Hello! This is the last BGL news post of 2012, although we (hopefully) have a feature article on Bramley Baths later on this afternoon written by none other than John Battle. (We’re big fans of the former MP for Leeds West, who retired in 2010.)
But in the meantime, here’s some news!
Today is the shortest day of the year, and so from tomorrow we’re able to bathe in more natural light. Well, assuming that the world doesn’t come to an end, of course. Honestly, people. The world will end for (statistically) ~150,000 people, and that’s a shame, but a natural part of life is death and we have to accept that. We don’t have to accept the media frenzy that has risen amongst barking conspiracy theories and lunatics.
So, assuming we don’t all get sucked into a black hole (we won’t), we might as well pop into town to see Hope & Social performing for free at Kirkgate Market at 12:30, and at the bus station from 5:30. We have a pretty good idea of what they might be getting up to – it involves bells – so we’re planning on showing up.
It wouldn’t be Chrstmas without The Nutcracker; Northern Ballet are performing it at the Grand and it is brilliant. BGL went on Tuesday and was blown away by the band, the dancers, and the humour. Brilliant stuff, great for the kids, and an elegant alternative to panto.
Those who have left their shopping till the night before Christmas would do well to check out the various gift guides on Culture Vulture. Most make use of the delightful independent shops we have all over Leeds, but which are sometimes a little off the beaten track. Brilliant writing from many lovely people.
Apparently Leeds is bucking the trend for online shopping by having an increase in the number of people going out and shopping by hand, instead of loading up online trolleys and baskets. The Yorkshire Post says, chillingly:
On Briggate, the busiest Leeds shopping street, cameras tracked 1.9m people on the thoroughfare from late October to mid-December 2009. In the same period this year that number rose to 2.04m.
Hang on. Someone is counting the number of people – presumably individuals – on Briggate? The implications of this never cease to astound. (Get me drunk, be prepared for a rant on the ubiquity of CCTV.) Anyway, I hope the increase in footfall is due to nice people going to indie shops.
Holt Park Leisure Centre closes its doors tomorrow, reports the YEP. The replacement – Holt Park Active – will hopefully be open in October.
Ed Jacobs does his The Year in Numbers for the Tories in the North for the Northerner. Interesting reading, giving us firm numbers of what we sort-of suspected anyway.
And that’s it. Not much news out there except the more miserable stuff about people suffering, homeless, striving to keep their heads above water. Christmas is definitely the time, while warm, overfed and surrounded by family and friends, to think about the worsening situation in this country. BGL’s local charity of choice is Simon on the Streets, so maybe you could spread a little cheer in their direction. Perhaps, though, end with some things to look forward to in 2013?
So here’s some good news for 2013, should tomorrow dawn after all: Leeds has some big building projects and investments going on that probably will help the economy here (regardless of personal views): Trinity Leeds and more detail on the park area on Sovereign Street, the Eastgate development and the redevelopment of Kirkgate Market. Cultural highlights include Bettakultcha at the Town Hall, and the opening of the Arena, with some interesting acts already announced.
And hey, you never know – it might even stop raining!
Have a great Christmas and a Happy New Year – we’re back on Jan 7th, so we hope to see you bright and breezy then.