Leeds will light up this weekend to remember COVID-19 victims

This weekend will mark a year since the first #COVID19 cases were detected in the UK. To remember all those who’ve tragically lost their lives to the virus, buildings across #Leeds city centre will light up blue and yellow on Saturday and Sunday

As a mark of respect, buildings including Leeds Civic Hall, Leeds Town Hall, Leeds City Museum, Leeds Arena and Leeds University’s Parkinson Building will be illuminated blue, in tribute to selfless NHS staff working in hospitals and care settings, and yellow, the colour which symbolises grief awareness.

No photo description available.
More on this and statements from Leader of Leeds City Council and the Lord Mayor of Leeds: https://news.leeds.gov.uk/…/city-lights-up-to-remember-covi…

An update from Leeds City Council on Leeds’ infection rates and the Vaccination


This weekend is the one year anniversary of the first Covid19 case being identified in the UK. In recognition of this and to remember all those that have sadly lost their lives during the pandemic, buildings across Leeds will be lit up in yellow and blue. Our thoughts are with all those who have suffered and are still suffering from this awful pandemic.

It is estimated that the new variant accounts for over three quarters of all cases in Leeds and significant pressure remains on the NHS. The Leeds infection rate is 277.6 cases per 100,000 with a positivity rate of 11.3%.

Rates are still high and they are not declining very quickly. More than ever we need everyone to play their part and work together to reduce transmission. This includes staying at home as much as possible, handwashing, maintaining distance and wearing a mask – even after you have had the vaccination. We know that this is really tough for everyone, but we need infection rates to fall to see a way out of restrictions and to allow businesses and schools to reopen. We continue to appreciate the sacrifices that everyone is making and we remain concerned about the impact on individuals and organisations. We are encouraging everyone to seek support where needed and to be kind to each other.

A vaccination update from Leeds City Council

Leeds and West Yorkshire continue to perform well in the vaccination programme and are on track to achieve the mid-February deadline for the first set of priority groups. The local figure is estimated to be about 80,000 so far.

Please remember that the COVID-19 vaccination is free of charge. You will never be asked the share bank details to confirm your identity, or pay for a vaccine. Do beware of scams and false emails.

When it is your turn for the vaccination, you will be contacted by the NHS. More information can be found at http://bit.ly/CovidVaccineNorth

We are aware that the invitation letters from the national booking system have unfortunately caused some confusion for people. These are being sent to people aged 75 and over who live within a 45 minute drive of any of the open centres. This means that people are receiving invitations to book at locations that are in different areas to where they normally receive their healthcare and some people are concerned about having to travel outside of their local area.

You do not have to book an appointment at one of these centres if it is not convenient for you to get there you can choose to wait for an invitation from your GP practice or wait until the West Yorkshire centres open and are added to the national booking system over the next few weeks.

If you have had the vaccine, you must continue to keep following the rules of hand, face and space as you can still carry or contract the virus.

Big Garden Birdwatch 2021 – 29-31 January

This weekend is Big Garden Birdwatch 2021 and here is how to take part:

  1. Pick a time
    You can choose any hour between 29 and 31 January. So whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, you can still take part. 
  2. Tell us what you see 
    Count the birds you see in your garden or from your balcony*. Ignore any birds that are still in flight. To avoid double-counting, just record the highest number of each bird species you see at any one time – not a running total. 

    *This year our advice is to take part in the safety of your own home. This could include a birdwatch from your window if you overlook a green space or courtyard.

  3. Submit your results
    OnlineYou can submit your results online at rspb.org.uk/birdwatch from 29 January until 19 February.
    By post: If you’d rather send your results by post, you can download a submission form below. Please post your results to us before 15 February.

Every count is important so, if you don’t see anything, please still submit your result. Finding out which birds don’t visit your area is as important as understanding those which do!

There’s lots more information and activities on https://www.rspb.org.uk/get-involved/activities/birdwatch/ as well as live events on the facebook page

Dedication Friday: ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Any More” from Maureen Kershaw

Dear all,

I would like to put forward the following song with the accompanying story in memory of my Dad.

‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Any More” Sung by The Walker Brothers.

In 1966 my Dad suddenly became ill on Good Friday. After Easter the Doctor sent him straight to the LGI where he was operated on the following day. He had bowel and liver cancer, for which there was no treatment then, and was given between 6 weeks and 6 months to live. I was distraught.

I’d just bought the Walker Bros. record and I played it over and over again that day. Dad just wanted to see England win the World Cup which he did on July 30th. On August 30th he passed away. I played my record again – ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Any More’ but the sun did shine again – as it always does.

Lovely tune Maureen and words, and may the sun continue to shine for you.

Click on the link below
ps. If it asks you to sign into Youtube, just click on ‘no thanks’ and then click on ‘I agree’, you may also have to watch the start of an advert first, you can skip ad once it shows bottom right – enjoy!


The Walker Brothers - The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Any More (1966, Vinyl) |  Discogs

image sourced discogs com

Shared Memories:’New Skills’ by Oliver Cross

I’ve been thinking since I got locked down, that this would be a good time to try and improve myself; although really this should have occurred to me earlier because it’s far easier to improve yourself at seven or 17 than it is at 70.

Despite this, I’ve started an on-line drawing course in the hope that, if I work hard enough, I might eventually reach the competence level of a 17-year-old who had paid some attention to art lessons.

Which I can’t have done because I have no memory at all of being taught to draw anything recognisable, such as, say, a carrot, which, I’ve discovered, isn’t as easy as you’d think unless you’ve got a carrot-coloured crayon or are allowed to use labels.

My dream would be draw anything as solid and  real as some examples of ancient cave art dating from 40,000 or more years ago and done without any help from the Lakeland pencil company or adult education classes.

Their trick was, in half-light and with improvised materials , they could portray a whole herd of prey animals in flight, as if caught for an instant by the BBC’s wildlife unit, or giant bisons looking so thoroughly solid that the tribe’s butchers would know immediately where to start taking slices out of them.

I know that, because of my hopelessness in turning the world into pictures, which, at the least, is what art is, I would have let the pre-historic world down badly if I had been let loose on a cave-painting wall.

My theory, which has the great advantage of being disprovable, is that the best cave art was not done by your average, run-of-the-mill  cave people but by a small class of rarely talented and practised illustrators.

It seems plausible that early people, having mastered hunting and  gathering, would have moved on fairly quickly to trying to relay their most exciting experiences, such as deer hunting, by any means available, including converting the cave walls they were forced to stare at for long periods into living canvasses or virtual movies.

That’s why humans, from toddlers to pensioners, can’t help trying to leave their mark on the world, even when education ministers tell them they would be better off getting proper jobs.

It’s also why any blank wall in any inner-city area is soon covered in inept daubings by people who have had all the advantages of a modern education combined with a desperate need to express themselves, but have failed to progress even to the caveman stage.

And to return to the question, why do I want to be able to draw? Well, because wouldn’t anybody like to be able to draw? It should be a primeval skill we’re all heir to, so that, given a bit of a steer by skilled tutors, we should all, armed with only a pencil and paper, be able record what we see in a way which has been compulsively attractive since the dawn of humanity.

Failing that, I might sign up for Conversational Croatian.

Wonderful Oliver, I do hope you continue to enjoy your art, until next time….

Possible All Along an online exhibition

Possible all along is an exhibition of work by 13 disabled artists in Leeds, launched in 2020. It is a place to show that disabled artists are an essential part of the cultural landscape of our city.

While this year has been particularly hard on disabled people, the exhibition welcomes the positives of more online arts activities.

It looks forward to the possibility of the arts in Leeds being more accessible and inclusive in future.

The exhibition can be seen here https://possibleallalong.co.uk/

Embroidered photograph

Image shown: The Climb by alabamathirteen

Leeds transport conversation – have you had your say?

The draft plans for the for the future of transport in Leeds are now available for you to read and a new consultation is being lauched for residents to ask questions and give their views.  The more people who get involved,  the better the needs of the whole Leeds community will be reflected.

Transport Strategy

The council’s transport plans aim to tackle the climate emergency, deliver inclusive growth, and improve the health and well-being of Leeds residents.

The six ‘big moves’ outlined act as an action plan to create a people-first, affordable and integrated transport network across the city, that isn’t reliant upon the private car.                                                        

The integration of more walking and cycling into our daily travel habits alongside the enhancement of public transport will help to reduce congestion, continue to improve air quality and lessen the impact on the environment when accessing education, employment, leisure and local services.

Our plans are for everyone to enjoy healthy, affordable and access low carbon travel choices. It sets out a vision for Leeds and the big moves we need to take to get us there.

Find out more and complete the consultation

To enable everyone to participate and to help shape the transport strategy, city-wide consultations are running from now until 26 March 2021. Follow the discussion on Twitter and Facebook using #Leedstransport.

There will also be a series of webinars planned where you can hear more about it, the first one is on Monday February 1st at 3pm and you can see more details and book a place here: Eventbrite/connecting Leeds

Holocaust Memorial Day Poem & Remembrance event – Wednesday 27th January 2021

Dear all,

Today, Wednesday 27th January 2021, is Holocaust Memorial Day. It is the international day of remembrance of six million Jewish men, women and children murdered in the Holocaust, and millions more people killed under German Nazi persecution, and in subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfu.

The theme for the 2021 event is ‘be the light in the darkness’. Click on the link below to register for the Holocaust Memorial event that will be streamed live at 7pm tonight.


At 8pm, households across the UK will be lighting candles and safely putting them in their windows to remember those who were murdered for who they were and to stand against prejudice and hatred today (if you are able to do so safely).


At the rising of the sun and at its going down
We remember them.
At the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter
We remember them.
At the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring
We remember them.
At the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer
We remember them.
At the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn
We remember them.
At the beginning of the year and when it ends
We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us
as we remember them.
When we are weary and in need of strength
We remember them.
When we are lost and sick at heart
We remember them.
When we have joy we crave to share
We remember them.
When we have decisions that are difficult to make
We remember them.
When we have achievements that are based on theirs
We remember them.
As long as we live, they too will live;
for they are now a part of us
as we remember them.

© Jewish Prayer Book

You can also watch another event hosted virtually at Leeds Town Hall on the link below which is available until midnight tonight.

ps. If it asks you to sign into Youtube, just click on ‘no thanks’ and then click on ‘I agree’, you may also have to watch the start of an advert first, you can skip ad once it shows bottom right.

7-8pm: HMD 2021 Ceremony