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  • Rachael Unsworth

Hotel staff learn more about the city where they work

Behind me and my two young tourists in City Square is the 1890s Post Office. Now the building contains restaurants and serviced apartments.

The Post Office replaced the biggest building in Georgian Leeds: the Coloured Cloth Hall for trading dyed woollen cloth. Once the factory system took over, the traditional selling of pieces of cloth faded out and the building became redundant.

City Square was named to reflect the elevation of Leeds to city status in 1893. Before that it was just a town. The idea of laying out a grand public space was promoted by TW Harding, head of a major engineering business, when he was Lord Mayor of Leeds in 1899. Most of the statues in the square were presented by Harding and when the opening ceremony took place on 16th September 1903 it put Leeds in the forefront of European civic design.

(Talking of coloured cloth: that's my 'camouflage coat.' I try not to team it with Cradle of Innovation orange.)

In City Square at the end of a tour for hotel employees, two smart young men from Clayton Hotel wanted a snap with me. (I hadn't dragged them all round the city centre; they were quite willing victims.)

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