Lots to see and totally free!

This week our Community Reporter group visited Leeds City Museum. We split up with a remit to take photographs of things that we found interesting and perhaps things pertaining to South Leeds.

For those of you who have never been to the museum before, I would like to recommend it to you. Firstly, it’s free! Secondly it’s child friendly. Then of course there are the clean toilets (very important to us older folk). There is also a gift shop and a cafe although I would not recommend the latter to families as it is quite pricey. However, if you can afford it the food on offer is good quality and the staff provide a good friendly service.

Museum Jane 02On the second floor, I went into what is my favourite part of the museum, the History of Leeds section. In here you will find evidence of groups and societies that were an intrinsic part of the life of Leeds in Victorian and Edwardian times. I was looking for specific things relating to our area and came upon and old rugby programme – The Hunslet versus Wigan Challenge Cup Final Tie at the Empire Stadium, Wembley. This programme, dated May 8th 1965 sat among an illustrious heritage of rugby memorabillia. It reminded me of the rich heritage of rugby and the famous players that perhaps lived in the same streets as some of you reading this now. Do you have memories you would like to share in this blog? I bet there are a few more similar programmes in attics dotted around South Leeds, have you ever considered donating such an item to the museum?

Museum Jane 03There is an interactive map, also on the second floor, which lights up at the press of a switch showing areas that were likely targets during WW2. Middleton Colliery was named as at risk. What interested me most on this map, was that although we were a high risk target, we were not listed as having any of the bomb shelters that other areas of Leeds were lucky enough to have, bit of mismatching there don’t you think?

Museum Jane 01My last picture is taken from the top floor and I took it to demonstrate the variety of things that there are to see in the museum. This is the skull of a Gorilla. It is one of many differing animal skulls all displayed in a circle. I found them amazing, the different sizes and shapes. They were there as part of an exhibition of work by Sara Porter. This exhibition covers a multitude of work in a variety of media, drawings, photographs, the skulls, even chair covers! Sara’s drawing of the Gorilla skull can be seen in the back of this photograph.

I hope that after reading this and the articles from other members of this group that you might consider coming along to Leeds City Museum for a look. It would be a shame to miss out on such a fabulous free resource.


This article was written by Jane Haswell using our Community Reporters website