Kirkstall: Abbey House exhibition celebrates growing up in Leeds


Seven decades of memories and nostalgia have been brought together for a new exhibition at Abbey House Museum which celebrates growing up in Leeds.

The Decades of Youth exhibition launched at Abbey House Museum on Saturday.

It features a series of vintage objects and images from around Leeds, spanning more than 70 years.

Items on display include seven-inch vinyl records, Leeds Festival posters, hats from the old Schofields department store on the Headrow, a pair of rollerskates from the 1970s, Sinclair video game consoles from the 1980s and a Spice Girls doll from the 1990s.

Young people from the Vintage Youth Club at Abbey House Museum helped put the exhibition together, gathering and researching items from the people of Leeds.

Contributions to Decades of Youth have also come from Leeds Museums and Galleries staff and local older people’s groups Bramley Elderly Action and Caring Together in Woodhouse and Little London, who provided quotes about life in Leeds and places they used to enjoy dancing and socialising.

silver blades skating
The old Silver Blades skating rink in Leeds

The exhibition also features a mix of films and digistories from different individuals and organisations talking about being young in Leeds in the 1950s, 60s, 80s and 90s.

The Vintage Youth Club, a group of young curators, talk about what it’s like to be a young person in Leeds today and young mentors from South Asian Arts UK are filmed talking about learning Indian classical music.

Footage of Kirkstall Abbey’s second annual Battle of the Bands, which took place last month, will also be shown.


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