South Leeds: Our review of the year

It doesn’t seem 13 months since South Leeds Life filed its first post: This is South Leeds Calling. More than 23,000 page impressions and a few hundred posts from more than a dozen different community writers later we’re on the verge of entering 2012.

We thought it was the perfect time to pick out our top 12 most-read posts of 2011. Thank you for your support – and here’s our annual round-up:

12. Salena Riley wishes she could turn back time and that she was a majorette in Middleton, extols the virtues of youth organisations and concludes: “I only hope the ‘Big Society’ gets its act together and works, and puts money back into these and other vital community services.”

11. Jason Slack’s post on the history of The Hunslet Club since its  inception back in 1940 is a fascinating look at how the organisation has changed over the years.

10. Plans to demolish the Middleton Arms and replace it with an Aldi approved by councillors. John Baron’s post reported on the decision to demolish the landmark – days later it was badly damaged by fire.

9. Beeston’s Debs Davies blogs on why she made the right decision to buy a house and bring up her family in south Leeds. A lovely piece on the area. Well read and rightly so.

Holbeck library
Holbeck library

8. Proposal to close Holbeck Library: Can it be saved – does anybody care? is the title of a fantastic post by Holbeck resident Steve Peacock. It promoted an interesting debate in the comments section which our local councillors also entered.

7. Jeremy Morton’s post appeals to people living across the Beeston area to save their plastic bottles for a project at Beeston Festival,  committee member Gary Williams is planning to build a greenhouse from plastic bottles. 

6. Jason Slack from the ever-popular The Hunslet Club previewed the organisation’s November 5 firework display with this post. Given the number of people who’ve read the post, this one’s gone like a rocket and is certainly no damp squib.

5. Blue plaque for Ivy Benson. The female band leader from the swing era who was born in Beeston was commemorated by a Blue Plaque earlier this year.

4. Park Fisheries is South Leeds’ champion chippy! Our just for fun poll on the best fish and chip takeaway saw the Beeston chippy batter the opposition.

3. Jeremy Morton’s post previewing last May’s local elections with details of the candidates shows that local democracy is highe up people’s agenda in south Leeds than you might think.

2. 2011 census details. Sex and violence sells – that’s an old newspaper adage. This March post by Jeremy Morton lets everyone know the details of the 2011 census. The fact so many people have read it shows the interest and value of information-based posts.

Middleton Arms fire
The Middleton Arms was badly damaged by fire last night. Photograph from Middleton Arms facebook page

And finally our most-read post of the year…

1. Middleton Arms gutted by fire. The poor old Miggy Arms, only days after its demise was sealed by Leeds planners who gave the go-ahead to demolish it and replace it with an Aldi, was torched by vandals. The number of people who read John Baron’s post is testament to the affection the old pub is held by local residents.

What are your highlights or most dramatic moments in south Leeds over the past year? Post you comments below.