Collected stories as research for projections around the city in 2007

Author Archive

Suicidal Monk in Kirkstall Abbey

When king Henry the 8th was destroying all the abbeys and monasterys, a monk commited suicide by jumping from the bell tower in Kirkstall abbey, his ghost has been seen in the ruins recreating this fatal jump.

Bob Weir

Woodbine Lizzie

Woodbine Lizzie used to hang round the streets in the 1930s wearing a 1000 mens overcoats cadgin cigs from everybody, if you failed to give her cigarettes she would come out with all sorts of terrible language directed at you.

She died on the streets and had apparently leaving a small fortune.

Cars on Rooftops

The was a old Austin Standard perched on a rooftop on the corner of marsh lane for donkeys years.

How Call lane got its name

My father used to light the boiler on swinegate years ago and he told me when i was a little girl, i sometimes go to work wi him, y’kno. You can always expect a caller on call lane he said, its where they used to rob ya. and thats how i got its name he said.

Settled In

There is a geezer who sits outside the Yorkshire Bank opposite McDonalds on Briggate who claims to have been living there for something like 16 years and that he has nine children. It was hard to believe him, but he was very nice…


I have heard a couple of myths regarding the Town Hall which I have known for years I hope they will be of some good to you.
The first one is that the Lions of the Town Hall come to life at Midnight and walk around the Town Hall and protect the city and it’s residents.
The other one is that if the Town Hall Clock should ever strike 13 not only will the Lions come to life the will attack the people of Leeds.
Ihope that this will be some help to you.
All the Best
Terry Pickles.

Whitelocks staffed by Dwarfs

Back inth day, the oldest pub in Leeds – whitelocks landlord was married to a dwarf lady, so she could work at the bar he raised the level the floor from the bartenders side, hence why today it still has a high bar.

Newsham’s Blue Lady & phantom cyclist on the tram tracks

I remember been told about a ghost at temple newsam house about a blue lady who huanted a blue room.
also i have story about my granfather don’t know whether it’s true.
He was a tram driver, one evening he was driving his tram it was foggy, he suddenly saw a man with his bike on the tracks he tried to stop but unfortunately he ran other him. but when they went to look under the tram there was only a bike and a cap, no man in sight, the next morning my grandads hair was white. he always swore that there was a man pushing the bike.


Eeeeeevening post!

There used to be a newspaper seller on Lands Lane (near Barretts shoes) in the mid eighties who, instead of just shouting out “POST!!” every 10 seconds like all the others, shouted/sung very loudly……… “Evening Post! I’m having a TERRIBLE DAY! Haven’t sold a single paper !”

This eventually endeared him to the public and he used to sell loads, thus getting a write up in the local paper he sold…..i.e. the Evening Post!

Guitar man

there’s always the irritating guitar man who comes up to you with his guitar when you’re in the city centre at night and plays and sings very badly and follows you until you give him money to **** off?

Marc Almond’s Suicide

There’s a myth about the staircases in Leeds Met. The staircases all have metal nets in the stairwell at alternate floors. The myth is that these were put in place as a direct reponse to a failed suicide attempt by Marc Almond. He was a Fine Art graduate from Leeds Poly in the early eighties. He did a cabaret and got a first.

The Skyrack Pub

Legend has it that the Skyrack Pub, comes from Skyr Ack (might be spelt wrong!), or Shire Oak, which was the southernmost Viking Camp and was where the Vikings and the Saxons traded and raided (the etymolgy of these words is the same), the border between shirts and skirts. The vikings didn’t tuck theirs in and the saxons did. The oak was written about, and drawn, for a 1000 years and was cut down relatively recently (20-30 years ago), that’s why theres a weird traffic island in front of the pub – where it used to be. It’s also part of the myth that this is why there are about 6 pubs there……

Mind Control in Leeds

There’s a story amongst Leeds’ medical students that a psychotic patient was convinced that his mind was being controlled from the communications masts at the Clinical Sciences Building at St James’s Hospital. When Quarry House was built, he was equally convinced that control tranferred there…. you’ve seen the mast on top!
Thing is, those of us who work for the NHS *know* we’re controlled by the sinister forces within Quarry House!

Jimmy Saville invented DJing in the Grand Arcade

Jimmy Saville claims to have invented DJing, as we know it, in a club in the Grand Arcade by connecting 2 record players together. The reason he did this is that it was too expensive to get a licence for a band and he didn’t want any gaps between the records.

Sister’s of Mercy

The Sister’s of Mercy once had a party in a terrace in Hyde Park that went on for three weeks 24/7. Some people estimate that over a hundred ounces of amphetamines were consumed during the party.

Quarry Hill Earmarked for Nazi HQ

The Department for Health building at Quarry Hill sits on the site earmarked by Hilter as the location of the Nazi headquarters for Britain – should his invasion plans have been a success

Roman Leeds

Somewhere in the central Leeds area there was a Roman settlemnt possibly that of Cambodunum where there was a crossing point over the river. Now there’s no trace except for little exerts mentioned by Victorian collectors who mention fortified camps at Quarry hill and streets in the Calls as areas of possibly Roman occupation. Has all our ancient history of this region been obscured by our industrial past, or can extracts of our Romano British past still be found?

Dolphins below the City

I have been reliably informed by a friend who used to work at the ‘Underground’ bar, below the Town & Country Club (now Creation Night Club), that in Victorian times the building was sometimes used to host Circuses, & with this in mind, tunnels were built from the cellars to the Station, so that dangerous animals such as tigers could be transported there without putting the public at risk.
I have also heard that, on occasions, the tunnels were flooded with water, which allowed dolphins to swim, underground, below the city, & emerge to give displays within the building.

night owls

those owls ontop of the civic hall come alive once a year. they fly round the town scoffing up dropped kebabs and then regurgitate them as owl pellets, which drunks then eat cos the look just the same as kebabs
chilli sauce?!

Hauntings from Holy Trinity

Holy Trinity church had a Grave yard, the bodies were removed, but the spirits lived on….