Today in Leeds: cricket, trains, stolen art and we preview Leeds Loves Food

Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves has urged ministers to take the Kirkstall Forge and Apperley Bridge railway stations “out of limbo”, reports the Yorkshire Post. The stations, that will be part of the proposed redevelopment scheme for West Leeds and the area around Kirkstall, could unlock private investment around that area, which has not seen much in the way of regeneration in recent years. Miss Reeves said:

“I will be highlighting the benefits of the plans, their widespread support in the local community and the significant private capital that has gone into the station. The Department for Transport needs to make it clear where we stand, and whether it will back this scheme. We’ve been left in limbo for months now – people in Kirkstall will rightly want to know what the future holds for the forge.”

Over 50’s cricket is the subject of a new art exhibit that is touring around Yorkshire, reports the Guardian. The Runs on the Board project is looking for more people to submit their stories, photos and anything else relevant to celebrating those stalwarts of the village green. The organisers say:

“We invite you to send in your photographs and anecdotes about the character and characters of amateur cricket in Yorkshire, preferably with a focus on older players by sending them by email to”

The Grey Fox Trophy, a cricket competition being run alongside the project, sees ten over-50s teams competing over the summer; these matches are sure to be hotly contested and provide a great photo opportunity.

After yesterday’s mention of the art-clad junction boxes in Leeds City Centre, it has come to BGL’s attention that some miscreants have absconded with the giant blue-green knitted bobble hat that adorned the box outside Jamie’s Italian on Park Row. CCTV footage of the theft has appeared on YouTube:

A spokesperson for the project has told BGL:

We actually do want the bobble hat back. Although I wish I’d thought of this, it isn’t a PR stunt – some people (couple of decidedly wobbly young males) took it and one of them walked off wearing it in the middle of last [Tuesday] night.

So if you know of or hear about an enormous bobble hat that someone has stashed under a bed, on a wall or being used as a fancy dress costume please get in touch confidentially. If you want to know more about the project, Culture Vultures is (of course!) the place to get the informed opinion.

Food blogger Rach put up a guest post about the Swillington Farm box scheme. A local organic meat and veg-producing farm Swillington is a bit of a Leeds institution now, hosting the launch of the Leeds Loves Food festival and being a regular fixture on the farmer’s market at Kirkgate Market. Their box scheme sounds like something really positive and well worth investigating. They’re also at Leeds Loves Food this weekend!

Also on Culture Vultures is food blogger Katie Bolton’s look at the weekend’s biggest free event in Leeds city centre, Leeds Loves Food. Katie went to a preview event, and reported:

“As a preview to the event, art students from Leeds City College have created chocolate sculptures and portraits of famous chefs out of sweeties. They also made a giant Leeds Loves Food logo out of fruit and veg to help raise awareness of the festival. The sweet sculptures will be on display in the Light until the festival.”

The main event to the festival is in Millennium Square and opens tomorrow, where over 100 local and regional producers will be taking part in the Yorkshire Food and Drink Festival, where I imagine foodies will be clamouring to try out the best that the county can offer, including oak roasted salmon, fish & chips with a twist, and some of the best coffee in Leeds. It isn’t just happening in Millennium Square, though; events will be happening across the city in participating restaurants as well as in Kirkgate Market where a Leeds Loves Lunchtime promotion is happening, the VQ has its own programme of events and Jean Christophe Novelli will be in the Merrion Centre demonstrating great summer dishes.

The Kitchen Theatre has been set up in Millennium Square, though, and this is where a lot of the action will take place. Leeds indie food producer Indie Ices has a special offer for Beyond Guardian Leeds readers who want to take advantage of the sunshine and watch the stage with some ice cream! The kulfi that Mike Tattersall makes is – in BGL’s opinion, and we’ve eaten quite a bit of it – outstanding and has won three Great Taste awards; if you mention BeyondGdnLeeds when buying two tubs of kulfi you can get 50p off, paying £2.50 instead of the usual £3 for two tubs.

That is it for today! Tomorrow we preview the I Love West Leeds festival, look at philanthropic architects and mention the Eastgate Development. Do you have anything you’d like to say? Do you have an event happening this weekend that you’d like us to mention? Get in touch! Email, twitter, or say hello if you see me in person.

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