Film ID:
YFA 1484



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This is a film documenting work being done in Leeds to clean up the rivers, waterways, and restore old buildings. The film was made by members of the Leeds Movie Makers.

Title - Leeds Movie Makers Presents: Eye on the River

The film begins showing the North Yorkshire landscape and the River Aire, warning of its pollution. A sign for the Yorkshire Water Authority at Esholt is seen before the river enters Leeds. Along the side are derelict warehouses and evidence of pollution. Out of this common problem of pollution came the European Year of the Environment, with the theme of 'Water and the City.' Included in this scheme is a competition for cleaning. A group of people are clearing up a wooded area and Leeds Town Hall and Leeds Dept. of the Environment are shown. The place is in the Kirkstall Valley, near an abandoned power station, where a nature reserve is planned. A makeshift sign requests polluters to take their rubbish with them. People from Newlay Conservation Society are busy loading a skip and cleaning the plot of land close to a river.

The film then moves to the Pollard cast iron bridge, and other bridges over the river, such as Victoria Bridge, as it makes its way out of Leeds to merge with the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, past the new Asda building and Leeds Bridge. On the bridges, Victorian style lighting is being installed. There is the redevelopment of Victoria Quay turning the warehouses into apartments. The river then flows past other bridges on its way out of the city, with further evidence of pollution. Workman from the River Authority cut branches off trees that have fallen into the river and take samples of water to test the levels of pollution.

A derelict mill, now inhabited by cats, is overlooked by the old cooling towers of Skelton Grange Power Station. The Thwaite Mill restoration group have come together to repair the water wheel, adding a fish ladder, for the Mill to open as a working industrial museum. A delegation from Leeds twin city, Lille, visits an event at the newly built visitor centre at the mill. They then go on a cruise on the canal. They make their way through several locks until they reach Armley Industrial Museum where they are met by the Curator, and after the visit, it's onto Meanwood Valley Urban Farm where they plant a chestnut tree as a momento if their visit.

Geoff Hoggart, President of the Leeds Environment Association, receives the trophy on behalf of the Leeds project for winning first prize in the European Year of the Environment competition.

End credits: commentary Richard Perkin, production team: Arthur Steels, Duncan Ward, Fred Wells, Doreen Wood