Leeds today: victoriana, unity, feast, joust, beach, memorials, housing and family.

Hello! It’s Friday and we’re really excited about the weekend. First, some news.

Rare examples of Victorian signal boxes, including some in Yorkshire, have been given listed status to conserve them now they’ve been decommissioned. They’re lovely structures which are all part of The Railway Children and Whistle Down the Wind that make up my childhood, so we’re very glad they’re protected.

Next year is the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the Council will be putting up new signs in Leeds cemeteries as a permanent reminder of the more than 800 soldiers buried here.

South of the River today is all about south Leeds’ council housing history.

Communities take time to build. A few families moving in and out each year doesn’t disrupt the social fabric, but hundreds is more difficult. Certainly when it comes to schooling, there is good research to show that moving schools disrupts a child’s education and sets it back by as much as a year.

Next Thursday is Yorkshire Day (hurrah!), and the Leeds List gives us a heads-up about a special, one-off screening at the Hyde Park Picture House of Helen of Four Gates. This iconic film was set and filmed in West Yorkshire (mostly around Hebden Bridge) and has a special place in the heart of many veterans. The film itself was thought to be lost until a copy was found in Canada in 2007; this screening is also accompanied by a live piano.

Leeds Inspired has an inspirational list of family-friendly activities for those entertaining youngsters this weekend. Leeds Markets also has events going on over the summer hols (those ball things look like fun). Remember, too, that the City Beach is coming (from 9 August). Let’s hope that the lovely weather holds! Personally, I have every intention of heading to the Summer Jousting Championship!

If you can’t get enough Victoriana from the Corn Exchange 150th birthday weekend (don’t forget the cake competition!), head over to the (Secretly Steampunk) Victorian Summer Fair at Armley Mills Leeds Industrial Museum on Sunday, from midday.

It’s Unity Day on Saturday, which is always brilliant. The free party day is held on Woodhouse Moor/Hyde Park every year, for families there’s a heap of free activities on the tennis courts by Unity Garden and there’s always space for volunteers to help out. Unity Day fosters great community relationships in the Hyde Park area and long may it continue.

It’s Penny University on Sunday, from 1.30pm in Brewbar Espresso under the Art Gallery.

Finally, Sunday is also the latest Leeds World Feast, with food stalls on Briggate from around the world.

Someone said yesterday that it’s 12 weeks to November. Makes you think, non? Make the most of the summer, people! Have a lovely weekend.

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