Changing Leeds - Go down the city centre's arcades of attraction

They are the architectural gems which make up part of the rich heritage and history of Leeds city centre.

Friday, 24th April 2020, 1:33 pm
Enjoy this memories of Leeds city centre's arcades down the decades. PICS: YPN
Enjoy this memories of Leeds city centre's arcades down the decades. PICS: YPN

The city's arcades have been part of people's lives for generations and mean different things to different people thanks to the shops, cafes and clocks of interest. Those of significance are all found at the northern end of Briggate and were built as an antidote to narrow ginnels and scruffy courtyards. READ MORE: Go down these hidden and historic city centre alleys and yards MORE CHANGING LEEDS: Briggate | The Headrow | Boar Lane | LOVE LEEDS? LOVE NOSTALGIA? Join Leeds Retro on facebook

Designed by Leeds architect Charles Fowler it opened in May 1878. Located between Briggate and Lands Lane it was the first arcade to open in the city. This pen and ink drawing showcases the atmosphere of the period.
The arcade was treated to a lick of paint in the 1950s.

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This view of the arcade dates back to October 1968.
A view inside the arcade in April 1988. Have you noticed Schofields at the bottom?
The arcade is distinguished by its clock with moving figures at the Lands Lane end.
Underneath the clock a bell is struck by four life-sized, wooden, Jacquemart figures from the novel Ivanhoe of Richard I, Friar Tuck, Robin Hood and the swineherd Gurth built by John Wormald Appleyard.
For around a century the famous clock figures were cleaned and maintained by members of Charlie Farrar's family. Pictured here in July 1876 he was eventually appointed caretaker.
Above eye level at the Briggate end is the relief of a women's head. Have you spotted her before?
Its story is that about the time of the arcade was opened a Gainsborough portrait of the Duchess of Devonshire was stolen. Charles Thornton commissioned the head in likeness and had it placed in the arcade.
Completed in 1898 and the sign on the previous building was replaced in 1900 with this metalwork helping to convince shoppers here was an arcade of character.
It back a magnet for WW2 servicemen and women following the opening of the Mecca Locarno dance hall.
A busling County Arcade in November 1972.
Do you remember the fire which burned out the arcade's roof in May 1974?
This is the new-look arcade pictured in September 1990.
The newly restored arcade in 1990. Were you shopping here back then?
Built in 1897 it originally consisted of two parallel arcades running between Vicar Lane and New Briggate, with a cross passage onto Merrion Street.
This is a view inside the Arcade in February 1985. Do these shops look familiar?
It's clock is by William Potts and Son and boasts a British Empire theme of characters which move around while two knights strike bells according to the hours.
A view inside the Grand Arcade in the 1960s.
Named after the reigning monarch was opened in 1889, built on the site of the Rose and Crown Yard, and originally include the Queen's Hotel in the upper storey.
The Briggate entrance was enlarged in 1895. This view is from 1906.
It has an upper shopping gallery with ornate cast-iron balconies, though this is no longer accessible.
Which is your favourite of the historic city centre arcades? Share your memories with Andrew Hutchinson via email at: [email protected] or tweet him - @AndyHutchYPN