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Tour titles appearing on my schedule
I take special requests for these and other themes.
Many titles are given either as a real walking tour or an online presentation.

City centre tours:

  • Walking through the centuries: from origins to 21st century – how a riverside hamlet became a city

  • Waterways and bridges of Leeds criss-crossing the waterways, central to the story of Leeds over the centuries

  • Women in & of Leeds how women have gained more rights & prominence

  • Ace architects of Victorian Leeds the main designers and their legacy 

  • Public art subjects, media, artists, funding, attitudes & engagement

  • What a lot of terracotta decorative tiles and whole schemes for building façades, late C19, early C20 and a few examples from C21

  • Art Deco architecture of Leeds between the wars

  • Rooftop Leeds view the city from on high, and while at street level look up to rooftop styles and features. Finishes with a High Rise cocktail.

  • The warehouse district of Leeds west end how a Georgian residential neighbourhood was transformed

  • Tippling or Temperance? Brewing, drinking & the alternatives in the history of Leeds
  • Time in Leeds layers, duration, measuring, money

  • The making of Wellington Place – from meadows to rails to retail to offices

  • A continuing yarn: textiles, clothing and fashion in Leeds – sites of significance for cloth and garment making and trading

  • A long yarn  presentation/online only wool and woollen cloth in the history of Leeds

  • Protest & riot – exploring the reasons for and sites of uprisings & disorder 

  • Hidden gems and curious corners of Leeds city centre – fascinating features that you might not normally notice

  • How green is our city? – towards resource efficiency + wellbeing for people & nature

  • Spreading the word writing, printing, publishing and reading in Leeds

  • Backsides of Leeds: dressed up in front and bare behind – exploring the less respectable sides of the city centre

  • Leeds Town Hall  presentation/online only (our most striking historic building, but not accessible for now) the making of a Victorian landmark and how it's been adapted down the decades

  • City Square  presentation/online only how has this prominent civic space changed over the centuries? (A fascinating story but hardly a walking expedition, so to cover the detail I've developed a presentation)

  • Roll up, roll up: Leeds, a trading city – from hand-made cloth to high end fashion ... and beyond

  • Leeds in the 1820s – life in a late Georgian town

  • Death trap to digital hub: diseases, treatments and healthcare since the 18th century - health challenges and responses over 250 years

  • The emergence of the office district from quills in chambers to purpose-built premises

  • East End, West End – the expansion of Leeds in the early industrial period 

  • Grit and grime to exotic cladding: the building stones of Leeds What is the city made of and why?

  • Modernist architecture: dreams and nightmares? Part I – Leeds city centre; Part II – education and health 

  • Lost Leeds: demolished gems and vanished dreams A ghost tour of sorts to some sites where the sights are not what they once were and to places where radical changes were not implemented
  • A geographer’s reflections on architecture: reading the city  buildings in their setting and how to make sense of cities

  • Light in Leeds – sources, uses, cultural & economic trends associated with illumination

Beyond the old city centre:

  • Local college to global campus the making of the University of Leeds

  • Cradle of Innovation: Holbeck & Hunslet the industrial heartland south of the River Aire

  • Leeds South Bank invention & reinvention from pre-industrial to industrial and onwards. The tour can have a more or less historic/contemporary & futures focus.

  • Chapel Allerton: hamlet to suburb an open-air exhibition of suburbanisation

  • The changing face of Woodhouse an ancient hamlet that has seen intense waves of change 

  • Gipton an idealistic housing development of the 1930

  • Roundhay Park from Medieval deer park, to private pleasure grounds, to 'the people's park' 

  • Colourful Kirkstall: from Wellington Bridge to the viaduct discover where dyeing, tanning, foundries and terraces used to be and what's there now

Coming soon: ​

  • Beyond the city centre: tours of Richmond Hill; Little Woodhouse & Hyde Park; Kirkstall lands in west Leeds
  • Fur, feathers, wool and scales – Leeds creatures real and imagined
  • Waterways to wifi: flows of cloth to flows of bytes and international connections
  • Bright sparks innovators of the city centre

  • Steamed up the railways come to and from Leeds

  • Terraces to towers large-scale housing in Leeds 

  • Power to the people from coal to renewables, feudalism to universal franchise 

River Aire + waterfront from Leed Bridge

The view from Leeds Bridge, looking downstream.

The River Aire was made more navigable back in the early 18th century so that  valuable cargoes of woollen cloth could reach the markets of mainland Europe more quickly. Time is money.

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