Overworlds and Underworlds

Mysterious girls in black appear on a balcony in the County Arcade

This ‘free, multi-location event’ over the weekend of 18 – 20 May was billed as a ‘passport to another Leeds’. It was part of Leeds Cultural Olympiad project, according to Culture Vultures and master minded by the Quay Brothers. Ignorant of all these things, I went along on the principle that if it’s public entertainment and free, then it’s of interest to Leeds Wellbeing Web readers.

An eery eruption in Briggate

And actually it was all rather mysterious and spectacular, starting with a strange choir of girls dressed in black, singing on the balconies of County Arcade. About two or three hundred of us gathered to listen, and it was very moving, even though I couldn’t make out the words. Having to look up really made you appreciate what an extraordinary place the arcade is. Warring brass bands then appeared and we followed down Briggate, past a strange dreamlike sculpture that had emerged in the precinct. There were dancers and more brass, but somehow it all seemed a little less magical in the light of day. 

Things took a sombre turn when we entered the Dark Arches beneath the City Station, which I’ve always thought is one of the most fascinating places in Leeds. Here were dancers, flickering early film of the city, surreal insects in glass victorian specimen jars, an otherworldly performance of a ghostly figure and a storm tossed ship. It was all rather weird and wonderful, but the place itself was the star. They’d opened much more of it up, and lit the tunnels so you could see into corners normally in darkness. The final scene was a viewing point where you could see through several arches, across the flowing river. As you watched the music swelled and slowly the whole scene was suffused with light and colour. It seemed suddenly like you’d returned to the Central Arcade, looking at the rich colours of the ‘Overworld’ – back where you’d started.

Pale young people playing trash percussion

There was more outside – a macabre percussion band like something from a TIm Burton movie, the top of a pylon projecting from one of the locks. I didn’t really understand half of what I saw, but I enjoyed seeing Leeds from a different point of view, the Underworld in particular, and went away feeling I’d had my imagination tickled. Terry

Dark Arches Transformed

tinkerbell and magic fairy’s journey into community reporting

Over the last 8 weeks on our community reporting course we have learned how to blog and use a camera.

We went to Kirkstall Abbey and walked down the canal and took some fab photos that we then made into a slideshow. We then uploaded this to the wellbeing website.

We then went on to video and edit our own film which we then uploaded to youtube. Our video was about visiting kirkstill abbey.

We had a lot of fun making the video and will take the skills we have learned with us and continue to blog for leeds wellbeing web and do community reporting in the future.

We would recommend the course to other people as it was very intesting and a lot of fun to learn new skills and be able to use them in our everyday lives.

Tinkerbell and the Magic fairy signing out for now.
over and out.

Community Reporters Course

I have enjoyed taking part in the course and found it very interesting and creative. I have enjoyed learning media skills relating to downloading photographs and video and developing community reporting skills. I think the concept of the Leeds Wellbeing Web is a great idea and something in this day and age of vicious  cut backs and austerity that is really needed so that people can connect and take strength from one another in terms of sharing helpful resources and information to contribute to their wellbeing and that of their respective communities.

From starting 8 weeks ago from a blank websites a lot of interesting material has been added and I look forward to its further development. I hope that those that follow on in future courses enjoy it as much as I have. A big thank you to John Baron our patient supportive teacher who has been most helpful and a pleasure to work with.  

Mike Bush

Woodward and Bernstein of the North?


Looking for another Watergate!

Probably not, but during the past couple of months I have been guided through the fundamentals of community reporting, courtesy of Leeds Mind. Looking at photography, video and writing, four would-be reporters have been brought up to speed with all the relevant skills and are now, hopefully, ready to pound the streets of Leeds in pursuit of the next big journalistic coup.

In the absence of any subterfuge or scandal we will be keeping an eye on all that is relevant or tangentially interesting to Leeds Wellbeing Web. We hope that you, too, keep an eye open and share with us anything you think we ought to know.

Guest posts welcome on Leeds Wellbeing Web

The Wellbeing Web is an exciting new project in Leeds – and we would like to invite YOU to get involved!

The Wellbeing Web is a blog where individuals can contribute information, stories, pictures or films about places and activities in Leeds which help maintain their wellbeing. The aim is to create a fantastic online resource where people can share their experiences of staying well in Leeds.

It’s about giving people a voice to tell their own stories and the story of their city through their own eyes. AND WE WANT YOU TO CONTRIBUTE!

This is an open blog which is a resource for anyone with mental health difficulties to contribute to.

Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to write, or video – we can help you! In conjunction with People’s Voice Media we’re running community reporters courses which will give you the skills and confidence you need to tell your story.

If you have a story, or would like to write a guest post for Leeds Wellbeing Web – or you’d like to join our community reporters’ scheme, get in touch with us at leedswellbeingweb@gmail.com