ACTIVITIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS DURING 2001-2002
During the 2001-2002 Session the Society continued its recent successes in fulfilling its objectives, including organising a growing number of artistic and scientific events for members as detailed below. During the year the Society welcomed 15 new members, so that at the end of September 2002 the total number stood at 118 (an increase of 12 over the year). We urge members to make an effort to bring the Society and its activities to the attention of their potentially interested friends and colleagues.
Events for Members
Bangs and Flashes, 2 November 2001. Our now traditional pre-Bonfire Night occasion featuring academic chemists and pyrotechnicians Mike Hoyland and Vladimir Volkovitch with their explosive double-act again attracted an audience of a hundred or more, of all ages.
Going, Going, Gone, 16 November 2001. In association with the City Museum’s exhibition on endangered species, the Society sponsored a lecture by Professor Kevin Gaston of the University of Sheffield, in which he illustrated the devastating effects of human beings on bird life in the islands of the Pacific.
Annual General Meeting, 7 December 2001. The one-hundred-and-eighty-first Annual General Meeting of the Society was held on Tuesday 7 December 2001 in University House. As a token of their appreciation, Council members made a presentation to Dr Richard Byrn on his retirement from Council. After the dinner, the Vice-President welcomed the evening’s speaker, Nick Winterbotham, the then recently-appointed Head of Museums and Galleries for Leeds, who spoke on ‘Making Sense of Museums’ and considered the impact of museums on young visitors.
Side-lights on illustrated shell books, 27 February 2002 – a lecture by S. Peter Dance. This was another lecture arranged to coincide with an exhibition at the Leeds City Museum – an exhibition on molluscs organized by Adrian Norris, which followed his sponsorship by the Society. Mr Dance described the unexpected way in which the production of books describing shell collections led to the development of techniques of book illustration.
Architecture master classes, 22 February, 1, 8 & 15 March 2002. This series of talks was given by Neil Jackson, David Levitt, Jeremy Dixon and John Thorp, each describing a notable local building, followed by a guided tour of the building.
Science Fair, 9 March 2002. Representatives of the City’s science-based societies, from the microscopical to the astronomical, provided another interesting day of demonstrations and information.
Laundering Genes – is genetic science bad for us?, 11 March 2002. The Society was pleased to be associated with this lecture by Professor Lord Robert Winston.
Protein synthesis and the control of cell division, 13 March 2002. The Society contributed to the cost of this lecture by Dr Tim Hunt. To a packed Conference Auditorium, he described the work which led to his Nobel Prize for Physiology, and which has increased our understanding of inherited disease and cancer.
Yorkshire Astronomers, 22 June 2002 – a lecture by Dr Allan Chapman, organised jointly with the Leeds Astronomical Society.
Canal trip, 22 July 2002. This evening excursion started at the Canal Basin near the Dark Arches, and continued through the lock system almost to Thwaite Mill, and provided a magical and different view of Leeds in the evening sunshine.
Scholarships, Prizes and Grants
In 2001-02 Emma Millington received the third and final tranche of the Society’s University of Leeds Research Scholarship for her research undertaken in the School of Chemistry under the supervision of Professor Ronald Grigg FRS. The Arthur Chadwick Memorial Prize was awarded to Katherine Evans of the School of Biology and the Modern Languages Prize to Mr Adedayo Ajibade of the Department of East Asian Studies.
During 2001-02 individual grants were awarded by the Society to:
- The Lotherton Hall Schubert Residency
- The Rodley Nature Reserve Trust to cover the costs of a promotional leaflet
- The Buildings Books Trust towards the costs of a symposium entitled ‘ Nikolaus Pevsner and the Architecture of Leeds’
- Professor Graham Barber towards the costs of producing a video record of the restoration of the Schulze organ at St Bartholomew’s Church, Armley
- Professor Neil Jackson towards the costs of a series of public master classes on recent Leeds buildings
- Professor Neil Jackson to support an exhibition of Students’ project work at the RIBA Design Centre on Woodhouse Square, Leeds
- Dr Stephen Muir towards the costs of preparing a new critical edition for publication and performance (in Leeds) of Dvorak’s 1874 opera Tvrde palice
- The Thoresby Society to assist in the establishment of a ‘Local History Week’
- Karen Lynch in support of research on houses and gardens in Yorkshire
- Dr Rachael Unsworth towards the costs of cartography in connection with research into the development of the Leeds office market
- Professor Griselda Pollock towards the costs of providing bursaries for speakers at the CongressCATH.
- Thomas Small for work on an interactive CD-ROM based on the Leeds Mummy in the City Museum
- Dr Krista Cowman to support a visit to New York in connection with research on Mary Gawthorpe
- Dr Richard Howells to support a visit to Memphis in connection with research on Louis Le Prince
In November 2001 the Society published The Yorkshire Union of Artists, 1888-1922 by Dennis Child. The launch of the book coincided with an exhibition, ‘Yorkshire’s Finest – a Celebration of the Yorkshire Union of Artists 1888-1922’, at Cartwright Hall, Bradford. There have been no other publications during the year, but work has proceeded on the preparation of The King’s Mills, Leeds: The History and Archaeology of the Manorial Water-Powered Corn Mills, by Stuart Wrathmell of the West Yorkshire Archaeology Service, and John Goodchild, which is due to be published in December 2002.
A second edition of the Society’s successful publication The Building Stones Heritage of Leeds (1996) is planned for 2006/07.
As well as publishing its own works, the Society’s policy is to support, through grants, publications of other bodies or individuals which meet the Society’s objectives of promoting studies which relate to aspects of Leeds and its region. These publications are then distributed to the Society’s members. This year the Society’s Council agreed to increase by 75% its subvention to the Leeds Museums and Galleries Review. Unfortunately, despite that support, no issue of that journal has been published this year. Copies of A Taste of Leeds by Peter Brears (1998) were however distributed to members in autumn 2001.
The Publications Committee has revised its page on the Society’s website and has taken the opportunity to decrease the prices of several older publications. These have also been offered to members at an even greater discount. There is a link to the Society’s site from ‘Books for academics’, a website www.booksforacademics.com which brings together small publishers of academic books. Several copies of the Society’s publications have been sold through the web this year.
The prospect of a new Central Museum for Leeds
The present developments regarding the new museum look very promising. In the summer we heard that the City’s Heritage Lottery bid had passed its first (and major) hurdle, and the City has been invited to submit detailed proposals for the next round. We have been told that the Lottery Commission commented explicitly on the level of popular support for the Museum, and on the joint document submitted by LPLS and the three other interested local societies. We therefore consider this venture to be successful, and that this document clearly served its major purpose. We are now engaged in a series of detailed discussions with the Head of Museums and Galleries, Nick Winterbotham, members of the Museum staff, and representatives of the other societies. We are discussing the way in which the Leeds Institute building will be adapted, and how the material will be displayed. We are especially eager to support and encourage the Museum to undertake some of the more large-scale and spectacular displays which have been proposed.