FRIDAY 15TH APRIL 2011 A small patch of grass for Duggie to allow him to perform his duties and then we marched of to the shopping centre of Leeds. Five minutes, over the river and under the railway and up Briggate and we were in a pedestrian area with an abundance of designer stores and shops, many of them in beautiful Victorian arcades decorated with a wealth of intricately painted casting, Harvey Nic’s and Vivienne Westwood just to name two.
It was a delight to wander around window shopping safe in the knowledge that it was mostly beyond our pockets. Duggie was much admired, Jacquie having spent some time grooming him before we set off, however he didn’t impress a member of security who politely pointed out that dogs were not allowed in the arcades, I pointed out equally politely that they should make it clear on all of the many entrances and he didn’t push the issue.
In the afternoon we visited the Armoury. We enjoyed the amazing display of assorted weaponry, mounted on the walls of the tower, a pyramid mirror on the ground floor helps one fully appreciate the display without breaking the neck. The suits of armour are also incredible, the workman ship is superb, but how people moved around in these creations, never mind fighting is mind boggling. By floor four of the five we had had enough of the glorification of all the different ways to kill and maim as many people as possible, don’t get me wrong it is an excellent museum and kids obviously love it, but I could hardly think what it must have been like to be on the receiving end of this weaponry.
One mystery solved, on the base of the Armoury tower is a blue plaque celebrating the life and achievements of John Smeaton, a Leeds born man; amongst the many civil engineering projects he had been involved in, the most outstanding was the design of the third Eddystone Lighthouse, which remained standing for 118 years before it was dismantled and partially rebuilt on Plymouth Hoe. Not surprising that I at first sight thought this tower looked a bit like a lighthouse.