LEEDS is a city in mourning.
You don’t need to have known Rhys Baker and George Wharton personally to feel a sense of devastation at their deaths.
These two boys were just 13 and 14. They had everything ahead of them, only for their lives to be snuffed out in the most appalling of tragedies.
As their tearful friends hugged one another and laid flowers and tributes at the scene of the crash that claimed their lives, thoughts across the city were with them and the boys’ families.
Meanwhile, two of the boys’ friends – Joshua Van Veen and Kam Walters – were lying critically ill in hospital. Again, thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones.
Understandably, there has been a lot of talk on social media about the circumstances surrounding this appalling incident.
But this is a tragedy whatever the cause – and it should be left to the police investigation to decide what happened and who should be held accountable.
For now, the focus must be on the young lives that have been lost. Mourning their passing and remembering the joy they brought to the lives of their families and friends.
It is a time for the city – and particularly the Morley community – to rally round and provide whatever comfort and support it can amid the heartbreak.
A Grand case for city culture bid
THE fact that Leeds Grand Theatre and the City Varieties topped our poll asking readers for their favourite cultural jewels is testament to the enduring popularity of two historic venues that have entertained millions down the years.
But the other ‘jewels’ featuring in the shortlist show the depth of the city’s cultural offer and underline the strong case for Leeds to bid to become a capital of culture.
People feel proud of how far the city has come – but also of a cultural heritage that goes back centuries.
It’s time to celebrate both old and new and showcase it to the world.