite Blenheim Chapel. His film was created in 1888 called “Roundhay Garden Scene” and his second and more famous “Leeds Bridge Scene” came in the same year.

Louis Le Prince was born in Metz, France on 28th August 1842 and moved to Leeds in 1866 to work for John Whitley Partner’s of Hunslet Brass Founders. In 1869 he married Elizabeth Whitley John’s sister – a talented artist. The pair founded Leeds Technical School of Art. He vanished 16th September 1890.


For media enquiries please contact: Daniel Johnson, leisure communications officer, tel: 0113 247 8285, email: