A to Z of Leeds: From tram shed to top of the pops

We all know Leeds is a great city, right?
Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy on stage at the Queens Hall. PIC: Steve RidingPhil Lynott of Thin Lizzy on stage at the Queens Hall. PIC: Steve Riding
Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy on stage at the Queens Hall. PIC: Steve Riding

There are many reasons for this bold claim, from the people who've called this place home, to the history of the region, the developments underway and the talent and creativity we see on a daily basis. Here, we go through the alphabet to give you some reasons to be proud.


It was originally an old tram shed which stood on Swinegate. It opened in June 1914 with the first trams setting off in October the same year.

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However, its use as a tram depot was shortlived as it was taken over by the army from November 1914 to be used first as a recruiting office and later as a military clothing store until September 1919.

It was enlarged in the late 1920s but after the last tram ran in Leeds in 1959, Swinegate Tram Depot ceased to be of use.

It was renamed the repurposed as the Queens Hall and used variously as an exhibition centre and venue for live music. The renovations cost £40,000 and it could boast 10,000sq ft of floor space.

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Fascinating photos of Leeds city centre during the 1960s

Bands to perform over the years included The Beatles in 1963 although on that particular night it was Acker Bilk who topped the bill.

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Others who took to the stage ranged from The Rolling Stones and The Clash through to The Faces, Roxy Music and Joy Division.

Even in the late 1980s, it continued to host to bands of the day, including Duran Duran. It was popular among students and had a capacity of around 5,000. However, many people criticised it as a venue for music acts. When Motorhead played there, they said the acoustics were terrible, while party-goers often complained how cold it was inside, often with ice forming.

The Queens Hall was demolished in October 1989.


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