Telling the stories of Leeds’ migrants

Leeds City Museum has celebrated the launch of a new exhibition that explores some of the personal stories of Leeds’ migrant communities and looks at what they brought with them to make a home in Leeds.

Gloria 1Stories include that of Gloria Hanley who left the Caribbean for England in the late 1960s. Originally from St Kitts, Gloria arrived in the UK in 1968 where she trained as a nurse before coming to Leeds in the early 1980s to pursue a career as a midwife.

Commenting on her experiences, Gloria, who now lives in Moortown, said: “I’ve lived in Leeds for over forty years and have seen how the city has changed, sometimes beyond recognition. Initially I always went back to London for a good time but not anymore – Leeds is a thriving city and I love living here.

“When I was asked I had no hesitation lending my exhibits – I’m among many in the black community who has made a positive contribution to the city.”

Illustrating Gloria’s story are her midwifery bag, ID badge and the hat she used to wear. Among the other exhibits are family heirlooms and photographs loaned by members of the Jewish, Irish, Muslim and Sikh communities.

The exhibition, titled A City and its Welcome: Three Centuries of Migrating to Leeds, is one of a number of projects taking place at the museum this year telling stories of migration in Leeds and the impact it has had on the city.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Modern Leeds is a diverse and eclectic city which embraces and celebrates the many different cultures which call it home.

“Becoming that cosmopolitan place has been a long and fascinating journey which has seen those who have come from abroad to make a home here overcome some huge individual and collective challenges and accomplish remarkable things.”

A City and its Welcome: Three Centuries of Migrating to Leeds is on show at Leeds City until January, 2020 and is free to enter.

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