20 random facts you (probably) didn’t know about Leeds

Think you know everything there is to know about your home city?

By Andrew Hutchinson
Tuesday, 11th June 2019, 8:25 am

Here are some Leeds facts ranging from the informative and fascinating to the obscure and downright random. READ MORE: The Leeds urban legends that turned out to be true | 10 ways how Leeds has changed the world | The seven lost wonders of Leeds

Leeds' motto of 'Pro rege et lege' is latin and means 'For king and the law'.
Leeds Station has 17 platforms.

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Architect Cuthbert Brodrick won 200 pounds for his design for what would become Leeds Town Hall.
The city's coat of arms has three stars taken from the coat of arms of Sir Thomas Danby, its first mayor; fleece to symbolise the wool industry and three owls taken from the coat of arms of first Alderman of Leeds Sir John Saville
Leeds comic Leigh Francis's character Avid Merrion isn't named after the shopping centre but Laimonis Mierins, his former lecturer at Leeds College of Art.
Leeds is home to the country's most northerly commercial vineyard - Leventhorpe Vineyard in Woodlesford.
The A58(M) inner ring road was the country's first urban motorway. The Westgate tunnel also lays claim to being the longest unventilated road tunnel in Europe.
Former Leeds MP Denis Healey is the only Chancellor of the Exchequer to have appeared on The Morecambe and Wise Show.
Jelly Tots were accidentally discovered in 1967 by Leeds scientist Brian Boffey, from Horsforth. He was trying to come up with a way to produce a powdered jelly that set instantly when it was added to cold water.
Brazilian Soccer Schools started in Leeds in 1996 and now has hundreds of schools worldwide.
Temple Works in Holbeck, home to John Marshall's 19th Century flax empire, was inspired by the ancient Egyptian Temple of Horus at Edfu. Architect Ignatious Bonomi studied watercolours of Egypt to get the design just right.
Leeds-born structural engineer Edmund Happold, worked on the construction of international landmarks including the Sydney Opera House, the Millennium Dome and the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
Leeds city centre has 3.5 million square feet of retail floorspace, five miles of shopping streets and one of the country's largest pedestrianised shopping areas.
The Leeds Carnival, which started in 1967, is the oldest Caribbean carnival in Europe.
Pablo Fanque, first black circus proprietor in Britain, is buried in St George's Fields, now in the middle of the University of Leeds campus. Became famous again from Beatles song Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite! on Sgt Pepper's
Leeds-born charity worker Sue Ryder was made Baroness Ryder of Warsaw for her efforts for Poland. Her charity operates more than 80 homes worldwide, has about 500 high street charity shops and more than 8,000 volunteers.
Barwick-in-Elmet has the tallest maypole in Britain at 86ft. There have been several attempts to steal it. Villagers from nearby Aberford once tried to carry it to their village but were forced to abandon it on Aberford Road.
Leeds firm JW Myers was the last flat cap manufacturer in Britain before production was moved to Panyu in China in 2000.
Popular children's puppets Sooty and Sweep were invented in Guiseley by Harry Corbett, nephew of fish and chip tycoon Harry Ramsden, who had a spell playing piano in his restaurant.
The 71-mile-long River Aire passes through Leeds city centre and 38 other settlements on its way to the River Ouse.