Exhibition reflects on flood devastation

Aerial picture over the Kirkstall Road area of Leeds, West  Yorkshire, where flooding has occurred after the monumental amount of rain has caused the river Aire to burst its banks. See Ross Parry copy RPYFLOODS

Aerial picture over the Kirkstall Road area of Leeds, West Yorkshire, where flooding has occurred after the monumental amount of rain has caused the river Aire to burst its banks. See Ross Parry copy RPYFLOODS

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As we move into December and the countdown to Christmas - for thousands of home-owners or businesses - the festive fun turned into a nightmare when flooding hit the city on Boxing Day.

But as we have seen over the last year, communities and bars, shops and restaurants bounced back and that inspiring recovery is being remembered in a new exhibition starting later this month.

Flooding at Kirkstall Valley Retail Park, Bridge Road.  27 December 2015.  Picture Bruce Rollinson

Flooding at Kirkstall Valley Retail Park, Bridge Road. 27 December 2015. Picture Bruce Rollinson

It is at Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills, itself hit by the deluge, and there will be a powerful selection of photos, stories and artwork created by those affected.

Parts of the historic building, which dates from the 1700s, were submerged under eight feet of water, which forced the museum to close for almost three months while staff undertook a massive clean-up.

A special plaque was unveiled at the museum in May to the mark the exact height the flood waters reached.

Coun Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “The aftermath was one of the most challenging times the city has faced for many years and the impact is still being felt today.

“However, it was also a time when the city came together like never before and proved how resourceful and resilient we can be which is something that, as a city, we should be immensely proud of.

“It’s fitting that we should bring together the experiences of those affected and mark the first anniversary of what will be remembered as an historic chapter in the story of Leeds.”

The exhibition opens on December 9 and will run until summer of next year.