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The William Merritt Centre’s New AccessAbility Exhibition


The William Merritt Centre’s new AccessAbility Exhibition will take place on 11th October at the Centenary Pavilion, Leeds United Football Club, 10am – 3pm. Once again, it will showcase new assistive technology and provide information and advice to help both adults and children with disabilities achieve greater independence.

“Both professionals, end users, their families and carers are invited to attend this free event”, said Annette Abbott, Senior Occupational Therapist. “As well as companies demonstrating a range of assistive technology (including beds, seating, walking aids, bathing aids, tricycles, scooters, wheelchairs, and car adaptations), a number of charities will be attending to offer support and information. This is a great opportunity to meet companies and try products that can enhance your everyday life and enable greater independence. It is also useful for professionals to attend with clients to assess which equipment might best meet their needs.”

There will be a special gaming area showcasing the options available for adaptations so everyone to access computers, toys and computer games. And, William Merritt Centre’s Car Safety Consultant and Occupational Therapist will be on hand to check that children’s car seats (both mainstream and special needs) are fitted correctly.



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Sail Back in Time in Traditional Coracle at Pocklington Canal Discovery Day


The Canal & River Trust, the charity that looks after the Pocklington Canal, is hosting a special Discovery Day of free family-friendly drop-in activities taking place from 10am until 4pm on Saturday 2 September.

The rare opportunity to explore the landlocked Canal Head from the water whilst navigating the canal in a traditional coracle looks set to be a highlight of the day’s activities.

Considered to be the oldest form of water transportation dating back centuries, the construction of coracles has remained largely unchanged in modern times. The small, circular traditional solo vessel is propelled by a paddle, like a kayak or canoe. A basketwork frame made using willow or hazel wood is covered either in animal hide, natural cotton canvas (calico) or a synthetic fabric such as nylon sealed to make them watertight. Effective fishing boats, coracles are still used for this purpose, particularly in South Wales.

Willow weaving, guided nature walks around Canal Head with expert ecologist Phil Taylor of Eco Sapien, pond-dipping and a heritage trail with prizes will also be part of the free, family fun on offer.

Pocklington Canal Discovery Day marks the end of Pocklington’s Big Summer events programme and the first 12 months of the Gem in the Landscape project – a three-year programme of activity supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund which includes wildlife habitat improvements, heritage restoration activities and events.

Pocklington Canal Discovery Day takes place Saturday 2 September, 10am-4pm at Canal Head, off A1079, Pocklington, YO42 1NW (follow the brown signs).


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Dadstastic: The Huge Free Father’s Day Party at Leeds City Museum


Dadstastic, a day of free family fun organised by Leeds Dads, takes place on Father’s Day (Sunday 18 June 2017) from 11am – 3pm at Leeds City Museum, Millennium Square.

The day is for babies, toddlers and children up to 11 years old and offers a great opportunity for parents, carers and grandparents to interact with their children.

The day’s activities will include music, dance, science, storytelling, arts and crafts, and sport.

Children can learn to dance with Phoenix Dance, upcycle vinyl and turn old records into art, jump and shout at the BoomChikkaBoom baby rave, and meet their favourite fairy tale story characters. There’s fun outdoors with Pop Up Sport on Millennium Square, you can create crazy carnival headpieces, or make ‘Dad-Face’ biscuits and eat them!


Some sessions are bookable on the day and loose clothing and trainers should be worn:

BoomChikkaBoom – Baby Rave!

Sponge Tree Storytime – Laughing Yoga Story time

Phoenix Dance – Movement, Balance and Taking Space Classes


Other sessions are drop-in and do not need to be booked. These are:

Bloom Bakers – make your own ‘dad-face’ biscuits

Valentina’s Collective Carnival Arts (part of Leeds West Indian Carnival) – create crazy carnival headpieces

Zulu King Monk – upcycle vinyl and turn records into art

SaturDads – Tiny Play – heuristic play for under 2s

Scraptastic – invent musical instruments using scrap

Leeds Library – Dadstastic Zines – make a mag about your family

Health For All / Young Dads – fabulous food art and other edible creations

The Tetley/Timid Elk – 3D dad’s construction

Hamara Centre – mendhi and face painting

Leeds Children’s Theatre – meet your favourite fairy tale story characters

Leeds Pop-Up Sport – fun and engaging activity session to get your heart pumping and your face smiling. Please wear loose clothing and trainers.

Leeds Museum Family Trail – find out more about dads in the Life on Earth Gallery – from the sensational seahorse to the perfect penguin!

Anyone wishing to attend this FREE event should pre-book and register at

For more information about Leeds Dads and Dadstastic, please visit their website:; Facebook:; Twitter @leedsdads

Or e-mail:

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Kirkstall Festival Promises Another Great Event


Kirkstall Festival returns on Saturday 8th July and this year’s theme is ‘All Singing and Dancing’.

From 11am the grounds of Kirkstall Abbey will vibrate with a variety of sounds, dancing, singing, and victorious Vikings. A great day of activities and entertainment aimed at the whole family is planned, with local community groups and organisations joining performers and stallholders.

Returning this year will be the world-famous dog show, fairground attractions, and Leeds Museums’ Battle of the Bands. There will also be the Festival Parade, with a pipe band formed by children from local schools and community groups.



Entry to the Festival is free, but please do buy a programme (£2) as this helps Kirkstall Festival to put on a fabulous event every year. The Festival is entirely organised by volunteers, and has attracted over 27,000 visitors in a day.

Festival organisers ask that people walk or take public transport to the Abbey if possible. Buses 33, 33A, 38, 49, 91, 508, 670, and 727 all pass within a five minute walk of the grounds, and both Kirkstall Forge and Headingley Stations are a short walk from the grounds.

If you are driving, there will be a free car park on the sports fields on Vesper Lane, and parking available at Kirkstall Forge. Please note that there is a time limit for parking at Kirkstall Bridge Retail Park and please don’t park on residential streets.

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Farsley Festival


Farsley Festival returns to Hainsworth Park on 24th June from 12 – 5pm with free entry.

Last year’s festival on the park was a huge hit with tremendous support from the community making for an entertaining and fun-filled day.

The festival’s team of volunteers has been hard at work pulling together a wide range of entertainers, performers and activities suitable for all ages.

This year there will be two music areas, featuring the likes of Biscuit Head and the Biscuit Badgers, Phoenix Concert Band and Punjabi Roots as well as Walkabout Performers, Wonky Olympics, Breeze Inflatables, Graffiti artists, circus acts, a large free play area and more.

A selection of food stalls will be serving up tasty grub to peckish revellers or you’re welcome to bring a picnic (and something to sit on). The organisers strive to create a day where you can arrive and not have to spend a penny – unless of course you want to.

Look out for this year’s community project, play flags. Local residents, businesses and organisations have been decorating fabric with pictures and words depicting “play”. From schools and community groups, to visitors at the Farmers market through to crafternoons, everyone has been invited to create a flag to form part of the installation which will be on display at the festival.

There is still time to get involved if you want to be part of Farsley’s biggest annual event. Visit to find out more.

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Leeds Waterfront Festival



Leeds Waterfront Festival returns on 24th/25th June and promises to be the best yet, brimming with family-friendly activities, music, performance and art!

Starting at Armley Industrial Museum, the festival celebrates key sites along the canal and river, including Granary Wharf, a French-themed feast by Brasserie Blanc at Victoria Wharf, vintage and designer market with Craft Ales and live music at Calls Landing, a party atmosphere at Brewery Wharf with Leeds legends Utah Saints headlining at 212 Café Bar. Then on to The Heart of the South Bank with The Tetley, the legendary Dragon Boat Races and Street Food Awards at Leeds Dock. There will be historical storytelling at The Royal Armouries, and a curious mock weir and book launch by the river on Armouries Way hosted by the Flood Alleviation Scheme; plus musical boat trips and family-themed fun at Thwaite Mills.

And … the Leeds Waterfront Festival Team will be inviting you to get involved in a very exciting World Record attempt!

Check for more information.


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Leeds Wool Festival is Back


Leeds Wool Festival is back at Leeds Industrial Museum, Armley, on Saturday 3rd June, and will be celebrating all things woolly!

Returning for a fourth year, the festival will be packed with stalls, where you can buy all your crafting supplies and much more. There will also be a demonstration area where you can see spinning, felting and other techniques in action.

The film ‘Yarn the Movie’ will be screened in the museum’s lovely little 1930’s cinema, the Women’s Institute pop up café will be serving up lovely refreshments, plus you’ll find livestock, performances, workshops and much more.

Booking is essential for this popular event. Follow the Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills Facebook page for the latest updates, or visit

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RHS Appeal to Transform Grey Front Gardens


The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) is appealing to householders to pull up a paving slab and transform grey front gardens and driveways into usable green spaces.

Millions of people have paved over their front gardens to provide parking space. The down side of this is that it causes localised flooding, misses the opportunity to combat air pollution, and provides a poor environment for birds, bees and other wildlife.

RHS Garden Harlow Carr (Crag Lane, Beckwithshaw, Harrogate HG3 1QB) has created a demonstration ‘front garden’, complete with mock house front, to provide people with inspiration and ideas for transforming their front gardens. The garden forms part of the Society’s ‘Greening Grey Britain’ campaign which aims to encourage people to turn, grey areas into living, planted spaces that can accommodate both cars and plants.

“The statistics on front gardens paint an alarming picture”, said Paul Cook, Harlow Carr’s Curator. “One in three across Britain are completely paved over – that’s five million spaces nationwide that leave no room for plants or wildlife. We’re asking people to re-think their ‘front of house’ and do their bit to reverse this worrying trend.”

For further information, visit



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HopCity Brings world Famous Brews to Leeds

Photos by: • Instagram/Twitter: @tomjoyphoto

Photos by: • Instagram/Twitter: @tomjoyphoto

Northern Monk Brew Co. welcomes some of the most cutting-edge breweries to Leeds for a celebration of hops. Leeds’ HopCity, 13th – 15th April, sponsored by US hop growing collective Yakima Chief, is produced in association with Leeds Beer Week and Little Leeds Beer House.

Beer lovers will be salivating at the prospect of sampling the likes of US breweries The Alchemist (Vermont), brewer of the world, beating Heady Topper and Other Half (New York) – two hop-forward breweries that have achieved legendary status among beer fans. These breweries rarely visit Europe – HopCity will be one of the only places to try their delicious beverages.

A strong Scandinavian contingent will also be attending, including Dry & Bitter and Stigbergets (producers of one of the top 10 IPAs in the world), o/o and Alefarm. This line-up is backed up by the likes of Manchester’s Cloudwater Brewery (fresh from receiving the accolade of Fifth Best Brewery in the world), Magic Rock, Beavertown, The Kernel, Siren, Brewdog and Marble, plus a local contingent curated by Leeds Beer Week.

The festival will be the first European festival to focus solely on hops and hop-led beer styles. IPAs feature heavily – think Session, Double, Black, and Belgian IPAs, and some more left field examples like dry hopped sours, and hoppy dark beers. In particular, people will be gunning for the Hop City official beer. Produced in collaboration with Cloudwater Brewery, this limited edition IPA showcases some of the best hops available and has been produced especially for the festival. It will launch very soon in cans with peel-to-reveal labels, five of which will contain Golden Tickets to the festival.  There will also be excellent street food provided by Patty Smiths, Holy Crab, Parmstar, Manjits Kitchen, and Dim Sum Su.

Tickets cost £12+ booking fee for single sessions from Thursday through to Saturday. A ‘Full Cone’ ticket gives access to all sessions and is priced at £60+ booking fee.

Full details are available at

Tickets – 

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The First Ever Yorkshire Flea


 The first ever Yorkshire Flea, a flea market selling a wide range of vintage, antiques, decorative items, upcycled, and recycled items, will take place at Skipton Auction Mart on Sunday 2nd April, 9am-4pm.

Helen Bowman and Ben Wray, who also organise the Yorkshire Antiques & Art Fairs at Harrogate, had been looking for a one-day, affordable venue to stage their new, friendly flea market to complement their existing events, and Skipton Auction Mart was perfect.

“Flea markets are enjoying a renaissance and we think the time is right to re-introduce the good folk of Yorkshire and Lancashire to a different shopping experience”, said Ben.

The Auction Mart already hosts successful events like Art in the Pen, Crafts in the Pen and Yarndale. Exhibitors dress the pens to suit their style, often carpeting the floor to make a cosy booth and The Yorkshire Flea is encouraging its stallholders to do something similar.

“The capacity of the Skipton Auction Mart is 300 double pens. For the first event we expect at least 100 occupied pens”, said Helen. “We have been really heartened by the friendliness and kindness of Skipton people and businesses. Everyone is very enthusiastic about the Yorkshire Flea and wants to make it a success. Admission is £3. There is ample free parking and a café”.



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