There have been over 160 blue plaques put up across the city by Leeds Civic Trust, but we reckon these five should follow.
With over 160 blue plaques up across the city, Leeds Civic Trust have done a cracking job of recognising key moments in the city’s history. From the pioneers of the industrial revolution to concerts, authors and buildings, they’ll give you a glimpse into the city’s past. But why stop there? This city of ours has rich and diverse history, so here are five more that deserve recognition…
1. Albert Johannesson
To those of a certain generation, Albert Johannesson was a pioneer, but if you’re a bit younger, you might not know how important he was. Born just outside of Johannesburg in South Africa, he joined Leeds United in 1961, becoming a star winger for the club. His claim to fame and place in history, however, comes in 1965, when he played in the FA Cup Final against Liverpool – a game Leeds ultimately lost, but one in which he became the first black person to compete in the final of the world’s oldest cup competition. A moment that’s certainly worthy of a Blue Plaque.
2. The Packhorse
The Bingley Arms is the oldest pub in England, and that’s earned it a blue plaque. Whitelock’s has one too, but oddly, The Packhorse doesn’t, despite its history stretching back a hundred years longer. It’s thought that there’s been something on the site since 1130, but it has been a pub since 1615. First known as The Knag’s Head, then The Slip Inn and now as The Packhorse, it takes its name from its yard, which is one of the few that remain of the 52 which originally existed off Briggate, and boasts features that date back as far as the 1550s.
3. Pudsey the Bear
Say Children in Need, and the image that immediately comes to mind is the loveable looking bear that has become its icon over the past three decades. Pudsey Bear was designed in 1985 by the BBC’s Joanna Lane, who thought a teddy bear would be a perfect fit. When it came to naming it, she decided to christen it after her hometown of Pudsey. Considering the amazing work that’s gone on behind the Pudsey Bear symbol, a Blue Plaque tribute in the heart of the Leeds suburb wouldn’t go amiss.
Back in the day, Waddington’s was one of the coolest names around, especially for families. From 1922, it was responsible for a host of card and board games – in fact, the list of games they made will likely bring back some incredible memories, from Cluedo to Monopoly, Subbuteo and Buccaneer. Best of all they were founded in Leeds by local John Waddington, and while its Leeds headquarters no longer exist, a Blue Plaque at the offices of First Direct bank, which now stands on the same site, would be a fitting tribute.
5. Herbert Henry Asquith
It might come as a surprise, but Leeds was the birthplace of a wartime British Prime Minister. No, it’s not the one that instantly springs to mind, but rather the first to hold the office during First World War. Herbert Henry Asquith was born in Morley in 1852, becoming the country’s leader in 1908. He was incredibly popular during peacetime, but his reputation diminished somewhat as The Great War continued and he was replaced in 1916. Asquith’s achievements are surely deserving of a Blue Plaque though – a Leodian Prime Minister is something to be proud of.
Cover image copyright Daria Wszolek.