Lecture Syllabus 2022-2023

The following lectures have been arranged for members but everyone is welcome to come. All meetings will be at the Leeds Library at 6pm, or by Zoom or both, depending on the circumstances.

This year we are trying both live and on Zoom so please use the link on each lecture to book your place. Please select either to attend in person or to use Zoom.

Monday September 19th Kirkstall Power StationKirkstall Power Station

In this talk Shaun Page will deliver an overview of the life of the now defunct Kirkstall Power Station and its impact on the Aire Valley and Burley

Monday October 17th Before WindrushBefore Windrush: Black People in Leeds and Bradford, 1708 — 1948

People of African heritage have been making Leeds and Bradford their home for over 300 years. This talk by Danny Friar explores the lives of Black people living in Leeds and Bradford prior to the arrival of the Windrush in 1948.

Wednesday November 2nd
@ 1pm

A City and its Welcome: Migrating to Leeds

by Adam Jaffer, curator of World Cultures at the Leeds Museum    
Wednesday November 9th
@ 1pm

Arthur France: The Driving Force of the Leeds Caribbeans, 1957 to Today

by Professor Max Farrar
Monday November 21st Northerners: A History, from the Ice Age to the Present Day

Northeners: A HistoryOne of the foremost experts in British regional and national affairs, Brian Groom, talks about his new book, a biography of the north of England as told through the lives of its inhabitants. In a sweeping narrative that takes us from the earliest times to the present day, the book shows how the people of Leeds, Yorkshire and the north have shaped Britain and the world in unexpected ways. 

At least six Roman emperors ruled from York. The Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria was Europe’s leading cultural and intellectual centre. Cartimandua, Queen of the Brigantes, deserves to be as famous as Boudica. Neanderthals and Vikings, Central European Jews, African-Caribbeans and South Asians, have all played their part in the making and remaking of the north. Northern writers, activists, artists and comedians are celebrated the world over, from Wordsworth, the Brontës and Gaskell to LS Lowry, Emmeline Pankhurst and Peter Kay. St Oswald and Bede shaped the spiritual and cultural landscapes of Britain and Europe, and the world was revolutionised by the inventions of Richard Arkwright and the Stephensons. The north has exported some of sport’s biggest names and defined the sound of generations, from the Beatles to Britpop. 

Northerners also explores how the past echoes down the centuries, the north-south divide and the divisions between northerners, such as the rivalry between Lancashire and Yorkshire. Finally, Brian Groom explores what northernness means today and the crucial role the north can play in Britain’s future. 

Brian Groom is a writer and journalist who started his career at the Goole Times - then part of the Yorkshire Post group - and moved on to work as a writer and section editor for the Financial Times and as editor of Scotland on Sunday.

Wednesday November 16th @ 1pm

The Leeds Jewish Community: Past and Present

by Professor Derek Fraser
Wednesday November 23rd
@ 1pm

The Italian Prescence in Leeds from the Eighteenth Century to 1945

by Janet Douglas
Monday December 19th
Sandstone in my Blood - Jane BowerSandstone in my Blood
Teacher, actress and author Jane Bower spent her first nine years at Ashwood, the fascinating Headingley home of the Victorian Poet Laureate, Alfred Austin. The talk offers humorous and poignant portraits of both Austin and Ashwood, is illustrated throughout with photographs and lasts one hour.

Please note that this talk will take place on Zoom only
Monday January 16th Members' Evening

Voyage of the Burmantofts1. Robert Demaine - The Voyage of the Burmantofts: A Forgotten Chapter in the History of Leeds as an Inland Port

Amid the transport chaos which followed the First World War the Leeds firm of Albrecht & Albrecht devised a novel solution to deliver their goods to Europe. Drawing on photographs from the Albrecht family archive the lecture tells the story of a remarkable venture which typified the spirit of risk-taking prevalent at the time.

Leeds Leylands life2. Neil Ashcroft - Leeds Leylands' Life

A talk about the now vanished Leylands area of north Leeds in the late Nineteenth Century, focussing upon the harshness of life there at that time and the struggles of its Jewish immigrant population to escape its confines.

Monday February 20th

AIDS Crisis YearsAIDS: The Crisis Years in Leeds and West Yorkshire

Joe Tanzer and Andi Walker are HIV prevention and support workers for BHA in Leeds and Wakefield. Their talk will focus on the HIV/AIDS crisis years (1981-1996) from the perspective of Leeds and West Yorkshire. It will also cover how the situation has changed from 1996 to the present day. How was this pandemic felt in Leeds? How did local communities respond to this crisis? What is the legacy of this crisis in Leeds? What is the situation like now for people living with HIV in Leeds?

Image © ACT UP Leeds, with thanks to Mick Ward, Gill Crawshaw and West Yorkshire Queer Stories

Monday March 20th Uncontrollable Women: Radicals, Reformers and Revolutionaries

Uncontrollable WomenIn this talk Nan Sloane examines the roles women played 200 years ago when Britain and Europe were plunged in to revolution, resistance and war. Leeds women played a part in many of these events, and Nan’s talk will not only cover those who made it into the pages of the book, but also some who did not. She will also talk about her hunt for the elusive Yorkshire woman Mary Smith, sometimes said to have been from Leeds, who submitted the first Parliamentary petition for votes for women in 1832.

Nan is a Leeds-based author thinking and writing about how women contributed to the development of democracy and political organisations over the last two centuries. She has also written about the 1929 general election (the so-called Flapper election) and her previous book, The Women in the Room examined the role of women in the foundation and early years of the Labour Party.

Monday April 17th EphemeraTHE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
in the presence of of the Lord Mayor.

Followed by a lecture from Michael Meadowcroft exploring the many possible uses of Ephemera in the aid of Leeds research.

Please note that, while this talk will be available via Zoom, the nature of the lecture means that, if at all possible, Society members should endeavour to attend in person.