Wednesday, 24 August 2016

A few days in Leeds

Fri 19th Aug  Leeds

Clarence Dock

We walked first to Hobbycraft for some wire and beads for Hazel’s hat making project.  We also bought a 16 GB SD card from PCWorld, as the one we have appears to be faulty.

We returned to the boat and went Mumtaz for lunch, which was very good. We had a chicken Thali. The Queen and Prince Phillip once had a meal here. The decor in the place is extraordinary with large chandeliers. Even the washbasins in the toilets were worth a photo.

Mumtaz chicken Thali

Mumtaz chandeliers

Mumtaz washbasins

We walked across the river to Leeds Minster, and we walked all the way round and couldn’t find a way in. There was no sign to say when it would be open.  On the other side of the road was the Pocket Park, where they seem to have laid grave stones down to line a railway embankment.

Pocket Park

We picked up a bus map at the bus station, walked through to the historic Leeds Market and then to the Corn Exchange for a drink. The architecture in Leeds is amazing. Everywhere you look there is another wonderful building. We returned to the Armouries on Bus 70

Leeds Markets

The original Marks and Spencer market stall

The Corn Exchange

No boating today.

Sat 20th Aug  Leeds

Intermittent heavy showers today. We walked to empty cassettes and rubbish, and found the rubbish bin full to overflowing.


We took a water taxi to Leeds station. These water taxis are free, and run every 20 minutes between the armouries and Lock 1 near the station.

Water taxi arrives at the Armouries

 Inside the water taxi

Increasing the flood defences

We had a drink at a cafe there and had a call from Oliver. We walked underneath the station and over the River Aire, which flows through culverts there. We found some eateries in a shopping centre and had a fast food Indian curry which was lovely.

A sculpture we passed

We then made our way to the Catholic Cathedral where we picked up a leaflet about Purgatory and indulgences which we thought was completely unbiblical and heretical, not recognising the complete forgiveness available to us through Jesus’ unconditional sacrifice on the cross. We had thought this teaching was a thing of the past.

Inside the Catholic Cathedral

We then went to the Leeds Museum, which had some interesting exhibits, particularly of the natural world. Then to the art gallery, which was closed until October!  So we went next door to the Henry Moore Institute, expecting to find some of his sculptures, but there was only a temporary exhibition of prosthetic limbs and art related to this subject.  Although this was not what we were expecting, it was interesting as James’ Uncle Dick had been based at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton, as an artificial limb specialist.

With no art gallery to look at, we went to a cinema to watch a film – the B.F.G., which was very entertaining. We managed to find a pub after that, tucked away down an alley – the Packhorse Inn. They served Orchard Pig cider on tap.  Then back to the boat through ornate arcades and streets and via a noodle bar where we had some assorted starters.

Arcade roof

Ornate architecture

No boating today.

Sun 21st Aug Leeds

A little rain this morning caused a rainbow as we crossed the river.

Rainbow in Leeds

We walked to the bus station to catch a 19a bus to St George’s Church, an active Anglican church not far from the hospital.  We arrived early, so we had a coffee in a Japanese cafe opposite before going to the church.

Today the welcome was less than hoped for.  “Good morning!” as we came in, with a leaflet given to us, was the limit of the effort made.  James was hanging around in the foyer for a few minutes by himself and although there were at least four members of the welcome team there, no-one spoke to him. When we went to find a seat, no-one came to say hello.  There was a point in the service when we were asked to speak to our neighbours, and we chatted to the people in the row behind. After the service we went for coffee, after asking where it was being served. We spoke to a man when we asked to share a table with him.  When we left no-one said anything.  If we had been seeking after the truth and tried church for the first time, we would have been very much put off by the experience.

St Georges Church

Worship team

Apart from the non-welcome, the service was good.  Good worship leading, well chosen songs, a sound talk, based on Ecclesiastes chapter 9, one of the most discouraging chapters in the Bible. Somehow the preacher brought good news out of it. There was a good age range, and it was well attended, with lots of other activities happening. There was an opportunity for prayer and ministry at the end. Perhaps the problem is that a city church has many visitors, and many people who come occasionally, so it is hard to tell who has been before and who hasn’t. Some key people were also away at New Wine.

Afterwards we wandered towards the centre looking for somewhere suitable for lunch, and found a delightful Thai restaurant, called The Thai Edge, serving a Sunday buffet. The food was lovely, and the excellent chicken satay was the best we have found this side of Asia.

We continued wandering through the pedestrian streets and shopping areas, making our way towards the station.  We passed under the station, where the River Aire flows through, and saw that it was rushing at high speed.  We took a water taxi, and noticed that the levels were on yellow. They had had some heavy rain in Skipton.

River Aire in a culvert

We watched “The Revenge of the Pink Panther” in the evening. Classic Peter Sellers comedy.

No boating today

Next: Down the river Aire to Lemonroyd Marina where we have booked in for a week, and hired a car. We will be visiting Aylesbury for a few days to catch up with friends at the church there and complete the purchase of our apartment.

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