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War time

Under the Victoria Hall is a large room known as the crypt. From 1942 onwards, this was used as a British Restaurant, a wartime communal feeding centre where a cheap hot meal could be bought. The restaurant, also known as the Civic Restaurant, proved very popular, and was refurbished in 1960. It closed in 1966.




An ARP (Air Raid Protection) Post was located in the Town Hall basement.




There was a bombing raid on Leeds on March 15th 1941. The eastern side of the Town Hall was hit, and there was damage to the roof and the interior of the building.




On V J Day, August 16th 1945, the Town Hall was the scene of great celebration. The picture shows the crowd surrounding one of the lions beside the Town Hall steps.
Click images to enlarge
Opening of the British Restaurant
Opening of the British Restaurant
Opening of the British Restaurant
Opening of the British Restaurant
Air raid shelter in the Town Hall crypt
Air raid shelter in the Town Hall crypt
Bomb damage after raid, March 15th 1941
Bomb damage after raid, March 15th 1941
VJ celebrations
VJ celebrations




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© 2003 Leeds City Council | Site created by: LCC electronic information team | 25 March 2003