June 28, 2021
The definition of public art, according to the Tate institution, is “art that is in the public realm, regardless of whether it is situated on public or private property”. In that sense, Harry Thubron’s 1964 mosaic hidden away on a wall in the car park of a dilapidated former warehouse in Holbeck, Leeds, is still very much public art, and the fact that it is unseen, unsung, and perhaps unloved, only adds to its interest and intrigue. But any doubts that may have persisted about whether this was public art can now be comprehensively dismissed, because CEG and Leeds Arts University are about to rescue it from disrepair and probable demise, and restore it ready for suitable reverence.
September 10, 2020
As we look back through history, we peel away the layers and everything is revealed. Except that the full harvest of some of the rudimentary practices from our industrial evolution aren’t always immediately evident to the 21st century eye. Intrigue should always play a part in how we imagine and discover all our yesterdays, and there is so much still to discover, otherwise our hunger for history would be satiated and we could firmly close the book on the past. And that is why a recent discovery at a famous Yorkshire mill has opened up a fascinating portal into this region’s rich textile heritage, whilst also enabling a journey into an arresting and innovative future.
July 08, 2020
The greatest love stories aren’t always about young love. We are all ships that pass in the night and life is a series of sliding doors moments. Some of the strongest and most perfect bonds are formed late in life; making up for years of separation that might be tinged with regret, but are a necessary chapter in the story and make for a flawless ending and a yearned-for outcome that you savour all the more.
May 28, 2020
It seems absurd that the magnificent Temple Works was to be auctioned off for the nominal figure of £1, and it is a myth that CEG paid this sum for the zenith in the architectural and historical compendium of the city of Leeds. Because of the eye-watering prospective cost of stabilising, weather-proofing, cleaning up and re-purposing Temple Works, this grand Egyptian edifice was indeed listed with a starting price of £1. What followed was a nationally-reported apprehension and a creeping anxiety that a purchaser could emerge triumphant with no realisation of the risks or expertise in managing them, nor pockets deep enough to scratch the surface of the barely-understood structural problems.
March 11, 2020
Before we start building again, we need to remember; remember where we came from and where we’d like to go. This charmed pasture between Water Lane and Globe Road was once a flat plot of land; a blank canvass of opportunity, just like it is now, and it is about to change again. But back then nobody knew what opportunity was.
February 13, 2020
The industrial revolution may have been one of the most ground-breaking evolutionary steps the developed world has ever seen, but it left little positive impression in terms of human welfare, environmental impact and the decorative dressing of the towns and cities it helped develop. It may have provided jobs and allowed for profound social reforms in terms of industry, community and a working economy but it also promoted gruesome and exploitative working conditions, particularly for women and children, spewed endless filth into rivers and atmospheres and proliferated the landscape with hastily-designed functional brick edifices to the financial disparity between mill owners and mill workers.
December 23, 2019
When you can point to a textile industry that is traceable back to the Middle Ages, and has developed through cottage industries and the mass production of cotton, linen and wool right up to the manufacture of clothes and fine tailoring, it may come as a surprise to today’s generation to know that, although the scale might be greatly reduced, the core of this industry survives.
October 30, 2019
Words can inspire and energise, or they can hurt and reveal the truth. There are many individual words that have been used to describe the Temple Works building in South Leeds over the years; audacious, grandiose, extravagant, unique, innovative, perhaps even incongruous. Each word was appropriate in its own way, but not all of them still seem to apply. Today, you are more likely to use neglected, weathered, hazardous or forlorn. And yet it is still standing, as a landmark of a sort, and its inherent design qualities still exist as evidence of one of the most remarkable construction achievements to come out of the industrial revolution.
September 27, 2019
A new neighbourhood is coming to Leeds. Fresh ideas, new spaces and an injection of people, amenities and infrastructure. But crucially, building on the unique character and tradition of what is already there.
September 13, 2019
This is the story of Matthew Murray; a man of unquenchable energy, influence and ideas, but also a man of principle and virtue, and while these latter qualities should allow a person to prosper and build a formidable legacy, in Murray’s case they strangled his ambitions and severely hampered how he is recalled.
September 05, 2019
Demolition of the former industrial buildings on the plots now known as Globe Point and Globe Square in February 2019, was the trigger to kick-start CEG’s long-awaited regeneration project at Water Lane and Globe Road in the Holbeck area of Leeds. It also provided the opportunity for some key archaeological studies to be performed on the site which was critical to the forming of the Marshall Empire in the late 18th century and the wide scale development of the Industrial Revolution in Leeds.
July 26, 2019
When we try to recall what the great industrialists of the 19th century did and how they operated, we rely mainly on historical records, some of which are vague, or partial, or indecipherable. Certainly there is no living memory to help us, and there is very little physical evidence too.
June 25, 2019
John Marshall was a different kind of mill owner. Not just in his ground-breaking implementation of productivity, engineering and raw material procurement practices, or his adoption of visionary design, construction and architectural techniques, but in his treatment of people.
May 10, 2019
We might count ourselves fortunate when we consider that human life has existed on the planet for millions of years and yet we are the generation that witnessed the birth of the internet, and teabags, and we even saw Leeds United win a trophy. What is also remarkable is that in all that time, the Industrial Revolution is still considered one of the world’s most seismic evolutionary steps forward and it happened in Britain, and furthermore, we can still see evidence of it in Leeds today.