Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Enterprise Panel - Town Hall

Back with Cuthbert Brodrick, his Town Hall is on the Enterprise panel. This was one of the first four panels, completed before we had the technology to scan each of the embroideries before they were stitched to the background. Hopefully the four will be taken out of their frames to get more detailed photographs which could be posted on the blog.

The Town Hall in the night sky was made in applique by Sue Hodgson. This corner of the panel represents the Valentine Fair which used to be held around the Headrow and City Library.

Quoting Building News in 1858 'Profuse in its adornments, it represents an age in which wealth has passed beyond simple comfort to the enjoyment of luxury. It speaks of abundance and displays it'.

The Town Hall was opened by Queen Victoria on 7th September 1858. As with public buildings constructed nowadays, it cost almost four times the original amount but it elevated Leeds into a town with confidence and civic pride. The original plan did not include a clock tower but the civic leaders insisted this should be added, making the building the tallest in Leeds - a record which apparently was unbroken until 1966.

Nine years after the building had been completed the lions were added. The work of William Day Keyworth they walk around the building each night as the clock strikes midnight, before returning to their plinths. Now that's something worth seeing.

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