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Published: September 16th 2010
During August, I recently spent an afternoon at Lotherton Hall, a stately home and estate, in the outer east Leeds and near the North Yorkshire border. I caught the irregular summer bus from the city centre that goes directly to the estate. I had a look round Lotherton Hall. It was the home of the Gascoigne family from the early 18th Century until 1968 where they gave it to Leeds City Council. It is worth looking around the Edwardian home for its unique collection of paintings and furniture. Look out for the Francis Wheatley Painting and furniture, 'The Irish House of Commons' in the dining room and the Shanks Independent Patent Spray Baoth in Colonel's Gascoigne's bedroom. There were objects in the house indicating that the Gascoignes were well travelled. At the entrance of the Hall there is the Lotherton Hall Chapel which in the 1100s was part of a medieval village on the same site.
As well as the Hall, you can visit the Edwardian gardens and grounds where each area has its unique character. Also the grounds are perfect to wander around and to enjoy the open countryside. Look out for the red deer in
West Yorkshire, UK
the Parkland. For the children there is The Playground and The Birds Garden whose "Into Africa" free-flight avary is one of the Europe's largest and you will see many of the Africa birds.
You can take coffee and cake at the Stable Courtyard and Lotherton Hall hosts many events and activities throughout the year.
Despite the rain it was a wonderful afternoon out in the country. Saltaire
In Septemeber I recently spent a couple of afternoons in this Victorian industrial village. Titus Salt, a mill owner and business man, built Saltaire in the late 1800s for his employees and the village included a school, a chapel, a hospital, housing for the workers and parks.
One of the main purposes for my visit was to send a postcard from the village for one of my travel friends, SL, whose ambition was to get every postcard of every country of this world! He has almost suceeded but there were some he still need to get and this included the model village of Saltaire and one of my best friends, Ruth, will send him one from Afghanistan where she is teaching at the the moment. It was difficult
finding decent postcards until I visited a shop in the Salts Mill. Anyway it was nice wanding around the village and admiring the Victorian buildings and having a picnic in Roberts Park especially that we had nice weather. I visited Salts Mill, the main mill by the canal, where it has been converted into business units, shops, restaurants and the 1853 Gallery where the Bradford artist, David Hockney, has his exhibition.
Saltaire is a place where I can escape from Leeds for an afternoon or two...and I highly recommend the Vicars Bistro on Vicitoria Street! Heritage Open Day at The Grand
We recently spent the afternoon, 12th September 2010, exploring The Grand Theatre and Opera House in Leeds. The Victorian theatre opened its door to celebrate Heritage Open Day supported by the English Heritage, a conservation charity in the UK.
We explored the auditorium where we had a rare opportunity to sit in the royal box. Prices and availability for sitting in a box for a performance are usually too expensive and unobtainable. It is more to be seen than to see! We also visited different parts of the auditorium including the dress circle and the
balconies and we took a lot of photos which is great because photography is not usually allowed!
We joined the backstage trail where we visited the prompt corner while the stage managers co-ordinate everything on performance evenings. I simply do not envy the responsibility they have in their job! We passed the dressing rooms to the dock door and scenery bridge where the set and scenery are transported to the doors. We then ascended up to the paint frame and OP fly floor where 'fly' pieces of scenery are pulled during change of scenes in performances but this has been replaced with a computerised filing system! We passed the paint rooms and joiners' workshop and we eventually returned to where we were before!
Looking forward to the next Heritage Open Day!
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