Leeds nostalgia: Farmer hands in enough cyanide to kill the whole of Leeds

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Dateline: September 1973: A Leeds farmer responding to a public call to hand in unwanted chemicals came forward with enough cyanide-based sheep dip to kill an entire city, according to reports from the day.

There was apparently enough cyanide and arsenic to kill half a million people.



The quantities handed in were about 100lb of arsenic powder, five gallons of arsenic weedkiller and 10lb of cyanide fumigant.

Dr D B Bradshaw, deputy medical officer for Leeds, said the chemicals had been left on a farm north of the city for some time but did not pose a risk to the public. He said the campaign had been intended for people to hand in old medicines, of which they collected about £2,700 worth, adding they were surprised to be informed of the cyanide cache.

In other news, Roger Taylor, pictured, was fined £1,900 by the Association of Tennis Professionals for ignoring a call to boycott Wimbledon earlier this year over the banning of Nikki Pille, the Yugoslav tennis star. Taylor commented: “I thought I had to play. But if that is what it costs to represent my country, I’ll be glad to pay the fine.”

Mr Taylor MBE, orn in Sheffield, won six singles titles and 10 doubles titles during his career.