Thursday, 9 February 2012

Walk like an Egyptian and see major new exhibition in Leeds

Captions: Objects on display in the exhibition include (All images to be credited courtesy of British Museum):

Granite statue of Pharaoh Ramses II

Wooden tomb guardian of Pharaoh Ramses I

Wooden bed with gold and silver decoration from tomb of Pharaoh Ramses IX

Visitors to Leeds City Museum will be transported back to ancient Egypt from this weekend as a major new exhibition featuring over 130 stunning historic artefacts goes on display.

The touring exhibition entitled ‘Pharaoh: King of Egypt’ which showcases objects from the British Museum collection opens on Saturday and runs until Sunday 17 June 2012 at the museum off Millennium Square with admission being free.

Developed by the British Museum in partnership with the Great North Museum, the exhibition explores the lives of the pharaohs and their role as head of state, chief priest and army commanders through objects and artefacts spanning over 3,000 years of history including stunning palace decorations, sculpture, jewellery and papyri.

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All media are invited to a press tour of the exhibition at Leeds City Museum at 11am on Friday 10 February. The tour will be led by Leeds City Museum curator of archaeology Katherine Baxter. Leeds City Museum is located off Millennium Square, LS2 8BH.
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Themes examined include the realities of ruling a complex society and dealing with issues such as international diplomacy, tomb-robbing, civil war and foreigners on the throne. Among the eye-catching objects on display is a wonderfully-preserved standing wooden tomb guardian representing the figure of Pharaoh Ramses I, who was hugely influential despite a short-lived rule from 1295-1294 BC.

Tomb guardian statues were placed on either side of doors to protect the chambers beyond, and this one was found in the tomb of Ramses I in the Valley of the Kings in Thebes. It is rare for such statues to survive, but two similar guardians were found protecting the burial chamber in the tomb of the most famous pharaoh of them all - Tutankhamun.

Other striking objects on display include a granite statue of Ramses I’s grandson Ramses II, who ruled from 1279-1213 BC, and a 3,000-year-old wooden bed dated 1126-1069BC from the Tomb of Pharaoh Ramses IX complete with an intricate design featuring cobras made of gold sheet metal and ebony as well as silver rings.

Among the writing on display is a notable text from 1295-1186BC which tells the story of Pharaoh Amenemhat telling his son Sesostris how he was attacked in the palace as he slept and warning him from the grave to trust no-one in order to avoid the same fate.

The exhibition is free to enter and features audio-visual displays, interactives and family trails. It is also the first major special exhibition of its type to be on display in the museum’s central Leeds Arena.

The exhibition complements the famous ‘Leeds Mummy’ Nesyamun, who is on permanent display in the ‘Ancient Worlds’ section of the museum.

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

“We are all absolutely thrilled that this amazing world-class exhibition on ancient Egypt is now opening for everyone in Leeds to enjoy. The display is absolutely stunning and the artefacts on show are sure to leave anyone who sees it hugely impressed.

“We have to say a huge thank you to the British Museum for bringing it to Leeds, and we look forward to seeing thousands of people coming through the doors between now and June to enjoy this must-see exhibition.”

Director of the British Museum Neil MacGregor said:

“Ancient Egypt holds an enduring fascination and this really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see such an extraordinary Egyptian collection in Leeds City Museum. We are delighted to be able to work with Leeds in delivering this exhibition.”

For the latest information visit or to find out more about Leeds City Museum, visit the website at

Notes to editors:

• Pharaoh: King of Egypt is supported through the generosity of the Dorset Foundation.

• The tour is organised through the British Museum’s Partnership UK scheme. Partnership UK is the strategic framework for the British Museum’s programme of engagement with audiences throughout the country.

• The British Museum recently worked with Leeds Museums at Lotherton Hall with the exhibition ‘Warriors of the Plains’ in summer 2011.

• As well as Leeds City Museum, the exhibition is also visiting: Great North Museum: Hancock, Dorset County Museum, Dorchester; Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery; Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow; Bristol Museum and Art Gallery.

• The Department of Ancient Egypt and Sudan at the British Museum houses the largest collection of Egyptian objects outside Egypt, which illustrate every aspect of the cultures of the Nile Valley, from the Neolithic period (about 10,000 BC) until the twelfth century AD.

For further information on the British Museum please contact: or call 020 7323 8394.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Senior communications officer,
Leeds City Council, Tel 0113 247 5472

More snow on the way – agencies renew winter warning

Media release issued on behalf of the West Yorkshire Resilience Forum

With more snow predicted across the country today, agencies in West Yorkshire are encouraging over 2.2 million local people to ensure they remain prepared for winter.

The past two winters have seen severe weather in some parts of the region, with winter 2009/10 the coldest recorded nationally since 1978/79. In West Yorkshire, this caused significant snow and ice problems leading to an increase in road traffic accidents, hospital admissions and school closures.

West Yorkshire Resilience Forum – which is made up of a number of health, local authority and emergency services – is urging people to take a few simple steps which could reduce their risk of
ill-health, accident or injury in the coming months. By being prepared and stocking up on a few essentials, people can reduce the risk of being caught out by a sudden cold snap.

Co-chair of West Yorkshire Resilience Forum, West Yorkshire Police assistant chief constable Mark Milsom said:
“We’ve seen a couple of hard winters and that severe weather creates an increased demand on all agencies, including police, council and health. While some of that is due to the unavoidable, such as road crashes and people being taken ill, there are precautions people can take now to reduce the risks. Bad weather always stretches our resources and while we can copy, response times for the emergency services for example can be reduced, if only because it is more difficult for us to get around too.

“Simple things make a difference, such as keeping yourself warm at home by ensuring you have enough heating oil, along with grit and salt if you live in an inaccessible area. We’d also like to see people looking out for their neighbours, particularly if they are elderly or living alone.

“If you’re a motorist, make sure now that your vehicle is ready for the months ahead. The winter months take a lot more out of a car and can identify any weak points in the battery or electrical system. A pre-winter service is a useful investment.”

Tony Reeves, co-chair of the West Yorkshire Resilience Forum and chief executive of Bradford Council, said:
"We have substantial stocks of grit and have well developed plans to deal with the snow and ice. We will always strive to keep the major commuter network open but people must be aware that very heavy snowfall can easily create circumstances that result in widespread disruption. We advise people to stock up on rock salt for their driveways and keep an eye out for their neighbours, particularly if they are elderly or vulnerable."

The Resilience Forum advises following these simple steps to reduce the impact of severe weather:

Keep warm
Heat your home – or at least the rooms you use often - to between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius. Wear layers of clothes to trap warm air and wrap up warm in bed. Eat at least one hot meal a day and drink plenty of non-alcoholic drinks, particularly hot drinks like tea, coffee or hot squash.

Keep well
If you have prescription medicines make sure you have a stock in – don’t forget COPD inhalers or asthma preventer inhalers, particularly for children. Don’t go outside in severe weather unless you need to; instead try to keep active indoors. If you do need to go out, wrap up warm and wear sturdy, non-slip footwear. Keep an eye on elderly friends and neighbours and get more information

If you are feeling unwell with a cough, cold, flu or stomach upset please do not visit friends or relatives in hospital. If you have a stomach upset please wait two days until after the symptoms have gone. Because hospitals are full of people who are more vulnerable to catching infections taking bugs into hospitals is the worse thing you can do.

Be prepared

Keep food cupboards well stocked. Make sure you have enough money on your electricity and gas meters and keep a torch somewhere handy. Listen to the weather forecasts – sometimes it’s not safe to make a journey so stay at home. If you have to travel, be prepared for all weather conditions and plan your route accordingly. Get your vehicle serviced and carry an emergency kit in the boot. Now is the time to get in supplies of winter essentials such as heating oils, salt/grit. Winter items are more plentiful in the autumn and generally cheaper than when demand peaks in the depths of winter, so it makes good economic sense too.

Keep in touch

Make a note of important phone numbers such as NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 and West Yorkshire Urgent Care Services on 0345 605 99 99; your gas, water and electricity suppliers; and friends, carers, relatives and neighbours. Keep up to date on weather warnings by listening to the local radio, visiting the Met Office website or logging on to their Twitter, Facebook and other social networks Check Floodline 0845 988 1188 and the Environment Agency website for current picture of flood warnings issued as well as the 3 Day Flood forecast and current river levels.

For more information about emergency preparedness in West Yorkshire visit or for national information visit

Notes to editors

The Met Office – - has a fantastic website, full of information and advice, weather forecasts and severe weather warnings for every part of the country. The national Floodline is on 0845 988 1188 (local rate from landline, mobile rates will vary). They can tell you if your home is at risk of flooding and what you can do to prepare. For more information about emergency preparedness in West Yorkshire visit

Some severe weather stats for the winters of 2009/2010 and 2010/2011:

• January 2008: widespread flooding across communities in West Yorkshire, including Mytholmroyd, Todmorden, Liversedge, and Huddersfield, following a wet start to the month, then very heavy on 21st. EA Flood Warnings issued for many communities along the Aire and Calder rivers.

• December 2009: The coldest across England since 1996 … roughly 2C below normal.

• January 2010: The coldest January across England since 1987 with the first 10 days being in the extremely cold category.

• February 2010: The coldest across England and Wales since 1996.

• December, January and February combined: Mean temperature 2.1C compared to a long-term average of 4.1C. The coldest across England and Wales since 1978/79 (Mean temperature 1.4C)

• Late November and December 2010: Widespread snow across most of northern England. 5-10cms of snow for most but 15cms or more over the higher Pennines.

• Severe overnight frosts were experienced during this period with minimum temperatures below minus 10C on several occasions.

• On the 6th December 2010 many parts of northern England recorded their coldest December day ever with the temperature not getting above minus 5C.

For further information, photographs, interviews or filming opportunities please contact West Yorkshire Police Press Office on 01924 292045 (on behalf of the West Yorkshire Resilience Forum).

Media opportunity at Holt Park wellbeing centre on Monday 13 February

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Media are invited to the site of the new £27m fitness and wellbeing centre at Holt Park, Holtdale Approach, Leeds at 11am on Monday, 13 February for a 'breaking the ground' event and the official announcement of the new name of the centre.

The centre will be one of the first of its kind in the UK combining services provided by the council's adult social care and sports services under one roof.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon and Councillor Adam Ogilvie, plus representatives from Interserve Project Services Ltd and the winner of the naming competition will be available for interview and photographs.

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For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Council working to leave fuel poverty out in the cold

Leeds City Council is adding its voice to the national campaign seeking to eradicatefuel poverty.
Organised by National Energy Action (NEA) and taking place tomorrow (Friday 10 February), Fuel Poverty Awareness Day aims to raise the profile of the health problems caused by living in cold, damp homes and the help that is available.
Insulating your home is recognised as one of the most effective ways of keeping warm, healthy and lowering your fuel bills. That’s why the council launched Wrap Up Leeds earlier this year.
It’s thought that over 1,000 people will be helped out of fuel poverty by Wrap Up Leeds between now and September 2012 when the scheme ends.
The project is offering free cavity wall or loft insulation on a first-come, first-served basis to anyone who owns their own home or is a private tenant in Leeds.
Although available to people across the city, the Wrap Up Leeds team are now out knocking on doors of specific properties where insulation will have the highest impact on people’s health and bills.
Councillor Mark Dobson, executivemember for environmental services said:
“We’re more than happy to lend our support to Fuel Poverty Awareness Day. The aim of the day and Wrap Up Leeds, along with other projects we’re involved in with our partners, go hand in hand. We really want to help people cope with rising fuel prices and to reduce health problems associated with living in a cold home. These projects allow us to do just that.”
Councillor David Blackburn, chair ofthe council’s cross-party environment and climate change working group said:
“People might not class themselves as being ‘fuel poor’, they just know they’re having trouble paying their heating bills. I hope that the range of projects we support in Leeds is tangible proof of our commitment to combating fuel poverty and we’re delighted to support Fuel Poverty Awareness Day.”
As well as Wrap Up Leeds, Leeds City Council along with along with NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds, Care and Repair, Groundwork Leeds, Yorkshire Energy Services and Leeds Community Foundation was successful in securing nearly £233,000 from the Department of Health’s Warm Homes Healthy People fund in December 2011.
The funding is being used to provide a co-ordinated service to prevent people from falling ill and having to be admitted to hospital that includes:
  • Boiler servicing, breakdown repairs and temporary heating through Care and Repair;
  • Expanding Groundwork Leeds’ energy efficiency ‘Green Doctor’ service; and
  • Direct grant scheme for community groups through Leeds Community Foundation.
Grants have been awarded to groups so they can help people in their area during the winter. Over 20 community groups have benefitted including:
  • Belle Isle Winter Aid who are helping their most vulnerable clients with winter preparation, shopping and draught proofing. They will also be checking that 347 local residents living alone are OK during the cold spell.
  • A six week stay warm, stay healthy campaign run by Shantona to help vulnerable people, assisting with transport, providing hot food at lunch clubs and providing advice on grants.
  • Fairfield Community Partnership will be holding winter warm events throughout February offering free hot drinks and meals to local residents in sheltered housing.
To sign for free insulation, call Wrap Up Leeds on 0800 052 0071 or go to and complete your application online.

Notes to editors:
  • Fuel poverty is defined as having to spend more than 10% of your household income on heating your home to an adequate standard.

About Wrap UpLeeds
  • Wrap Up Leeds is run in partnership by Leeds City Council and Yorkshire Energy Services, with funding from EDF Energy.
  • Wrap Up Leeds is available to all homeowners andprivately rented tenants (where landlord’s permission has been granted) in theLeeds City Council area only.
  • Free cavity wall insulation, loft insulation (whereless than 60mm of loft insulation currently exists) and loft ‘top up’s’ (wheremore than 60mm but less than 160mm of loft insulation currently exists) areavailable under the scheme.
  • A free, technical survey of the property willconfirm that the work will definitely be free and much larger properties orthose that need extensive scaffolding may be asked to pay a contributiontowards the work.
  • The project estimates to help householders madetotal cumulative savings of £1,653,750 onenergy bills based on installing cavity wall insulation in 6,000 homes, laying insulation in over 3,000 empty loftsand ‘topping up’ a further 5,850 lofts.

For media enquiries pleasecontact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds CityCouncil press office (0113) 247 5704


Ellie Lyon, YorkshireEnergy Services marketing team on 01484 352010