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 why is leeds famous? - by melissa
Leeds Leeds is the urban core of the metropolitan borough and city the City of Leeds in West Yorkshire in the north of England. The River Aire runs through the city.

In 1974 the former county borough of Leeds was merged with the towns of Wetherby, Morley, Otley, Pudsey, and other surrounding areas to form a metropolitan borough â€' the city status of the county borough being conferred on the new metropolitan borough. Somewhat confusingly therefore, the City of Leeds contains a number of towns including the former county borough of Leeds, which can be thought of as Leeds proper. For the purposes of this article Leeds refers to the city as it was prior to 1974 as to distinguish it from the metropolitan borough called the City of Leeds. According to the 2001 UK census the Leeds Urban Ar ea had a population of 443,247 while the City of Leeds had a population of 715,404 and is one of England's core cities.

An inhabitant of Leeds is locally known as a Loiner, a word derived from the 'Loins' (or lanes) around Briggate in the town's centre, although the term is rarely used or understood. The mock-classical adjectives Leodensian and Leodiensian are sometimes used by some local sports clubs.

History :

Leeds was an agricultural market town in the Middle Ages, and received its first charter in 1207. In the Tudor period Leeds was mainly a merchant town manufacturing woollen cloths and trading with Europe via the Humber estuary. At one point nearly half of England's total export passed through Leeds. The city's industrial growth was catalysed by the introduction of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal in 1816 and the railway in 1848. The name "Leeds" came from "Leodis", which was a name recorded in Anglo-Saxon sources for a Celtic kingdom that survived in the area for a while after the Anglo-Saxon invasion.

Leeds has recently been voted as Britain's Best City for Business by Omis Research, it is also regarded as the fastest growing city in the UKand has a diverse economy with the service sector now dominating over the city's manufacturing industries. It has in the past been served well by its canal, and today by its rail network at Leeds station, from where MetroTrains operate to all parts of West Yorkshire and other operators to the rest of the country.

Leeds Station is the busiest in the UK, outside London. With the A1(M), M1 and M62 intersecting at Leeds, it is the principal northern hub of the motorway network.

Leeds Bradford International Airport is located to the north-west of the city and has scheduled flights to destinations within Europe, Egypt and Turkey.

Leeds had plans for a tram network, however the government abandoned the scheme due to spiralling costs. Leeds remains the largest city in the EU without a mass transit system.

Leeds has one of the UK's strongest economies, with unemployment at a record low and with large media and legal sectors behind only London, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh

Tourism :

Recently Leeds has received accolades in the field of tourism; including being voted by Conde Nast Traveller magazine Readers' Awards as the "UK's favourite city" and "Visitor City of the Year" by The Good Britain Guide.

Leeds has excellent transport links with the rest of Yorkshire and the UK. Leeds Bradford International Airport has flights connecting to Europe, and the rest of the world via Heathrow Airport and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

Leeds Bradford International Airport is part of the Star Alliance. Leeds station is very modern and has regular trains to the rest of Yorkshire and the UK.

Leeds also has excellent road links via the A1, M1 and M62. Leeds also has a large modern bus station served by National Express and local bus services. It is also possible to travel to Rotterdam and Zeebrugge by ferry from Hull, only an hour away.

Museums and the Arts :

Leeds has a large number of museums, being the home of the Royal Armouries Museum (opened in 1996 when the collection was transferred from the Tower of London), the Leeds City Museum which is dedicated to the history of Yorkshire, the Thackray's Medical Museum and the Leeds City Art Gallery. Leeds also boasts the Grand Theatre (where Opera North is based), the City Varieties music hall (which has hosted performances by Charlie Chaplin and Harry Houdini) and the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

The Leeds Festival takes place every year in Bramham Park, having moved from Temple Newsam after pressure from some local residents. It features some of the biggest names in rock and indie music.

Leeds is home to the Leeds International Piano Competition, held every three years since 1963, which has launched the careers of many major concert pianists. There is also the Leeds International Concert Season, the largest local authority music programme of any UK city outside London.

The first moving pictures in the world were taken in the city, by Louis Le Prince, of Leeds Bridge in 1888, and the world's first traffic light was also installed on Park Row.

Temple Newsam House, Harewood House and the ruins of Kirkstall Abbey, which dates from the 12th century, are on the outskirts of the city.

Famous people born in Leeds :

Sir Jimmy Savile - Best known for presenting Jim'll Fix It and Top of the Pops.
Mel B (from the Spice Girls)
Alan Smith (Former Leeds United)
Chris Moyles - BBC Radio 1 DJ.
BEDLOM, a successful English rap outfit.
Corinne Bailey Rae - singer
Julian Barratt - actor and musician best known for his character Howard Moon in the cult comedy series The Mighty Boosh
Alan Bennett - performer in Beyond the Fringe and writer of works such as The Madness of King George
Barbara Taylor Bradford - novelist
Elizabeth Dawn (real name Sylvia Butterfield) best-known for her character Vera Duckworth in Coronation Street
Gaynor Faye - known for her character in Coronation Street and later Fat Friends
Matthew Russell, comic book author and illustrator.
Phil May - famous cartoonist
Kay Mellor - writer of TV drama including Band of Gold
Tony Harrison (b.1937 - ) - Poet
Barry Cryer - Comedian
Matthew Lewis - known for his role as Neville Longbottom in the Harry Potter films
Malcolm McDowell - played the wizard in Just Visiting, starred in A Clockwork Orange and has appeared in Star Trek films
Peter O'Toole - actor famous for his role in Lawrence of Arabia
Vic Reeves - known for his long time on screen partnership with fellow comedian Bob Mortimer
Tom Wilkinson - actor who has appeared in such films as Batman Begins, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Full Monty
Ernie Wise - (real name Ernest Wiseman) of the comedy duo Morecambe and Wise
John Craven - presenter of John Craven's Newsround (now known as Newsround)
Caryl Phillips - a leading Black British author/playwright
Nell McAndrew - an internationally famous model.
Verbalicous - successful European hip-hop artist.
Jan Fletcher - international Business Woman
Arthur Ransome - journalist and children's author
Alfred Austin - poet laureate
Leigh Francis aka Avid Merrion, creator of the TV show Bo' Selecta!
Beryl Burton - record-breaking cyclist
Vesta Victoria - music hall star
Helen Fielding - novelist, Bridget Jones Diary
Jeremy Paxman - TV presenter
Paul Hunter - snooker player
Mark Ballard - Green Politician
Science - Big Brother UK contestant.
Jeremy Dyson - Novelist and comedy writer/producer.
This article is licensed under the [GNU Free Documentation License]. It uses material from Wikipedia
Leeds Image : no-ordinary-city.co.uk

Tags: city, west yorkshire, england, river aire

Date Added: 05 May '06

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