Heritage Open Days celebrate inventions, innovations and discoveries

With its theme of inventions, innovations and discoveries it’s no surprise that South Leeds has plenty to offer as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days festival.

Leeds Civic Trust has worked with organisations across the city to put on 140 events for the festival which runs from Friday 9 to Sunday 18 September 2022.

We’ve picked out some local highlights below, but you can find the full programme at bit.ly/3BctlAl. Most events require pre-booking, further details and links can be found at www.heritageopendays.org.uk

Waddingtons at the Archive: From Television to Board Games

Waddingtons was one of the most famous companies based in Leeds. Beginning as a printers making posters, they gained success after World War One with their popular playing cards before moving on to board games. Among the successful titles made in Leeds were Monopoly and Cluedo. Utilising the company archives, Professor Robert Shail (Leeds School of Arts at Leeds Beckett University) will examine board games produced by Waddingtons to exploit the popularity of television programmes such as Captain Scarlet, Blockbusters, Coronation Street and Z Cars. Come along to the Discovery Centre (Carlisle Road, LS10 1LB) and see the games at close hand.

Saturday 17 September, 11am-12pm. Book here

Middleton Railway

Hear an illustrated talk on, among other “firsts”, the creation of the world’s very first successful, load-hauling steam locomotives (1812)! See a section of their track and the UK’s prototype diesel loco (1932).

Astounding innovations? The Middleton Railway is the place to visit, it’s full of them! The first load-hauling steam locomotives in the world ran right here, that was in 1812. We have some of the original (rack) rail. And in 1932, nearby Hunslet Engine Company produced Britain’s prototype diesel locomotive, the ‘John Alcock’. This demonstrated the advantages of diesel traction to the railway companies of the day and led to the widespread adoption of this astounding invention. You can see ‘John Alcock’ in our display hall.

Saturday 10, Sunday 11, Saturday 17, Sunday 18 September, 10am-4pm. Free talk each hour. No booking required.

Murray, Marshall and Harding – three Holbeck giants of invention and innovation

There is a lot to discover about Holbeck so take a leisurely tour with local historians Ian and Dennis.

The walk will start at The Holbeck (Jenkinson Lawn, LS11 9QX) reputedly the oldest social club in Britain – with a blue plaque to prove it. You will hear about the men who shaped the history and development of Holbeck and visit the Murray Monument, St Matthew’s Church, Temple Mill and Tower Works.

Thursday 15 September, 1-4pm. Booking required, email: ian.pickup@yahoo.co.uk

Slung Low’s Alan Lane – In Conversation

Slung Low are a theater company based in Holbeck, making work for an by the community. In 2020, when the world turned upside down, Slung Low closed the stage curtains, and responded by mobilising as a food bank and community hub. Those momentous and often challenging times have now been encapsulated by Slung Low’s Alan Lane in a new book ‘The Club on the Edge of Town’.

In this ‘in conversation’ event, Trust Director Martin Hamilton will find out more about the theater, The Holbeck, and Slung Low’s plans for the future.

Wednesday 14 September, 6-7pm. Online, book here

Old Chapel Music Tours

This is an informal look around the oldest music studios in Leeds. Find out about its history, local bands such as the Kasier Chiefs who still rehearse there and the future plans for the organisation and its old Wesleyan building.

If you miss out on these special Heritage Open Day tours, further guided Interactive tours will start in October 2022 and run on the last Sunday of each month till 2024. Leeds Civic Trust is proud to support Old Chapel Music Tours through its Community heritage Fund.

Sunday 11 September, 12-1pm and 2-3pm. Book here

The Tetley – Hibiscus Rising – Creating a memorial for David Oluwale with Yinka Shonibare CBE

In April this year, David Oluwale’s Leeds Civic Trust blue plaque was stolen. But we’re a city that won’t be defeated so we’re delighted to invite you to the unveiling of the new plaque, and to the opening of a brand new exhibition at the Tetley.

David Oluwale was a British-Nigerian, who, after enduring years of persecution by two police officers, lost his life after being chased into the River Aire. This was the first time police officers were imprisoned for the death of a black person in police custody.

Join Leeds Civic Trust, The Tetley, David Oluwale Memorial Association, Leeds 2023 and with support by Leeds City Council for a new unveiling on Sunday 11th September between 3-5pm and from Wednesday 14th September to see a special preview of Yinka Shonibare CBE’s proposed sculpture, ‘Hibiscus Rising’.

‘The river tried to carry you away, but you remain with us in Leeds’ Caryl Philips.

Wednesday 14 – Sunday 18 September, 10am-5pm at The Tetley, Hunslet Road, LS10 1JQ. No booking required


Photo: Merryl Wilford