Pictures reveal how these Leeds shopping streets have changed over the years

Historic images showing the changing face of the Leeds high street have been revealed ahead of a new exhibition telling the story of the city's one of a kind retail revolution.

Thursday, 8th August 2019, 14:17 pm
Rooftop view of the Headrow in Leeds City Centre. Lewis's shop in the foreground, left and Schofields on the right.. Possibly from 1953, as there is a prominent picture of Queen Elizabeth II in front of Schofield's department store.

The photos show Leeds landmarks including Briggate and The Headrow as they looked in the 1870s, early 20th century and 1970s.

It is hoped they will capture the imaginations of shoppers past and present and encourage them to contribute to an upcoming fashion-themed exhibition at Leeds City Museum.

Fast x Slow Fashion: Shopping for clothes in Leeds, 1720-2020 will explore how and why shopping for clothes has changed over more than 300 years and how a voracious passion for fashion saw Leeds grow to become one of the country's biggest modern retail destinations.

Traffic jam on Basinghall Street. People running across the road with umbrellas. Marshall and Snelgrove shop. Taken between 1960 and 1969.

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Curators are asking for help picking out some key outfits, photographs or memories of shopping in Leeds which will then be used to showcase the different ways people shopped for clothes from the 18th Century, when the city was a key part of the textile trade, to the modern day, which has seen the opening of some of Europe's biggest shopping complexes and also here in Leeds.

Contributors can submit everything from eye-catching clothes and nostalgic photographs to personal stories about Leeds and its constantly evolving retail offering.

Vanessa Jones, Leeds Museums and Galleries' assistant curator of costume and textiles, said: "Fashion and retail have been cornerstones of Leeds and its economy for hundreds of years, with Yorkshire being a global leader in the textile trade and the birthplace of some of the world's most recognisable clothing brands.

"It's our hope that with the public's help, we can capture some of the more personal stories associated with Leeds's retail scene and show how shopping in our city has changed."

People crossing the road wearing rain coats and using umbrellas. Matthias Robinson department store in the background around 1960-1969.

As well as looking at the city's retail scene, the exhibition will examine the rise of 'fast fashion' and the growing calls for more sustainably produced clothing.

Alongside submissions from the public, displays will also include some of Leeds Museums and Galleries' most fascinating historic fashions.

Public submissions could include memories of clothes shopping in Leeds, garments worn and purchased in Leeds now, photographs of people shopping in Leeds or different ways people shop, both online or by hitting the high street.

Curators would particularly like examples of clothing that was bought during Whitsuntide, clothing that was bought or worn at a NoLoGo event in 1994 and anything that was purchased in a Leeds based department stores, particularly Lewis' and Schofields.

Schofields department store with window displays of lace collars, blouses etc., No. 1 Victoria Arcade, about 1910

Fast x Slow Fashion: Shopping for clothes in Leeds, 1720-2020.will be at Leeds City Museum next February. To get involved and share your photos and memories, tag #LeedsThreads on social media or email vanessa.jones@leeds.gov.uk

Frederick Forseters Mourning Warehouse, 1870 1890. It is part of old Briggate: and premises include Viaduct Vaults; Frederick Forster (The Leeds Mourning Warehouse); R.D. Gardner; no.16 The Ladies Waiting Room; 17 Smith; 18 The Northern Educational Co.; 19 Betts Hatter.