Royal nod to celebrate history of Leeds Children’s day

Leeds Children's Day
Leeds Children's Day
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It was a day that captured the imaginations of thousands of children living in Leeds.

Youngsters from all over the city gathered for dancing, displays and sport in Roundhay Park.

The annual Children’s Day, which started in 1922, was one the biggest festivals celebrating childhood anywhere across Britain.

The historic day, which ended in Leeds in 1963, was resurrected by the Garry Chappelow Memorial Fund in 2008 - and has since gone from strength to strength.

A new exhibition is set to provide a blast from the past and celebrate the rich history of Children’s Day.

And the Children’s Day Queen’s crown, which was presented to the city in 1986, is set to be one of the star attractions at the showcase.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for leisure and skills, said:“We are really looking forward to the arrival of the city’s children’s crown at Abbey House Museum, which is the final piece to the jigsaw in this wonderful little display celebrating the magic of childhood in Leeds.

“The memories of childhood live with us forever.

“It is lovely that we will now be able to experience people’s own individual recollections of this wonderful time through the display at Abbey House Museum, along with footage from the Yorkshire Film Archive and oral history interviews from that time.”

The exhibition, which has been produced in partnership with Bramley Elderly Action, the Bramley Reminiscence Group and the Bramley History Society, will be the first display in the new Community Gallery at Abbey House Museum.

A scrap book made by Pamela White, Queen of Leeds Children’s Day 1963, will be on display.

There will also be a photograph album from Leeds Children’s Day 1952 and a painting of Dorothy Beatrice May Smith, Queen of Leeds Children’s Day 1930.

Members of Bramley Elderly Action singing group will also perform at Abbey House next month and sing a song they have written around their experiences as children.

Kitty Ross, curator of Leeds History and Social History at Leeds Museums and Galleries, said:“We hope that this display will stir up memories for those who took part in Leeds Children’s Day events and will be the first of many community displays here at Abbey House.

“It has been a privilege to work with the members of Bramley Elderly Action and the Bramley History Society and to help tell their stories.”

The Children’s Day crown will be available to view at Abbey House until the end of March before it returns to its permanent home at the Civic Hall. The rest of the Children’s Day display will be open until the end of June.

* he Yorkshire Evening Post is urging readers to share their memories of Children’s day.

We want to hear about your favourite Children’s Day memories and the YEP is urging readers to share their snaps of the special celebration of childhood.

Email your memories to

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