YEP Says, June 16, 2015: Championing Leeds - a city of local heroes

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So what makes a hero? A great act of bravery? A moment of selfless charity? A random act of kindness that turns a day from drab normality to something extraordinary?

So what makes a hero? A great act of bravery? A moment of selfless charity? A random act of kindness that turns a day from drab normality to something extraordinary?

All of the above, perhaps.

You might have your own ideas (and we’d like to hear them - see our ‘Big Talking Point to the left of this column), but what we do know is that our great city has a role of honour to rank among the best.

As our reporter writes on page four of today’s Yorkshire Evening Post, Alan Bennett, George Edwin Ellison, David Batty and Jane Tomlinson have each, in their own different ways, contributed to the rich history of Yorkshire’s unofficial capital.

But it’s the people of Leeds as a whole who have raised the bar time and time again - raising £9m to pay for a replacement Ark Royal after the ship was lost at sea in 1941; raising more than £3m for our own Half and Half Appeal giving money to two West Yorkshire hospices; taking adopted Loiner and street singer Danny Freeman to their hearts as he raised more than £250,000 for local charities before his death aged 83 in 2004.

That’s just off the top of our head. We know Leeds and its people. We know what this city can do when it puts its mind to it. It’s fabulous to hear people talk about Leeds as a city on the up - and that’s thanks to its true local heroes: you.

The wicked deeds of a cruel man

Good riddance David Whalin, you’ve earned every second of your time behind bars. Three years and nine months doesn’t seem anywhere near long enough to us, frankly.

The phrase ‘doorstep conman’ (see page 9) is one that trips off the tongue these days, but it barely acknowledges the grief, fear and guilt laid at the door of the poor victim. And when it comes to Whalin, the two words don’t get close.

Whalin doesn’t pick on people his own size. Oh no. A partially-sighted 95-year-old woman is, sickeningly, his preferred victim. In the words of Judge Geoffrey Marson QC, it is difficult to imagine more despicable and wicked offences. Or despicable and wicked offenders for that matter.

The Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds.

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