Friday, 1 October 2010

Blood curdling Kirkstall Abbey

picture caption: The Mad Monk said to haunt Kirkstall Abbey?

Amateur ghost busters will get the chance to discover what goes bump in the night at Kirkstall Abbey and Abbey House Museum throughout October.

Does a mad monk haunt the grounds? And what chilling discovery was found down the well? All these questions and more will be answered at events during the abbey’s spooky month of October.

At Abbey House Museum young children will be in high spirits with the Messy Monsters event. Where they can join staff for messy fun with paints and art materials.

Supernatural super-sleuths can attend Murder at the Museum – visitors will join a Victorian murder mystery with a trail of clues to test their detective skills.

There will also be a Family Fun Afternoon full of craft activities and spooky fun for all the family on Tuesday 26 October 1-3pm Halloween. As well as a Family Fun Morning full of trick-or-treat activities on Friday 29 October 10am – noon.

At Kirkstall Abbey anyone brave enough to go into after dark can take a Special Guided Tour and find out about the myths and legends of the grounds on Thursday 14 October 6-7pm. Suitable footwear must be worn and the walk costs £5.

For those still wanting to test their nerve they can enjoy a whole evening of creepy fun in The Haunted Abbey. Children can hook a bat and splat a rat, hear spine-chilling stories. There will be a costume competition a wrap a mummy competition. This is an outdoor event so please wear warm clothing and suitable footwear. Large parts of the abbey are undercover and the event will continue in the event of poor weather. Friday 29th October 3.30 – 7.30pm.

Finally a free Halloween crafts activities takes place Sunday 31st October 10am-12noon and 2-4pm. Everyone is welcome.

Leeds City Council’s keeper of Abbey House Museum and Kirkstall Abbey Samantha Flavin said:

“Kirstall Abbey Park is an atmospheric venue which is full of history and has many fascinating myths and legends attached to it. Both children and adults can come down during October and discover more about the abbey while having loads of fun.”

Notes to editor:

• Dates, times and cost of events if applicable:

Messy Monsters:
- Friday 1 October 10.15am – 12 and 2 - 4pm
- Wednesday 20 October 10.15am – 12
- Friday 22 October 10.15am-12 and 2 - 4pm

Murder at the Museum no booking is necessary and normal admission applies:
- Sat 2 and Sun 3 October 10am-12 noon and 2-4pm
- Sat 9 and Sun 10 October 10am-12 noon and 2-4pm
- Sat 23 and Sun 24 October 10am-12 noon and 2-4pm

Haunted Abbey
- Adult £5, Children £3.50, Family Ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children) £10.Please book your tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. Tel: 0113 230 5492, email:

• Abbey House Museum is at Kirkstall, Leeds LS5 3EH and can be contacted on 0113 230 5492,
• Kirkstall Abbey is at Kirkstall, Leeds LS5 3EH and can be contacted on 0113 230 5492, or visit

• For more details contact Samantha Flavin on 0113 2305492.


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

Date announced for bin routes changes to save Leeds £2.4m a year

New improved bin routes which will save Leeds £2.4million a year are to be launched in the city on Monday October 25.

The city’s refuse and recycling collection routes have been overhauled to make them more efficient, leading to considerable savings in the cost of running the service.

Leeds City Council has been working closely with staff and trade unions to agree the more efficient routes and revised working practices. The crews have been helping in planning and testing out the new routes.

Some bin collection days will change but one of the main benefits to residents will be that refuse crews will be working together to ensure all bins in each area are picked up on the right day.

Crews currently collect from a specified route. However, from October 25 refuse collectors and drivers in groups of trucks will work together in teams to ensure that all households in a particular area or zone have their bins emptied that day.

The new zone-style working will mean that if one crew is held up for any reason other crews in the area can help them once their streets are completed. Reports of missed bins will also be able to be dealt with more rapidly.

Householders will also benefit from revisions to routes which will mean that black and green bins will be collected on the same day of the week in nearly all cases. Currently in some areas these days differ.

Leeds City Council will be sending updates to all householders across the city- apart from in high-rise blocks where bins are not put out for collection- from around mid-October. The recycling and waste newsletter update will give details of collection days, along with calendar stickers for bins and information about Christmas bin collections.

Cllr Tom Murray, executive member for environmental services, said:

“We have been working closely with our refuse collection crews and trade unions in planning these new routes and working practices and we’re really pleased at the outcome.

“Thanks to this detailed planning we will be making even greater savings for the city than we first hoped. This will mean we’ll be able to plough £2.4 million a year back into frontline services thanks to a modern, efficient refuse collection service.

“Some people will have changes to their collection days, but everyone affected will be informed in plenty of time and we ask residents to bear with us as the new system gets under way.”

Information about the new-look services will be posted on the council’s website at over the coming weeks. Residents can search for their current bin collection days by putting their postcode into a search box on the website. This will be updated with the new days as the new routes go live, but clearly not until then to avoid confusion.

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335


Buckle up and don’t cross the stupid line

Pupils across Leeds will be learning why not to ‘cross the stupid line’ from a smart risk hero who has survived an injury on the road.

Leeds City Council is hosting a series of eight multimedia presentations at schools across Leeds presented by Smart Risk Heroes, a Leeds based charity.

An injury survivor who admits they ‘crossed the stupid line’ will present the fast paced, multi-media presentation which pulls no punches about the consequences of failing to asses risks, and knowing how to keep safe on the roads. The audience share the presenters injury experience and learn about five key message to keep you safe – buckle up, look first, wear the gear, get trained, and drive sober.

******************** Media opportunity ********************

All media are invited to attend a VIP evening where Smart Risk Heroes will be presented to leading members of the emergency services, educationalists, medical practitioners and road safety professionals, as well as community representatives, before it tours eight schools in Leeds.

The event will take place on Monday 4 October 2010 from 3:30pm to 5:30pm at Carr Manor High School, Leeds. Please call the press team on 0113 247 4450 to arrange attendance.
******************** Media opportunity ********************

Councillor Richard Lewis , Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for development and regeneration said:
“Smart Risk Heroes shows young people how they can take responsibility for managing the everyday dangers they face out on the streets whether as a pedestrian or a new driver. The message is presented in a positive and upbeat way, in manner the young people can buy into.”

Becky Prosser, road safety manager for Leeds City Council said:
“This October the Smart Risk Heroes message will be told to 4,500 young people across Leeds which is fantastic.

“Being on the road is statistically the most dangerous activity that most young people will undertake. Assessing and managing that risk is vital, if they are to avoid the serious consequences of ‘crossing the stupid line.

“Not everyone can bounce back from adversity like the Smart Risk Heroes presenters have. Sadly, for many of our young people, the penalty of distraction or peer pressure ends up being a permanent legacy.”

Notes to editors:
The eight schools that are; Carr Manor High School, Lawnswood High school, Pudsey Grangefield, Cockburn High School, Abbey Grange high school , Mount St. Mary’s, Allerton High School, Leeds West Academy.

Nationwide, road crashes are the biggest killer of 15-24 year-olds. One in eight car licence holders are aged under 25, yet one in three (33%) drivers who die on UK roads are under 25. Young drivers not only kill themselves, but often other road users and their young passengers. One in four (26%) convictions for causing death by dangerous driving are against under-21s.’

• Young people aged between 11 and 16 are more at risk of being killed or seriously injured as a pedestrian or cyclist in a road accident than other age groups.
• 90 children and young adults (up to age 19) were killed or seriously injured on the road in Leeds in 2009
• Traffic is the biggest cause of accidental death of 12 to 16-year-olds.
• Almost 1 in 5 teenagers report having been involved in a road accident or "near miss" on their way home from school. But only 4 per cent said that road safety was their main concern.

Sourced from the DfT website and Leeds City Council accident studies team


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