Thursday, 8 May 2014

Two popular Leeds museums join forces as part of National Mills Weekend

Caption: Thwaite Mills Watermill (top picture) and Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills (bottom picture) are playing their part in National Mills Weekend.

A weekend of fascinating activities is set to be held at two popular Leeds museums this month as part of ‘National Mills Weekend’.

Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills and Thwaite Mills Watermill have teamed up to put together a packed programme on the weekend of 10 & 11 May. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore these two fascinating sites which throughout the year host a variety of other fantastic events.

Once the world’s largest woollen mill, and located in a beautiful riverside surrounding, the Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills will be offering on May 10, tours of the textile gallery and activities including weaving, spinning and dyeing.

Anyone who attends the fun at Armley Mills on Saturday will also have the chance to receive free entry to Thwaite Mills Watermill the next day (Sunday May 11).

Set on the tranquil home of this 19th century watermill, Thwaite Mills Watermill in Stourton is one of the last examples of a water-powered mill in Britain. On the day visitors can marvel at the sight of the two large working waterwheels and working machinery where during its time hard flint was ground to supply the pottery industry, and later, chalk was ground for the paint, putty and pharmaceutical industries. Alternatively, visitors can simply explore at their leisure the delights of the fully restored museum with displays of industrial history and social life before taking in the fantastic scenery and wildlife living on the island.

Held on 10 & 11 May, ‘National Mill Weekend’ is the annual festival of the UK’s milling heritage that provides visitors with a fantastic opportunity to visit mills, many of which are not usually open to the public.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills said:

"Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills and Thwaite Mills Watermill are two fantastic places to visit, and we are delighted to showcase just how good they are as part of National Mill Weekend.

"There is always a lot to see at both museums, and on the weekend we will be offering a wide range of great activities including demonstrations and the chance to learn new skills including weaving, spinning and dyeing. Plus, this is a rare chance for visitors to visit both sites while only paying admission to one which is a great opportunity."

Sarah Barton, Keeper at Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills and Thwaite Mills Watermill said:

"The staff at both sites are excited to be working together and to be taking part in National Mills Weekend.

"We hope our visitors enjoy finding out more about two very different but equally fascinating mills. We are also thrilled to be able to offer people the chance to see both sites for one admission charge."

Notes to editors:
Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills:Housed in what was once the world's largest woollen mill, Leeds Industrial Museum houses a wealth of gems located in a beautiful riverside setting. Step back in time to learn about the industrial history of Leeds from manufacturing textiles and clothing to printing, engineering and locomotives, which the city was world famous for.

Opening times
Monday: Closed except for bank holidays. Bank holiday Mondays 10:00 - 17:00. Last admission at 16:00
Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 - 17:00. Last admission at 16:00
Sunday: 13:00 - 17:00. Last admission at 16:00

Canal Road, Leeds, LS12 2QF
Tel: 0113 263 7861. Email:

For more information visit

Thwaite Mills Watermill:
Thwaite Mills Watermill is perfectly nestled on a tranquil island between the River Aire and the Aire and Calder Navigation, just at the end of Thwaite Lane in Stourton.

One of the best and last remaining examples of a water-powered putty mill in Britain, this fully restored and fascinating museum allows visitors to experience the power and force of water powered industry in action.

Opening times
Open every Saturday and Sunday, 1.00pm – 5.00pm
Closed on Mondays except for bank holidays
Open during Leeds school holidays on Tuesdays – Fridays, 10.00am – 5.00pm

Thwaite Lane, Stourton, Leeds, LS10 1RP
Tel: 0113 378 2983. Email:

For media enquiries, please contact;
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Riders in Lord Mayor Charity Bike Ride welcomed back in style

Caption: The Lady Mayoress of Leeds Edna Murray (front, far left) and the Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Thomas Murray (front, right) with all the riders who took part in the charity bike ride.

Participants in the Lord Mayor’s Charity Cycle Ride were given a warm welcome on their return to the city as part of a special family fun day at Temple Newsam Park.

Setting off from Hull City’s KC Stadium, around 50 cyclists completed the ride back to Leeds in aid of the Lord Mayor’s LOFFTY project, where each rider after reaching the finishing line was treated to a much deserved warm drink and sandwich by the Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Thomas Murray and the Lady Mayoress Edna Murray.

Included in the party were three members of cycling group Ultra6, Andy North, Ben Wood and Iain Harris, who in aid of the Lord Mayor’s charity, cycled to Leeds twin city Dortmund before making the trip back home. In their ride, they completed the approximate 250 mile trip to Dortmund in a time, excluding the ferry journey, of 22 hours and in doing so set a new record. Joining them on the ride back to Leeds from Dortmund were also two representatives from Leeds Trinity University and local businessman David Gale.

As part of the free family fun day in the park which featured live music, visitors were treated to a range of fun activities hosted by the council’s Breeze team and also had the chance to play a number of giant garden games including Jenga, Connect Four, Snakes & Ladders and Space Hopper Racing.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Thomas Murray said:

"An amazing amount of hard work went in to making our charity bike ride a reality, and I would like to thank everyone who contributed to what was a fantastic occasion.

"Given the tremendous effort that each rider put in to raise money for our LOFFTY project, we thought it was only right that they were given a civic welcome and a well-deserved round of applause at the finishing line as part of a family fun day event at Temple Newsam Park.

"The family fun day really was great fun, and it was lovely that we were able to tie-in the event as a sign of our appreciation with the arrival of the cyclists back to the city of Leeds after their long testing journey. Records have been set to be broken, which will offer a challenge for future rides."

Notes to editors:

The key aim of the LOFFTY project, which stands for ‘Leeds Offers Fun For The Young’, is to raise funds that will provide additional fun activities for kids in the city during and after school, at weekends and throughout the school holidays.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578