“Leeds has changed a great deal”

An image of Yvette Ann-Reedman, a lady who has lived in Leeds for 68 years, photographed on Briggate in the city centre

By Lauren Halligan

Born in Leeds 68 years ago, Yvette Ann-Reedman reflects on life in the city

Yvette Ann-Reedman, aged 68, has lived in Leeds her entire life. Initially growing up in Hunslet, she then moved to Armley where she went to secondary school and sixth form.

Now a retired reception teacher, Ann-Reedman resides in Alwoodley, where she has lived for the past 47 years and describes it as a “really nice area”.

When asked what has made her remain in Leeds for so long, Ann-Reedman said: “I really like where I live and I’m a great collector of many things, antique jewellery in particular, and all sorts of things. My house is completely jampacked, so I wouldn’t move.”

An image of Yvette Ann-Reedman, a lady who has lived in Leeds for 68 years, photographed on Briggate in the city centre
Yvette Ann-Reedman spent 20 years teaching in Armley

Looking back on Leeds, Ann-Reedman tell us what the city centre used to be like. Back in the 1950s, she remembers the old bus station near Albion Street and the old terraced houses that were in that area of the city.

Further to this she said: “Because of the Industrial Revolution here in Leeds, everything, all the buildings were absolutely black, horrible. We went to Stratford when I was 15 and I didn’t want to come back to Leeds because it was so dirty and wet.

“The smogs in the 50s up by the universities, we used to live up there, in those days you used to get all these fogs and smogs and when you blew your nose it was all black.”

An image of Yvette Ann-Reedman, a lady who has lived in Leeds for 68 years, photographed on Briggate in the city centre
Yvette Ann-Reedman doesn’t come into Leeds city centre as much as she used to

On a final reflection on her life in the city, Ann-Reedman agrees that “Leeds has changed a great deal”.

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