On Friday the ninth of March we set off on our annual Spring Gallery Trip, this time to be based in city centre Leeds.
Our first stop was at a brilliantly sunny Sheffield. Arriving in time for coffee, we were soon exploring the light and airy Millennium Gallery, housing a challenging exhibition of contemporary Art alongside displays of Sheffield’s craftsmanship down the ages, with the attractive Winter Garden nearby. In the adjacent Graves Gallery we admired the city’s own impressive collection of paintings before lunch and then headed off for our Leeds check-in at the comfortable Queens Hotel.
With Saturday at leisure in Leeds, many of us enjoyed the riches of the city’s Art collection, on display in the Leeds City Art Gallery, fresh from its recent refurbishment. A few travelled out to the Royal Armouries Museum, others went on to explore the fine city centre itself, with its visually exciting traditional closed market and the amazing Exchange building, while some of us indulged in retail therapy in the splendid shopping arcades, such a feature of the city.
Most of us took advantage of Sunday’s opportunity to spend the day in York, welcoming the fine dry weather, Many headed straight for the York City Art Gallery, which following its refurbishment of a year or so ago had acquired various accolades. Here the main attractions were the splendid visiting Paul Nash exhibition and the several rooms holding the Gallery’s own renowned collection of ceramics, which included a substantial room of artefacts for sale. Again some members of the party were tempted into making purchases. It was not difficult to see why this gallery had attracted such commendations. The other attractions of the city were also enjoyed and some energetic and music loving souls stayed on for evensong in the Minster, catching the train back to Leeds in time for our evening meal.
Waking on Monday to a very wet world (a trip organiser’s nightmare!) we headed for Wakefield and the always exciting, award-winning Barbara Hepworth Gallery where we enjoyed, as well as the exhibits in the main galleries, an exciting Laser Show before braving the Yorkshire Sculpture park on a very wet afternoon. Not the ideal way to experience such a fine place, but we savoured the challenging exhibitions in the huge covered galleries, as well as the excellent offerings in the cafe with its splendid views across the Park, before starting out on the journey home, with some great memories and rich experiences to feed our creative juices!
Many thanks to the very helpful staff at the Queens Hotel, to Liz Carr for her generous help on the road, my daughter, Jane, for all her help in planning the project, not forgetting Longmynd Coaches and especially their excellent Driver, Martyn, who looked after us so well. Thanks too to all travellers for being punctual and helpful at all times.
Finally, a special thank you to Michael White for his photographic record.
(Editor’s note: And thank you most of all, Alan Townsend, for being our brilliant and most thoughtful trip organiser and leader… we couldn’t have done it without you!)