I don’t know a lot about this mural, but it is a regular sight on my walks around Leeds and it always makes me stop and look up, despite it being in a rather busy corner of the city between Leeds Corn Exchange and Leeds Kirkgate Market where you’re liable to get run over if you’re not too careful! As an enthusiastic head wear advocate, who is rarely seen on the streets of Leeds without a flat cap, my eyes are always drawn to the chap in the centre, stretching out his arms.
If you’re in the habit, as I am, of turning up at the box office of The Grand Theatre and Opera House in Leeds to collect your ticket far too early, why not pass the time in The Grand Arcade, at the “Just Grand! Vintage Tearoom“. I’ve been there for tea twice now, before the Saturday matinee and it seems very popular; so much so I’ve had to sit outside in Arcade on both occasions!
Striking, isn’t it? Depictions of owls are not uncommon in Leeds, because owls appear on the city’s coat of arms, but I have never seen one like this. The banner is highlighting a relatively new exhibition at the Leeds City Museum entitled “My Leeds My Culture“. To quote from Leeds City Councils website:
“Curated by a local community group ‘Angel of Youths’, the ‘My Leeds My Culture’ display at Leeds City Museum, will launch on 18 October 2014 and run until October 2015 as part of Black History Month celebrations. The display highlights the African Diaspora contribution to Leeds culture through; music, sport, arts, history, faith and fashion“.
Why not pop in and have a look.
According to the Leeds Coat of Arms section of the Leeds Owl Trail website, Sir John Savile put the European Eagle Owls into Leeds. His ancestors arrived in England from Anjou during the Norman conquest and were awarded extensive property in Yorkshire by William The Conqueror, as a thank you for service rendered at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. So why did Sir John Savile adopt owls as his heraldic device? Nobody seems to know, but he was quick to get his favourite owls onto the Boroughs coat of arms when the city was given its first charter in 1626, during the reign of King Charles I. If you’re interested in Leeds, heraldry or owls you might want to look at the Leeds Owl Trail map, which includes the owls photographed here, outside the Civic Hall.
The New Year starts not far from where the last year left off; in Leeds and heading for The Grand!
“Top Hat” is a great show, but I guess I am a little bit biased, because I have been a big fan of the original, 1935, film version, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers for a long time and the musical mirrors the film so closely that I was bound to love it! Even scenes, that I thought would be impossible to recreate on the stage, were laid before my eyes with the greatest of ease (or so it seemed; the production must have been technically very difficult).
The cast were superb and if I had to single out one member of it for a special mention, it would be Clive Hayward, who played Horace Hardwick. Firstly, it was a great role well played and secondly, Mr. Hayward’s voice is regularly heard at Mr. B HQ, via BBC Radio 4 (if my memory serves me well and l have read the programme correctly). Two productions, mentioned in the programme, stand out for me, the Classic Serial “The Divine Comedy” and an adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?“. It is quite something to see somebody you have only ever heard.