Leeds nostalgia: Children's Day returns in 1946

Seventy years ago this week saw the revival of one of Leeds' most venerated festivals - Children's Day. Having begun in 1922, it was suspended because of the Second World War and did not run for six years.

Monday, 4th July 2016, 1:33 pm
Updated Monday, 4th July 2016, 2:37 pm

So, it’s return on July 6, 1946 was something of a special occasion for the city and the YEP devoted several pages to the event, including a full page of pictures.

In an accompanying editorial, it said: “The revival of Children’s Day can be reckoned among the more cheering efforts of recovery after he war. With the full support of public opinion, the interests of children have been safeguarded by careful priority measures which, unfortunately, are still necessary.

“Wise and beneficial as this protection has been in giving them a chance to develop normally, however, hardly shortage might hit adults, it has a negative element. In the face of difficulty, it is a great thing not to slip backwards and the nation can be proud o fthe high standard of child welfare it has kept up by official and unofficial means.

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“Children’s Day again cheers us as a renewal of old activities for the self-renewing life of the nation and of its influence, through the joyous partication of the young and the appeal of spectacle to all ages.”

It went on: “An event which engages the eager interest of 70,000 to 80,000 children and their parents over a period of years cannot fail to have a progressive effect on the public attitude toward all forms of service to the young.”

At its height, Children’s Day, held in Roundhay Park, attracted crowds of up to 100,000. The event ran until 1963, when it was finally ended following a series of wet summer and a general fall in the number of people who came to watch and take part in the event.