Celebrated Armley-born novelist Barbara Taylor Bradford has received one of the Leeds’s highest civic honours.
The Leeds Award formally recognises those who have made an enormous contribution to the city, with their names proudly displayed on the wall in the antechamber of Leeds Civic Hall.
Barbara was presented with her award by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Eileen Taylor, as part of a special event in London at her publishing house, HarperCollins Publishers.
Born in Leeds in 1933, Barbara attended nursery school in Upper Armley along with Alan Bennett. She began work as a typist on the Yorkshire Evening Post and quickly progressed to a reporter.
Barbara is now a multi-million-copy bestselling author and wrote one of the biggest selling novels of the 20th century, A Woman of Substance. This year marks the book’s 40th anniversary.
A Yorkshire woman through and through, Barbara has woven Leeds into many of her novels, including A Woman of Substance, and often champions her home city on an international stage.
Collectively, Barbara’s books have sold more than 92 million copies worldwide in more than 90 countries and 40 languages, with ten of her books being made into television mini-series and television movies.
Barbara Taylor Bradford OBE said:
“I was surprised but truly thrilled when I was informed that I would receive the Leeds Award and that my name would be written on the wall of fame in the Civic Hall.
“What a wonderful honour. I have always loved Leeds and actually did start my working career on the Yorkshire Evening Post. I remember those days with great affection and Leeds will always have a special place in my heart.”
The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Eileen Taylor, said:
“The Leeds Award was designed to honour those people that have made an enormous contribution and achieved so much in their respective fields, and there is no better recipient than Barbara, who has worked tirelessly to champion our city.”