Leeds today: heroes unmasked, controversial builds, the Yorkshire Rose, Water music and innovation.

Remember the mysterious hero who pulled a baby from the Ouse from last week? The YEP has managed to track him down. David Atkinson said:

“Yes, I was scared, but I had to try. Luckily she wasn’t under long. I then just gave the mum a hug – she was so upset. I think I said something daft like ‘just make sure she has a good life’.”

Which is just brilliant. One of those outstanding quirks that makes being typically English so much fun. Full marks to Mr Atkinson; well done.

The Wharfdale Observer is reporting that plans to put 54 houses on the site of Springhead Mills in Guisley is attracting controversy. Residents around the area are concerned that this historic site will lose its character, privacy and cause traffic problems and other disturbances. Leeds Civic Trust are also involved, writing a letter to the planning committee in support of the latest proposals which are an improvement on the original planned 80 houses on the same site.

Leeds City Council are opening up a visitors centre at the site of the Leeds Arena. The centre on Claypit Lane has a viewing area so people can see the Arena take shape, and representatives from the companies involved in the build will be available at certain times to answer questions. The build is expected to provide jobs for up to 300 people including apprentices.

The battle over the Yorkshire Rose on bottles of beer (which was covered in BGL quite some time ago) is now over, reports the YEP. Sam Smith’s had claimed that Cropton Brewery had infringed on its copyright, arguing that as the Yorkshire Rose – that white, iconic flower – was already on two of their beers nobody else could use it.

Mr Justice Arnold ruled that Cropton Brewery had infringed Samuel Smith’s trade mark rights on labels for its Yorkshire Warrior beer but had not infringed its rival’s trade mark rights on labels for its Yorkshire Bitter.

The outcome is that Cropton will pay Sam Smith’s £20k for the infringement, which Sam Smiths will then pay to Help for Heroes. This is an exercise in the judge banging their heads together; Justice Arnold went on to say:

“The dispute is one which ought to have been capable of settlement out of court a long time ago. Instead it has grown into a case which is out of all proportion to what is at stake in commercial terms.”

And then said that each brewery should pay its own legal costs.

Bruce & Debs Davies are two very nice people who live not too far away from one of BGL’s staffers. They have turned their basement into an art space, and the Guardian has had a chat with them about it. After frustrations at trying to get a show put on in Leeds, and awareness that Leeds has a great depth of artistic talent that it fails to keep for very long, the couple opened up their basement for events, shows and other arts programmes to try and help new artists. This is a great project which BGL is very fond of, and will support as much as it can.

In other Art news, there is an art sale on at Shine in Harehills tonight. Copy/Paste is an art fair that carries work from local and international artists, sold in person in many cases. There should be some interesting work available for attendees.

The Made In Yorkshire Cocktail Competition finalists have been announced. About My Area says that ten local bartenders from across the region will compete on August 1st in the Sky Lounge at Mint for the title.

Speaking of Aug 1st, Yorkshire Day is next Monday. Bear it in mind, as pubs, shops, hotels and restaurants often have events or offers on.

Last night saw the climax of the incredible I Love West Leeds festival, with Handel’s Water Music being performed live by the West Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra in Bramley Baths. Blogger Anne Akers attended and shares her thoughts, and so does performer Ben Hardy. By all accounts this was a very cool event (which sold out way before BGL had a chance to buy tickets!) and one that will hopefully be considered as a platform for other, similar events.

This week BGL will be looking at the marginalised parts of society; today Simon on the Streets asks at what point to “deserving” recipients of benefits become “undeserving”? Children are deserving, but do they become undeserving the moment they turn 16? People have strong opinions on the subject but no idea on how to solve the problem, and often those who shout the loudest about “spongers” are taken to be the vox populi instead of the reactionary hatemongers they ought to be labelled as.

One way that local people are looking at breaking the cycle is through an Innovation Lab on October 14th. This will be a day-long discussion by people involved in communities – not just people from social services or other LCC branches – to try and work out a way of helping break the cycle, of bringing people out of the benefits “trap”. If you’re interested in taking part then please get in touch.

Finally today, over on Culture Vultures Jon Eland points out that it is often nicer to be a tourist where you are, instead of constantly searching for somewhere new. BGL spent part of Sunday just sat in the same spot at the YSP for two hours, so can relate.

That’s it for today; please get in touch if you want to say anything on the marginalisation thing, as we’ll be running stories about this all week. Thanks for reading.

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