#LEEDS1914 – ‘the leeds citizen’ goes a bit historical

#leeds1914 a charabanc of women on their way tp work at the Barnbow munitions factory

#leeds1914 a charabanc of women on their way tp work at the Barnbow munitions factory

Thanks to all those programmes on the telly, I think I’ve got a rough idea about why and how the First World War happened.

That stuff about the empires, the alliances in Europe, who got on with who in Europe’s royal families, the big battles, what life was like in the trenches at Gallipoli and Passchendaele …

I sort of remember the poems from school, and bits of the massive BBC documentary series in the ‘sixties, and “Oh! What a Lovely War”, and Blackadder going over the top …

… but I realised a couple of weeks ago that didn’t have a clue about what life was like in Leeds at the time.

So I went to the library for an afternoon to look at the local newspapers of 100 years ago. And I thought I’d share what I found.

HISTORY

Greenhow: "they all have large families"

Kate who?

So, regular readers (that’s you, Max and Tilly Savile-Rowe of Chapel Allerton), take this as a warning that occasional posts are now going to crop up when I find something in the library that looks interesting.

They’ll be clearly marked #LEEDS1914, Max, so contemporary people such as yourself will know it’s only HISTORY and won’t feel obliged to read it.

Back to the library

I started looking at papers from the first week of March 1914. And there was, of course, no hint of any coming war.

What was there?

Robbed

Robbed

All sorts:

– a Briggate landlord taken to court over a drunk found in the vaults of the rammed Albion pub;

a tenants’ rent strike broken by the brother of Kate Middleton’s great-great-great grandmother;

– a man of the cloth saying you’d find more vice in a week next to his church in Leeds than you would in Paris in six;

Handsome pay rise

Handsome pay rise

repercussions for the vice-chancellor after Leeds Uni students work as scabs to help break a council workers’ strike;

a handsome pay rise for the Chief Constable;

the City Librarian berating the good people of Leeds for reading too much fiction and watching too much football

and Leeds losing 3-1 to Orient … in the dark.

The first five stories – the ones with the links above – have been posted. The plan is to post more every couple of weeks or so.

All human life will be there. Contributions welcome.

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2 Responses to #LEEDS1914 – ‘the leeds citizen’ goes a bit historical

  1. Techno says:

    “a tenants’ rent strike broken by the brother of Kate Middleton’s great-great-great grandmother”

    We’ll be back to that soon if the increase in rented accommodation isn’t accompanied by better tenancy rights.

    Somebody called “Tilly Savile-Rowe” lives in Chapel Allerton. Why am I not surprised? Or am I being fooled by a piece of sly satire?

  2. Pingback: Bookmarked: Leeds Citizen looks at World War One and Leeds - The Leeds Guardian

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