Six of the best ‘blue plaques’ in Leeds - and the big names they honour

Legendary Morley cyclist Beryl Burton.
Legendary Morley cyclist Beryl Burton.
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Ever wondered what those round-shaped blue plaques are that keep popping up all over Leeds, sometimes in key landmark spots and other times in the oddest of places like your neighbour’s house?

Leeds Civic Trust - which celebrates its 50th birthday this month - set up its Historic Plaques Scheme in 1987 to promote public awareness of the city’s rich heritage.

Louis Le Prince's legendary footage of Leeds Bridge. October 1888.

Louis Le Prince's legendary footage of Leeds Bridge. October 1888.

The plaques are placed at landmark spots with cultural or historical significance, be it an important cultural building or the former home of one of the city’s famous sons or daughters.
The first blue plaque, which marks Burley Bar - one of the boundaries of the medieval town - was unveiled in 1987 and there are now almost 150 plaques dotted all over the city.
Here is our pick of six of the most significant names to appear on the list - and some of the famous names who unveiled the plaques.

1. MOVIE MAGIC:  Louis Le Prince - the man who made the first ever moving images at Leeds Bridge and Roundhay Park in October 1888 - has TWO blue plaques honouring him. The first, on  Leeds Bridge, was unveiled by William Le Prince Huettle, his great-grandson, on October 13, 1988. A second plaque honouring Le Prince - known as the ‘father of cinematography - was unveiled at the BBC Studios in Woodhouse Lane by actor and director Sir Richard Attenborough a day later.

2. ROCK GODS: The Who - Live at Leeds has become an event in rock folklore.  In June 2006 at  Leeds Refectory at the University of Leeds, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltry - surviving members of The Who’s original line-up at their famous concert in February 1970 - unveiled a blue plaque commemorating the gig.



3. MINE’S A PINT: Whitelock’s is the oldest pub in Leeds. It was first founded in 1715 as The Turk’s Head before being taken over by the Whitelock family in the 1880s. A blue plaque commemorating the pub’s unique place in the history of the city was unveiled in May 2006 by Sarah Whitelock, great great granddaughter of John Lupton Whitelock, who was landlord and licensee in 1867.

A blue plaque on the former home of suffragette and political activist Mary Gawthorpe on Warrel's Mount in Bramley, one of the newest additions to the list unveiled earlier this year.

A blue plaque on the former home of suffragette and political activist Mary Gawthorpe on Warrel's Mount in Bramley, one of the newest additions to the list unveiled earlier this year.


4. OWZAT FOR A TRIBUTE:  Cricket legend Sir Leonard Hutton is remembered with a blue plaque  on the wall of the house at 5 Fulneck, Pudsey, where he once lived. The plaque was unveiled by Sir Lawrence Byford, president of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, in October 1995.



5. TOP GEAR: Legendary cyclist Beryl Burton OBE is honoured with a blue plaque at Beryl Burton Gardens, Queen Street, Morley. It was unveiled by actress Maxine Peake - who portrayed Beryl in a play about her life -  in June 2014, the year that the  Tour de France came to Leeds.


6. LITERARY LEGEND: Arthur Ransome, creator of Swallows and Amazons, lived at 6 Ash Grove in Hyde Park. A blue plaque in his name was  unveiled by Norman Willis of the Arthur Ransome Society in March 1993.



The Who Live at Leeds:'Roger Daltrey, lead singer.

The Who Live at Leeds:'Roger Daltrey, lead singer.

Whitelocks, Turks Head Yard, off Briggate, Leeds, is the oldest pub in Leeds.

Whitelocks, Turks Head Yard, off Briggate, Leeds, is the oldest pub in Leeds.

3rd test at Old Trafford (first day) - Leonard Hutton plays a ball from Divecha almost off his toes - 17th July 1952

3rd test at Old Trafford (first day) - Leonard Hutton plays a ball from Divecha almost off his toes - 17th July 1952

Arthur Ransome

Arthur Ransome

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