Comment: Why I’ve taken Armley into my heart


By Mike Clifton

Meet Mat, the local man who isn’t local at all. Mat Dale isn’t originally from Armley; He’s not even from Leeds. Mat originally hails from Doncaster, but he’s really taken Armley to his heart.

Mat has been visiting Armley for a few years as he has friends there but last year decided to take the step of moving to the area full time.

A big attraction for Mat was his girlfriend, who already lived in Armley, but Mat was also taken by the thriving community spirit in the area.

Mat, 43, of Eyres Terrace, can’t understand the reputation Armley has acquired over the last few years.

He understands that it’s not a wealthy area, but he believes the way that Armley residents stick together and look after each other more than makes up for this.

A photographer by trade, Mat spends much of his time in Armley Town Street watching local residents going about their day-to-day business.

St George’s Crypt café is a particular favourite haunt of his.

Staffed by volunteers from St George’s Crypt in Leeds, it’s warm, welcoming atmosphere is just the place for Mat to while away an hour or two, watching local life as it happens.

Mat is never happier than when he’s sitting at his favourite table, coffee in hand and camera at the ready..

Mike Clifton is a participant on the West Leeds Dispatch community reporters course currently being held at Bramley Lawn.


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