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An Introduction to the City of Leeds

By apb (28/10/2002)
April 20 2005

Welcome To Leeds

A small boy labours up a steep, cobbled street, wheeling his Grandad’s bike up the difficult slope. The bread in the front basket bounces as the strains of the Largo from Dvorak’s “New World” Symphony rings across the landscape, and a soggy looking sun rises above the back-to-backs, illuminating the wet street and casting into silhouette the distant mill and the plumes of smoke rising from the chimney stacks that dominate the town.

This is the picture conjured up in the minds of most people who have never been north of the Watford Gap, whenever a Yorkshire town is evoked. But thats not the way it is. Many of the North of England's great cities are some of the most interesting, cosmopolitan and dynamic in the whole of Western Europe!

City of Leeds
No exception to that is the City of Leeds, and the rose that is named after it gives a clue to the nature of this fine city; Strong, fast growing, vibrant, colourful, disease resistant and with a pleasant perfume. OK, so these last two are stretching the point a bit, but all the same the city of Leeds is a fine place to visit.

Leeds is a bustling metropolis that has everything anybody could possibly want: shopping in the chic, nay, expensive Victoria Quarter; a prestigious art gallery (home of several works of one of Yorkshire's finest - Henry Moore); the West Yorkshire Playhouse (described as the National Theatre of Northern England); a night scene that can keep the most energetic of drinkers and dancers sated until the not-so-small hours, and a short drive away is the impossibly beautiful countryside of the Yorkshire Dales.

Billy Bremner - Leeds United's Inspirational Captain in the Revie years
Leeds is a city renowned throughout Europe as a centre of sporting prowess, due in no small part to the exploits of the city's football team, Leeds United. Leeds United’s successful years in the seventies under Don Revie, and more recently their efforts in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA cup competitions has done more to promote the “capital of West Yorkshire” than years of tourist board marketing could hope to achieve.

But there is one attraction above all others, one attraction that trancends all of these other fine and noble reasons for visiting a place, one attraction that sets the city above anywhere else in the world.

That attraction has a name. And the name, is Leeds Tykes.

"Leeds Tykes? They didn't even exist a few years ago did they? What do they know about rugby in Leeds anyway?", I hear people murmur as they read this. Au contraire, mes amis. The playing of the game of rugby in our city goes back a long, long way......

Pictures (except City of Leeds Rose) © Skibum 2002

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