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The Leeds-Dortmund Project
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Psychogeographical mapping of coincidence in Leeds and Dortmund. Drifting through superimposed narratives of two cities at once. The Leeds-Dortmund Project

||| leeds: miscellaneous |||
Any general information about wartime and immediate post-war Leeds will be presented here. Some may apply to Leeds throughout the war, or may not relate to specific dates or those locations that have been identified as important to the project.

Air raid shelters & precautions

Leeds had over 14,000 public air raid shelters. They provided shelter for 300,000 people.. There were 132 Air Raid Precaution Posts, manned by over 7,000 Air Raid Precaution Officers.
Documentary Film, Leeds At War

City Square

Leeds was established as the Regional Centre for the Ministry of Home Security. Had London & the south fallen to the enemy, Leeds would have assumed government of the rest of the country. Headquarters was beneath City Square, presumably beneath the air raid shelters that ringed the Black Prince at its centre.
Documentary film, Leeds At War

City Varieties Theatre

A role for the City Varieties in the Second World War was that of Garrison Theatre, every Sunday any troops who were stationed locally were entertained by artistes who performed free of charge.
... The City Varieties became the oldest music hall in Britain in unhappy circumstances, the previous oldest, which stood at Birkenhead, received a direct hit from a bomb.
W.R. Mitchell, A History of Leeds, P143

Home Guard

Based in the stables behind the Masons Arms.
Documentary film, Leeds At War

Wartime industries

This is only a partial list:

Engineering/Railways: McLarens, Hunslet Engine Company, Hudswell Clarkes.
Aircraft: Avro at Yeadon & Blackburn's on Roundhay Road, Lower Wortley.
Tanks/Armaments: Vickers Armstrong.
Uniforms: Montague Burtons.

One of the most interesting companies involved in war production is Waddingtons, the game company. They produced maps printed on silk cloths for POWs & servicemen lost behind enemy lines. They also produced Monopoly boards containing hidden maps & currency. It is estimated that half of all escaped British POWs used Waddingtons maps to do so. By 1944 the company was producing 30,000 a week.

Documentary film, Leeds At War

Much of Leeds' engineering output was turned over to making shells, fuses and field guns. Tanks were made at Royal Ordnance Barnbow and John Fowler's Steam Plough Works. Many firms stuck to what they did best, such as producing generators and engines, or the conversion of tools such as lathes that could be modified to bore shells. Hunslet Engine Company remodelled a pre-war design to produce the 'Austerity' shunter, a stripped down locomotive which was vital to plans for the liberation of Europe.
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