a leeds revolution

Once Upon A Time In Holbeck.....

September 26, 2019

Once Upon A Time In Holbeck.....

History is everything, particularly when you have got so much. And Holbeck has some history. But history isn’t just famous and significant events that we read about in books and learn at school. History is everyday life; people, places, shops and pubs, families, relationships, where we played, where we danced, where we laughed. History is the fabric of life and the things that shape a place, form a community and make it what it is today.

So have you got Holbeck’s tallest tale?

Many stories get passed up through generations, but they still resonate, still make us smile and still help us stamp an identity on an area. Holbeck is full of these. It was once described as “the most crowded, most filthy and unhealthy village in the country”, and yet it used to produce spa water. How wonderfully ‘Holbeck’ is that?

Within the same few yards of space and a few years apart, Holbeck saw the Hindenberg pass over, Oswald Mosley pelted with stones by an anti-fascist mob and Yorkshire County Cricket Club destroy Lancashire in a Roses match. Holbeck was also the location for one of the world’s first ever centrally-heated houses, the famous Steam Hall built by Matthew Murray, and what are the grisly details behind the name for Stocks Hill?

Holbeck is built upon layers of fascinating detail. Holbeck is full of history, of glorious tales of achievement, tales of spectacularly bad choices and unbelievably fortunate ones, tales of extraordinary individuals, tragic tales and farcical ones.

Now, CEG has commissioned Slung Low to collect all the stories about Holbeck that they can and run a competition for the best ones; to celebrate the rich, varied and unexpected history of the area we all love. A panel of judges will then decide which stories caught their fancy and award prizes at a special event in the evening of the 15th January 2020, to celebrate all the entries and Holbeck generally.

The judging panel are really interested in all of your stories. They want the stories of Holbeck’s history; and that could be personal history, history of times long gone, stories that your nanna told you, stories that you heard in the pub, or stories of things that happened to you. It would also be great to use any available photos to accompany your stories, if you’re happy for them to be used.

CEG and Slung Low will be sharing the stories far and wide and using them to make a story tour of the whole area – making large story boards to attach to lampposts around the Holbeck area - so you should be comfortable with that happening before you send them in.

Head of sales and marketing at CEG, Aisling Ramshaw commented: “We are delighted to be working with Slung Low on this project, because we feel Holbeck is rich with history and untold stories. At CEG we really value history, not just in our buildings but real stories of people’s lives which have helped shape the area.”

(The Slung Low team at the Holbeck WMC - photo credit Joseph Priestley)

If you have any questions then you can email holbecktales@slunglow.org or call into the club and ask any member of the Slung Low team. Otherwise, simply share your stories – long, short or medium - by email: holbecktales@slunglow.org or drop them off at The Holbeck club when you’re passing.

Holbeck is undergoing great change, and now is the perfect time to recognise the past and gather together these wonderful stories of people, achievement, calamity and laughter. And as a new chapter begins, new stories are formed, so we can make sure we will always be saying “Once Upon A Time In Holbeck…………..”