The Merrion Centre in Leeds city centre is 50 years old this May and is celebrating with a trip down memory lane.
Although not in South Leeds, we know that South Leeds Life readers enjoy their local history and who hasn’t visited the Merrion Centre since it was built fifty years ago?
The Centre, which is an integral part of Yorkshire’s landscape, has been in the Ziff family for three generations. When it opened its doors for the first time in 1964 it was the largest indoor shopping centre in the UK. Were you at the opening? Do you still shop there today? Do you remember the Emmett machines? Were you at the final showing of Gone with the Wind in 1972 before the cinema closed down? Do you or your parents hold pictures from the past?
Edward Ziff, Chairman and Chief Executive of Town Centre Securities PLC is calling on all Yorkshire locals to look back over the yesteryears and recall Merrion Memories to share with others. Edward comments, “I vividly remember the opening day of the Merrion Centre, it was busy and loud which added to my excitement, but also to my nerves, I think this was the biggest event I had ever been part of! I remember watching my father smooth out the last bit of concrete with a trowel before I stepped onto it leaving my footprint, which is still there today. I actually keep this trowel in a glass cabinet in my office, it holds such wonderful memories for me.
“I’m calling on you, the general public to share with me your stories from 50 years, five years, or even just five months ago. I know many people share my affection for the Merrion Centre so please dwell wistfully on the past and help us make a wall of Merrion Memories, showcasing the best our Shopping Centre, the city, and the region, has had to offer over the last 50 years.”
The Merrion Centre is bringing a sense of nostalgia back into the Centre on Monday 26 May when a selection of photographs, cine footage, and letters detailing memories will be presented on display for all customers to peruse and share. The gallery will be present for six weeks and people will be encouraged to come along and constantly keep adding their stories.
If you would like to be part of the Merrion Memory Wall, then send details of your memories by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to: Town Centre Securities, Town Centre House, Merrion Centre, LS2 8LY, marked 50 years, to discuss posting/sharing them.