West Leeds residents are being urged to share their photos and memories of last year’s devastating Boxing Day floods for a new exhibition.
Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills is calling on residents to help put the exhibition together, which will focus the impact of the floods as well as the community spirit the city showed during the unprecedented clean-up effort.
The exhibition will launch at the end of the year to mark the first anniversary of the floods and curators are looking for pictures and stories from those who were affected and who pitched in to help get the city back on its feet.
The museum itself was one of the sites that felt the full force of the deluge, with parts of the historic former mill submerged under eight feet of water. It closed for almost three months while staff and volunteers cleaned up.
The floods hit large parts of Kirkstall when the River Aire burst its banks. Businesses down Kirkstall Road were badly affected, sparking a major community clean-up campaign. Kirkstall Bridge pub and Leeds Rhinos’ training complex were also under water.
Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said:
“The Boxing Day floods were an unprecedented event for Leeds and it’s fitting that we commemorate the impact they have had on those living and working in our city.
“Whilst the floods caused a shocking amount of damage and disruption for our businesses and communities, they also showed just how strong, determined and compassionate the people of Leeds are.
“As we reflect on the legacy the floods left behind, it’s important that we recognise just how pivotal that sense of community spirit and resilience was in helping the city to recover.”
Anyone with images or stories they think might be included in the exhibition can contact Chris Sharp, assistant community curator at Thwaite Mills and Armley Mills, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.