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Lawnswood’s Great War Stories Recording Day

October 4th, 2013 · Community News

Friends of Lawnswood Cemetery


As part of our exciting Heritage Lottery Funded project, “Lawnswood’s Great War Stories” we want to make sure we record all of the First World War commemorations in the cemetery.

We want people to come to the cemetery and help us find the commemorations and record them, either with a digital camera or a good old fashioned pen and paper!

We will have our resident First World War researcher on hand to answer any questions you might have, listen to your Great War stories and to explain more about how you can be further involved in our work.

Come down and help us on Saturday 5 th October and be part of our project. For further information please contact ahetherington123@btinternet.com

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Sing Freedom at Adel Primary School

October 3rd, 2013 · Events

Adel Primary School will be holding an evening of music and songs entitled ‘Sing Freedom – a story with songs of liberation’ written by Frances Bernstein and performed by Free Range, a Leeds based choir led by Frances.

Frances is the daughter of Rusty Bernstein who was tried with Nelson Mandela in South Africa. The evening tells her own story of being a child during those years of struggle to end apartheid.

This performance is suitable for children from the age of 10+ and adults.


Adel Primary School - Sing for Freedom

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Leeds Carnival 2013

August 24th, 2013 · Community News

Leeds Carnival 2013
by Joel Beaumont
The August Bank Holiday means carnival time for Leeds.

The West Indian Carnival will take to the streets of Leeds this Bank Holiday Monday. As Europe’s longest running Caribbean Carnival there is lots to take in and do.

The day of the carnival starts early with J’Ouvert morning. An early morning music march for anyone who wishes to attend. The only rule being you must wear your pyjamas. If pyjama prancing in Potternewton sounds like your kind of thing then head on over to the Leeds West Indian Centre on Laycock Place for 6am where the festivities last until around 9am.

If getting up at the crack of dawn on a bank holiday isn’t you’re idea of fun then stay in bed and get some rest ready for the big day.

The carnival is based in Potternewton Park in Harehills with a whole host of arts and crafts, music and dance, food and drink, all of course with a Caribbean twist, on offer to sample.

The Big Parade

The main focal point of the carnival is the parade. A vibrant and addictive blend of colourful costumes and music leaves the park at 2pm. The Carnival King, Queen, Prince and Princess are joined by troupes and floats to create a Caribbean carnival atmosphere.

It continues onto Harehills Lane, Roundhay Road, Barrack Road, Chapeltown Road, Harehills Avenue and returning into Potternewton Park at around 5pm.

Carnival Roots

Leeds West Indian Carnival is the brainchild of Arthur France, MBE, who arrived here from St Kitts-Nevis in 1957. In 1966, he and two friends, Frankie Davis from Trinidad and Tony Lewis, from Jamaica, students at the University of Leeds, as well as Ian Charles from Trinidad, organised a carnival fete at Kitson College (now Leeds City Technology College.)

Arthur France decided there should be a carnival parade along the streets of Leeds, with Ian’s support, plus help from others including Calvin Beech, Willie Robinson, Samlal Singh and Rose McAlister, Leeds West Indian Carnival was on the road for the first time in 1967.

The success of the Leeds Carnival paved the way for the famous Notting Hill Carnival in London. Arthur is still the chairman of the Leeds West Indian Carnival to this day.

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Graduation with a difference for Ralph Thoresby Summer School Students

August 5th, 2013 · Ralph Thoresby

Ralph Thoresby High School Summer School

32 hardworking participants of Ralph Thoresby School’s inaugural Summer School Project  graduated in grand style on Friday 26th July 2013 at 14:00 after completing a programme of challenging activities designed to bring together students who commence formal studies at the school in September.

The five day programme entitled ‘A Week at the Beach’ has been designed to give many of the new intake the opportunity to explore an exciting and forward-thinking secondary school curriculum, make use of the school’s exceptional 21st Century resources and to develop friendships with peers who will shape their high school lives.

The innovative project will also see the students enjoy a day in Bridlington, where learners will design and market ice creams, discover the history of British seaside traditions and use some of the school’s multimedia resources to create a postcard to be sold.

Summer School director, Stewart McGill, has spearheaded the project after researching the academic impact of the Department for Education’s commitment to make Summer Schools more widespread.

Says Mr McGill, ‘Members of the Ralph Thoresby School community embody the values of  ‘Ambition and achievement for all’ and we see this as a unique way to initiate new members of the school to this way of thinking. Although we are amongst the first schools in the city to run this sort of project, we truly believe it will help our learners to ‘hit the ground running’ when they join us in September and in turn, this will support them in making outstanding progress and embracing a love for learning’

Headteacher, Will Carr, is excited by the project and claims, ‘It’s a great time to be joining Ralph Thoresby School and I’m confident that the Summer School will be a fun way to develop learning, make friends and meet some of our outstanding teachers’

Please share this post and help to highlight the efforts of those who continue to make our local area an interesting and positive place to live.

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Leeds: Japanese Garden at Horsforth Hall Park

July 12th, 2013 · Community News

The weather this weekend was unbelievable hot and with it set to another hot one next weekend we we wanted to bring you an article on a local park with a difference that you may be interested to visit. This is a guest post brought to you by local Leeds blogger Laura who writes for Itsumo Japan

Until recently I was completely unaware that Hall Park in Horsforth, Leeds was home to a Japanese garden! Needless to say I was surprised and pleased to find out that Leeds was hiding a Japanese secret and I headed over there to have a look.

The Hall Park Japanese garden was originally opened in 1987 but after it fell into disrepair a £90,000 project was launched to bring it back to its former glory. After nine months of hard work the garden re-opened in 2009.

The garden, the only one of its kind in Leeds, contains many features to create a Japanese atmosphere. You enter the walled garden, at the top corner of the park, through a gateway complete with its name written in kanji and a Japanese-style roof. Inside you’re met with lush greenery including bushy bamboo plants. The path takes you through the shrubbery and along a wooden structure decorated in yellow and a bright red that echoes the vermillion torii seen all over Japan. From here you can enjoy a view over the pond that fills the centre of the garden to a bright red bridge at the far end of the garden. Though the pond was home to a few lotus plants and showed signs that a few fish may be lurking below the water was unfortunately very muddy spoiling the view a little.

From here the path edges the pond passing an area set out to imitate the traditional karesansui rock garden, some pretty maple and pine trees and more leafy bamboo. The red bridge, a staple in all Japanese-style gardens it seems, crosses a small waterfall that feeds water into the pond. On the day that I visited sadly only a trickle of water was falling from the rocks but perhaps this was due to summer water-saving measures. Over the bridge there is another small karesansui-style garden.

Though the garden is nowhere near as impressive as it’s grown-up cousin in London’s Holland Park and lacks its authentic feel it is a pleasant place to spend time on a sunny afternoon. Throughout the garden there are many colourful and informative signs filled with information about the garden and the traditions of Japanese gardening. There are also two decorative ‘windows’ offering interesting views into and out of the garden through their Japanese-style motifs.

All in all I would recommend a trip to Hall Park’s Japanese garden. It is a pleasant and unusual place to visit within Leeds and I look forward to going there again during the autumn and winter to see the changing colours of the foliage.

View the park’s location on a map.

Please share this post and help others find hidden gems in our local area. Sharing this post will help show your support for Laura who original wrote this post on her blog Itsumo Japan

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