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NEWS ROUNDUP: Bramley bench campaign


11/11/21 | Leeds local news | Campaigners have urged Leeds City Council to “stand up for a place to sit down”, in a row over the removal of Bramley town centre seating.

Residents in Bramley were left furious after 22 benches at the local shopping centre were suddenly stripped away in June by its new owners, LCP.

LCP said the move was made in the best interests of shoppers and that the benches had been an “obstruction”.

But more than 1,000 people have signed a petition calling for all the seats to be restored.

Presenting the petition at a city council meeting on Wednesday, Jo Herbert said the impact on the community had been “nothing short of devastating”.

She told councillors: “Many of those who walk and use public transport in Bramley are disabled, in ill health or have mobility issues, are older or who have long Covid.

“Since the benches were removed some people cannot use their local shops.

“The town centre was the heart of the area, where our communities came together, where older and younger people mixed. We all belonged there.

“Now, unless you can afford a coffee and go and sit in Costa, no-one belongs there.”

Ms Herbert said that eight of the benches had been reinstated last month following “significant pressure”, but that three of them were unusable and unsafe.

Bramley’s three local councillors, Kevin Ritchie, Caroline Gruen and Julie Heselwood, have been supportive of campaigners’ efforts to get all the seats restored.

Ms Herbert told the meeting that the council had told LCP their actions were in breach of planning rules.

She added that the current situation was “unacceptable” and that shoppers needed all 22 benches back in place.

She told the council: “Show us you’re serious about Leeds being the best city to grow old in.

“Stand up for citizens who are excluded from Leeds life because of access issue

“Stand up for a place to sit down.”

(LDRS | David Spereall)


Bradford-based Morrisons is part of a trial to discover if feeding cows on seaweed could reduce the amount of methane they produce.

Methane is the 2nd most common greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide.

More details can be found here.


A collection of antique gold snuff boxes has returned home more than 40 years after being stolen from a Leeds mansion by a mystery thief.

The seven beautifully ornate, late 18th Century containers arrived back at Temple Newsam House this week, the latest twist in a decades-long whodunnit which staff at the historic house dubbed The Fulford Thefts.

The boxes had joined the house’s collection at the outbreak of the Second World War, when they were part of a generous donation by noted local art collector, entrepreneur and laxative magnate Frank Fulford.

Dating from as early as 1770, the boxes are a mix of French, Swiss and German craftmanship, each featuring intricate gold metalwork and delicate, decorative enamel designs.

Originally displayed in Temple Newsam’s stunning Chinese Drawing Room, the precious objects were pilfered in 1981, vanishing without a trace and with a culprit never identified.

They were thought to have been lost forever until earlier this year, when a determined team of experts from the Art Loss Register, who track down stolen art and antiquities and work to return them to their rightful owners, discovered them for sale at auction.

After completing a formal accession process, representatives from the Art Loss Register and the objects’ insurers visited Temple Newsam yesterday (Nov 9) to hand over the boxes, which will once again become a cherished part of the Leeds Museums and Galleries collection.

Adam Toole, keeper at Temple Newsam House, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to see the boxes return home to Temple Newsam and are immeasurably grateful to the Art Loss Register for all their work and diligence in getting them back to us, which has kindly been offered on a pro-bono basis.

“The disappearance of these beautiful boxes was a great loss to Temple Newsam and to the city, so we’re delighted that these treasures are in our collection once more.

“It’s extremely rare to find objects which have such a captivating combination of classic artistry and modern-day intrigue and we can’t wait to share this remarkable story with our visitors.”

Centuries ago, the boxes’ original owners would have used them to hold snuff, a type of powered tobacco which was snorted.

Snuffing became a hugely popular trend in France and Britain in the late 18th Century, with ornate and expensive snuff boxes made using exclusive materials including gold, silver and diamonds produced as status symbols for the super wealthy.

The elaborate accessories became part of a very specific ritual of snuff taking in France, which consisted of 14 separate stages.

James Ratcliffe, director of recoveries and general counsel at the Art Loss Register said: “It is fantastic to see these seven gold boxes returned to Temple Newsam, more than 40 years since they were stolen.

“We are delighted that it was possible for the Art Loss Register to identify them in our work and thus secure their recovery, which has been facilitated through the generosity of both the insurers and the unfortunate individual who found himself innocently in possession of the boxes.

“It is always satisfying to see how effectively the due diligence carried out by art market participants through the Art Loss Register can result in returns like this, which are so significant to the original theft victims.”

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