Middleton Life: Public meeting hears about Leeds photo archive Leodis

Middleton residents enjoyed a talk on Leeds photo archive Leodis at Tenants Hall last night

More than 20 people attended a public meeting in Middleton last night to hear about the work of the Leodis online archive of old Leeds photographs.

The meeting was part of the Middleton Life local history project, which is made up of a group of local residents who are looking at the history and heritage of Middleton and collating people’s memories.

Rose Gibson, from Leodis explained that Leodis was a place where people could find an archive of photographs from Middleton, but also the rest of south Leeds and, indeed, the city. It started in 1999 as a small area on Leeds council’s website and soon gained over 10,000 web hits without any promotion.

The folks at the council then developed a dedicated website and Leodis was born. It currently has around 57,000 images on it and is visited by almost 100,000 different people a month.

Rose told people how they could search the archives, how to go on guided tours around the site and how to post comments and reminiscences on photos, as well as creating your own albums.

Some of the photographs she showed draw much discussion from the audience. Photos included the old Tivoli Cinema, a 1939 photo of advertising hoardings for businesses like Ovaltine, Nestle and Leslie Howard in the movie Pygmalion on the side of Gibbs’ Butchers. A 1948 photo of Middleton Golf Clubhouse, trams, a 1916 image of Middleton Old Village and a more recent one of Middleton Arms followed. The old images were truly breathtaking and generated much discussion.

You can check out Leodis for yourself by following this link.

The evening ended with a brief introduction to writing an article for the core members of the Middleton Life group. Members will be writing articles on their memories and on Middleton’s history for a special Middleton history issue of South Leeds Life magazine in July. Contributions from the wider community are more than welcome – email john.baron@healthforall.org.uk for more information.

The next Middleton Life meeting will be another meeting that’s open to the general public in south Leeds – it will feature a talk by the Friends of Middleton Park on the history of the park and will be held next Wednesday, March 28, at Tenants Hall Enterprise Centre, Acre Close, Middleton. It starts at 6.30pm.