Leeds today: pi, tiny fire engines, single ladies and diving

In today’s post: pi, tiny fire engines, single ladies and diving, along with many more things!

West Yorkshire Fire Service is trialling a new rapid response vehicle alongside its fleet of somewhat larger vehicles, reports the YEP. A six month trial is underway at Kirkstall Road fire station, where three different cars will be tested out for two months each, to see how well their adaptations work under normal conditions. The project has been underway for 12 weeks and has already been called out to 550 alarms. It will not replace a full tender as it does not carry breathing equipment, but if it can attend calls quickly it means resources can be better deployed at incidents.

The John Charles sports centre in South Leeds is the home of more than half the Olympic diving squad, reports the Yorkshire Post. The GB Diving team are heading out to Shanghai next month, but six of the eleven members are part of City of Leeds Diving Club, and a seventh trains in Sheffield. Senior member of the team Rebecca Gallantree, originally from Chelmsford, said:

“When I first came to Leeds nine years ago we were still at the Leeds International Pool. I knew it was a great programme when I came up, that it was strong platform and the coaches were good, but this facility at the John Charles Centre is such a bonus for us all.”

BGL wishes the team well in the World Championships next month.

The YEP has an article about the Leeds Benevolent Society for Single Ladies, an organisation that provides assistance of all kinds to members; the catch is that members must be both ladies and spinsters. The 151 year-old organisation is looking for new membership, with the obvious provisos.

“[Founder, Eliza Wilkinson] died at the age of 29 of tuberculosis, a short life spent looking after siblings following the death of her parents. During this time she became acutely aware of the plight of women who, through choice or more likely through servitude, never had husbands or children. So, after leaving £100 in her will, she launched the organisation to help needy single ladies.”

In addition to regular social events, meetings, and the odd drink, members can get assistance with phone bills, grants for large projects and the more vunerable members will be secure in the knowledge that other members will pop in to make sure they’re all right.

Also in the YEP, the LCC Executive Board have agreed to advertise for “expressions of interest” in the Bramley Baths Community Asset Transfer scheme that seems to be the only way the baths will remain open. Cllr Andrew Carter (Con) has concerns that if no suitable CAT partners can be found the Baths will be closed for good. He went on to say:

“The simple fact is, back in February, we proposed an alternative budget that would have provided the £80,000 needed to save the baths through savings on glossy publications, stationery, equality services and furniture. Not one single member of current administration voted with us.”

Another iconic location has added free WiFi to its list of attractions. The Corn Exchange is now offering customers free online access inside the building, which could make the “where shall we go for coffee?” question slightly easier. Or harder, if you’re like me and suffer from option paralysis.

Two stories about theatre from the Yorkshire Post, now. The first is an in-depth look at the cultural offerings of Quarry Hill, home to no fewer than three dance companies, a theatre and the Leeds College of Music, as well as some pretty decent bars and what is widely considered to be one of the best restaurants in the city and soon to be the base for star of Britain’s Next Best Thing, Laura Wellington. The Quarry Hill Festival is on Saturday (Jul 2nd), where “visitors will be able to witness first hand the sheer diversity of work that is being made in the small area of the city, when all the organisations throw open their doors for the free festival”.

The second story is a bit different; a look at Slung Low Theatre Company’s production The Correct Frequency for Stories, an interactive exhibit at the Grassington Festival about Linton Camp, a residential children’s school which took in kids from all backgrounds and classes, from evacuees during the War to children from problem homes and residential care in the 50s and 60s. This article is certainly worth a read, and may make you want to research more about the camp. Unfortunately the exhibit is now over, but the stories from residents will live on.

East Street Arts’ Under the Paving Stones is now over, but the organisers would like to hear your views on the festival in Chapeltown. BGL has heard nothing but good reports across the board. Exploring Leeds asks “Why are People from Leeds called Loiners?“, a question that has often been posed but rarely answered without controversy.

Finally today, in a newspaper from the Antipodes, is a story that a University of Leeds mathematician is advocating a change in the significance of pi. Kevin Houston is an advocate of the 2pi, or tau idea where the number we most commonly associate with a circle is 6.28 instead of 3.141. As today is July June 28th, it could be said that today is tau day…

Tomorrow we look at the closure of Leeds libraries; have you had a letter telling you about your local library? Are you a librarian who would like to speak out against the closures? Please, get in touch! Email, twitter, or stop me on the street and tell me things.

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3 Responses to Leeds today: pi, tiny fire engines, single ladies and diving

  1. Rich Daley says:

    Hah, I love this complete tautology from the Australian article:

    “Pi is defined as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, and it is fundamental to many formulae in mathematics, science and engineering. The circumference of a circle, for example, is calculated by multiplying its diameter by pi.”

  2. tessasmith says:

    Got me scared there – 28th of July?! I’ve missed a month! ;p

    I think, if you understand the pi thing better than I, that this is an interesting (and geeky) video for you.. Maybe. But I got a bit confused after the initial pi/tau bit..

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