Leeds today: cinema, towns, Hairspray, railways, Beeston, clubs, dance and smellies.

Good morning Leeds!

With second and third rounds of redundancies facing those of us in the public sector, an expereice close to home for this writer, it’s inspiring to see that the YEP have an  series of articles looking at local entrepreneurs ranging from those operating from home such as Mr Yen’s Japanese inspired bespoke art, at other venues such as the swing dance teacher to a Yorkshire based  fragrance companies looking for retail space and even an international bakery chain selecting its first UK premises in the Merrion centre.

In addition, the Guide’s review of Chirpy, a lifestyle store stocking handmade artisan goods in Chapel Allerton, made me want to take a trip over there, soonish.

There’s more commiserating over the closure of BED across the Leeds blogosphere but overall the general tone as expressed by The City Talking is hopeful that the space will lead to better venues and a revitalisation of the Grand arcade area.

I initially read Pick of the Suburbs: Beeston  as an invitation to spend a bemusing day out near Elland Road but taken as a positive view of an area in which to put down some roots or perhaps apply for a job in construction, it makes much more sense. So, Beeston-  yes! And yes to Middleton and Belle Isle traders who have been considering how to improve the shopping districts and attract more customers and business to the area. Neighbouring Middleton is a bit of a catch in its own right too, holding the Middleton Park Craft and Produce show next month where the first newly earthed autumn vegetables will compete in a prize draw. The south Leeds town is also home to the Leeds festival of Transport over the bank holiday weekend. Railway enthusiasts will be chuffed to see both steam and diesel locomotives and the arrival of the newly restored Leeds horse drawn tram car 107.

Steam trains are the subject of David Noble’s gorgeous railway paintings which are currently on show at The Head of Steam in Darlington.

In entertainment news, big hair is in as Hairspray opens at the Leeds Grand for an eleven night run. Oblong cinema, a monthly affair that screen short films at Woodhouse Community centre, is on the lookout for new Leeds film makers. Tomorrow night’s screen theme is Art Film. Harewood House hold a drive in Movie night featuring a ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ film whilst Hyde Park picture house have a final screening of Frances Ha tonight and of Wajda, the first fill length feature film shot inside Saudi Arabia from Saturday. I have yet to visit the Everyman cinema in Trinity as I have the Cottage Road Cinema on my doorstep however, if you haven’t either, there’s a very nice review by Amy Elizabeth which might persuade you to give it a try.

Rich and Emily’s quest to review all the pubs and bars in Leeds has reached its 100th review! Where is it? Friends of Ham, of course. Well done on staying the course, guys.

Finally I leave you with The Northener and its say on Britain’s latest list of crap towns.  100 towns and cities and Leeds isn’t on there! Is this a cause for celebration or worry?

Till Friday.

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