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Risk, Safety and the City

Risk, Safety and the City
Dates and times

9 Jun 2018 10am - 1pm

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Leeds Industrial Museum

Canal Road, Armley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS12 2QF

In 1874 Edward Grayham, a railway shunter from Armley, was crushed to death while uncoupling some of the waggons of a luggage train, after he inadvertently signalled to the driver to start the engines. Was the accident his fault, or that of the driver? Or was it an example of wider failures in safety measures on the railways? Or was it just a really unfortunate incident?

Our understanding of what constitutes a risk, or a danger, in society changed over the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. How risks are identified, managed, eradicated and sometimes overlooked provides a window onto the ways that cities and workplaces are governed – is safety the responsibility of the individual, the employer, the state, or a combination of all of these?

This half-day workshop, at the Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills, will introduce participants to the material objects and techniques used for researching the history of risk and safety in Leeds. The workshop will also include a scavenger hunt of historical risk on the grounds of the museum. We will be covering a range of accidents and case histories that relate to Armley Mills and the wider area, and a variety of sources, including safety insignia, newspapers, photographs and building plans. Come and learn about the sad cases of George Dyson and Edward Grayham, the air-raids on Armley during the Second World War, and the floods of 1866 and 2015. The workshop is being delivered by academic historians from Leeds Beckett University, Jessica van Horssen and Shane Ewen, and the Industrial History Curator at Armley Mills, John McGoldrick.

Places are free, but numbers are strictly limited. Please register your attendance at the booking link. Everyone welcome including families (but please do tell us in advance if you are bringing young children so we can prepare appropriate activities).

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Please check times with event organiser for any last minute changes.

Wheelchair Access

A large proportion of Armley Mills is fully accessible. 

  • Wheelchair access
  • Heritage
  • Workshop
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