Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Prize winning artwork encourages energy saving

Top: (Left to right) Isabel Dobson from Westerton Primary, Casey Clayton from Rothwell C of E Primary, Charlotte Rafferty from Five Lanes Primary and Anna Turner from Broadgrate Primary receive framed copies of their artwork from Lord Mayor Councillor Reverend Alan Taylor and Children's Mayor Joe Smith.

Below: Overall competition winner, Charlotte Rafferty from Five Lanes Primary School receives a framed copy of her artwork from Lord Mayor Councillor Reverend Alan Taylor and Children's Mayor Joe Smith.

Pupils challenged to design special energy conscious artwork will see their creations take pride of place in Leeds City Museum.

Pupils from Rothwell Church of England, Five Lanes, Broadgate and Westerton primary schools went head to head in a competition to design works of art to encourage people to save energy.

Five Lanes Primary School were declared overall winners with the best design by Charlotte Rafferty. All four schools received prizes for their artistic efforts today at a celebration event as part of Climate Week – including a framed copy of their work – from the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Reverend Alan Taylor and Joe Smith in his role as Leeds Children’s Mayor.

The masterpieces from all four schools will go on display in the museum as well as at Kirkstall Abbey Visitor Centre, and leisure centres across the city from 1 April 2012.

The competition was judged by year 10 and 11 pupils from Guiseley High and Mount St Mary’s high schools, Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental services and Councillor Judith Blake, executive member for children’s services.

Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Reverend Alan Taylor said:

“I’ve been very impressed with the level of creativity and enthusiasm shown by all the pupils. Their pieces are very eye catching and really get the message across that we can all be doing our bit to save energy. I hope they are all very proud on becoming exhibiting artists and knowing that they are helping to take the energy saving message to our communities.”

The aim of the competition was to get pupils thinking and talking about energy use at school and home and formed just one part of Leeds City Council’s low carbon schools pilot project supported by the Carbon Trust.

Energy use in schools accounts for nearly half of the council’s total energy bill and carbon emissions. So, the project aimed to help schools understand their energy use; help them put in place no or low cost measures to cut energy use and carbon emissions; involve the whole school in promoting energy awareness and link energy saving to other parts of the curriculum. The project also ties in with the ethos of the sustainable schools framework.

Results from the schools’ energy saving efforts are being monitored and the project will be rolled out by the end of 2014 so all schools will benefit from the low carbon schools service.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577
e-mail: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk


Memorial event for legendary explorer Captain Oates to be held in Leeds

Caption: Captain Lawrence Oates, photographed in 1911 during the Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole, and the blue plaque in his honour which will be unveiled in Meanwood Park on Saturday (if portrait image used mandatory credit must be given to Sir Joseph James Kinsey, courtesy of Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand)

One of the most famous moments of self-sacrifice in British history is to be honoured at a special event at Meanwood Park in Leeds this weekend.

On March 17 1912, Captain Lawrence Oates suffering from severe frostbite on the return journey from the South Pole as part of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s historic expedition uttered the phrase which has since passed down into folklore: “I am just going outside and may be some time”.

It was the day of his 32nd birthday, and in order to try and save the lives of the rest of the party who were trapped in an Antarctic blizzard with little or no rations left and no hope of rescue, Oates knowingly walked out into the frozen wastes to his certain death and was never seen again.

His story, coupled with the sad deaths of Captain Scott and his colleagues which followed days later following their defeat by Norwegian rival Roald Amundsen in the race to be the first people to ever reach the pole, quickly became revered throughout the world for its bravery and tragic failure.

Now, 100 years on, a special memorial event to mark the death of Captain Oates, whose body was never found, will take place on Saturday 17 March at 12 noon at Meanwood Park, which was the Oates family’s home in Leeds before they sold it to Leeds Corporation in 1954 for the people of the city to enjoy as a public park.

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All media are invited to attend the memorial event to honour the centenary of the death of Captain Lawrence Oates, which will take place at Meanwood Park at 12 noon on Saturday 17 March. Media wishing to attend are directed to the car park at the end of Green Road in Meanwood.
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The family lived at the house and estate known as ‘Meanwoodside’ from the 1830s when Leeds lawyer Edward Oates bought it, and it is known that his grandson Lawrence was a regular visitor throughout his childhood and right up to his fateful decision to join Captain Scott’s Terra Nova expedition team.

The house was demolished after it was sold to Leeds Corporation, but a memorial cross to Edward Oates remained in the park. To mark the centenary of Lawrence’s death, the memorial to Edward has been restored. The ceremony will also see the unveiling of new interpretation panels and a blue plaque to tell the story of the Oates family in Leeds.

The blue plaque will honour Captain Oates himself, with the inscription repeating the reference to him being “A very gallant gentleman” which can be seen at the memorial which was created for him near the site of his death in Antarctica by the rescue team who discovered the bodies of Captain Scott and his colleagues. They also found Scott’s diary which told of Oates’ self-sacrifice and his poignant final words.

The ceremony and unveiling has been organised by Leeds City Council along with the Meanwood Village Association, who will be hosting activities throughout the day to honour the Oates family and especially Captain Oates.

The day begins at Meanwood Church of England Primary School which is adjacent to the park from 10am with an exhibition of work by over 200 pupils themed around Oates and the South Pole expedition. This will be followed by a coffee morning and afternoon tea in the Meanwood Institute, while there will also be a barbecue held in the school and a special Oates-themed quiz night held from 7:30pm in the institute with all proceeds going to the Help for Heroes charity.

The story of Oates and Scott has inspired all explorers who followed, including Britain’s most famous current explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who was the first person to trek to both the North and South Poles and also walked across Antarctica on foot.

Speaking of Captain Oates, explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes said:

“Captain Lawrence Oates was a true explorer and very brave man. Most explorers today can call on support from satellite phones and helicopters but in Oates’ day they were completely alone as they trekked the frozen Antarctic wastes.

“Few men have laid down their lives to give their friends a better chance of survival. I’m delighted that the centenary of this hero’s death is to be remembered in his family home in Meanwood, Leeds.”

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie, who will be performing the unveiling of the plaque to Captain Oates, said:

“The story of Captain Scott’s expedition and Captain Oates’ incredible bravery and self-sacrifice is one of the most famous ever told and as a city Leeds is rightfully very proud of its links to Lawrence and his family.

“Meanwood Park is one of the best-loved public parks in the city, and we are delighted to be putting this plaque in place so visitors can find out more about the history of the park and hopefully be inspired by knowing one of the great British heroes was a regular visitor to the exact same spot.”

Leading up to the centenary events, special screenings of the classic telling of the story “Scott of the Antarctic” starring John Mills and “The Great White Silence” filmed by Scott’s team themselves will be shown at Meanwood Institute on Wednesday and Thursday. Such has been the popularity of the screenings that they are already sold-out, with the proceeds going to Help for Heroes.

President of Meanwood Village Association Peter Bewell said:

“I have lived in Meanwood in Leeds for over 70 years and from being a schoolboy have always regarded Captain Oates as our very own local hero. Even moreso when my wife (Christine) and I bought Ivy Cottage in 1959 as it was once owned by Captain Oates and his brother, albeit they did not actually live there. It is detailed in our house deeds.

“In 2008 I realised a long-held ambition and actually went to Antarctica on an oceanographic research vessel. Although we did not go to the South Pole, we saw the awesome splendour of this famous continent. Long may he be remembered.”


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Senior communications officer,
Leeds City Council, Tel 0113 247 5472
Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk