YEP Says, September 11: Thank you for the music as Cockpit’s doors close for good

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...and honour for Beryl will inspire others

THE Cockpit, it would be fair to say, was never the most glamorous of venues.

Tucked away under the city’s famous Dark Arches, the former pub could be a pretty dingy, sweaty place to watch live music.

But that didn’t stop some great bands – and a fair few that were not-so-great – from taking to its stage.

The likes of Amy Winehouse, Coldplay and the White Stripes all appeared there over the years, destined for bigger things.

Now it is no more. The venue’s owners Futuresound, having temporarily shut it during the summer, say that The Cockpit has closed its doors for good.

The firm’s Colin Oliver blamed a “changed” industry and said he was sad to see it go.

He won’t be the only one. While it may have only had a capacity of 500 and, as previously mentioned, wasn’t exactly plush, The Cockpit has played an important role in the city’s music scene in the two decades since it opened in 1994.

It has showcased local talent such as the Kaiser Chiefs and The Cribs, while giving music lovers the chance to see the stars of tomorrow up close and personal rather than in the far distance at a festival.

There can be no doubt that the music and entertainment industries are changing. But while it’s great that Leeds now has its arena, the unique charm of one of its more intimate venues will be missed.

Honour for Beryl can help to inspire others

WERE Beryl Burton alive today, she would not only be regarded as one of the finest cyclists in Britain, but one of the greatest sportswomen anywhere in the world.

A five-time world champion and holder of the men’s 12-hour time-trial title, her achievements were made even more remarkable by the fact that she suffered chronic health problems as a child.

There is a sense, however, that she never quite received the recognition she deserved and consequently her inspirational story is not as widely-known today as it should be. It is to be hoped that this will change with Leeds City Council’s welcome move to posthumously grant her the Freedom of the City.

Kim Leadbeater, sister of Jo Cox, speaks about her efforts to keep her sister's values alive and raise money for charity. '2nd March 2016.'Picture Jonathan Gawthorpe

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