Picture Post: New and old signs of a vibrant city found at end of the rainbow

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City skylines all over world are constantly changing and Leeds is no exception.

Even just a decade ago this same view would have looked radically different. Today, there are even more shiny, glass edifices stretching ever further upwards and while they dwarf some of the city’s more historic landmarks in size, they don’t in stature.

Leeds Town Hall, seen here in the foreground in front of an iridescent rainbow, remains one of the city’s grandest buildings. Dating back to 1858 it was built as a statement of civic pride and an indication of the wealth of at least some of its citizens. Despite its grandeur the building caused controversy at the time as the cost of creating this “municipal palace” spiralled. It was finally completed and Queen Victoria herself agreed to perform the opening ceremony.

Most people, though, would agree that it was worth all the hassle, for Leeds Town Hall is not only one of the finest examples of Victorian civic architecture in Europe, it is one of the most attractive town halls in the world.

Over the years the building has been used as everything from council offices and a courthouse, to a concert venue and a place for royal celebrations.

Situated right in the heart of the city it has played an active role in the everyday life of the people who live here for the past 158 years.

But there is also another, lesser known, side to it. You can go on tours and stand in the dock where prisoners once heard their sentences being read out by the judge. You can also descend the stone steps into the dank and dark prison cells below, or climb the 203 steps to the top of the clock tower to see the clock itself, and a view of Leeds unlike any other.

Technical details: Nikon D3s camera, 300mm lens,1000th sec at f5.6, ISO 200.

Picture: Simon Hulme

Words: Chris Bond