YEP Leeds 2015 Review of the Year: July to September

Alex Nelson pulls a pint of Leeds Brewery's YEP125. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
Alex Nelson pulls a pint of Leeds Brewery's YEP125. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe
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Rock music, rugby drama and the YEP’s big birthday dominated the news agenda between July and September.

JULY

* A couple from Killingbeck in Leeds were among the victims of a mass shooting on a beach in Tunisia.

Christopher and Sharon Bell’s deaths were described as an “unspeakable tragedy” by Leeds East MP Richard Burgon.

* Britain paused to mark the 10th anniversary of the July 7 terrorist bombings in London.

Leeds, which was home to three of the fanatics who claimed 52 lives in the capital, was among the communities paying its respects.

* New figures revealed Leeds welcomed nearly 27 million people on holidays and other leisure trips during 2014, with the city’s economy benefiting to the tune of £1.5bn.

Leeds City Council leader Coun Judith Blake said: “The Leeds economy has continued to thrive in the face of a challenging financial climate and we are now firmly established as one of the UK’s top destinations for shopping, business and leisure.”

* A grandmother had a miraculous escape after a car ploughed into her house, ending up in its kitchen.

The smash at 82-year-old Philomena O’Brien’s home in Beeston caused an estimated £60,000 worth of damage.

* The founder of the Leeds West Indian Carnival received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Leeds. Arthur France, from Chapeltown, said: “When I made Leeds my home 58 years ago, my wildest dreams could not have imagined receiving an honorary degree from such a respected university.”

* Twenty five fans were arrested after violence erupted at a friendly fixture between Leeds United and Eintracht Frankfurt in the Austrian town of Eugendorf.

Riot police intervened after around 100 Frankfurt supporters confronted the Leeds contingent following the game.

* Leeds-based TV soap Emmerdale found itself at the centre of real-life drama after locals objected to plans to turn its set at Harewood House into a tourist attraction.

The Ramblers’ Association said it feared increased traffic across public rights of way would harm the “character of the area and use and enjoyment by members of the public”.

AUGUST

* A binman was taken off frontline duties as council bosses investigated CCTV footage showing him tossing rubbish onto the street.

Debbie Campbell, from Seacroft, complained after seeing the worker removing two bags from the top of her bins and dropping them next to her gate.

* More than 50 firefighters tackled a massive blaze at Geldards Coaches, on Ashfield Way, off the A58 Whitehall Road in Farnley. Geldards, which was founded in 1991, went into administration just over a month after the fire.

* Thousands of people flocked to the 11th annual VW Festival at Harewood House.

The cars were, of course, the stars of the show but there was also plenty of entertainment and food to keep the petrolheads amused at an event which had a 1980s theme.

* Around 7,700 Leeds pupils picked up their GCSE grades, with figures from the majority of state schools indicating the number achieving five good GCSEs including English and maths had risen from 51.5 per cent to 55.6 per cent. Roundhay School was among those celebrating, with more than 20 of its pupils scoring nine or more A*s and As.

* Officers from the Leeds inner east neighbourhood policing team took to Facebook to defend themselves after comments suggested that all they do is “spend time eating doughnuts”.

They gave a full breakdown of the matters that police in Leeds dealt with during a 24-hour period, including making nearly 70 arrests and conducting 27 stop-and-search checks.

* Music fans turned out in force for the Leeds Festival, held as usual at Bramham Park, near Wetherby. Mumford & Sons and Metallica were among the bands who performed at the festival, which was even blessed with good weather.

* Fred Jackson, 94, from Farsley, was honoured with a medal by Russia for his heroics on the Arctic Convoys during the Second World War.

His son-in-law, David Maggs, from Morley, said: “He is proud to get the medal, he never expected it.”

SEPTEMBER

* The Yorkshire Evening Post raised a glass as it marked the 125th anniversary of the publication of its first ever edition.

The milestone was celebrated in style, with Leeds Brewery creating a special YEP125 beer. Congratulatory messages also poured in from the city’s great and good.

* Prince Charles went behind the gates of Leeds Prison during a visit to West Yorkshire.

Charles met inmates and staff involved with the Through-the-Door project, which gives prisoners support in the final six months of their sentences.

* Nearly 13,000 people had signed up for the donor register in the six weeks since the YEP joined forces with the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to launch the Be A Hero campaign, it emerged.

The campaign was prompted by the revelation that only 42 Leeds families had consented to organ donation in the space of a whole year.

* Tributes were paid to former Yorkshire and England cricket captain Brian Close following his death at the age of 84.

Yorkshire County Cricket Club president Dickie Bird hailed Mr Close as “an all-time great”.

* Leeds chef Michael O’Hare was awarded a coveted Michelin star for his restaurant, The Man Behind The Curtain. Reacting to the news on Twitter, he said: “Thank you so much it means the world to me I could cry.”

* Colourfully-dressed sports fans descended on Leeds United’s Elland Road ground as it played host to two Rugby World Cup games. Scotland beat the USA in one fixture while Italy saw off Canada in the other.

Learner driver Holly Ridge, who booked an intensive course with Drive Dynamics.

Leeds learner driver’s battle to get cash back from Drive Dynamics