Leeds nostalgia: Boules statues in Leeds city centre

Milestone: Weatherall Green & Smith the winners of the Leeds Petanque (French boules) championship.   Winning team with the collier cup.
Milestone: Weatherall Green & Smith the winners of the Leeds Petanque (French boules) championship. Winning team with the collier cup.
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It’s a sculpture which still puzzles many in Leeds - three bronze figures leaning on a lamppost watching a fourth crouching down and it’s right in the heart of the banking district of Leeds at Bond Court.

In fact, the sculpture is called The Boules Player by Roger Burnett and it dates back to 2000.

There’s even a real boules court next to the figures and championships have taken place in Leeds since 2000.

Our picture shows the winners of the 2002 competition, staff from Weatherall Green & Smith, holding the collier cup, awarded to the winners of the Leeds Petanque (French boules) championship.

The annual tournament dates back to 1998 and it was this which led to the commissioning of the sculpture.

The chairman of the Scurragh Wainwright Charity, Martin Wainwright, who started the boules tournament, asked the artist Roger Burnett to create a piece for the court, and the finished work was unveiled by the deputy mayor of Leeds’ twin city, Lille, in 2000.

This bronze sculpture shows a French boules player being observed by a Yorkshire couple and their small child. They are sited at the edge of the court so that the boules player looks to be about to take his turn.

The sculpture also serves to remind people that an otherwise innocuous patch of gravel in the heart of Leeds city centre is, in fact, a place for entertainment and enjoying oneself. Boules was invented in 1907 in La Ciotat near Marseilles, and the first tournament organised in 1910,

Stars in the dark skies at Gisburn Forest.

Days Out: Hidden Horizons, North Yorkshire