In Leeds: Talking up the North

On top of the Industrial Revolution.

On top of the Industrial Revolution.

It will be a day of top quality glass rooves, and we’ll be back to that one later.

First though, to Lime Street for the Trans Pennine Express.

First though, to Lime Street for the Trans Pennine Express.

At the same time as me, others from around the North are getting on trains too.

As planned, I arrive in Leeds with plenty of time for a walk round town, as you’d expect.

Another top roof, the Corn Exchange.

Another top roof, the Corn Exchange.

Sorry to see they're still looking for a tenant for their 'Flagship' space.

Sorry to see they’re still looking for a tenant for their ‘Flagship’ space.

Walking around after a sudden shower.

Walking around after a sudden shower.

Street food, its a thing isn't it?

Street food, its a thing isn’t it?

Really, since

Since 1436? Really?

Can't miss this.

Can’t miss this.

A full sensual experience.

A full sensual experience.

Under Victorian Glass.

Under Victorian Glass.

Out the back of the market.

Out the back of the market, cranes.

When I was last here early last summer, they were demolishing what was here before. Now the new ‘Wait for 2016!’ development is well on the way.

Back in the market, a gentler trade.

Back in the market, a gentler trade.

Caring for others.

Caring for others.

And rejoicing in nature.

And rejoicing in nature.

I could stay here all day but the clock tells me i've only got just over half an hour.

I could stay here all day but the clock tells me i’ve only got just over half an hour.

With more arcades to explore.

With more arcades to explore.

'City Varieties' still thriving.

‘City Varieties’ still thriving.

Still on

Glad ‘The Good Old Days’ is still on for them that like it.

I used to loathe it on the television mind, and would flee from the room whenever it started.

Around the busy Tuesday morning city.

Around the busy Tuesday morning city.

No time for the Galleries today.

No time for the Galleries today.

Lunch time is just beginning.

Lunch time is just beginning.

As the streets fill up.

As the streets fill up.

Top quality city street this.

Top quality city street this.

And as an end feature even that tower block sort of works.

Quick look at another glass roof.

Quick look at another glass roof.

Trinity Leeds.

Trinity Leeds.

Under a perfect sky.

Under a perfect sky.

The curative use of reflection across the road there.

The creative use of reflection across the road there.

We'll be returning to the railway arches later.

We’ll be returning to the railway arches later.

Now it's time to meet and talk all things North.

Now it’s time to meet and talk all things North.

Here at Bundobust.

Here at Bundobust.

‘Craft beer and Indian Street Food.’ See, I said it was a thing. Very good too, it turns out. So who’s here and how come? Well this is a sort of Twitter gathering really. Half a dozen of us who are regularly in touch, 140 characters at a time, about our common home, the place that we love, the North:

We talked big ideas and small details.

We talked big ideas and small details.

How different all of our places are and yet what we share.

How different all of our places are and yet what we share.

Hours we talked for. And then set ourselves some reflections homework too. So something jointly said about the North and possibilities may well be emerging as we write.

Then we walked.

Then we walked.

Across the Aire.

Across the Aire.

Through railway arches.

Through railway arches.

That Phil called a cathedral.

That Phil called a cathedral.

Then out through Holbeck Urban Village.

Then out through Holbeck Urban Village.

Where the Leeds and Liverpool Canal starts.

Where the Leeds and Liverpool Canal starts.

This was its office.

This was its office.

Not co-incidentally, this is where the industrial revolution also started.

Not co-incidentally, this is where the industrial revolution also started.

With chimneys like churches.

With chimneys like churches.

And industrial 'stuff' to photograph.

And industrial ‘stuff’ to photograph. The machine I mean, not Phil or Jessie.

Actually we’ve walked through here to see where Phil works. Prepare to be astonished.

In Leeds45

An Industrial Temple.

An Industrial Temple.

In we go.

In we go.

These days it’s full of small workshops making all sorts. And artists and a model railway club (sadly not open today) – but it’s days as a flax mill are sadly long behind it. ‘Killed off by the American Civil War’ Phil says gnomically.

So in more recent days it was the centre of a catalogue empire.

So in more recent days it was the centre of a catalogue empire.

Yes, Kay's Catalogues, until early this century.

Yes, Kay’s Catalogues, until early this century.

They worked in there, well be going in soon.

They worked in there, well be going in soon.

But first up to that roof I promised you.

But first up to that roof I promised you.

For a minute now I’m not going to speak. While you look at somewhere deeply strange and savagely beautiful.In Leeds51 In Leeds52In Leeds55 In Leeds56When this was built the room underneath us was the largest in the world. So it needed lots of daylight.

Also the jute milling needed good ventilation.

Also the jute milling needed good ventilation.

And now? Well it’s been a film set. Doctor Who has been here. But it’s also waiting.

Big money owns it and HS2 will be arriving before long.

Big money owns it and HS2 will be arriving before long. So who knows?

For now let’s continue exploring.

And left some art behind.

And left some art behind. ‘Out of the dross and into the age of piracy?’

Now for that biggest room.

In we go.

In we go.

These days? All sorts of gatherings. Humans and robots. Film sets too, thrillers and zombies a speciality. Corporate ads too. Last week a car worth more than all of our homes put together several times over was in here.

Now it's just us.

Now it’s just us.

Time stands almost still. 'It moves about a minute a year' Phil tells us.

Time stands almost still. ‘It moves about a minute a year’ Phil tells us.

The outside drips in.

The outside drips in.

And some of it is held up.

And some of it is held up.

But what a glorious space.

But what a glorious space.

Up here in the North. ‘Imagine all the things we could do?’ we think as we wander around. And dream on our trains home.

Where a glass of wine is waiting for me at Keith's in Liverpool.

Where a glass of wine is waiting for me at Keith’s in Liverpool.

And Bren and Sarah want to see these pictures of where I've been.

And Bren and Sarah want to see these pictures of where I’ve been.

There will be more talk, in more places, talking up the North. Maybe you could join in?

3 thoughts on “In Leeds: Talking up the North

  1. memoirsofahusk

    Thanks for showing me bits of Leeds I never saw in all my time living in Bradford – which is, by the way, despite all the decay and neglect and wanton demolition, also worth a visit. But you’ve got an awful lot of northern cities that will say the same thing with reason – have fun!

    Reply

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