Leeds today: heroes, foxes, tapas, ag shows, olympics and the YSP.

Heroes still exist in York! The YEP reports that a mystery cyclist stopped and pulled a baby and pram from the Ouse near Lendal Bridge. The mother of the baby was adjusting the coat of her other child when the pram rolled into the river. A passing cyclist stopped, leaped into the river and pulled pram and baby out in a matter of seconds. The good samaritan then carried on his way before the mother could get his name. North Yorks Police Sergeant Fiona Willey said:

“I am urging the man to come forward as the baby’s mum would like to thank him personally for his bravery. Although the mother is naturally shaken and upset, I am pleased to be able to report that the child suffered no harm as a result of the incident. The man’s quick thinking and actions meant the baby was only in the water for a matter of seconds. I have no doubts that he prevented a tragic outcome to this incident.”

Certainly, if a chap deserved to be shaken by the hand and bought a pint, it is he.

After the threat of closure hanging over them for more than three years Fox’s biscuit factory in Batley will now remain open, reports the BBC. Fox’s Biscuits were planning on merging two plants, the Batley site and one in Staffordshire, as they were in need of significant investment, but instead spent £27M on three plants over recent years and decided to keep all three running. This is great news for employees in Batley where the plant employs around a thousand people. Speaking as someone with a bad ginger crunch cream habit, BGL is pleased for Fox’s and commends the management in making the best decision for employees as well as the company.

A quick look at Public Access, LCC’s planning application website, shows that the Middleton Arms may be demolished and replaced with a “single storey retail food store, associated car parking and landscaping”. The Miggy Arms was not my favourite boozer, it must be said, but the building is historically interesting. It suffers from its location and has been struggling to stay afloat for many years, closing down on more than one occasion. It’ll be a shame to see it completely go.

The Yorkshire Sculpture Park shall officially open up more than 150 acres of woodlands that historically linked the Bretton and YSP estates on Saturday, says the BBC. After a year-long renovation programme the woodland, not previously opened to the public, is a rich source of hidden lakes, footpaths, follies and bridges. Of course, there shall be sculpture in the woodland as well; a Gormley that has been in storage for 18 months is now in situ. The changes have tried to restore vistas enjoyed by previous owners of the estates; BGL is a regular visitor to the YSP and has been watching the renovations with interest.

Foodie blogger Eating isn’t Cheating has a great list of the best bar snacks in Leeds. This reads like an excellent way of spending a Saturday, to be perfectly honest; five good pubs with a great knack for putting together “yorkshire tapas” from triple-cooked chips to oysters.

This weekend sees some cracking events going on; The Mustard Pot in Chapel Allerton is having its annual music festival, Mustardstock. This goes on all weekend, a collection of live bands, decent beer, tasty snacks. They’re raising money for St Gemma’s, too. If you’re in the area it’s well worth a look.

The Bingley Show is also happening on Saturday; not quite to the scale of the Great Yorkshire Show it is still a great reminder that agricultural shows were the summer lifeblood of the region. This was a time for households to show off their wares and skills, for farmers to show prize vegetables and livestock. And so it remains, despite the massive drop in numbers of people taking up farming. The Bingley Show has a great handicrafts section as well, with BGL’s own roving reporter Elly Snare taking part. A great day out for all the family.

Slightly nearer to home is the 2012 Olympic Open Weekend taking place across Leeds. ‘Planet Leeds’ will take place on Briggate and Dortmund Square, the Museum will be joining in the Cultural Olympiad programme and Phoenix Dance Theatre in Quarry Hill will be celebrating African Dance as part of the Bloom Festival. Sporting challenges and volunteer opportunities will be around the city, and at lunchtime in Millennium Square shall be Canne Brulee to Carnival, a history of Trinidad and Tobago’s carnival heritage. Saturday evening sees a free open air performance of Dante’s Inferno also in Millennium Square, and then events come into Sunday where Seacroft Village Green will be transformed into a sea of flags.

Sunday also sees the third birthday of Leeds foodie blog Tea and Cake, which yr hmbl correspondent also writes for, and we’re having a picnic to celebrate. If you’re interested in coming along we shall be at the picnic area at the YSP from 1:30, with tea, cake and cucumber sandwiches. If you’re coming please bring a flask of hot water so we can share out more tea!

There is always plenty of stuff happening around the city and we love to highlight it. If you have a quirky event going on that you’d like us to mention, or just want a chat, then please get in touch. Next week we’re taking a look at the way society marginalises people; if you have anything to say about this, or are involved in a project that helps the homeless, former prisoners or people with mental illness or disabilities then please get in touch in the usual way.

Have a great weekend, folks. Thanks for reading.

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