Leeds today: pubs, arts, Flugtag and pingpong

An explosion in New Farnley in Leeds caused the evacuation of 100 people and a 200m cordon around the area, says the Harrogate News. A car, thought to be a BMW, exploded yesterday afternoon. No immediate speculation as to the cause of the explosion is in the press at the moment, although local BBC News last night suggested that the car contained gas cylinders. The cordon is supposed to be lifted this afternoon.

Shibden Mill in Halifax has been told it is Yorkshire’s favourite pub, reports the Yorkshire Post. A new ‘ale trail’ is being put together featuring the favourite pubs in the region, and features some very good boozers that have been well-frequented by BGL.

The big event of the weekend was the Flug Tag. BGL’s own Elly Snare was there and will be giving her own report (with pictures) later on today, but in the meantime the BBC reports on Kes and a giant Yorkshire pudding that were flying – for a given value of “flying” – in Roundhay park yesterday.

In housing news, the YEP reports that it seems that developers are using flood plains to build houses on, and the risks are simply being ignored despite the increases in flooding over the last few years. Hull in particular is building a lot of new homes in areas at risk of flooding. As BGL has noted in past weeks houses aren’t being built, when they are being built they’re going up on greenbelt, and they’re costing a lot of money to get built in the first place. A housing crisis is already here and putting people onto areas at risk of flooding is only going to make the situation worse in the longer term.

Leeds is the pink car capital of the UK, according to the YEP. Anecdotally, yes, I’d go along with that. I imagine they’re all occupying driveways in North Leeds, though.

It’s a big soggy today, but nonetheless if outdoor ping-pong is something you’d like to try you can have a go today, in Victoria Gardens outside the Art Gallery. The “Ping-Pong Parlour” is a van touring the country which enables table tennis to be set up anywhere as part of a participatory arts project. Ping, as it’s called, was set up by arts org Sing – who I really hope have an office cat called Ming – to encourage people to be active and help community spirit. Ping will be there from 12-6pm today only.

Arts organisation Future Arts is hosting free workshops for people aged 13-25 over the summer. The drop-in sessions will help people get to grips with technology, musical and multimedia kit, and meet new people according to My Life in Leeds.

Tall blogger Phil Kirby attended a preview of the Damien Hirst exhibition at the Art Gallery and has a few words to say about it on Culture Vultures. The exhibition, which runs throughout the summer, showcases a few moments from Hirst’s career, but really everybody is going to see a sheep in a jar.

If the weekend was mostly made up of Flugtag and Hirst, then the smaller events struggled to get coverage; I Love West Leeds is still going on, don’t forget! Stripey Anne had a look at the Objects and Curious Tales exhibit at Armley Mill, which conjured up thoughts of classic films and tales from the past. The Bramley Carnival, (image on left, thanks to Dervish99 for the photo) which we mentioned a couple of weeks ago, was apparently well attended despite the weather, even having a stall selling churros con chocolate. The On the Edge festival at Temple Works seems to have gone down well too, with Raw Peaches being a big hit.

That’s it for today! As ever, if you have something to say on these or other subjects then say it! Email, twitter, or collar us on the street (if you know what we look like).

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