Leeds today: books, markers, santa, Beck arts, libraries, lights, Bramley baths.

Good day everyone, Naziya here, let’s get cracking.

We start by mentioning that Bramley baths, the 1904 Grade II listed building, has seen an upsurge of 12,000 visitors since the announcement of its takeover by a community group. Faced with almost certain closure at this point last year, chair of the group, John Battle announced, “We said ‘use it or lose it’ and people are really using it, and using it in imaginative ways.” As BGL featured, the baths were the subject of some stunning underwater photography shown on Look North, BBC news and the Guardian during October’s ‘I love West Leeds’ festival. Photography blogger Betty Lawless writes a retrospective piece about that exciting time.

This week, Mythlomroyd, Todmorden and Hebden bridge are coming together for ‘the valley of the lights’ festival, The free event which celebrates the recovery of the towns after the summer flooding ‘ includes a programme of street performers, parades, giant puppets, fire dancers, music and canal boats’ as well as stalls and markets selling food and drink. The theme is ‘white’ and visitors are encouraged to wear white whilst residents and businesses of Calderdale will light white candles in windows and release handmade lanterns.

Ever thought about what you could do with a budget of millions? Leeds city council has an update on the YouChoose challenge, an online financial simulator which sees you try to help them cut £40million from the budget, an unenviable task, for the 2013-14 financial year. Cllr Wakefield:

“The challenge is by no means easy, with the decisions getting harder and harder each year with another £40m of savings needed coming on top of the £145m reductions already achieved. That is why it is vital we hear as many views as we can to help us shape a budget which focuses on what people want as well as need.”

With your help, we may just be able to keep our art’s funding going. The challenge is open until the 23rd of January with paper copies available in libraries and one-stop centres.

The Beck arts trail, where local artists and craftspeople open their homes to the public, will be running on Sunday 9th December from 1-4pm along Shaw Lane, Monkbridge Road and the Highbury’s in Headingley. You’ll find everything from fine art and jewellery to ceramics and glassware along with a song, a poem and a minced pie. The trail map will be available from 1pm at No.37catering shop on Monkbridge Road.

Here’s a reminder of ‘On Your Marks’ tomorrow night,  a sports meets arts cultural feast, organised by some of the good people behind the Beck Arts group, at St Chad’s Parish Hall. A lot of work has gone into putting this novel event together and when I heard the organiser wanted, at the very least, just 100 people, I thought surely BGL reader can do that.

Left Bank has a new Advent inspired exhibition running from the 3rd of December. Painting, drawing, print making and photography make up a collection of work that draws from a multi faith approach. Left bank also insist that if you ever wanted to drop in, exhibition viewing aside, the caretaker will happily let you have a wander around on Monday mornings.

The Leeds Inspired Christmas list is a great one stop look at where you can spend time in a state of enchantment around the region.  Here are all the details for upcoming markets, concerts, fairs and workshops to give you inspiration or a shot of festive spirit, throughout December.

Santa sightings are rife around town but for a setting that’s a little more unusual, head out to the National Coal mining museum on Saturday. He’ll be climbing down Yorkshire’s biggest chimney and into a magical underground grotto. Visitors will ‘get kitted out in a helmet and lamp and will be able to look down the full 140-metre depth of the shaft by standing on a special glass panel in the floor of the lamp room.’ Magic!

Finally, I really appreciated the Culture Vulture’s guide to the best bookshops in West Yorkshire, billing them as ‘more important than churches and literature, more satisfying than any organised religion’. My sister wants a very particular type of book for Chrisbirthmasday, (this is a very special word for an event that combines a forgotten birthday with the one next month) and I had no idea where to look. Salt’s Mill, here I come!

This entry was posted in Leeds Today. Bookmark the permalink.