Archive | Life & Style

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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Leeds Photographic Society


Photo: Norman Robertson


Over the next few months Leeds Photographic Society have scheduled a number of talks, including Ian Day, Assistant Editor and Group Picture Editor of the Yorkshire Post (24th January), who will explain the many situations and images that a press photographer needs to master; and John Fox (21st February) on ‘Then and Now – 50 years as a professional photographer’. (Entry £5 for non-members, refundable against membership fee).



Photo: Norman Robertson

There will also be illustrated talks by members, as well as in-house and inter-club competitions.

Leeds Photographic Society is a friendly group of enthusiasts meeting regularly to share and develop an interest in photography. Membership includes skill levels from beginner to enthusiast and professional. New members of all abilities are welcome. They meet on Tuesdays, 7.30pm at St Edmund’s Church Hall, Lidgett Park Road, Roundhay, LS8 1JN. Details are available at

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Submit Your Idea for Power, Performance and Play! Conference


‘Power, Performance and Play – An International Conference on Caribbean Carnival Cultures’, will be hosted at the Centre for Culture and the Arts at Leeds Beckett, in partnership with Leeds West Indian Carnival, from 19th – 21st May 2017, and contributions and ideas for workshops etc. are invited from interested groups (by 1st November).

The event will focus on breaking down the boundaries between academics and carnival participants and engaging the Caribbean community in Leeds, whilst celebrating international Caribbean carnival cultures.  Keynote speakers confirmed include: Arthur France, MBE, originator of the Leeds West Indian Carnival; Tony Hall, internationally-renowned Trinidadian carnival playwright and director of the Jouvay Institute and Lord Street Theatre Company; Professor Milla Riggio, leading researcher of the Trinidad carnival from Trinity College, Connecticut; and Michael la Rose, designer and leader of London’s People’s War Carnival Band and Chair of the George Padmore Institute.

“The conference will be a celebration of Leeds West Indian Carnival’s 50th anniversary – the oldest Caribbean street carnival in Europe, created and led by British Caribbeans – and the development of a Carnival Cultures research group at the Centre for Culture and the Arts here at Leeds Beckett”, said Dr Emily Zobel Marshall, Organiser and Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies at Leeds Beckett.

“The conference is shaping up to be an event with global scope involving academics, costume designers, musicians, filmmakers and founding members of the Caribbean carnival in Leeds.”

“We are particularly interested in discussing the exceptional fusion of art, politics, pleasure and play that carnival represents. Themes we are looking at include: the relationship between carnival and diasporic identities; the cultural history of Caribbean carnival in the UK; the commercialisation of carnival; and carnival as a site for pleasure and social cohesion.”

Abstracts of no more than 250 words, from all disciplines, should be submitted with a short biography to by 1st November 2016.

For full application details, please see





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Oktoberfest at The Tetley


Oktoberfest is heading to The Tetley for four days of Bavarian food, bier and music from Thursday 6th – Sunday 9th October.

Germany’s largest festival tradition will welcome thousands of revellers to experience a taste of authentic Bavaria. Oktoberfest Leeds will take place in a spectacular 2,000 capacity German big top, which will be transformed into a traditional Oktoberfest arena – hosting various bars and traditional food stalls, and a stage to accommodate the festival’s in-house band for the weekend!


“Although the city already has lots of existing Oktoberfest celebrations we felt that Leeds was missing a large scale version of the event to really give people a full, authentic Oktoberfest experience”, said Matt Long, Event Organiser. “The Tetley site also provides the perfect spot to host it, given its long brewery history and being in the heart of the city.”


Beer at Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

No Oktoberfest would be complete without a range of traditional German beer to quench your thirst. Oktoberfest Leeds will be serving Erdinger, one of Germany’s most popular brands, alongside a haus beir. Both of which will be served in branded Oktoberfest Leeds steins (a perfect keepsake). And if beer’s not your thing, a range of German wine and soft drinks will also be on offer.

Authentic German cuisine will be served up all weekend long, including firm Bavarian favourites such Bratwurst, Brezel, Schnitzel and Hendl and some tasty vegetarian options too.

Tickets start at just £10 and are available from

Follow Oktoberfest Leeds on Twitter @oktoberfestlds, Instagram at @oktoberfestleeds and Facebook to get the latest news. You can also email for group bookings, corporate and general enquiries.

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Time to Shine Launch Age-Friendly Charter for Leeds



Time to Shine has lined up a series of celebratory events to launch their Age-Friendly Charter for Leeds in October.

The charity asked nearly 200 older people across the city how to make Leeds a better place to grow old in, covering areas such as housing, outdoor spaces, health services and transportation.

Time to Shine will unveil the final version of the Charter at three celebration events held in the first week of October to coincide with International Day of Older People:

Wednesday 5 October, 1pm
Beeston Community Centre, St Anthony’s Drive, Leeds LS11 8AB

Thursday 6 October, 2pm
Polish Community Centre, Chapeltown Road, Leeds LS7 4JE

Friday 7 October, 10:30am
Bridge Street Church, Rider Street, Leeds LS9 7BQ

Time to Shine developed the charter with Leeds City Council’s Ageing Well Officer, the Ageing Well Board and Cllr Rebecca Charlwood as part of the Age-Friendly Leeds Partnership.

“Time to Shine’s launch of their Age-Friendly Charter for Leeds dovetails neatly with Leeds City Council’s commitment to being an age-friendly city”, said  Cllr Charlwood. “We have committed to making Leeds an Age Friendly and Dementia Friendly city, which is working to tackle loneliness and social isolation in older people and I’m glad that Time to Shine are running these events to celebrate their charter launch.”

The Charter is the Age-Friendly Partnership’s way of saying: ‘This is what it means to be age-friendly in Leeds.’ People and organisations can sign up to the Charter and make the pledges which are relevant to them and their work.

Leeds joined the World Health Organisation’s Global Network of Age-Friendly Cities in August 2014.

An in-depth report about the process, the findings of the consultation, and a proposal for next steps will also be made available in print and on the Time to Shine website.

The launch events are free, and open to the public, but spaces are limited so please RSVP: or 0113 244 1697.

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Bradford Launches Bid for Great Exhibition of the North 2018


Bradford recently launched its bid to host The Great Exhibition of the North with help from local film production company Mothership. The Exhibition is a two month spectacular to showcase the best of art, culture and design in the North of England to national and international audiences. You can read more about the bid here.

The short film Mothership created to help with the bid made it from concept to completion in just four days and you can check out the result below:

The organisers are encouraging people to share their positive stories and experiences of Bradford and the promo film with the tag #greatexponorth2018

To check out more of Mothership’s film work head over to their website


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Dovetailors Take Design Ideas Sky High


Local furniture makers Dovetailers love the chance to get their creative juices flowing and a new and rather unusual commission for a biplane bench has allowed them to do just that.

They’ve just finished an exciting bespoke design project for a client who is an aeroplane enthusiast and expert. The brief was to design and manufacture two dining table benches in the form of a biplane’s wings.

Dovetailors work closely with clients to ensure that their ideas are brought to life in the best way possible, and this project has been no exception. As well as creating furniture that’s stunning to look at, they also bear in mind durability and style. With seating, comfort and practicality are also considerations.

For this project, they took our initial inspiration from the Sopwith Camel, a British fighter aircraft used in the First World War. As it developed, the design retained the form of the Camel’s wings but the struts were modelled on those of the Pitts Special light aerobatic biplane.

Here, the wing shapes of each biplane bench – which provide the seat and the lower shelf – were made from solid maple. The legs and struts were made from solid sapele, which was also used alongside walnut for the roundel motif.

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Harry Boocock & Christopher Horsman Finalists for North Western Hairdresser of the Year!



To be a finalist in Hairdressers’ Journal International’s British Hairdressing Awards (sponsored by Schwarzkopf Professional) is quite something. It takes a stand-out salon, phenomenal creative talent and commitment to reach the final stages. The top hairdressers for 2016 were recently named and Headingley’s Harry Boocock and Christopher Horsman of The Hair Studio on Otley Road are among the six finalists for North Western Hairdresser of the Year 2016. The overall winner will be announced on 28th November at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.

Artistic teams from across the country created photographic collections showcasing their creativity and technical ability. These were displayed for judging by 50 of the industry’s top hairdressers.

“Harry and Christopher should be very proud of their success in one of the most fiercely fought categories”, said Jayne Lewis-Orr, Executive Director of Hairdressers Journal International. “British hairdressing is regarded as the best in the world and to be a finalist for North Western Hairdresser of the Year is a huge achievement. Each year the judges find choosing their finalists harder, proving that creativity and passion are stronger than ever, so we salute them in their success.”



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