Thursday, 22 May 2014

Crowds flock to see two First World War fighter planes on display in city centre

Caption: (Right of propeller) - The Lord Mayor of Leeds Cllr Thomas Murray, Cllr Graham Hyde (Leeds City Council’s chair of the armed forces member champion group), James Rogers, (Leeds City Council’s assistant chief executive), and the Lady Mayoress Edna Murray, are joined by the live re-enactors and the Eastchurch Kitten plane.

An exhibition of two First World War bi-planes in the heart of Leeds city centre proved to be a bit hit with visitors this week.

In a unique event, an RAF built example of a 1914 BE2c fighter and a recently restored replica 1917 PV8 Eastchurch Kitten from the Yorkshire Air Museum Collection at Elvington, were displayed on Victoria Gardens outside Leeds Art Gallery. Included on the day was also the chance for visitors to hear sounds not heard for almost 100 years, as a live engine run of the Eastchurch Kitten was undertaken on each hour.

Also featuring in the exhibition were live re-enactors representing men and women who fought through the war, who were also on hand to talk to visitors, passers-by and school children throughout the event.

The 1914 BE2c fighters were part of the first three Royal Flying Corps Squadrons sent to France at the outbreak of the war. Many of the aircraft were built under licence by the Blackburn Aircraft Company in Leeds and the plane exhibited outside the art gallery will carry the famous 1914 Blackburn Logo. The 1917 PV78 Eastchurch Kitten was a very tiny aircraft, intended to be launched from ships in the English Channel to intercept Zeppelin airships making their way to British town and cities. Only one Eastchurch Kitten was ever built, and it was later withdrawn as its design was not considered suitable.

This display formed part of the city’s centenary commemoration of the First World War, which began in August 1914.

For more information on Leeds Museums and Galleries First World War Programme, please see:

Further details regarding the Yorkshire Air Museum can be found at:

Councillor Graham Hyde, Leeds City Council’s chair of the armed forces member champion group said:

"It was a truly unforgettable experience to see two First World War bi-planes exhibited outside the Leeds Art Gallery and to be given an opportunity to hear a live engine run of the Eastchurch Kitten.

"We feel extremely proud and privileged as a city to have hosted this exhibition, and we would like to thank the Yorkshire Air Museum for their efforts in making this memorable event, which forms part of their commemoration of the First World War, a reality."

Notes to editors:

For more information on the global commemoration of the First World War Centenary, please see the Imperial War Museums website at: or the University of Leeds:

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

Something for everyone at Leeds Museums and Galleries this half term

Top caption: The popular 'Teddy Bear Trail' will once again be held at Lotherton Hall during half term.

Bottom caption: Historic Kirkstall Abbey is a great place to visit for all the family.

With the half term holidays on the horizon, Leeds Museums and Galleries will once again be providing a range of activities and events for people of all ages to enjoy.

The excitement begins at Leeds Art Gallery on Saturday 24 May with a 'My Place in Artspace' event inspired by Thomas Houseago’s artwork displayed outside the gallery. Participants will be able to join Artist in Residence Chris Harman, as he leads activities suitable for all the family. This event will also be available on May 27, Thursday 29, Friday 30 and Saturday 31 May.

Visitors to Lotherton Hall will be guaranteed of a big surprise between Sunday 24 May-1 June as they follow the clues around the famous estate in the 'Teddy Bear Trail', before being entered into a prize draw offering the chance to win a giant cuddly teddy bear. Or why not pop down on Wednesday 28 May with your favourite teddy to join in in the fantastic 'Teddy Bear Picnic'? A celebration of Lotherton’s bird garden will also be held as part of 'Love Your Zoo Week' from Monday 26 May - Sunday 1 June.

It also promises to be a very busy week at Abbey House Museum, as they begin their packed programme with a Charlie & the Chocolate Factory inspired ‘Family Fun & Crafts’ event on Tuesday 27 May. For those people who like their science to be messy, budding professors can also try out a host of disgusting experiments as part of a 'Revolting Recipes Science Fun' event on Wednesday 28 May. On Thursday 29 May, there will also be the chance to take part in the 'Hunt the Golden Ticket family Challenge'. Does your family have what it takes to work together to solve a variety of clues, activities and mystery objects to find the prize? Spooky fun will also be available on Friday 30 May as part of 'The Witches Family' event.

The historic surroundings of Kirkstall Abbey will be hosting a 'Mini Marigolds' event on Tuesday 27 May, which is perfect for the under 5’s. Youngsters will be able to take part in a morning of crafts and planting, while on Thursday 29 May there will be the opportunity to celebrate 'Turn Yorkshire Yellow' day by planting seeds in raised beds and making pots to take home. In what also promises to be a great event to celebrate the arrival of Le Grand D├ępart in the city this July, can you find the scarecrows of famous French art and artists hid around the Abbey? The French Scarecrow event will be held from Saturday 24 May – Friday May 30.

As part of the spectacular ‘Voices of Asia’ gallery which has recently opened at Leeds City Museum, visitors can take part in a special 'West Meets East' art day from Monday 26 May until Friday 30 May. A 'Tiny Tigers Toddler Fun' event on Friday 30 May will provide the chance to have messy fun with paints and crayons, along with ‘Rory’s Saturday Club’ offering arts and crafts on Saturday 24 May and Saturday 31.

Located in the tranquil home of this 19th century watermill, Thwaite Mills Watermill is also set to open its doors during half term. For budding architects, on the 24 May -June 1, they can test their skills by designing and building a number of mini structures. Can you make the tallest and strongest? For those people who have always fancied building a bridge, they will be able to step into the shoes of the Wignall Leathers who constructed the beautiful Crown Point Bridge and create their own mini one on Thursday 29 May. Along with the 'Bridge Builder' event, a 'Steaming Day', will also be held on 29 May on the tiny island, where you can find out a mass of information, including how goods were moved from boats.

With the Tour de France set to arrive in the city this July excitement is beginning to hit fever pitch, and Temple Newsam House is offering you the perfect opportunity to start your preparations for this once in a lifetime event by creating bunting to decorate your house as part of 'Viva Le Temple', which will be held on May 26 May - May 30. All the ghastly secrets of Temple Newsam House are set to be revealed as part of a special 'Gruesome Newsam' guided tour on Sunday June 1, while on Thursday 29 May, why not take a look and discover the secrets of an object specially selected by an expert guide.

A trio of events will also be held at Leeds Industrial Museum. Boasting one of the smallest cinemas in the world, a number of films are set to be shown from Monday 26 May –Sunday 1 June, while two 'Light Camera Action' events will also be available and feature animated workshops, where you can create your cartoon.

If you wondered what kind of pieces and artefacts are in storage at Leeds Discovery Centre, then half term is the perfect time to find out in an behind-the-scenes guided tour on Thursday 29th May. Boasting over one million objects including elephant skulls, full-sized collections of butterflies and a medieval log boat are just some of the treats on offer. The Discovery Centre will also be providing you on Saturday 24 May and Wednesday 28 May, with access to their natural history collection in order to create your own comic book as part of a 'Heroes and Sheroes' event.

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

"With half term approaching fast, our museum and galleries team have again put on a fantastic programme of activities for people of all ages to enjoy.

"There really is something for everyone, whether it is a tour of our fantastic Leeds Discovery Centre which is home to over one million artefacts, to bunting making at Temple Newsam in preparation for the Tour de France. We look forward to welcoming both new and old friends to our museum and gallery sites, in what promises to be a really fun week."

Amanda Phillips, Education Officer at Leeds Art Gallery said:

"We are really excited that Chris will be working with us, he’s had a really good idea that we think will inspire families to have fun making a huge home for Thomas Houseago’s giant sculpture from bamboo and parcel ties.

"We hope it will grow and grow taking over Artspace, and become a different sort of room in the gallery for everyone to enjoy."

Notes to editors:

For more information on events and admission, please visit:

Details on events highlighted in press release:

Kirkstall Abbey
Mini Marigolds
Tuesday 27th May, 10am – 11am
Turn Yorkshire Yellow – Planting Day
Thursday 29th May, 2pm – 3pm & Friday 30th May, 10am – 11am
French Scarecrow Hunt
Saturday 24th – Friday 30th May, 10am – 3pm

All the events at Kirkstall Abbey are free to join in!

Leeds Art Gallery
My Place in Artspace
Saturday 24th, Tuesday 27th, Thursday 29th, Friday 30th, Saturday 31st May, 11am – 4pm
Look into my World
During open hours

Leeds Art Gallery is free to enter and all events are free!

Lotherton Hall
Teddy Bear Picnic
Wednesday 28th May, 12pm – 3pm
Summer Half Term Love Your Zoo Week
Monday 26th May – Sunday 1st June, 11am – 4pm
Teddy Bear Trail
Saturday 24th May – Sunday 1st May, 11am – 4pm

All of the events at Lotherton Hall are free but usual estate charges apply.

Abbey House Museum
Charlie & The Chocolate Factory Family Fun & Crafts
Tuesday 27th May, 10am – 12pm & 2pm – 4pm
Revolting Recipes Science Fun
Wednesday 28th May 10am – 12pm & 2pm – 4pm
Hunt the Golden Ticket Family Challenge
Thursday 29th May, 10am – 12pm & 2pm – 4pm
The Witches Family Fun
Friday 30th May, 10am 12pm & 2pm – 4pm

All these events at Abbey House Museum are free but usual museum admission charges apply.

Leeds Discovery Centre
Behind the scenes guided tour
Thursday 28th May, 2pm – 3pm
Heroes and Sheroes – Create Your Own Comic Book Superhuman
Saturday 24th May &Wednesday 28th May, 10am – 12pm

Both our events at Leeds Discovery Centre are free but booking is required, please call 0113 378 2100.

Temple Newsam
Vive le Temple – bunting making
Monday 26th – Friday 30th May, during opening hours
Be warned! Gruesome Newsam tour
Sunday 1st June, 2pm – 2.45pm
Suitable for families with children aged 7+, £3 Adults / £1.50 Children. Booking is required, contact 0113 336 7460.
Object of the month – unlocked
Thursday 29th May, 2.30pm

Events at Temple Newsam house are free with usual house admission unless stated otherwise.

Thwaite Mills Watermill
Bridge Builders
Thurs 29th May, 11am – 3pm
Steaming Day
Thurs 29 May, during opening hours
Super Structures
Saturday 24th May – Sunday 1st June, during opening hours

All our events at Thwaite Mills Watermill are free but usual museum admission charges apply.

Leeds City Museum
West Meets East
Monday 26th May – Friday 30th May, 10am – 12pm & 2pm – 4pm
Tiny Tigers Toddler Fun
Friday 30th May, 10am – 11.45am
Rory’s Saturday club
Saturday 24th & Saturday 31st May, 11am – 12.15pm

Free events and free entry to the museum!

Leeds Industrial Museum
Film Time
Monday 26th May – Sunday 1st June, during opening hours
Watch a film in one of the smallest cinemas in the world!
Lights Camera Action - Drop-in Activities
Monday 26th May – Sunday 1st June, during opening hours
Lights Camera Action - Work shop
Tuesday 27th May, 1pm – 3pm

All our events at Leeds Industrial Museum are free but usual museum admission charges apply.

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