Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Record-breaking Spiceworld exhibition coming to a close

Caption: Last chance to see Geri Halliwell's Union Jack boots

The world record-breaking exhibition devoted to the Spice Girls on display at Leeds City Museum comes to a close this weekend.

The collection of memorabilia and merchandise from collector Liz West devoted to the most successful girl band of all time finishes this Sunday (3 July) having been seen by almost 50,000 people since it opened in January.

The exhibition also played its part in setting a new Guinness World Record as the collection of 2,066 items related to the band on display has been officially recognised as the biggest number of Spice Girls items in a collection together anywhere in the world.

The special free exhibition at the Leeds City Council-managed museum off Millennium Square shows off a range of outfits worn by the group as well as accessories, platinum discs, books, magazines and dolls sourced from all over the world.

Spice Girls memorabilia collector Liz West said:

“It has been absolutely fantastic to have my collection on display in Leeds City Museum and there are still a few days left to see it if anyone has been meaning to but has not come along yet.

“The great reaction from everyone who has seen it has made me really proud and the icing on the cake was securing the Guinness World Record.”

The exhibition is the first time Liz’s collection has ever been on display in its entirety in public.

Among the items on show are the iconic Union Jack boots worn by Geri Halliwell in the group’s first-ever live concert in Istanbul, Emma Bunton’s blue sequin dress from the band’s memorable performance at the 1997 Brit Awards (where Geri made her show-stealing appearance in the Union Jack dress) and Leeds’-own Mel B’s trademark giraffe print catsuit complete with ‘Mel B’ crystal-studded belt.

Other items include outfits worn by Emma, Geri and Mel B on their ‘Spiceworld’ tour, a gold and diamond-studded Chopard watch worn by Victoria, the director’s script from ‘Spiceworld: The Movie’ and the multi-platinum CD the band were awarded for selling over four million copies of the album ‘Spice’ in America in 1997.

Leeds City Museum curator of exhibitions Helen Langwick said:

“The Spiceworld exhibition has proved really popular and we are especially proud to have played our part in a making a little bit of history with the Guinness World Record for Liz which is well deserved for her amazing collection.”

Running until Sunday 3 July, ‘Spiceworld: The exhibition’ is free to enter and celebrates the success of the Spice Girls as well as examining what it takes to be a modern celebrity.

For further information on Leeds City Museum, visit the website at

Notes to editors:
The Spice Girls are Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm, Geri Halliwell and Victoria Beckham (née Adams) who quickly became known by the nicknames Scary, Baby, Sporty, Ginger and Posh.

Following the impact of debut single ‘Wannabe’ which topped the charts in 31 countries in 1996, the Spice Girls enjoyed phenomenal success selling over 80 million records worldwide, having nine UK number one singles, starring in their own feature film and creating the ‘girl power’ mantra which is credited with inspiring a generation of girls and women to achieve.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, email:

RFL officials see the best of Leeds

Left to right: Deborah Green (Marketing Leeds), Paul McShane, Jon Dutton (RFL), Cllr Adam Ogilvie, Brett Delaney and Ronnie the Rhino

Representatives from the Rugby Football League (RFL) were in Leeds today to see for themselves why the city would be a great choice to host games and teams during the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.

Following a presentation at the city's home of rugby, Headingley Carnegie Stadium, the inspection team were shown around proposed venues for international matches and training sites, accompanied by council officers and other representatives of Leeds.

If the city’s bid is successful, matches during the prestigious tournament will be played at Headingley Carnegie Stadium and Elland Road. The city could also be selected as a training base for one of the 14 countries taking part, thanks to the excellent facilities available, which include Leeds Rugby Academy, Leeds Metropolitan University, John Charles Centre for Sport, and Weetwood Sports Fields.

Leeds City Council, working in partnership with Leeds Rhinos, Leeds United and Marketing Leeds, submitted an initial bid to tournament organisers the RFL in April. This inspection visit is part of the evaluation process, with final bids to be submitted in July. The successful host cities will be announced in November.

The bid team also want to show that Leeds’ residents are supporting the bid, and have opened Facebook ( and Twitter (@LeedsRLWC) accounts so that people can sign up and back the Leeds bid!

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive board member with responsibility for leisure said:
“Leeds has a tremendously strong history, tradition, pride and passion not just for rugby league, but for all sport as well as experience in hosting major events.

“We are confident that having Leeds as a host city will add something special to this great competition, and we are ready to play a key role in making the 2013 Rugby League World Cup the most successful tournament yet if we are selected.”

Leeds Rhinos’ chief executive Gary Hetherington said:
“We are proud to have hosted games at Headingley Carnegie in every World Cup that has been played in this country since 1960.

“We have a track record of hosting major events for the RFL, and we look forward to working in partnership with them to put on a fantastic occasion if we are fortunate enough to be awarded a game in the 2013 Rugby League World Cup.”

Jon Dutton, the 2013 Rugby League World Cup host cities manager said:
“We are delighted and encouraged by the quality of bids submitted. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of the bidding towns and cities for their efforts in preparing their bids, and wish them the best of luck with their submissions.”

Hosting the tournament is expected to bring strong economic benefits to the UK of between £30m – £50m. Over 250,000 people will attend games, which will be broadcast in over 120 countries attracting around 20million viewers worldwide. Each match held in Leeds would give a significant boost to the local economy and wider city region, while there would also be major benefits in terms of business, culture and education.

For more information about the 2013 Rugby League World Cup please visit


For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Consultation begins into Lotherton Hall improvements

Plans to make improvements to Lotherton Hall and its surrounding estate have been unveiled for public consultation.

Wide-ranging proposals put forward by Leeds City Council include increasing opening hours, improvements to the gardens, doubling the amount of estate to be open to the public, improved car parking and a safer exit route at the Edwardian country house and grounds in Aberford near Leeds.

Public consultation is to take place until the end of July, with drop-in consultation events to be held at the hall as well as display boards and comment cards, information in libraries and one-stop centres, and on the Lotherton Hall website and the council’s museums and galleries website at

The needs of regular users such as season-ticket holders have been built into the proposals and are being contacted directly about them, while local parish councils and other community groups are also being consulted.

Under the plans, a series of improvements would take place beginning later this year which would result in the hall being open on Mondays as well as in January and February when it is currently closed.

The current parking system would be revamped to make the house and estate more accessible as well as safer for children using the play area. The area of the estate currently open to the public would be doubled, with restoration work carried out on the Edwardian gardens, the Japanese rockery and the walled gardens while themed walks for visitors would be introduced with grass ‘maze style’ paths and improved picnic and play areas.

The current exit road would also be relocated, with the current entrance road being widened to allow for two-way traffic flow which means when leaving visitors would no longer be passing the children’s play area and other pedestrians making the site safer overall.

Improved signage, navigation and interpretation would be introduced throughout the estate, while the programme of events would also be boosted by running throughout the year.

Along with the proposed changes, a new simplified pricing structure would also be introduced meaning visitors would only pay once to access all of the facilities as well as car parking. Season-tickets would remain for regular users offering access for a 12-month period.

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“We have been looking at ways of making Lotherton Hall a more rounded visitor attraction to appeal to visitors who will be keen to see everything it has to offer – the house, the bird garden and the wonderful grounds.

“These improvements would help us raise the standards of Lotherton Hall as a visitor experience but the idea of this consultation is for as many people as possible to tell us what they think so we look forward to hearing people’s views.”

For more information on Lotherton Hall, visit the website at


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, email: