Famous faces and community figures from Leeds hail the YEP’s 125th birthday

Barbara Taylor Bradford.
Barbara Taylor Bradford.
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The great and the good of Leeds have sent their congratulations to the Yorkshire Evening Post on reaching its 125th birthday.

Here are a selection of the kind tributes paid to the newspaper over the last few weeks.

Best-selling writer and former Yorkshire Evening Post reporter Barbara Taylor Bradford: “Just imagine, for 125 years, people have been reading the YEP. What a record! It’s a fantastic achievement. I remember with great affection my days on the paper, when, as a young girl, I learned to be a journalist alongside Keith Waterhouse, Frank Metcalfe, Barry Farnell and so many others. Congratulations to all of you running the paper today and may you have many more years to come. All good wishes.”

Former Leeds United footballer Danny Mills: “For any business to be around for 125 years is a brilliant achievement and I think it shows the high regard that the Yorkshire Evening Post is held in. It’s obviously been around for as long as any of us can remember and long may it continue to thrive.”

Leeds-raised Aston Villa footballer Micah Richards: “Happy birthday to the YEP! They always supported me when I was a young player coming through, and my dad would read me any stories that mentioned me.”

Leeds Rhinos legend Barrie McDermott: “Congratulations to the Yorkshire Evening Post on its 125th birthday. It’s a fantastic milestone for the newspaper to reach and I’m sure people throughout Leeds and beyond will raise a glass to celebrate the occasion.”

Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis: “Being born and bred in Leeds I’ve grown up with the Yorkshire Evening Post. My parents had it delivered and I used to read it when I got in from school. I’d catch up on the national news, the big local issues and the superb sports coverage (which I still read online now in London, keeping up to date with United and Rhinos). Happy birthday, YEP, keep up the fine work.”

Emmerdale actress Michelle Hardwick: “We all know Leeds is a fast-changing city so it’s reassuring to have something like the Yorkshire Evening Post that’s been a constant for the last 125 years. The paper plays a big part in the community so here’s to the next 125 years.”

Crash Records boss Ian De-Whytell: “Happy birthday to the YEP. My family has bought the paper ever since I can remember. As a young boy I won my first ever LP by correctly predicting Len’s Ten, which was a seven-inch singles chart compiled by local record shop Scene & Heard and printed weekly in the paper. The YEP has always been a great supporter of the Leeds music scene.”

Leeds Rhinos hero Jamie Peacock: “I’m delighted to have the chance to say ‘happy birthday’ to the Yorkshire Evening Post. No matter what else is going on in the world, you can always rely on the YEP to fly the flag for Leeds and its residents. Enjoy the anniversary celebrations.”

Leeds City Council’s Coun Mark Dobson: “Congratulations YEP on 125 years of serving the region with news, views, articles, sport and features and for keeping us informed of what’s going on locally and nationally. That’s quite an achievement. Here’s to many more years of success!”

The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, said: “The role of local newspapers has never been more important. The world of media has changed in 125 years. But in a context of free-for-all commentary, we need good, informed journalism. Congratulations on this birthday.”

Leeds United fanzine The Square Ball: “The YEP has always been so closely intertwined with Leeds United, so it was only fitting that its name was on our shirts when we last lifted the league title. From the glory to the pain, the paper has been there to document the club’s fortunes. Happy birthday to the YEP. Here’s hoping it has plenty of trophies to report in the next 125 years!”

Leeds City Council’s Coun Catherine Dobson: “Anyone who loves Leeds as I do has to love the YEP. When the world seems full of doom and gloom it can be depended upon to keep us informed but also to celebrate all that is great about our city and good about its people. So I say happy birthday YEP – and here’s to another century or so!”

Leeds Community Foundation chief executive Sally-Anne Greenfield: “The YEP is at the heart of the city. It is great to have a local publication that is concerned with community issues and helps to tell the positive as well as the negative news stories. They have kindly supported Leeds Community Foundation over the past 10 years to promote the amazing work of grassroots community projects that support our city. Happy birthday!”

Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive Sir Gary Verity: “My fondest memory of the Yorkshire Evening Post in recent years was your fantastic Tour de France coverage. The exciting sports writing, stunning wraparound images on the front cover and features that told the spectators’ stories really captured the mood and history of the event. Happy 125th birthday from me and all at Welcome to Yorkshire!”

Writer Mick McCann: “The YEP is part of the DNA of Leeds, lying in the city’s bones. As a Leeds artist – almost – the paper has been constantly supportive since Howard Corry covered the first band I was in, aged 14. The YEP reflects our city back to us, gets us talking and thinking.”

St George’s Crypt chief executive officer Chris Field: “Congratulations for 125 years of keeping Leeds and Yorkshire informed. The YEP has been a solid and reliable friend to charities local to Leeds and beyond. Without your continued support many people would not have had the opportunity to start, develop and improve the care and kindness shown and shared by so many. Keeping it local and people centred has ensured that people still rely on the YEP for all their local information, here’s to the next 125 years! Best wishes from St George’s Crypt.”

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust chief executive Julian Hartley: “The Yorkshire Evening Post has been a big part of our city for generations – nearly as long as our hospitals have been providing care for local people. As a result the paper has always been an important and influential source of news for our patients and staff. I’m delighted to send congratulations from everyone at Leeds Teaching Hospitals on reaching this milestone, and I hope this great newspaper will remain at the heart of the community for many years to come.”

Leeds Civic Trust director Dr Kevin Grady: “I have long been a fan of the Yorkshire Evening Post having read virtually every edition in the last 30 years. Quite simply it is essential reading if you want to know what is going on in Leeds. For over a century it has played the role of binding the community together, serving as the public noticeboard and debating chamber for the great city of Leeds.”

St Gemma’s Hospice chief executive Kerry Jackson: “​Congratulations to all at the YEP on your 125th birthday. Everyone at St Gemma’s Hospice is so grateful for your support over the years and we wish you well for the next 125!”

Children’s Heart Surgery Fund chief executive Sharon Coyle: “Happy birthday Yorkshire Evening Post! As a Leeds girl born and bred, I’ve grown up with the YEP – I’ve always found it interesting, balanced and fair. I believe this newspaper is really important to the lifeblood of the city. Families across Yorkshire facing difficult times will always be grateful for the fair and balanced reporting and campaigning during the difficult four-year period with the Leeds Heart Unit.”

Leeds City Council leader Coun Judith Blake: “The local media play a crucial role in keeping the people of Leeds informed and the Yorkshire Evening Post has been part of the fabric of the city for 125 years. That is an impressive milestone given that the city has changed and evolved so much in that time and I look forward to seeing the YEP play an active role as Leeds continues to thrive in the years to come.”

Leeds City Council deputy leader Coun James Lewis: “Over the years the Yorkshire Evening Post has had real profile in the city of Leeds. I have fond memories of my own personal relationship with the paper – one of my earliest jobs during the time I was at school in the 1990s was selling it to commuters at Leeds Bus Station. Clearly the way we access media is changing, but I hope to see the YEP continue to flourish as we move further into the century.”

Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice’s Helen Ankrett: “Over the last 125 years the YEP has strived to make Leeds a better place to live and work and has always been first with the stories that matter to people in this city. From the moment Wheatfields Hospice first opened its doors 37 years ago, the YEP and its readers have been behind us every step of the way and it’s difficult to put into words how much the hospice has benefited from their support.”

Leeds West Indian Carnival founder Arthur France: “Throughout Leeds West Indian Carnival’s 48-year history, the Yorkshire Evening Post has played an essential role in capturing the spectacle and joy that the event brings to thousands. Sharing the vibrant images in print and now digitally means we send a great image of a city that is a welcoming, diverse and vibrant destination for residents and visitors alike.”

Leeds Trinity University vice chancellor Prof Margaret House: “The Yorkshire Evening Post is an integral part of Yorkshire’s media heritage, playing an important role in bringing the region’s news alive. Leeds has become a remarkable and exciting city in which to live, work and study, and the YEP has captured and highlighted that superbly.”

Co-operative Academy headteacher and Educating Yorkshire favourite Jonny Mitchell: “Congratulations YEP on your 125th birthday – here’s hoping you will continue to provide a voice and an outlet for local communities for many years into the future!”

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson: “The Yorkshire Evening Post is one of the first papers I turn to in a morning to see what is happening in Leeds and Wakefield. Sometimes this office gets great coverage and sometimes it’s a report about a failure – but the reporting is always fair, balanced and accurate. Long may it continue.”