Leeds church will put past in picture

MEMORIES: Youngsters on the umbrella at East End Park in the 1940s.
MEMORIES: Youngsters on the umbrella at East End Park in the 1940s.
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A church is set to welcome a picture perfect exhibition of photographs showing life as it used to be lived in east Leeds.

The photos going on display at St Hilda’s Church in Cross Green are part of the collection of local historian Graham Hawkridge.

They give a fascinating insight into the communities of ‘old east Leeds’ – effectively Cross Green, East End Park and Richmond Hill down to the city centre – during the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and onwards.

The photos are being put on show at St Hilda’s to tie in with this year’s Heritage Open Days festival, a nationwide celebration of history and culture running from September 6 to 9 and 13 to 16.

And it is hoped they will encourage people to also find out more about St Hilda’s, where a red brick exterior provides a deceptively plain cover for the magnificent design work inside the building. Father Darren Percival, the priest in charge at the church, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “St Hilda’s is one of the historic gems of Leeds.

“I had driven past St Hilda’s many times when I worked in Leeds for over five years, and never appreciated this wonderful building. Come along and see and appreciate the beauty within behind the facade of red bricks.”

The photos will be on display at the church from 10am to midday tomorrow, 10am to 4pm on Saturday and 11am to 5pm on Sunday.

They will also be available to view at the same times next Thursday, September 13, and over the weekend of September 15 and 16.

St Hilda’s was built in the 1880s and designed by Wakefield-born architect John Thomas Micklethwaite with the aim of raising up the hearts and spirits of all those who enter it.