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Leeds Institute ( Civic Theatre ), Cookridge Street

Subject ID:
City Centre
Subject Year:
Leeds Library & Information Services
Class number:
B 26
Leeds Institute ( Civic Theatre ), Cookridge Street
Undated. Cuthbert Brodrick designed this building, built in 1868 as the Leeds Institute of Science and Art ( Mechanic's Institute ). This was a movement to provide education for the working man. The lecture hall accommodated 1,500 people. It later became the Civic Theatre, now (2003) to be renovated and used as the Leeds Museum. in 1869 Leeds suffrage campaigner Constance Holland helped to organise the first suffrage meeting to be held in Leeds, here at the Mechanics Institute. The Leeds City Museum has the main archive collection relating to Leonora Cohen, including the 'blue dress' she wore to the Leeds Arts Society Ball with the suffragette colours and icons embroidered on to it. It is also home to the hand written tag tied around the iron bar Leonora used to smash a glass case in the Jewel House at the Tower of London. The note carried the message 'This is my protest against the Government's treachery to the working women of Great Britain'.

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