Letters from a Generation Dreaming – online event 4th November

Wednesday 4th November 7pm-8pm

Letters from a Generation Dreaming follows on from the sell-out Windrush Day event, Generations Dreaming. It will feature extracts from the musical Sorrel & Black Cake, discussion around the significance of letters and a live musical performance.

Letters have been used to connect African-Caribbean families and friends for generations. Letters pass on joy, grief, opinions, advice and instructions. They document lives.

Join Khadijah Ibrahiim and Emily Zobel Marshall as they explore the value of letter-writing in passing on family history and cultural traditions.

To book tickets: https://www.gcfoundation.co.uk/Event/letters-from-a-generation-dreaming

This is an online event and will take place on Zoom. Please book a ticket and you will be sent the details for how to join the event. Tickets to the event are free but there is an option to donate to the Geraldine Connor Foundation if you wish to https://www.gcfoundation.co.uk/about-us

Four black and white photos on a yellow background. Three photos feature family members and one is a pen lying on a piece of paper.

Shiver Fest – Virtual Halloween Book Festival


Shiver Fest is a Halloween book festival that encompasses thrillers, horror and ghostly cooking. Do you dare let it into your home?

The line-up includes authors: Allie Reynolds, CD Major, T.J. Payne, Laura Purcell and Matt Ruff, SJ Watson, Helena Garcia, Isabel Ashdown, Lisa Howells & Louise O’Neill.

Enjoy the treat with these direct to Theatre links and invite the authors into your home – if you dare!

All FREE!  You do have to register with My Virtual Literature Festival in order to access this event – this is also free at https://myvlf.com/  . Once registered click on the shiverfest poster in the virtual lobby or you can see more details about each of the events here and the authors taking part here:  https://myvlf.com/blog/shiverfest-october-31st

10am: CD Major
11am: Headline panel: Allie Reynolds, Louise O’Neill, & Isabel Ashdown
12pm: SJ Watson
2pm: Laura Purcell
3pm: The Wicked Baker – Helena Garcia
4pm: TJ Payne
5pm: Matt Ruff

Midnight Tango – The Shows Must Go On this weekend

The Shows Must Go On this weekend brings us Strictly Come Dancing’s Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace with their hit show ‘Midnight Tango’

Showing from 7pm tonight (Fri 30th) and then available to view for 48hrs

Midnight Tango: Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace have dazzled television audiences for six series of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing with their stunning Tango routines. Now they have created their own live show – Midnight Tango – a breathtaking evening bringing all the drama, sensuality and elegance of this most exciting of dance forms to life.

Set in a late night bar in downtown Buenos Aires and featuring some of the finest Tango dancers in the world, Midnight Tango, takes you on a journey into the heart of this intoxicating city. As danger and excitement, joy and jealousy, pain and passion all combine – this is a spectacular and explosive evening not to be missed!

Joggers and drinkers: what a day in the life of a Leeds park tells us about modern Britain

During lockdown, parks became more important to us than ever – as gyms, pubs and nightclubs. From dawn to dusk at Woodhouse Moor, is so essential now.

If you have not seen this already please click on the link below an article in The Guardian from late September 2020.


Joggers and drinkers: what a day in the life of a Leeds park tells us about modern Britain

Musings of Oliver Cross: ‘Who will be Second?’

Dear all,

I’ve long, well since about the 1960s, been a close follower of  American politics, so I can remember the names of several defeated US presidential candidates without consulting Professor Google, which I think makes me Mr Geek.

Usually they were uninspiring party workhorses like George McGovern, Hubert Humphrey, Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis (cousin of the more famous film actress, Olympia Dukakis) or Bob Dole and made little lasting impression on non-geeks, even though coming second in the world’s most scrutinised and significant leadership election ought to be something to be remembered.

This time round, things might be different because the party workhouse candidate, trusty old Joe Biden, has a strong chance of avoiding  the runner-up position which, because it’s very hard to remove a sitting president, would be his expected fate if times were normal.

After 36 years in the senate and then eight as vice president, he can’t plausibly offer the nation a vision of a fresh beginning, as Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton and Obama (who are all big enough not to need forenames) did. Joe Biden’s slogan, although it doesn’t sound like an election-winner, would have to be something like: ‘At least I’m not a menace to public health.’

But President Trump, although he seems to have ballooned since his recovery from covid-19 (steroids?) isn’t about to be blown away by the ridicule of the liberal elite, who, judging by their failure to  combat the American right, have more in common with a bunch of wusses than with anything that deserves to be called an elite.

Trump’s great achievement is – I think through genius-level cunning rather than luck – to have built a base so solid that it’s like one of those heavy-bottomed tumble toys which, when you knock them down, stand straight up again, the grins still on their faces.

I imagine Democrat Party strategists might have convinced themselves over and over again that they had nailed the President, over, for example, hush money to Stormy Daniels, insults to war veterans, criminal convictions for some of his cronies and a trail of ludicrous lies starting with his inauguration and continuing through his imagined Nobel prize(s) and his apparently brilliant handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

But his support has barely shifted downwards since he was elected on a minority of the votes cast (which can happen quite legitimately under the American system) and is probably solid enough for him to wrangle a victory even if the opinion polls, which universally predict a Biden win, turn out to be wrong, or are overturned by presidential edict.

In which cast Joe Biden, a decent and intelligent man with decades of blameless public service (I don’t believe the lately-confected stories about his son’s business dealings) and some ideas on how to cope with a changing physical and economic landscape, will lose his hard-earned place in the public consciousness.

By contrast, Donald J Trump, whether he wins the election or not, will always get the attention he craves and demands.

Written by Oliver Cross


Further guidance from Leeds City Council as we move to Tier 3 restrictions

Dear Resident,

Today we are sharing with you the latest guidance and restrictions to help control the spread of coronavirus in Leeds.

Latest updates to Leeds restrictions

The government has announced that from Monday 2 November, Leeds will move into the ‘very high’ COVID alert level (tier 3), with the latest seven day COVID-19 rate having risen to 416 per 100,000 people. The NHS is experiencing a significant increase in demands from the rise in COVID cases and we must all play our part to protect vital services.

Some of the restrictions are the same as those in tier 2, meaning it is still against the law to:

  • have guests inside your home (unless you are in a support bubble)
  • go inside someone else’s home (in or outside of Leeds)
  • meet people you do not live with outside your household or support bubble in any indoor venue (in or outside of Leeds)

Additional tier 3 restrictions mean it is now also against the law to:

  • meet with people you do not live with outside your household or support bubble in private gardens

The Rule of Six applies at all tier levels, so as before you should not meet with more than 5 other people outside in public spaces (such as parks or the countryside).

You must also now:

  • avoid travelling outside of Leeds, unless this is for essential travel such as for work, education or for caring responsibilities.

The new government restrictions mean that, from Monday 2 November, certain businesses will be ordered to close. This includes:

  • Pubs and bars unless serving alcohol with a substantial meal. All venues that remain open are still subject to the 10pm curfew
  • Betting shops, adult gaming centres and casinos
  • Soft play centres
  • Car boot sales
  • Indoor exercise classes should not take place, however gyms will remain open
  • Shisha bars must not serve shisha, but may operate as cafes

In addition to the above, wedding ceremonies with up to 15 people are permitted but receptions are not. Funerals are permitted up to 30 people.

Shops, schools and universities will remain open.

Playing your part in reducing the spread of coronavirus

We all have an important role to play to reduce the rising infection rates and we can all do our part to stay safe and save lives. Reducing contact with other people outside of your household across all settings is crucial to stopping the spread of the virus and bringing our infection rates down. The less people you come into contact with, the less chance there is of the virus spreading. We can all help to break the chain and reduce the R rate through:

  • Limiting the number of people outside our households we come into contact with
  • Making space and staying 2m from people outside our households or support bubble
  • Washing hands regularly and for 20 seconds
  • Covering faces in enclosed spaces
  • Isolating when you need to or are advised to


Shielding advice

Although Leeds has moved into the ‘very high’ tier, residents who were told to shield during the first wave of the pandemic do not need to shield at home but should take extra care to stay safe and follow government restrictions.

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All of West Yorkshire to move to ‘Tier 3’ of Covid Restrictions from Monday

Please see the statement issued by the leaders of West Yorkshire councils as the area is to be put ino Tier 3 – Very High restrictions from Monday.

Leaders’ Statement following meeting the Secretary of State, Thursday 29th October 2020: 

Over recent days, we have had a number of meetings with government ministers to discuss the next steps for controlling the rising COVID-19 infection rates across the region. Today, with great reluctance, we have accepted that West Yorkshire will now move into Tier Three (Very High) restrictions as of 00.01am on Monday 2nd November.

The virus spread is now at a critical juncture.  Not only are infections rising in our region, particularly amongst the elderly, but we already have evidence that the NHS is starting to struggle to deliver essential elective care.  Once it became clear that heightened restrictions would be necessary, we have been negotiating hard to secure a package of support for our region and our residents – with the aim of reducing the financial uncertainty for people and businesses.

For now, to enable us to take the advised measures to protect people’s health and wellbeing, we have secured a package worth an additional £59.3m to begin to help support West Yorkshire through this time.  This funding is broken down as follows:

  • A one-off additional amount of £20 per head: for West Yorkshire this is estimated to be worth £46.6m in additional funding.
  • A total of £8 per head to support enhanced test and trace and contain measures, resulting in an additional £12.7m.

We also ensured that this £59.3m package was additional to the existing business grant arrangements previously announced by the Chancellor for Tier Two. This is a major policy shift from government, that will now benefit all the authorities that enter into Tier Three.

That aside, we remain deeply concerned that the impact on the people of the region and the West Yorkshire economy has been desperately underestimated by government. Leaders have been promised further conversations with government ministers in the next few days to discuss local schemes to build on and continue to support the economic recovery of the region.

We expect that our local business support schemes in West Yorkshire will be ready to come into effect at the same time as the planned national government scheme for Tier Two in mid-November, subject to government funding.

The economic package of support alone is not sufficient for us to survive this crisis, so we have agreed with government a full package of joint working including:

  • Measurement and review after 28 days
  • Strengthening test and trace capabilities
  • Clear communication with our communities

For the people of our region, Tier Three restrictions coming into force on Monday are:

  • People must not meet socially with friends and family indoors in any setting unless they are part of their household or support bubble. This includes private homes and indoors in hospitality venues, such as pubs. 
  • People must not meet with people outside of their household or support bubble in a private garden or in most outdoor public venues. 
  • People can continue to see friends and family in groups of six or less that they don’t live with (or have formed a support bubble with) in certain outdoor public spaces, such as a park or public garden. 
  • Wedding receptions will not be permitted, but couples can get married with a maximum of 15 people at the ceremony (check with the venue for additional restrictions). 
  • Funerals can be attended by up to 30 people; 15 may attend wakes and other commemorative events (check with the venue for additional restrictions). 
  • Avoid travelling outside the Very High alert area or entering a Very High alert level area, other than for work, education or for caring responsibilities, or to travel through as part of a longer journey. 
  • Avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK. 
  • All pubs and bars must close unless they are serving substantial meals, such as a main lunchtime or evening meal. They can only serve alcohol as part of a meal. Pubs, bars and restaurants must still close between 10pm and 5am. Shisha bars must not serve shisha, but can open as cafés.
  • All casinos, soft play areas, adult gaming centres, betting shops and car boot sales must close.
  • Gyms may continue to open, but the guidance is against indoor exercise classes taking place.

While we continue to have concerns about how we got here, and how restrictions will be supported, we will only come through this difficult period if we all pull together. This means complying with the rules, maintaining social distancing and personal and family hygiene, wearing face masks where required, and self-isolating if asked to do so.

We must take every measure to face this challenge as a community. It’s only by everyone doing their bit that we will beat this virus and get life back to normal, where we can do the things we enjoy.

More from Light Night 2020


Fearns Wharf IslandPhoto of I Miss You, Leeds Dock

Leeds, LS9 8PB

30 October to 31 December 2020
4:30pm to 10pm

This text artwork, displayed in the centre of the River Aire at Leeds Dock, perfectly sums up the experience of 2020. I MISS YOU, created in Romania by Asociatia Daisler, will send a simple message to the public which can be interpreted in so many ways; missing friends and family, culture, art and festivals, normality and our lives as they once were.

Here in Leeds City Centre we have missed our colleagues, shopping and socialising, and even after emerging out of lockdown there is plenty that we still miss, including Light Night Leeds in its full glory!

I MISS YOU is part of a set of text artworks with the same message in several different languages. These will be displayed in cities across Europe who are unable to deliver their light festivals and other public events this year.

With thanks to ILO, International Light Festivals Association.


Spirit Owl

46 The Calls, LS2 7EYSpirit Owl photo by Graham Fotherby

Until 31st December

A last chance to see Spirit Owl, the vibrant LED artwork by Frederic Post depicting the owl of Leeds as a talisman charged with positive intentions, protecting those who gaze upon it. Full of magic and shamanic practices in the urban environment, Spirit Owl connects Leeds residents with nature and its spirits. Launched on Light Night 2019, Spirit Owl has been on display on the calls for the past 12 months.

Funded by Waterfront Enhancement Fund: aiming to help open up, celebrate and animate the Leeds city centre waterfront.

With support from The Yorkshire Design Group.


Caring Together weekly catch up on Zoom – Thursday’s at 11am

Dear all,
Caring Together has a weekly catch up on zoom. We would prefer it in person but this is safer right now and we don’t have to get wet.
If you would like to join us it is on Thursday’s at 11am. Just get in touch. It would be nice to see you. email: lisa@caringtogeher.org.uk.
In the meantime I thought you might like this tune. The group sang about Zoom – more about the heart not the meeting kind. My friend reminded me of it last night, enjoy – click on the link below (no need to sign up if asked – just click on no thanks)
Fat Larry's Band - Zoom (1982, Vinyl) | Discogs