West Yorkshire


County Town: Leeds
Population: 2,079,211
Area: 783 sqm - 2029 sqkm
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Did you know that when the French carried out their first guillotine execution in 1792 they were only 506 years behind Halifax? The Halifax Gibbet, a very similar device, is said to have despatched one John of Dalton in 1286. Even if that event is open to dispute, it is certain that by 1541 felons in the town died on the contraption, a replica of which can be seen - appropriately - on Gibbet Street there.
Did you know that the first British town to be twinned with another in Europe was Keighley in Yorkshire? This holds true for formal and informal arrangements: in 1905 Keighley organised something similar to twinning with Suresnes and Puteaux in France; and in 1920 it twinned with Poix-du-Nord in the same country (though as all right thinking people would understand the agreement mentioned adopting the French settlement).
Did you know that world’s largest fish and chip shop is Harry Ramsden’s near Leeds? The original Guiseley shop was a 10 foot by 6 foot shed, which he opened on December 20 1928 : it succeeded because it offered tasty and perfectly prepared food – isn’t it about time certain fast food rivals followed suit? Link: straight from the horses mouth
Did you know that on October 14 1888 Louis le Prince recorded the very first moving images with a Leeds back garden as his subject? The French inventor made films of a Roundhay garden, and subsequently of a nearby bridge. They were shown to a limited viewership in Hunslet and Leeds. He disappeared mysteriously two years later, before he could establish his rightful position as the true pioneer of the moving picture.
Did you know that Middleton Colliery Railway on the outskirts of Leeds is the oldest continuously operated railway in the world? Its construction began in 1755. Originally it had wooden tracks on which horses hauled coal-wagons; but in the first decade of the 19th century it gained iron rails; and in 1812 began using steam locomotives. Another badge of honour for the system was that it was the first standard-gauge railway to be run by preservation volunteers.
Did you know that while a curate at Horbury Bridge near Wakefield Sabine Baring-Gould wrote the words to Onward Christian soldiers, while simultaneously compiling the first serious work in English on werewolves? Both the hymn and The Book of Were-Wolves were finished in 1865. He explored lycanthropy as folklore and psychological phenomenon – but obviously enjoyed the gore too.

Famous West Yorkshire people

Adrian Edmondson | Alan Bennett | Alan Titchmarsh | Alastair Campbell | Alistair Brownlee | Andrew Rawnsley | Angela Griffin | Anne Bronte | Anne Loughlin | Arthur Greenwood | Arthur Ransome | Barbara Hepworth | Barbara Castle | Barbara Taylor Bradford | Barry Cryer | Betty Boothroyd | Brian Turner | Bryan Procter | Charles Yonge | Charlotte Bronte | Chris Moyles | Christopher Saxton | Cyril Knowles | David Bintley | David Hockney | David Mercer | David Storey | Donald Neilson | Dynamo | Ed Sheeran | Edward Appleton | Ellery Hanley | Emily Bronte | Eric Pickles | Ernie Wise | F L Lucas | Frederick Delius | Gabby Logan | Geoffrey Boycott | George Gissing | Gordon Bottomley | Graham Sutherland | Harold Wilson | Helen Fielding | Henry Moore | Henry Savile | Henry Seebohm | Herbert Henry Asquith | Ian McGeechan | J B Priestley | James Hanson | James Mason | Jeremy Paxman | Jim Laker | Jimmy Savile | John Braine | John Godber | John Hawkshaw | John Kettley | John Radcliffe | John Smeaton | John Walker | Jonny Brownlee | Joseph Priestley | Keith Waterhouse | Kenneth Armitage | Kenneth Leighton | Kit Scruton | Lawrence Wager | Leigh Francis | Leonard Hutton | Lizzie Armitstead | Marco Pierre White | Martin Frobisher | Martin Lowry | Mel B | Michael Halliday | Mollie Sugden | Nicola Adams | Patrick Heron | Patrick Stewart | Pauline Neville-Jones | Percy Scholes | Peter Sutcliffe | Phil May | Ray Illingworth | Richard Bentley | Richard Oastler | Richard Salisbury | Richard Stoker | Roger Hargreaves | Samuel Cunliffe Lister | Sheila Rowbotham | Simon Marks | Sir Fred Hoyle | Sir Matthew Smith | Sir Owen Richardson | Sue Ryder | Ted Hughes | Thomas Chippendale | Thomas Fairfax | Timothy West | Tom Kilburn | Tony Harrison | Vero Wynne-Edwards | Vic Reeves | Wilfred Rhodes | William Congreve | William Rothenstein | Willis Hall |

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