Creative Challenge Leeds

The project was a partnership between Artforms-the music and arts team within childrens services at Leeds city council, Armley mills Industrial Museum (shown above), Leeds PRU Burley Park, Greenmeadows School and myself.

The project aim was to work with a group of young people from Leeds PRU and Greenmeadow school and set them a ‘Creative Challenge’ inspired by Armley Mills.

Housed in what was once the world’s largest woollen mill, Leeds Industrial Museum houses a wealth of gems located in a beautiful riverside setting.  We stepped back in time to learn about the industrial history of Leeds from manufacturing textiles and clothing to printing, engineering and locomotives, which the city was world famous for.

We chose our challenge after a tour around the Mills, and the discovery of an information board which told the intriguing story of Louis le Prince. The story of the ill-fated inventor got the imagination of the young people and the adults running wild. Over the coming weeks we set about creating a radio play based on the original story using as many facts as we could, and also adding in some creative ideas of our own.

Louis Le Prince. Who?

7405404Louis Le Prince was a Frenchman who came to Leeds in 1866.  He was an extremely clever man and invented a camera that was able to capture moving images.  He then went on to shoot two famous animations at Roundhay Park in Leeds and on Leeds Bridge.

Louis’ inventions were very far advanced at this time and he is regarded by many as a pioneer in the world of film or cinematography – no one had ever done anything like this before!

In 1890, Louis visited friends in France and told them he was going to America to promote his new one lens camera.(shown right) They never saw Louis again.


Our creative challenge culminated in a radio play created by the young people which in a classic ‘whodunnit’ based on Louis Le Prince disappearance, and also a textile exhibition of work inspired by the history of the Armley Mills.

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