Leeds nostalgia: Looking back on City Square

SEPTEMBER  1954: ''Mr. Frank Wilson, of the Leeds Corporation Works Department, cleaning the figure on the Leeds war memorial in the Garden of rest.
SEPTEMBER 1954: ''Mr. Frank Wilson, of the Leeds Corporation Works Department, cleaning the figure on the Leeds war memorial in the Garden of rest.
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The history of City Square in Leeds dates back to 1893, when a royal charter was conferred city status. It was agreed a triangle of land in the centre of the newly anointed city would help create a much needed focal point.

In 1889, the then Leeds Corporation bought the old Coloured Cloth Hall, demolished it and replaced it with a General Post Office, which was erected in 1895 and still stands today.

JULY 1968:  John Betjeman, the poet who has often praised the architecture of Leed's older buildings, looks at a copy of Changing Leeds (part 2), a Yorkshire Evening Post publication, in City Square.

JULY 1968: John Betjeman, the poet who has often praised the architecture of Leed's older buildings, looks at a copy of Changing Leeds (part 2), a Yorkshire Evening Post publication, in City Square.

The development represented a new era for the city, its hopes for the future and it served as a constant reminder of its noble intentions. It was a far cry from the run-of-the mill tram stop and public toilets which had been planned for the site.

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Nowhere was that sense of optimism more evident than the statue of the Black Prince, commissioned by Colonel Thomas Walter Harding and shipped via barge from Holland - history has it Harding noted the statue was facing backwards as it made its way along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and so he ordered the barge to turn around so the statue would enter the city facing forwards.

The top picture was taken on September 23, 1954 and shows Frank Wilson, of the Leeds Corporation Works Department, cleaning the figure on the Leeds war memorial in the Garden of rest.

The statues of Leeds are being given the first of what is expected to be a regular three monthly wash down.

Earlier this week the Black Prince and the other statues in City Square were cleaned, and yesterday workmen were busy at the war memorial in the Garden of Rest, The Headrow, Leeds.

the bottom picture dates from July 24, 1968 and shows John Betjeman, poet who often praised the architecture of Leed’s older buildings.

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